Sunday, August 12, 2012

Practicing End Games Part 2


Working with endings not only helps in winning (or at least not losing) games at a critical point but I think also helps in other key ways.

My recommended method for practicing the endgame is to find a position from a master game where one side wins. Don't look how the master did it and try to get the same result. After many, many attempts, then check out the master's plan and figure how it was different than yours.

After awhile you will get a practical feel for the concepts needed to win an endgame.

Some of the most intsructive endgmes come from Bobby Fischer, though well known as a premier openings and middlegame player, he was also outstanding in the endgame.

Here are two of his endgame's that I found helpful:

Berliner-Fischer 1963 Bay City

After 42. Rc1


The game continued

42...Rd3

A key move. Putting the rook behind the passed pawn, an often used tactic lets the White King be more mobile and restricts Black's mobility. While 42...Rc8 probably still wins, the text provides Black more options.
 
43. Rb1 Kg7
44. Rb5 a4
45. Rc5 a3
46. Kg2 Re3

Fischer pretty much freezes White's play and lets's the Black King roam freely.

47. Rc4 Kf6
48. h4 Ke5
49. Kf2 Rh3
50. Kg2 Rd3
51. h5 Kf4
52. h6 Ke3
53. Rc7 Kd2
White Resigns


Fischer-Taimanov 1971 Cand. Match Game 4

After 60...Ne7



61. Be8 Kd8

In zugzwang, Black is forced to retreat from protection of b6.

62. Bxg6 Nxg6

Fischer has calculated that the liquidation and two pawns on the Qside is worth the Bishop with Black's forces away from the key a & b files.

63. Kxb6 Kd7
64. Kxc5 Ne7
65. b4 axb4
66. cxb4 Nc8
67. a5 Nd6
68. b6 Ne4+
69. Kb6 Kc8
70. Kc6 Kb8
71. b6
 Black Resigns

A masterful performance of calculation, mobility and position in the end game.

Anatoly Karpov is also known as a great endgame player.

Here's a position from the WC Match in 1984 versus Garry Kasparov.

Karpov-Kasparov, 1984 WC game 27 

After 47...Kd5



Karpov is a pawn up and looks better but must watch the Black  h-pawn. How does he recognize his advantage?

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