Beginner Chess Endgames 🎓 GM Damian Lemos

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It is all too common that players of all levels do not pay adequate attention to the importance of developing precise chess endgame technique, leading to missed opportunities and subsequent feelings of disappointment and embarrassment.

Chess can be divided into 3 stages: the opening, middlegame, and endgame. However, beginner chess players frequently dedicate the majority of studying time to good opening play and tactics, ignoring the “boring” positional themes associated with long-term strategy and chess endgame motifs.

The importance of endgame understanding and technique in chess should not be underestimated, as the vast majority of chess games do not finish in the opening or middlegame but are decided during the endgame.

First of all, the concept of piece activity is extremely important in any endgame. Are your opponent’s pieces tied to defending passively? Do you have open files or outposts for your pieces? Try to aim for an active setup of your pieces and avoid passive positions.

The king needs to be well protected in the opening and in sharp middlegame positions. Once you’ve reached an endgame, however, the topic of king activity becomes of paramount importance. An active king can protect weaknesses and control important squares so that more valuable pieces like rooks can be more actively placed and don’t have to fulfill defensive tasks.

Pawn structures play a crucial role in the endgame. You need to compare your pawn structure with your opponent’s pawn structure.

Is the pawn structure symmetrical or not? Does your opponent have any weak pawns or weak squares?

In chess, some decisions are irreversible. Piece exchanges, for example, can’t be taken back. Although this can be applied to all stages of the game, it is especially important in the endgame because as there is less material remaining, every exchange becomes more significant. Pay attention to all possible long-term changes in the position, especially the pawn structures and any minor piece exchanges.

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3 Comments

  1. In general, if it is expected to reach an endgame with a few pawns each, and either only one bishop, or one knight , is it better to have the lone bishop, or the lone knight?

  2. RageAgainstTheMachine RageAgainstTheMachine says:

    Great Video!

  3. Bad Bishop, Bad Bishop! watcha gonna do? watcha gonna do when they come for you?

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