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Most club players spend far too little time studying endgames. They are not familiar with essential theoretical endgames, nor do they focus on developing good endgame understanding and technique. However, decent endgame skills are vital for any aspiring chess player. They can enable you to easily win apparently equal positions with only little imbalances or save half a point from clearly worse positions.
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First of all, it’s a key skill to evaluate endgames correctly. After any exchange of pieces in the endgame, you need to reevaluate the position. Stay objective in assessing the position. If you constantly overestimate your position, for example, things will likely end terribly.
Endgames are fundamentally different from middlegames and openings. Therefore, you need some special criteria with which to evaluate endgame positions.
The concept of piece activity is extremely important in any endgame. Try to aim for an active setup of your pieces and avoid passive positions. Even at the cost of a little bit of material, this can greatly improve your position and help you to win games that may not have seemed winnable at first.
Material is often not as relevant as the initiative in endgames. It’s key to understand: while comparing your pieces with your opponent’s pieces, you must not only evaluate which piece is better placed at the moment, but also which piece has more potential.
You also need to assess the position of the kings. Centralization of the king is one of the main principles of endgame play. Generally speaking, the changing role of the king is one of the most important characteristics that separates endgames from middlegames and openings.
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