Game Spotlight: Transitioning to the Endgame
As with most Chess players, the first time I played in a tournament did not go well. One reason for this came down to the endgame. I’d done some reading and studying of the endgame, and had picked up a reasonable amount of endgame skills, but lacked confidence in being able to put this to use. And because I had no confidence, I lost a lot of games before even getting to the endgame. I kept making mistakes in the middlegame through being over-aggressive, trying to decide the game before an endgame even appeared on the board. The point is that endgame knowledge and experience is a large foundation of good play, and not having it rots your entire game.
So, let’s look at how some fundamental skills work in a position that may look complicated, and some things to look for as the endgame approaches:
In particular, study what happened in the game from move 20 onwards. It’s clear White envisioned the endgame he wanted, and arranged the trades to get it to happen. From then on, it was the more basic rules of the endgame that won — centralize the King, push passed pawns, and put Rooks behind passed pawns.
The NCC Open is next weekend! Even if it’s your first tournament, come join us — there’s a section for you. All the details are here, and you can register here. Be aware there is a penalty surcharge if you register after this Saturday (August 18), so don’t wait.