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Old March 18th 04, 11:54 AM
Holbox
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.

Regards,
Holbox


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Old March 18th 04, 05:02 PM
Mike Ogush
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

On Thu, 18 Mar 2004 12:54:51 +0100, "Holbox"
wrote:

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.

Regards,
Holbox



Yes, playing endgames against a computer can be a good way to practice
what you learn at a theory level. Make sure that the program you are
using is connected to endgame Tablebases so it plays flawlessly for
the simple endings. I would set the time control either classical
levels or possibly at what would be left on classical time control
when the endgame is reached. For example 40 moves in 120 minutes or
(assuming that time would be used in equal amounts throught a real
game and the endgame would be reached at move 30) 10 moves in 30
miutes.

I assume that Keres' book goes through various endings from the
simple to the more complex. However, once you get beyond simple mates
with limited material and king and pawns endings, you may want adjust
the order in which you study endings based on what endings occur in
your games. You can use Chessbase (light) to search your own games
for those with limitted material of a material type (rook+pawns or
bishop+pawns or bishop+pawns vs. rook+pawns) and then look at the
frequency of different types of endings. Then if you determine that
you almost never reach positions with say knight+pawns vs. knight
+pawns you can defer study of that ending until later.

For endings that you think you already understand just set up the
position from the book and play it through until checkmate is imminent
in cases of a win, or 3-3-fold-repetirion/stalemate is imminent for
cases of a draw. When you can't win a position known to be a win for
your side, switch sides with the computer to see how it moves to
victory.

For openings where you don't fully understand the ideas (i.e. are not
certain you know how to force the win or draw) play through the Keres'
analysis several times until you do understand it from a theoretical
point of view. Then set up the computer to practice.

You may also want to create or obtain other similar positions to the
one you are studying. You could move all or some pieces and pawns
over a file or forward/backward a rank.

Mike Ogush
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Old March 19th 04, 08:08 AM
Terry
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

Pleased to see that you have your priorities right.
Study endgames not openings to improve.

Regards

"Holbox" wrote in message
...
Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do

this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is this

a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.

Regards,
Holbox




  #4   Report Post  
Old March 19th 04, 08:10 AM
Holbox
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

Thx for your wide answer Mike. My comments are inserted between the text.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Ogush"
Newsgroups: rec.games.chess.analysis
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 6:02 PM
Subject: Improving ending skills


On Thu, 18 Mar 2004 12:54:51 +0100, "Holbox"
wrote:

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do

this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is

this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.

Regards,
Holbox



Yes, playing endgames against a computer can be a good way to practice
what you learn at a theory level. Make sure that the program you are
using is connected to endgame Tablebases so it plays flawlessly for
the simple endings. I would set the time control either classical
levels or possibly at what would be left on classical time control
when the endgame is reached. For example 40 moves in 120 minutes or
(assuming that time would be used in equal amounts throught a real
game and the endgame would be reached at move 30) 10 moves in 30
miutes.


I have downloaded Tablebases but i'm not sure if Crafty uses them. Sorry,
i'm sure because it can't get mate with 2 bishops. Probably some
configuration is wrong.

I assume that Keres' book goes through various endings from the
simple to the more complex. However, once you get beyond simple mates
with limited material and king and pawns endings, you may want adjust
the order in which you study endings based on what endings occur in
your games. You can use Chessbase (light) to search your own games
for those with limitted material of a material type (rook+pawns or
bishop+pawns or bishop+pawns vs. rook+pawns) and then look at the
frequency of different types of endings. Then if you determine that
you almost never reach positions with say knight+pawns vs. knight
+pawns you can defer study of that ending until later.


This is a good idea!. Is Chessbase like SCID?


For endings that you think you already understand just set up the
position from the book and play it through until checkmate is imminent
in cases of a win, or 3-3-fold-repetirion/stalemate is imminent for
cases of a draw. When you can't win a position known to be a win for
your side, switch sides with the computer to see how it moves to
victory.



For openings where you don't fully understand the ideas (i.e. are not
certain you know how to force the win or draw) play through the Keres'
analysis several times until you do understand it from a theoretical
point of view. Then set up the computer to practice.


First fix the idea. Then try. Ok!

You may also want to create or obtain other similar positions to the
one you are studying. You could move all or some pieces and pawns
over a file or forward/backward a rank.


Keres' book do it in this way.


Mike Ogush


Holbox


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Old March 19th 04, 05:03 PM
2100USCF
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

Well, you must be a hellava player to be 'around' 1900 and just now thinking
of improving your ending skills. The Paul Keres "Practical Endings" book, is
indeed a good one, and I recommend playing out the examples by yourself on a
chess board while trying to absorb the 'techniques' involved as explained in
the book. Playing out the endings against the computer is fun, but you are
not likely to 'learn' anything about technique by doing so. The computer may
play well enough to 'beat' you 99 out of 100 times, but it may not be the
truly 'correct' way, and learning this may actually be more harmful to you.
Better to 'learn' from the humans. Of course, if the computer is using
tablebases, that would be another story, but it still wouldn't explain
...why!

I recommend playing over all examples given in the book, and following the
SHORT subvariations in you mind. When the variations get too long and
complicated to follow mentally, disregard entirely! After all, we are only
human, and few would be able to digest all that anyway. (Kasparov is one who
can get away with that.) If you simply MUST play out every variation, the
computer would be the tool to use because of the ability to be able to
return to the 'start' position. But having the 'moves' sink in by studying
diagrams on a screen may not 'work' for many over-the-board players.

You might try 'heading' for the endgame every time you play an opponent.
Make sure the pawn position is unballanced for best chances, and search for
ideas. Remember, you have to be at least a rook ahead to win an endgame.
Ceteris Paribus, or whatever it was Emanuel Lasker used to quote. When you
start winning some endgames, it will give you confidence, and a highly
satisfying feeling.

Points to 'pick' up from books are those like, "play King and Knight endings
like King and Pawns". Learn the Lucenda position-an absolute must in rook
endings. Also spend a lot of time learning the value of a Bishop over a
Knight endings. In a lot of endings, it's over whelming. You might play over
some Queen versus Rook tablebases to 'see' a possible method of forcing the
King and Rook to resign, but I'd rather use the time to learn more practical
endings. If you feel you have to learn that one, don't forget to learn the
King and Queen versus the King and two Bishops, next!

I believe the 'most' important part of the game to study is tactics. You
can't get enough of them. Openings and Endings are very important too, but
if you 'specialize', you can cut down the amount of time you spend on
Openings. Endings need to be addressed, and with the exception of a few
terribly complicated instances, you will have to devote time to studying all
of them. That's why I like learning by playing. If you lose a won position
in the end game, you can 'look' up the right way to handle the ending, and
probably will not forget how to play it the next time.

Good Luck,

"Holbox" wrote in message
...
Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do

this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is this

a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.

Regards,
Holbox






  #6   Report Post  
Old March 19th 04, 08:49 PM
Ron
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

In article ,
"Holbox" wrote:

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.


Is that a national OTB or correspondence rating?

I ask because it makes a BIG difference as for ending recommendations.

I recommend Mednis and Crouch's "Rate Your Endgame" very highly. I have
some other recommendations if that rating isn't a national federation
rating, but they'd probably be stuff you already know if it is.
  #7   Report Post  
Old March 22nd 04, 07:02 AM
Holbox
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills


"Ron" escribió en el mensaje
...
In article ,
"Holbox" wrote:

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do

this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play

this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is

this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.


Is that a national OTB or correspondence rating?


I'm rated 1700 by my Federation because it is the starting rating given. I
have won some 1800-1900 players. I'm 1800 standard rated in FICS and +2000
in www.ajedrez21.com. Probably my true rating is between 1700 and 1900.


I ask because it makes a BIG difference as for ending recommendations.

I recommend Mednis and Crouch's "Rate Your Endgame" very highly. I have
some other recommendations if that rating isn't a national federation
rating, but they'd probably be stuff you already know if it is.



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Old March 22nd 04, 09:00 PM
Ron
 
Posts: n/a
Default Improving ending skills

In article ,
"Holbox" wrote:

"Ron" escribió en el mensaje
...
In article ,
"Holbox" wrote:

Hi people,

I'm a 1700-1900 rated player. I want to improve my ending skills. To do

this
I have bought "Practical Endings" from P.Keres and I'm going to play

this
positions against Crafty from both sides. What do you think about? Is

this a
good way to learn? There is something to take into account.


Is that a national OTB or correspondence rating?


I'm rated 1700 by my Federation because it is the starting rating given. I
have won some 1800-1900 players. I'm 1800 standard rated in FICS and +2000
in www.ajedrez21.com. Probably my true rating is between 1700 and 1900.


Well, I imagine Silman's Essential Chess Endings is probably stuff you
already know, then, at this point, but I'd check out Soltis's
"Grandmaster Secrets: Endings" and Howell's "Essential Chess Endings"
before moving on to M&C.

-Ron
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