Monday, October 6, 2014

Chess endgames

"I'm a low rated player, <1000 and notice a lot of people often resign if there is even a slight disadvantage for them. For example, if a couple pawns are lost or a minor piece. I always try to finish a game and make them go all the way for the mate. Even when I'm clearly losing I try to play it to the end, or I'll never get real end game experience, hindering my improvement on the end game."
Excellent what you wrote. I also noticed this problem with people resigning early, not so much here but it's a big problem at another chess website I use.
It's perfectly OK to keep playing in a lost game. If my opponent does this it's OK with me (unless he or she is intentionally moving slow just to waste my time). I look at it as an opportunity to practice checkmating a person as fast as possible which is often necessary when I'm in time trouble.
Some people resign without thinking about it first. I have played people who resigned when they actually had a winning position. More often they had drawing chances. When I win I want to earn it. And when I lose I want my opponent to deserve it. Staying in the game, no matter how hopeless it is, has paid off for me. I've been able to force draws even when I thought there was no hope.
Best way to be a better chess player? Read Capablanca's Best Chess Endings: 60 Complete Games at http://www.amazon.com/Capablancas-Best-Chess-Endings-Complete/dp/0486242498
Chernev makes the games interesting and easy to understand. He explains how Capablanca makes moves in the Middle Game to give him small advantages in the End Game. And he explains endgames perfectly which is the most important chess skill you can have.

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