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spurtus 174 ( +1 | -1 )
Can I turn my head into an endgame 'table-base'? A table base is a database that a computer uses of all possible combinations of pieces in all possible squares for say up to 5 pieces.... this makes a computers play absolutley PERFECT when material is thin on the board.

I was pondering about improving my endgame technique by progressively learning every hard and fast fact about how to win & draw in the endgame...(where possible)... its vast I know!!! ... so I expect some situations might be outside this remit.

... but for my mind I wanted to at least know the basics from ground up before learning how to win 5 piece+ endgames, thus using recognition of an endgame that is a win / loss or draw I can shape the complicated endgames towards these key positions... this is what I mean by turning my head into a 'table-base'!

I want to eventually be able to say that I can win or draw with a particular set of material balances, just like we all say that we will win if we have a queen and the opponent nothing, with the simple technique of mating with a queen.

So I started trying to categorise the levels of material that I would learn about..., first I learn about how to win / draw with only a rook, queen then a single pawn on the board. (I know this already)...

Then one logically moves onto say two piece endgames... bishop+knight, two pawns.

Then it starts to get a bit messy, what material categories can you suggest that one ought to know to have as best as possible end-game technique where you can expect as I say hard facts to be extractable from the technique?

Is there a book that explicitly describes end-game technique as a set of rules to follow rather than screeds of example games.

Thanks again,
Spurtus.
misato 134 ( +1 | -1 )
Max Euwe, The end-game My father gave me an old book "Das Endspiel" from Max Euwe which is separated into eight volumes (60-70 pages):
1. The King alone
2. Queen or rook vs. pawns
3. Other pieces vs. pawns
4. Pieces vs. pieces I
5. Pieces vs. pieces II
6. Pieces+pawns vs. pieces or pawns I
7. Pieces+pawns vs. pieces or pawns II
8. Pawn endgames

Maybe this is what you are looking for. I know that Andre Cheron's book (I don't know the title) is the "bible" for end-games, but I had no look at it so far.

The Dutch GM Euwe describes the techniques and traps for both players (the one who wants to win and the other who is fighting for a draw) quite well and gives a lot of examples showing what he means and how it works (or not ...).
Fortunately my games rarely go to the end-game (at least no difficult ones), so until now I had no need to work with it. I have the feeling that the end-game is the most difficult part of the whole game and I am afraid I will draw win-positions or loose draw-positions (or both in sequence) when I play an endgame-expert.

And: NEVER play an OTB end-game against a blind player. They have the whole board in their head even when they are allowed to touch each piece on their special board. And they use this advantage especially in end-games. They are awesome when you give them the chance to reach it!
fmgaijin 112 ( +1 | -1 )
Start with These: 1. All the cases of the opposition (K + P vs. K)
2. Lucena Position (how to win with K + R + P vs. K + R)
3. Philidor Position (how to draw with K + R vs. K + R + P)
4. K + Q vs. K + P on 2nd/7th rank (know when it's a win and when a draw).

Obviously, these come after your basic Q and R mates <grin>!

These are the most important "human tablebase" positions because these occur frequently OTB; hence, you need to be able to play all of them quickly and accurately even if short on time. Moreover, knowing when these win and when they draw lets you pursue/avoid trades in positions that may simplify into one of these (which is another way tablebases help Fritz, et al, play endgames better than they used to--though in annotating one of my turn-based games recently, Fritz was still claiming equality after a 22-ply analysis for a position that is a book loss in a K+ Ps ending. Only when I forced the next three moves on it would it finally agree <grin>! On the other hand, it did point out that one of my middlegame moves was a clear error, overlooking a tactical trick that, fortunately, my opponent also missed!)
peppe_l 114 ( +1 | -1 )
Human version of Deep Blue? "I want to eventually be able to say that I can win or draw with a particular set of material balances, just like we all say that we will win if we have a queen and the opponent nothing, with the simple technique of mating with a queen."

Not even Vladimir Kramnik can do this. If you succeed, all the other top GMs will be very, very interested of learning such technique.

"Is there a book that explicitly describes end-game technique as a set of rules to follow rather than screeds of example games."

Yes. Written by German chap called Fritz. It has about 100 000 000 pages :-)

I am far from endgame expert but I am pretty sure the most effective way is well known: learn basic rules & key positions. Then play trough lots of annotated (practical!) endgames. As far as I know every single strong player on the planet has done it this way. No human being has enough brain capacity or time to memorize zillions of rules and then win literally without thinking over the board.



Good luck with your experiment! Still, personally I believe there are too many differences between humans and computers.
mogath 33 ( +1 | -1 )
RE: Can I turn my head into an endgame You might want to try Lev Alburt's "Chess Training Pocket Book". There are a few endgames in there that when you memorize them, they will help you out in a LOT of endings. I once read that there are 300 positions in chess that if memorized will bring you much fame in chess.

Regards,
Jeff