Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chess Endgame Camp

This week I will be heading off to Phillip Island along with a group of coaches and about 30 talented chess kids. The idea is to run a chess camp, and this year we have dedicated the endgame as the subject of the main body of lessons. Of course, there will be lots of games and activities, and it is a great chance for the kids to get to know each other better, as well as perhaps to meet some great coaches who they haven't met before. Foremost of the coaches going is IM Robert Jamieson and the kids should get a huge amount from his experience, especially as Robert enjoys nothing better than quiet positions and endgames.

As coaches we have been given certain areas to work on, and lecture topics cover. Personally I'll be giving 4 lectures on the following broad subjects:

- Rook Endgames
- Winning a won position
- Minor Piece endgames
- Pawn Endgames

While compiling material for the camp, there will probably be some material left over, so I'll be showing some endgames here that I've seen but decided to hold back. For example, what inspired me to come up with the subject 'winning a won position' was the following game I saw not long ago.

Now time could have been a factor, as it often is in the endgame, but when analysing a game we are free of the time constraint and must find the best move or plan. There may also have been a case of the player with black thinking that the game will win itself. This example goes to show that nothing could be further than the truth, and the phrase "the hardest thing is to win a won game" springs immediately to mind.

So how could you improve black's play and win this "won position"?

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