Sports & Gaming

Case Study: Endgame

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 18:24 min

Garry focuses on pawn endgames and the drama they can create. An appetite for the beauty of the endgame is one of the best ways to improve your chess.

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Topics include: Pawn Endgames


It's time now to talk about endgames. And I know many players, they don't have an appetite for studying endgames because it's boring, it's not exciting. On the contrary, so much excitement. And since we don't have much time, and the endgames, they are unlimited. It's not just computer endgames, five, six, seven pieces where machines already calculated everything to move 525. We are talking about practical endgames. And I thought that maybe we could stick only with pawn endgames. Simple, just pawns, no pieces. There's so much drama there. And by the way, interesting rules. One of the most amazing things is geometry. So the chessboard is eight squares by eight squares, but geometry with the kings because king is a king. King is the only piece left on board. And it's very important to move correctly. And sometimes the road to victory or to a draw, it's not the one that looks shortest, visually, but something else. So let's start with position so. Put you on the white side. So it's king on h4 and the pawn on b6. Black pawn is on b7. King goes on b1. So what do you think about this position? So kings are far away from the pawns. Now, which king comes first? Let's cover it. Kg5, Kc2, Kf6, Kb3 Ke7, Kc4, Kd6, Kb5, Kc7, Ka6. Boom. White lost, yes? OK, so now we've established that white cannot win this pawn. So white chooses to save the game. So the only way to save the game, we know, is opposition. So you have to make sure that when black king takes this pawn, where should be our king? Right in front of him. The moment it happens, where we should be? b? b? b4. 4. b4. So b4. So that's the-- OK, we established that. Now, we know we cannot win. We should save the game. The moment he takes on b6, we should be on b4. Now let's try to get there. How do we go there? You can go like you're going towards the pawn, but not-- That was a pawn, but now this important thing. Don't forget the black king may try to do two things. You know, shooting two birds with one bullet. It's what we call shouldering in chess. So it could prevent our king from coming there. So let's say if we go Kg4, what happens? Why this move is bad? Kc2? Kc2. I go Kf3. Kd3? Exactly. And so it's here. And now king can not go around. So since we already established this move was bad, so how do we go to b4-square? What is the-- not the shortest, because technically it's all about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. But if we go there, black king will find a way to stop our king. So how do we go there-- Kg5. No. g5? If it's there, we have to be here, and what square-- what is this? It's actually it's like stairs. How do we go there? So we go here. Here, Kc2. All right. And Kf4. f4? I block. I block it again. Blocked again. ...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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Garry Kasparov

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