Today we will look at a book dedicated to an endgame master known to all — Karpov. But I imagine that one endgame can take up to a few hours so it is unrealistic to study all of them unless you dedicate your life to this task. My goal is to extract the maximum out of the book having limited time for studying endgames and chess in general. The goal is to use the learned information during my games — be it a specific position or general plan.
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Today we will look at a book dedicated to an endgame master known to all — Karpov. But I imagine that one endgame can take up to a few hours so it is unrealistic to study all of them unless you dedicate your life to this task.
My goal is to extract the maximum out of the book having limited time for studying endgames and chess in general. The goal is to use the learned information during my games — be it a specific position or general plan. The book is already showing a lot of promise as there is an Endgame Classification at the end where endgames are sorted by their type: pawns, stalemate, space advantage, exchanging, etc. There are a lot of diagrams which usually means that they show critical positions and can be used as exercises.
Of course it is easy to peek at the moves beneath the diagrams so you better cover the moves well to avoid the temptation. It is nice to have a plan of how one will study endgames and how much time one has on hand to study them. Recently, I started to write down how much time per day I study chess. It will also help with setting chess goals. For example, if it turns out that I study at least 2 hours per day then according to many strong players I am on a good track.
If you have half an hour per day for studying endgames you will improve greatly in this part of the game. Then if you come up with some plan of how to cover all the relevant topics, the time will be even more productively spent.
I am a big fan of spontaneity and free style and not adhering to a plan, which has a lot of drawbacks — big holes in knowledge for example. The bright side is that you can go through the lessons without much effort as you study what you are in a mood to study.
Going in such free style through the book the following position caught my attention. Black has three ways of recapturing on c5, but which one is the correct one? D:c is a natural choice as it preserves sound pawn structure, while getting rid of the d6- pawn.
The only downside is that after Nd5 black has to take allowing the d-pawn to become a passed pawn. The downside is that the d6-pawn is backward. Let us see what Karpov did. As the game proved to be interesting we will explore it further! The d6- pawn is under attack, what to do? Rf6 is a natural defense but it blocks the bishop on g7 and looks rather awkward.
The d5- push does not achieve much. There are two interesting options for black here that are not obvious at all. So, we have reached the next diagram in the book which means it is another critical position. But what is really happening here?
Black will lose the d6-pawn while white will lose the c3 — pawn. Then when it comes to the weaknesses on c4, a3 vs. What about the kings? It seems like black has the upper hand here. I will be consistent with the book and provide the diagrams where the book does.
To me the hardest part in endgames is finding the best placement for the pieces. Although from c1 the rook limits the bishop and the king, ties the rook to the defense and attacks the pawn. What else might one ask of a single piece?
Try to come up with the solution for this diagram. When it comes to slowly improving the position no computer would be as good as Karpov is.
Maybe, next week. More from WIM energia.
Early life[ edit ] Karpov was born on May 23, ,    in Zlatoust in the Urals region of the former Soviet Union, and learned to play chess at the age of 4. His early rise in chess was swift, as he became a Candidate Master by age In , he won the annual European Junior Championship at Groningen. He later transferred to Leningrad State University , eventually graduating from there in economics. One reason for the transfer was to be closer to his coach, grandmaster Semyon Furman , who lived in Leningrad.
Karpov - Endgame Virtuoso