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2023-07-11 07:06:15

15 Rules For The Endgame (Chess Ending Principles)

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What's up guys ?

So I just pulled this really old chess endgame book off my shelf and it's , when I say really old , it's older than me .

It's older than my parents .

I think it was copyright in like 1941 .

It's called Basic Chess Endings by Ruben .

Fine .

I don't know if you can see that on the camera there , but it's like been taped together .

It's literally falling apart at the seams .

It's a long book .

It's got 573 pages and at the very end on the very last page , it has conclusion and summary and it says 15 rules for the end game .

And I thought that would be a really nice video to just go through these 15 rules , talk about them .

So I hope you're ready to learn some endgame principles because we're gonna start right now .

All right .

So rule number one is doubled , isolated and blockaded ponds are weak , avoid them .

So I think doubled isolated .

I think we know what those are when it says blockaded ponds .

I'm assuming that that means a backward pond .

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So in this position right here , this guy on B three is a backward pawn because the pawns on the adjacent side of it can no longer support it , they can't protect it and they can't help it move forward .

And because it's blockaded like this , it's the backward pond and it's a weakness .

And then over here we have what's called an isolated pawn .

No pawns are on the adjacent file that can support it .

And these are considered doubled and isolated as well .

These are probably the worst of the bunch because not only are they weak and can't be supported .

This guy can't even move because it's blocked by your own pawn .

It's just a real mess .

Now , if you count up the material in this position , we've got a rook , we've got a rook , we've got a knight , we've got a bishop and we have 12345 and we have 12345 , right ?

So it's even , but if you want to take a guess , what do you think Stockfish says is the evaluation of this position ?

Well , if you had a chance to think about that , the answer is minus 1.1 .

OK .

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That means black is basically ahead upon one pawn and 1/10 of a pa 1.1 .

How is that the case ?

Well , it's not because they're actually up upon or we already counted .

There's five pawns against five pawns .

It has to do with the fact that black has a lot of small little things that when you put them up , put them all together , it actually adds up to a significant advantage .

So what are the things that Black has going for them ?

Number one , the king is more active than this king .

We'll come back to that in another rule later , but the king is , is closer to the center of the board has lots of options on where it wants to go .

White's king is kind of stuck over here .

Uh A night against bishop , generally speaking , bishops are a little bit better .

Uh backward pawn .

The rook here is in the pawn are blockading this .

This is a weakness that white has to defend .

And then we already talked about these as well , double isolated pawns , isolated pawn and look at black's nice pond structure over here .

So the key takeaway from this is that it's not always about the material necessarily , it's sometimes it's about other things that can add up to a big advantage as well .

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All right on to rule number two , past ponds should be advanced as rapidly as possible .

So this one I was kind of surprised to hear although it does make sense , but you , there's a , there's a word of caution here .

So here's a position it's wide to play .

And according to the rule pass ponds , which should be , this one should be advanced as rapidly as possible .

That means you should start pushing it down the board , right .

There's one caveat to that .

And the , the catch is you have to be careful .

You don't push it too fast to where it just gets captured .

So for example , if we were to play H four king goes here and we play H five , we're just giving away the pawn for free blacks just gonna go there and take it right .

And you know , it turns out we can actually still win the game doing that , but you do have to be careful .

And so what I would recommend in this position is using the king to support the pawn and , and pushing it with the help of the king .

So for example , something like king E three king here and I don't know what black is gonna do .

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But once you get your king over here , now you can start pushing it and you can use it as a decoy , right ?

So for example , let's just say black does this .

We play H four , black pushes here , we maybe trade and I don't know what black is gonna do .

Check , let's say here .

And eventually at a good moment , we're gonna abandon it .

Run back to the other side of the board and take all the other ponds , right ?

Because black black can never leave .

They , they can't go over here .

We're gonna just get a queen , right ?

So they have to stay in front of the pond and now it seems like a good time .

We sacrificed the pawn and we end up winning because we actually just get all the rest of the ponds , right .

So , you know , definitely , if you have past pawns , you do want to be thinking about pushing them .

I would just say , be careful that you don't just give them away for free .

And , and especially if there are other pieces on the board , you have to think through that a little bit more .

But as a general rule , be looking to push your past pawns because it ties down your opponent's pieces , having to guard them , which is going to open up opportunities on the other side of the board , right ?

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Rule number three , if you are one or two pawns ahead , exchange pieces but not pawns .

Let me read that one more time if you are one or two pawns ahead , exchange pieces but not ponts .

All right .

So here's the example position and we do fit the bill .

We are one pawn ahead in this example , right ?

We got two against two over here and we have three against two here .

So we're ahead one pawn and the rule says to exchange pieces , but not paws .

So let me illustrate what happens and of course , you have to play the game .

But let's just imagine for a second that we were to trade these bishops and we were to trade these knights .

Ok ?

So we exchanged pieces but not ponts .

Why ?

What did this do for us ?

Well , now we can use our pawn majority over here , start pushing these guys somehow and eventually we're gonna get something like this where we can create a past pawn .

And once that happens , the only thing black can do is run their king over to babysit that pawn , right ?

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Stop it from becoming a queen and that's gonna leave these guys vulnerable and our king can come up , we can take those kind of like we saw in the , in the last game , right ?

You use that past pawn as a decoy right now .

Um Yeah , pretty straightforward .

Now , let's go back .

Um I don't actually remember the exact position , but I think I had something like bishops here .

Knights here .

And the rule says to exchange pieces , which I just showed you what happens but not pawns , right ?

So let's take the same position and now we're gonna exchange all the pawns .

So these two for these two , these two for these two , OK ?

And we're left with a position like this .

Now , I want you to imagine that black says , you know what ?

I'm gonna just bring my bishop here .

I don't know we did some random move and they're gonna take our pawn .

OK ?

It's very easy for black to do that .

They had a knight , they had a bishop , they could have sacrificed either of those pieces for our , our remaining pawn and we're not gonna be able to win this game anymore .

We just , it's really difficult to check them with the knight and the bishop without anything guarding Black's king .

But you give him a night , it's too much .

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We're not gonna be able to win unless they blunder the night somehow .

Right ?

So this kind of shows you why you don't want to trade off all the pawns because you trade off all the pawns .

You , you can't win .

Right ?

But if we go back to the other position where the pieces were gone , all we had to do was push our pawns , get it past pawn and we won , right ?

So trade pieces but not pawns when you were ahead by at least one or two pawns , right ?

Rule number four is actually very similar .

It's kind of the opposite of rule number three .

But it says if you are one or two pawns behind , then exchange ponds but not pieces .

So I've taken the same exact position that I just showed you , but I flipped it to where now we're looking at it from black's perspective .

So now we are behind , right ?

We're the one that only has two against the three .

So what are we supposed to do according to this rule , exchange pawns but not pieces , right ?

And it's for the same reason if we can exchange all the pawns , these guys go away , these guys go away and we have some pieces left , sorry , these were being gone to um we have some pieces left .

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All we have to do now is sacrifice one of these for this pawn and it's an easy draw , right ?

So that's the game plan when you're behind one or two pawns .

Um And then obviously the other rule we just looked at was the , the reverse if you're ahead , right .

Number five , if you have an advantage , do not leave all the pawns on one side .

So I , I think what they're trying to say in this one is that if you're a head , like in this position , we're ahead of pawn , do not leave all the pawns on one side .

Meaning it's good to have pawns on both sides of the board .

You don't want to have just pawns only on , you know , this side of the board and on the other side .

So like if , if somehow Black offered it a trade and you were to trade all these pawns off and then you would have three against two over here , that's not what you want , right ?

You want to leave some pawns on the other side as well .

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And if you think about it , when we were creating this past pond , Black's king was gonna have to , you know , be running over here , let's just say , and just to stop it , we want to be able to use our king now to come up here and sorry , uh When black goes for here , we want to be going for these ponds , right ?

So something like this , this is how we're gonna be able to win , we're gonna take these and get a queen .

Hopefully before black does , now we have to kind of calculate , make sure that works .

I think we would win this .

But that's kind of the idea if there's no pawns over here , it's gonna be easier for black to potentially get a draw .

Ok ?

So when you have an advantage , try to make sure that there are some pawns on both sides of the board , right ?

Rule number six .

And this is the one that was on the thumbnail .

And this one actually was surprising to me , like I knew the idea of this one , but I didn't realize that the statistics were as high as they were .

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So it says if you are one pawn ahead in 99 cases out of 100 the game is drawn if there are pawns on only one side of the board .

So here's an example position .

There are ponds on only one side of the board , right ?

There's no pawns over here .

And basically what it's saying is 99% of the time this game is gonna be a draw .

And if you imagine if we try to push these pawns forward and two of them get traded for two of them , all black has to do is sacrifice the night for the pawn and it's just a draw right now .

Uh The interesting thing is initially , I was gonna use this position as the example .

Um But then Stockfish actually is saying that white can actually win this .

And so this is kind of the exception , you're gonna have better winning chances .

If it's a king and pawn in a game , then if there are other pieces on the board and you have to get some sort of swing position to , to win this .

Um And so Stockford is saying king F four , king F six , let's see what it wants us to do .

King E four .

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And let's just see , F four , it says king D four looks like there's some tricky way to get around .

Let's see what it's gonna come up with F five .

Yeah .

And now it's , it's seeing , um let's see , takes takes and I guess you can , can force a win by pushing this pawn forward as six .

Yeah , something like this .

So there are cases .

Um I think that 99 out of 100 rule , it is when like there are other pieces on the board , right ?

Like this one , this is when it's pretty much always gonna be a draw .

If there's only 11 side of the board has pawn right now .

If there are pawns over here , you , you can imagine how it changes things .

Now , white could potentially use their king to run over here or use the bishop to it .

It gets a lot more um interesting and white has more chances when it's just one side of the board , your opponent can just bring the pieces over there , get ready to sacrifice when they need to and , and it's a draw , right ?

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So , um , keep that in mind when you're playing earlier in the game before you get to the end game , maybe there are some pawns over here and you could have left them on the board and you said no , I'll just trade them off .

Why not ?

Well , now , you know , a reason to leave him on would be if you're ahead , you , you'll give yourself more winning chances by leaving those pawns on the board .

And if you're behind , keep this in mind to like try to trade off as many pawns as you can on one side of the board .

Because if you do get something like this , you're gonna have better chances to get a draw .

Ok ?

So that's the key takeaway there , ok ?

Number seven actually ties in with what I just talked about , but the easiest ending to win are pure on endings .

So if you imagine this position right here , it's pretty tough , right ?

But then when I switched it over and showed you , you know , back here where the pieces were gone , white actually did have better chances to win .

You had to just kind of do some maneuvering with your king pushed upon at the right time and you were able to pull it off .

So this is gonna be much more draw .

I this is gonna have , you're gonna have better chances to win with your extra pawn , right ?

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Number eight is the easiest endings to draw are those with bishops of opposite colors .

So when it says opposite color bishops , it's not talking about , this is a white bishop and this is a , a black bishop .

It's talking about this is a bishop along the that's on the dark squares and this is a bishop that's on the light squares , right ?

So these two bishops can never attack each other .

They can never threaten the square that the other one's on , right ?

And so because of that , it's extremely easy for black to get a draw .

Um You know , just pushing the pond like this and it doesn't really matter what white is gonna do .

Black can simply um create a blockade like this , right ?

Put their bishop there and just move the bishop back and forth and white can't do anything .

You , you can never really make progress because you can't attack any of these squares because your bishops on the wrong color .

So those are extremely draw .

Uh So yeah , keep that in mind , right ?

Number nine is the king is a strong piece .

Use it .

So we've talked about this before on the channel here .

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The active king in the end game is extreme powerful .

So this is a position where it's better for black because black has six pawns against whites .

Five and blacks eventually gonna be able to create a pass pawn here and probably win .

But because of White's active king placement and look at black see in the corner , this is not gonna be an easy game for Black to win .

Blacks gonna have to be very careful because White has the option to come over here and stop this , the option to come over here .

And if they can push their pawns , you know , maybe you can make a break for it and try to , you know , get a queen here , white has a lot of options because they're using their king .

And so you want to be very careful if your king is stuck in the corner like this at the end of the game , usually you want to try to bring it to the center or as close to the center as you can as quickly as you can because that's where it's gonna be most effect and that's where you're gonna have the most options to go to , you know , whatever side of the board you need to go to .

Right .

Number 10 is do not place your pawns on the color of your bishop .

So this one , there are definitely exceptions to this one .

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But as a general rule , it's , it's a good idea to keep in mind .

So here we are , we have a bishop that's on the light squares and we've got all over ponds on the dark squares and you can see how they , they really work together nicely .

The bishop , you know , controls these squares , the ponds , control all of these squares and you get this really nice sort of line where everything is kind of covered and it's , it does a nice job of preventing the night , it preventing the king from coming in .

There's nowhere for the king to infiltrate because of the way you have this set up .

If you start , you know , let's say you push this and I don't know , black does something and then you push this , black does something , you push this , you push this and all of a sudden look at how blacks he can pretty much infiltrate however they want , right ?

Um Like this , then I can find , you know , land on some of these squares and your bishop and pawns are kind of doing the same thing .

Your pawns are covering the squares that your bishop would be covering anyway .

So you don't really need your pawns there .

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So it made sense going back to the original position to have some sort of set up like this .

And now everybody is kind of doing a job .

Nobody is doing the same thing and wasting um word control basically , right ?

So that's kind of the idea behind the , the general rule .

And that being said , sometimes it does make sense like let's say we , well , that's a , that's a blunder , but just for sake of example , you know , sometimes you , you might need to put a pawn to defend your bishop , right ?

So occasionally you , you wanna break that rule .

But as a general guideline pawns should go on the opposite color of your bishop .

Number 11 bishops are better than knights in all except blocked pawn positions .

And so here's a good example , this is not a blocked pawn position .

This is a relatively open position .

And we can just see how the bishop is really limiting what the knight can do .

Right .

So , um that's one reason why bishops are better .

Another reason is the bishop is monitoring both sides of the board the night .

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Not really so much , I mean , a a little bit but really to be effective , the knight's gonna have to make a decision .

Am I gonna go this way and try to do some stuff on the queen side ?

Am I gonna go this way and try to do some stuff on the king side ?

Whereas the bishop can say , you know , I'm just gonna sit here in the middle and I might go either way , right ?

The other thing , bishops have the ability to lose a tempo .

It's a little bit more advanced for the scope of this video .

But if you need to in some certain situation , to waste a move , it's very easy to drop back with your bishop or drop back two squares or whatever and then go back to where you are and you can waste to move .

Knights cannot waste moves .

Um Because they switch colors every time they move , you just can't waste a temple with a knight .

That's , that's one of the drawbacks of a night .

So , um , you , you know , you put all those little things together .

Bishops are slightly better unless , ok , the exception was , unless it's a locked position , which this is not .

But if all the ponds got locked up somehow , that would be a different story , right ?

Number 12 , 2 bishops versus a bishop and a knight constitute a tangible advantage .

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So this one I was actually curious about , I wanted to see like how big the advantage was .

So I just set up this random position , tried to make it as equal as I could except gave white the two bishops and , and black has one bishop and Stockfish said it's plus 0.5 .

So it's , it's basically saying it's half of a pawn of an advantage for white .

So I thought that was pretty interesting .

Uh which I guess you could say that's a tangible advantage .

It's not a ton .

Um But it is something and the bishop pair is actually very , very good because you can control the entire board with your bishops .

If , if one of these gets traded , then , you know , it's easy , kind of for your opponent to blockade along the other color square .

So anyway , I guess , keep that in mind , I , I think in practice my experience has been , it's , it's not easy to make the most of the bishop pair .

Um But if you know , in the right hands .

It can be .

Uh and it is a , a slight advantage if you can have the bishop here against like a bishop in a night or against two nights would be even better for the bishops .

Right .

Number 13 , it was a little bit of an interesting one .

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It said past pa should be blockaded by the king .

The only piece which is not harmed by watching upon is the night .

So it's kind of like two different principles in one and they're both a little bit unrelated .

It seemed like it's because it says , ok , blockade the pawns with your king .

But then it says , uh , knights guarding the pawns are not the one , you know , are , are still effective basically .

So I'm not exactly sure what that means .

I've heard that knights are good defenders or , or good blockaders of past pawns .

So like in this example , you know , if you put the night there , the night is going to be um effective because it's , it can jump over pieces .

It doesn't matter like how many pawns or whatever kind of in front of it , it's still gonna be effective now .

Oh , right .

Right .

Right .

In this position , that's actually a big blunder .

And if you'd like to pause , this is kind of a good bonus puzzle for you .

Why is this a huge blunder that loses the game immediately ?

Well , if you had a chance to look at that , I didn't even notice this .

I'm just using Stockfish over here .

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So that's why I saw it right away .

But Stockfish told me Bishop takes B five and guess what ?

This guy is not going to be caught .

A six .

The king is obviously too far .

You can try to bring knight back , but it's a little too late and white just gets a queen .

So nice little tactic there .

And so in this example , this was a bad example by , by my uh on my part , the knight has to stay here because it needs to be a little bit closer to guard this in case white sacrifices the bishop .

So you kind of have to leave your king .

But anyway , I think the takeaway from this is that the king or the knight can potentially be good um block haters of past pawns .

Generally speaking , rooks are very ineffective because they're blocked by the uh pawn .

And a lot of times bishops are OK , they're not maybe the greatest .

And then queens usually queens can be more effective somewhere else .

And so that kind of leaves the king in the night as the pieces that probably you should be using to blockade past pawns , right ?

Number 14 is a rook on the seventh rank is sufficient compensation for a pawn .

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So the seventh rank would be here uh if you're white or in this case , black has it on the second rank , right ?

The rook on the second rank .

And basically what it's saying is this should be equal to a pawn .

So I was curious , I put this into Stockfish and sure enough , stockfish says it's plus 0.2 .

So it's almost equal .

It's saying slightly better for white .

But even though white has an extra pawn , it's not really giving plus one for white .

And it has to do with the fact that white's king is cut off .

And so if you imagine if we try to make progress here , well , this rook can just , I don't know , Rook CC two and we try to make progress and , well , we're losing our pawn there .

So we have to , I don't know , I guess , defend it .

Um And Black's king is able to kind of infiltrate and put pressure on our pawns and we just , we're stuck here , right ?

We can't do anything .

The rook can just stay here .

We , we can't do anything .

And again , Blacks king comes in and Stockfish just says it's dead equal , right ?

And I think we actually have to be careful here that , that we don't actually lose this .

Like if the rook is able to come and take this , if we were to run our king over here , we , we could actually lose .

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So the point , the point is this rook is worth a paw , right ?

So even if you're down upon me , flip the board for a second , even if you're down a pa if you're able to get your rook on the second or the seventh rank like this , cut off your opponent's king at the end of the game .

That's really good and don't underestimate how strong that can be basically .

Right .

And number 15 is rooks belong behind past pawns .

So in this position , this is a pass pawn for white and you can see why it has the rook behind it .

This is the ideal location for the rook because it's going to support the pond all the way up until the queening square .

And that's generally what you want .

And even if White's rook wasn't here , like , let's say White did something like this .

Uh This is gonna be a good place for Blacks rook as well because it's going to be putting pressure on that pond the whole way as it tries to go up the board and that's gonna be your best chance .

Um to , first of all , stop it from getting a queen .

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Also , if the king tries to get involved because you're way back here behind , you have the option to keep , you know , putting the king in check or force it to walk in front of the pond and then they can block the pond .

And there's a lot of more advanced tricky things that can , that can happen in these rick endings .

But generally speaking , just remember if you can get your rook behind the pass pawn , that's probably where it should go .

All right guys , there's 15 rules for the endgame .

I hope you learned something from this video .

Let me know if you enjoy this type of endgame video and you like to see some more um of the studies and , and things that are in this book .

Like I said , it's really , really old but uh I think there's a lot of good information in there .

So I'd be open to going through some more of the uh interesting endgame positions if that's something that you guys are interested in .

Um Yeah , thanks for watching and as always stay sharp , play smart and take care .


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