# Help needed learning 'endgame theory'

Not my best game, but it illustrates all the things I struggle with:

I believe my opening is fine, I even considered dxe5 for a long time on move 10 (computer's favorite and the move following a 1996 grandmaster-game I didn't know about. I thought it would help put pressure on d5, I eventually dismissed the move because it makes my pawns look silly and I didn't see a material advantage. I still don't see why dxe5 is better, but it's great that I'm at least considering top moves in the opening).
I blunder a bishop in the middle-game and win back a rook in the endgame. So yes, fewer one-move blunders would be great. Doing more puzzles should improve that. After I got the rook, I still make mistakes in the endgame that turn a winning position into a draw or near-draw. This is the part of my game I believe I should be improving. I thought of doing endgame puzzles but the problem is that they don't really explain why 60. ... Ke5 leads to a draw (and why I should've played h5 earlier). I'm able to figure it out eventually, but while playing the game I just feel like I'm making incremental progress, not that I'm balancing back and forth between a draw and a win. I often hear remarks like: 'and if you know endgame theory, you know this is a draw, but it's by no means easy to play'. What is this endgame theory lore? What other ways might I be able to learn about endgames?

11. dxe5 plays against the Nh5. The knight becomes a very bad piece even after g6 and Ng7.

The endgame is winning because the black king is cut from the pawns, so allowing 60... Ke5 is a mistake. R +2 p vs N +3 P is really between a draw and a win. If White has time to set a correct setup it's a draw (this got analyzed in details in endgame books following the Vidmar - Alekhine game from San Remo 1930)

Endgame theory is the core of positions that have to be known to play endgames successfully because the play entirely depends on those simplified positions. It starts with elementary mates, then Q vs P, R vs P, R+P vs R, and so on, R + 4 P vs R + 3P, endgames exchange up... It is found mainly in endgame books.

If your willing to work through a book, Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual is the most famous. Its dry as toast, but you can learn a ton. For reasons I dont remember, I also have Fundamental Chess Endings, which is also good. There is probably something more interactive that would be a bit less painful and more modern, but a ton of GMs spent a ton of time with Dvoretsky. If you have kindle unlimited, there are some free endgame books. Dvortesky is not cheap.

Just play some endgames. That's why the books are there ... and the best thing about Dvoretsky's books, they're all out there in the public domain for some reason ... this means at no cost in pdf format ...

@sjcjoosten said in #1:
> I even considered dxe5 for a long time

I didn't realize 3.7 seconds was considered a long time.

@AsDaGo said in #5:
> I didn't realize 3.7 seconds was considered a long time.

Fair point, I thought it was much longer. Must have misremembered

For endgames, I would recommend Silman's Complete Endgame Course. It starts very basic, and goes all the way up to Master level endgames (or maybe Expert).

That was not a missconverted endgame. It was a plain blunder, you were a knight and a pawn up.

Tactics or fundamentals is what you needed there to secure the game. The endgame you would have probably figured out. There was just too much material advantage toeven miss it.

@Alientcp said in #8:
> That was not a missconverted endgame. It was a plain blunder, you were a knight and a pawn up.
>
> Tactics or fundamentals is what you needed there to secure the game. The endgame you would have probably figured out. There was just too much material advantage toeven miss it.

I've already found Dvoretsky's and Silman's books, they seem like they would be a good read for improving my games. But are you now advising me to spend this time playing puzzles instead?

@sjcjoosten said in #9:
> I've already found Dvoretsky's and Silman's books, they seem like they would be a good read for improving my games. But are you now advising me to spend this time playing puzzles instead?

No. Im not advising you anything. Im just telling that your loss was not due to bad endgame technique, it was a lack of tactic awareness or chess fundamental principles.

Had you stalemated or something else, then it would have been a bad endgame technique. You just gave up a knight and a rook for free. Unrelated to endgame. Plain blunders. Its something else entirely.

We all obviously have to improve in all fields of the game, and we can start wherever we want. However, given the state of YOUR game, the problems apparently are not in the endgame, cause i saw no endgame at all.

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