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  3. Practical Blitz Endgames

OK, I didn't need to return an exchange (to remove the tricky knight) but somewhere around here I assumed that my opponent stopped calculating. In time pressure I played Ra5 to see if they had dozed off entirely (Rxa4 was the obvious capture and I didn't have time to calculate):

Nice! If you played Rxa4, e5 is a good response. What does Ra5 achieve beside not allowing e5? I need to learn to come up with moves like yours!

Ra5 prevents e5 while giving me a moment to calculate how to advance my king without heavy material loss: should I play Kf6, Be3, Bd4, Ra6-Rb6, Rb7, Re7, Rxa4, or something else? Note that all these candidate moves aren't pawn advances because pawns cannot be un-pushed and none of my pawns are close to promotion.

I like Kg6 to get the opposition (#1 priority in endgames), get in front of pawns, shield from possible back rank rook checks.

I expect that very soon White will play f4 and attempt to time an e5 break, or attempt a series of checks and advance their own king.

I think 25... a5? was hasty and reckless; 25... d5 both claiming and opening the center would have served me far better.