How to improve your chess endgames
The endgame is one of the hardest disciplines to master in chess, but also one of the most important if you want to be a good chess player. Although it may be difficult to define exactly when a chess game goes from mid to endgame, most people agree that it happens when the king really becomes an active part of the game, and when there are relatively few pieces left on the board. This is where the endgame technique steps into the picture and becomes the determining factor of, whether a game is won or lost. With ChessEndgames.com you now have the opportunity to practice your endgame techniques, and relatively quickly improve your chess games significantly.
Once you have created a profile on ChessEndgames.com and are logged in, you are ready to start your endgame training. From the main page you are presented with a variety of ways to practice, in the form of different games. These are summarized in the blue box below.
As the blue box illustrates, the games on the website are categorized as Endgame problems, Mate in x moves, and Other games. The dark blue box encapsulates the games that measure your progress with the Grade Progress Bar (the Grade Progress Bar is discussed a little further ahead). Conversely, the games in the lightblue box are not measured.
Available games on the website
Now it's time to tell you about the games available on the site and how they are best used. The order in which you use the different games to train, is essential for you to develop your skills in chess endings in a proper and natural way. Further ahead in this guide you will find suggestions for a training program. If you go ahead with the suggested training program, it is important, that you regularly keep practising after finishing with the program, so you stay sharp in your chess endgames.
With Non-Stop Chess Endgames you are served challenging chess endgames in a steady stream. You can choose to play with the rating system switched on or off (the latter is also called training mode). If it is switched on, your rating with increase and decrease, when you win and lose a game respectively. Your rating is displayed in the top of the screen. Next to your rating is shown how much your rating will go up or down prior to a game. When you play rated endgames, you will automatically be served endgames that match your current strength. You are not allowed to redo a move, get hints or turn off the clock, when you play rated games. If however, you switch off rating, you are free to configure these settings.
Your rating initially starts on 1000. The rating system is based on ELO, but has been fitted to endgames. You can read more about the rating system used on this website, in the FAQ.
|The Endgame Tactics Trainer|
You will find a variety of interactive lessons in various forms of endgame tactics in The Endgame Tactics Trainer. The lessons come in three difficulty levels, ranging from simple mate patterns to more advanced techniques such as opposition. With this trainer you get feedback on each of your moves, based on whether the move is the best or whether it leads to a draw. You may choose to receive advice while you play, so you do not get stuck. The Endgame Tactics Trainer is designed as a game where you have to make up to three incorrect moves to pass a lesson.
In Battle Star you are going on an exciting journey through time and will meet all the famous grandmasters such as Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen. You must complete 50 endgames of the grandmasters. You are awarded with a star, for each endgame you win. You must collect as many stars for your star coffin as you can. During the game you will be shown trivia about the different grandmasters, so you will get to know these great persons better.
The Challenge is a popular game, where your mission is to complete 32 rounds, with each 5 endgames. To complete a round, you must achieve a certain number of points. A won endgame yields 100 points, a draw 50 points, and a lost game 25 points. So if you are required to get for example 250 points to complete a round, you can win 1 endgame, get 2 draws and 2 lost (100 + 100 * 2 + 2 * 25 = 250). Each round has its own theme such as pawn endings or rook endings, and the rounds will gradually get harder and harder. Some rounds are timed and with a maximum number of allowed moves. If you are looking for an extraordinary chess endgame experience, you must try out The Challenge.
|Save the Queen|
The king's beloved queen has been captured by the dreaded endgame-dragon in the game called Save the Queen. The king is trusting you to help him rescue the queen. To rescue her you must pass 50 fun endgames with mate in 2-7 moves. What makes these mate puzzles more challenging than your usual puzzle, is that the first chess piece in each game, must be dragged into the board, and dropped on one of the green colored fields.
|Mate in 2, 3 and 4 moves|
If you want to be better at chess, it is important that you do not overlook a possible mate just few moves ahead. In Mate in 2, 3 and 4 moves, you can practise your mate skills by desired level of difficulty (easy, medium and hard). You also have a Hint button available, if you need some extra help underway to solve the puzzles.
|Drop it! Endgames|
Drop it! Endgames is inspired by miscellaneous famous board games, which adds a bit of luck to the chess game. The game starts off in a simple endgame position. Like your opponent, the computer, you will be given a deck of cards. Each card represents a chess piece, such as a knight or a bishop. The player who is in turn, can choose to pick a card or make a move of one of the pieces already on the board. The game is settled as in a normal chess game, with a checkmate.
In My Endgames you can set up and save your own endgame positions, and play them against the computer. It is a great way, to replay some of the difficult chess endings, you may run into (from one of the tournaments, you have participated in for example). Use the hint button, to get advice on how you make the best moves. The endgame positions can be saved in your own online archive, and can be shared with the other website users through the forum.
Other features on the website you should know about
To use ChessEndgames.com most effectively, you should become familiar with the features listed below also.
With My Progress you can keep track of, how well you are doing with the endgames. The graphs show, how you perform in games in the categories easy, medium and hard, as well as how your rating has increased or decreased. You must have played for a while before it makes sense to check your progress on the graphs.
|Your Grade Progress Bar|
Your grade is visible in the top right corner on the website on all pages. This way you are always updated on your performance and your strength. When you play, you will see that the performance indicator moves up or down. Your goal is of course, to get as close to 100% as possible, and achieve the grandmaster (GM) grade.
If you look below the Grade Progress Bar, you see, which endgame activities you must do, in order to get a better grade.
|The Puzzle Star|
In most chess ending puzzles on the website, you will spot a star in the top left corner of the board. If you click on the star, your current endgame is copied to your My Endgames archive. This way, you will be able to pick endgame puzzles, which you want to save and replay.
Suggested training program to improve your chess endgames
For you to get the most out of your time on ChessEndgames.com, consider using this suggested training program, which is composed from own experience and feedback from users of the site. In the program it is assumed that you are relatively new to chess endgames, and that you are able to exercise in a month, with a daily workload of approximately 1 hour.
|Day||Activity||Expected grade on last day|
|1-2||Study all articles and videos under Resources in the menu. Here you will learn about some of the fundamental tactics you must become familar with, to do well in the endgames. You will also learn about pawn and rook endings, as well as endgame classics like the Lucena Position and the Philidor Position. In addition to this, you should read how to attack a wall of pawns (as is the case after castling). Add to this, an understanding of the principles of opposition and king triangulation. Remember to try out what you learn along the way, with the interactive chess games against the computer, which you will find inside some of the articles.||Beginner|
|3-4||Try to complete and pass all the different lessons in The Endgame Tactics Trainer.||Beginner|
|5-8||Training in Non-Stop Endgames - so switch off rating. Select puzzles from the easy category, and use the Hint button as needed. Also practise mate with Mate in 2, 3, 4 moves (category easy also)||Beginner|
|9-12||Non-Stop Endgames - this time turn on rating, and see if you can reach a rating of 1600 or better. You should also do mate puzzles with Mate in 2, 3 and 4 (difficulty medium)||Beginner/Aspirant|
|13-16||The Challenge (up to round 16)||Novice|
|17-19||Battle Star (all the games)||Novice|
|20-22||Save the Queen (all the games)||Novice-Expert|
|23-26||The Challenge (up to round 24, or more if you are able to)||Expert-Master|
|27-30||Non-Stop Endgames rated games (reach a rating of 2000 or better)||Expert-GM|
If you get stuck with one or more of the activities, you have the ability to write in the forum and ask other users for advice. Remember that you can copy most of the endgames you play, to My Endgames, and then post them to the forum.
The website works in modern browsers that support HTML5. For this reason, Internet Explorer 8 and 9 can not be used. It is recommended, that you instead use Internet Explorer 10 (or better), Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera. The website seems to be running fine on tablets. It has been tested on tablet devices running Android and IOS.
Sign up now with ChessEndgames.com and start to improve your chess endgames skills. It's free!
Best of luck with your endgame training on ChessEndgames.com. If you like the website, please spread the message to your friends and the chess clubs.
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