Saturday, May 18, 2013

Endgames, Boy I Don't Know

Shout out to West Wing for anyone who gets the reference.

If there is one thing that I have learned this year it's that endgames truly are difference makers.  In January a friend of mine told me that if I just studied rook endings I'd add 200 points to my rating. 

At the time I shrugged that off thinking that I don't reach enough endings to really make that much of a rating difference.  After all, my games tend to have a wild flavor to them at times and rarely do I seem to make it to an endgame which is either equal or only slightly better for one side or the other.

Go figure that after I so arrogantly thought that to be the truth that I have noticed just how often I get into endgames where technique really matters.

I can think of four games in the last few months off the top of my head where endgames factored in a big way.

Mariano-Wainscott 48th Northeastern Open January 2013

In this game my opponent and I adjourned in a rook ending that was won for me.  However, I sealed a drawing move rather than the winning move.  Luckily for me my opponent blundered and I still won.

I will post this game later.

Wainscott-Cooper Waukesha Memorial March 2013

In this game I missed a draw against a master.  Had I played 47. Rxc6 I can draw the game.

See this game here.

Wainscott-Corcoran Waukesha Chess Club Championship April 2013

In this game my opponent blunders terribly with 28...b6, giving me an easy win in a king and pawn endgame.

See this game here.

Sagunsky-Wainscott Summer is Coming Round Robin May 2013

Just this past Thursday I had a club game where I was in an equal bishop and pawn ending and threw away any winning chances by locking up the kingside in a position where I couldn't break through on the queenside.  The game was likely to be a draw, but I didn't do myself any favors by removing all of my chances through inaccurate play.

See this game here.

So the lesson to take away from this is that endgames do matter.  Even when you think you don't get to very many.


  1. 20...Nh5 looked good in your Sagunsky game. What did the computer say? You never made it over to study on Sunday.

  2. Not too much difference between 20...Nh5 and 20...Bc5+ according to Fritz 12.