Chess Endgames: Activate Your Pieces with GM Marian Petrov
It’s a fact that the majority of club players are weak in the endgame. They don’t usually get found out simply because their opponents lack the necessary skills too!
This is a huge opportunity for you.
Even if you’ve been slightly worse all game, you can turn the tables and win with superior endgame technique.
This video is a free preview of GM Marian Petrov’s new 6-hour course, 21st Century Endgame Technique. In this preview, he discusses general endgame principles that will help you no matter what endgame you find yourself in.
Piece Activity is Key
The first important principle GM Petrov covers is piece activity. In the endgame, we aren’t left with many pieces on the board, so we need to make the most of what we have so that they have an impact on the game.
This includes using your king! Look to improve your position. This principle also includes the reverse: try to reduce the activity your opponent gets! When applying these two ideas hand-in-hand, you’re maximizing your chances for a good result.
For example, see the position on the left. This is from a game where GM Petrov, playing Black, found himself slightly worse than White. White has a better pawn structure, while Black has an isolated pawn on e6. White also control the only open file with his rook. Petrov was concerned with reducing White’s activity and to stabilize Black’s position.
White threatens Rd7, so Black played …Rf7. White continues with a4, a typical move in the endgame in order to gain more space and to also stop the possibility of …b5. In the endgame, the king no longer needs to hide away in a castled position – it becomes crucial to activate the king just as you would any other piece.
That’s why Black continued with …Kf8. The idea is to bring the king over to defend the d7 square. Not only does this make good use of the king, but it has the larger idea of freeing up the rook on f7 which is currently tied down to this defensive task. See how the principle of piece activity is dictating Black’s entire plan.
b4 …Ke7 and the first part of Black’s plan is successful, as the rook is now released to play a more active role. See the diagram on the right.
Black doesn’t stop there but continues with the very same principle of piece activation. This principle is the very core of Black’s plans, and despite the success so far, he does not stop following this crucial idea. But, you’ll have to watch the video to see how GM Petrov converted this position into a win. It is highly instructive, so don’t miss it!
21st Century Chess Endgame Technique
In 21st Century Chess Endgame Technique, GM Marian Petrov reveals the technical skills you need to squeeze every last half-point from your endgames, how to convert better endgames with flawless technique and how to hold tough positions to a draw.
By looking at plenty of recent games and practical examples from the 21st century, Petrov sheds new light on classical endgame principles, showing you how to excel in the endgame.
This isn’t a highly theoretical “in this very specific endgame, you play this specific move,” but a much more useful and practical guide to approaching your endgames with solid techniques that can help you convert your games into wins. The principles are so important, they can completely turn games around in your favor.
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