Practical Chess Endgames for Club Players – IM Valeri Lilov
After hours of play against a tough opponent, you reach an endgame. Your edge is slight and, in 20 moves time, the result will be known.
Whether you win or draw depends on how you conduct those next 20 moves.
IM Valeri Lilov is here to arm you with the skills you need to squeeze every last half-point from your endgames with his 6 hour Practical Chess Endgames for Club Players.
As the name suggests, the focus is entirely on the type of positions you encounter in real play. You will learn how to think when playing chess endgames; how to make progress in tricky positions and how to coordinate your pieces like a master.
This course has been designed with the competitive player in mind, showing you how to maximize your results and stop gifting half-points to your rivals.
About the Author:
IM Valeri Lilov (aka Tiger Lilov), is a professional chess coach and lecturer renowned for his personalized approach to training students and professional players from all over the world.
Lilov was born in 1991 in Varna, Bulgaria. Valeri first learned to play chess at the age of three. Having been an active tournament player all his life, he has won many international open tournaments and championships including the European Individual School Chess Championship U10 (Moscow, 2000) and the Kulaga Memorial International Open (Minsk, 2007).
His achievements to date have earned him the International Master title, and many wins in strong tournaments featuring strong GMs from around the world.
How do I benefit from this course?
Chess endgames can be divided into two categories – theoretical endgames and practical endgames.
Theoretical endgames feature positions in which the correct way of playing has already been analyzed by strong chess masters and is well-known. Precise knowledge of these theoretical endgames is key.
Practical endgames, on the contrary, feature positions which frequently arise in the games of many club players. There is no single correct solution and hardly any theory to use here as there are too many possibilities.
Instead, you need to follow guiding principles to successfully navigate your way through them. Practical endgames, then, require skills, not concrete knowledge.
Many of the practical endgame strategies presented in this course repeat over and over. These strategies can be seen as guidelines which you can use to navigate more confidently through any endgame you come across.
Here are some of the lessons you’ll learn from IM Valeri Lilov:
Winning with the bishop pair
Having the bishop pair can be a powerful advantage in any phase of the game. In endgames, however, the bishop pair is particularly strong.
The main drawback of a bishop is that it can only move along half the squares of the board. Two bishops combined, however, can become an extremely strong force.
The bishop pair is strongest in open positions as the long-range power of a bishop shows itself best if no pawns are in the way. Therefore, the player with the bishop pair should try to open the position.
Look at the following position from the course:
Black has the bishop pair. However, his bishop on b7 is poorly placed, merely defending the weak pawn on c6.
Therefore, Black seizes his chance and activates his bishop – even at the cost of a pawn. Black plays 1…Ba6+
White can grab the pawn on c6, but both of Black’s bishops are now active. Although two pawns down, Black should never be in any danger of losing.
Activity is everything
The concept of piece activity is extremely important in any practical endgame.
Are your opponent’s pieces tied to passive defense? Do you have open files or outposts for your pieces? Try to aim for an active setup of your pieces and avoid passive positions.
Piece activity trumps material in the endgame: Whenever you can, maximize the strength of your pieces and make them as active as possible – even at the cost of a little bit of material, this can greatly improve your position and help you to win games that may not have seemed winnable at first.
The material is often not as relevant as the initiative in chess endgames.