Chess Theory - Endgame Theory

Endgame Theory

Many significant chess treatises, beginning with the earliest works, have included some analysis of the endgame. Lucena's book (c. 1497) concluded with 150 examples of endgames and chess problems.

The second edition (1777) of Philidor's Analyse du jeu des Échecs devoted 75 pages of analysis to various endgames. These included a number of theoretically important endings, such as rook and bishop versus rook, queen versus rook, queen versus rook and pawn, and rook and pawn versus rook. Certain positions in the endings of rook and bishop versus rook, rook and pawn versus rook, and queen versus rook have all become known as Philidor's position. Philidor concluded his book with two pages of (in the English translation), "Observations on the ends of parties", in which he set forth certain general principles about endings, such as that: "Two knights alone cannot mate." (see two knights endgame), the ending with a bishop and rook pawn whose queening square is on the opposite color from the bishop is drawn (see wrong rook pawn#Bishop and pawn), and a queen beats a bishop and knight (see pawnless chess endgame#Queen versus two minor pieces).

Staunton's The Chess-Player's Handbook (1847) included almost 100 pages of analysis of endgames.

In 1941 Reuben Fine published his monumental 573-page treatise Basic Chess Endings, the first attempt at a comprehensive treatise on the endgame. A new edition, revised by Pal Benko, was published in 2003. Soviet writers published an important series of books on specific endings: Rook Endings by Grigory Levenfish and Vasily Smyslov, Pawn Endings by Yuri Averbakh and I. Maizelis, Queen and Pawn Endings by Averbakh, Bishop Endings by Averbakh, Knight Endings by Averbakh and Vitaly Chekhover, Bishop v. Knight Endings by Yuri Averbakh, Rook v. Minor Piece Endings by Averbakh, and Queen v. Rook/Minor Piece Endings by Averbakh, Chekhover, and V. Henkin. These books by Averbakh and others were collected into the five-volume Comprehensive Chess Endings in English.

In recent years, computer-generated endgame tablebases have revolutionized endgame theory, conclusively showing best play in many complicated endgames that had vexed human analysts for over a century, such as queen and pawn versus queen. They have also overturned human theoreticians' verdicts on a number of endgames, such as by proving that the two bishops versus knight ending, which had been thought drawn for over a century, is normally a win for the bishops (see pawnless chess endgame#Minor pieces only and Chess endgame#Effect of tablebases on endgame theory).

Several important works on the endgame have been published in recent years, among them Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Müller and Frank Lamprecht, Basic Endgames: 888 Theoretical Positions by Yuri Balashov and Eduard Prandstetter, Chess Endgame Lessons by Benko, and Secrets of Rook Endings and Secrets of Pawnless Endings by John Nunn. Some of these have been aided by analysis from endgame tablebases.

Read more about this topic:  Chess Theory

Other articles related to "endgame theory, endgame, endgames":

Endgame Tablebase - Applications - Endgame Theory
... (Also see pawnless chess endgame.) KNNKP — Alexey Troitsky established this as a win for the knights if the pawn was blocked behind the Troitzky line ... In both this endgame and KQQKQQ, the first player to check usually wins ... KRNKNN and KRBKNN — Friedrich Amelung had analyzed these two endgames in the 1900s ...
Chess Endgame - Effect of Tablebases On Endgame Theory
... Endgame tablebases have made some minor corrections to historical endgame analysis, but they have made some more significant changes to endgame theory too ... account in these studies.) Major changes to endgame theory as a result of tablebases include (Müller Lamprecht 20018,400–406) Queen versus rook (see Philidor position#Queen versus rook) ...

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