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GM Davorin Kuljasevic - Mastering Piece Trades - Video 10

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Video 10: Transition into endgame – part 2

In the second part of our examination of the transition into the endgame, we will look at the factors that speak against such decisions. The tendency to simplify the position is strong among inexperienced chess players and amateurs, so it’s crucial to understand why such decisions could be wrong. In most cases, this is because:

  • We lose the potential for active counterplay by simplifying the position
  • The endgame doesn’t offer any winning chances, and we are playing strictly for a draw
  • We miscalculated or misevaluated the consequences of the endgame transition

Instead, keeping tension in the position, which usually means we go for the more complex middlegame or endgame instead of the ‘simpler’ endgame, can be a better policy. More pieces on the board means more risk, but also more chances for us. A common misconception is that by simplifying the position, our play becomes simpler. But this notion is often wrong. If you choose the wrong endgame, you can suffer much more than in the middlegame because fewer pieces mean you have fewer chances to create counterplay against the opponent’s plan.

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