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Endgame Strategy Shereshevsky Pdf Download: The Ultimate Guide for Chess Players



Endgame Strategy Shereshevsky Pdf Download




If you are a chess player who wants to improve your endgame skills and understanding, you might be interested in reading Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky. This is a classic book on chess endgames that was first published in 1981 in Russian, and later translated into English by Ken Neat. In this article, we will give you an overview of what this book is about, why it is useful for chess players of all levels, and how you can download a free pdf version of it from the internet.




Endgame Strategy Shereshevsky Pdf Download



Why is endgame strategy important in chess?




The endgame is the final phase of a chess game, where there are few pieces left on the board and the kings become more active. The endgame is often decisive for the outcome of the game, as even a small mistake can lead to a loss or a draw. Therefore, it is essential for chess players to master the endgame and know how to play it correctly and efficiently.


Endgame strategy is the art of finding the best plan and moves in the endgame, based on the evaluation of the position and the calculation of variations. Endgame strategy involves applying some general principles and rules, such as:



  • Centralize your king and use it as an active piece.



  • Promote your pawns or prevent your opponent from promoting theirs.



  • Exchange pieces when it is favorable for you, or avoid exchanges when it is not.



  • Create weaknesses in your opponent's position or exploit the ones they have.



  • Do not hurry and be patient, as endgames can be long and complex.



However, endgame strategy also requires creativity and intuition, as every endgame is different and has its own nuances and subtleties. Endgame strategy is not something that can be memorized or learned by heart, but rather something that can be developed and improved by studying and practicing.


How does Shereshevsky teach endgame strategy?




Mikhail Shereshevsky is a chess trainer and master from Belarus, who has written several books on chess, especially on endgames. His most famous work is Endgame Strategy, which is considered one of the best books on endgame play ever written. In this book, Shereshevsky teaches endgame strategy by using a selection of instructive examples from grandmaster practice, as well as some lesser-known games by amateur players. He explains the ideas and concepts behind each move, the psychology and logic of the players, and the mistakes and turning points of the game. He also gives practical advice and tips on how to improve one's endgame technique and understanding.


One of the distinctive features of Shereshevsky's book is that he does not divide the chapters by material or types of endings, such as rook endings, pawn endings, bishop endings, etc. Instead, he divides them by themes or methods that are common to many different endings, such as "Do not hurry", "The problem of exchanging", "The principle of two weaknesses", "The struggle for the initiative", "Suppressing the opponent's counterplay", etc. This way, he shows how to apply these principles and techniques in various situations and positions, regardless of the material balance or configuration. He also covers some specific topics that are relevant for certain types of endings, such as "Positions with an isolated d-pawn", "The two bishops", "The 3-2 queenside pawn majority", and "Complex endings".


In the following sections, we will review some of the main chapters of Shereshevsky's book and give you some examples of his analysis and explanations.


Do not hurry




The first chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "Do not hurry", which is one of the most important principles of endgame play. It means that one should not rush or make hasty moves in the endgame, but rather take one's time and calculate carefully before making a decision. Many endgames are decided by small details and nuances, so even a slight inaccuracy can spoil a winning position or save a lost one. Therefore, one should always check for possible alternatives and consequences before making a move.


Shereshevsky illustrates this principle with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players made premature or inaccurate moves that changed the evaluation of the position. For instance, he shows a game between Karpov and Korchnoi from 1978, where Karpov had a winning advantage in a rook ending with an extra pawn, but he played too quickly and missed a chance to create a passed pawn on the kingside. Instead, he allowed Korchnoi to activate his rook and create counterplay on the queenside. As a result, Karpov had to settle for a draw after 103 moves.


The problem of exchanging




The second chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "The problem of exchanging", which is another crucial aspect of endgame strategy. It means that one should know when and how to exchange pieces in the endgame, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so. Exchanging pieces can have a significant impact on the evaluation and outcome of the endgame, as it can change the material balance, the pawn structure, the king safety, the activity of the pieces, etc. Therefore, one should always consider carefully before making or avoiding an exchange.


Shereshevsky illustrates this principle with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players made good or bad decisions regarding exchanges in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Fischer and Petrosian from 1971, where Fischer had a slight advantage in a rook and pawn ending with an extra pawn on the queenside. However, he made a mistake by exchanging rooks too early, which allowed Petrosian to activate his king and create a fortress with his pawns. As a result, Fischer could not break through and had to agree to a draw after 74 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to make correct exchanges in the endgame by using some criteria and guidelines, such as:



  • Exchange pieces when you have a material advantage or when you can simplify into a winning pawn ending.



  • Avoid exchanges when you have a positional advantage or when you can increase your activity or pressure.



  • Exchange pieces of equal value or exchange your bad pieces for your opponent's good ones.



  • Exchange pieces that are defending or attacking important squares or pawns.



  • Exchange pieces that are blocking your own pawns or your opponent's pawns.



Of course, these are not absolute rules, but rather general recommendations that can help one make better decisions in the endgame. Sometimes, exchanging pieces can be a matter of taste or style, as different players may prefer different types of endings. However, one should always be aware of the consequences and implications of exchanging pieces in the endgame.


The principle of two weaknesses




The third chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "The principle of two weaknesses", which is one of the most important concepts of endgame strategy. It means that one should try to create and exploit two weaknesses in the opponent's position, as one weakness may not be enough to win. A weakness can be anything that gives an advantage to one side, such as a backward pawn, an isolated pawn, a doubled pawn, a weak square, a passive piece, etc. By creating two weaknesses, one can force the opponent to split their attention and resources between them, and eventually break their defense or win material.


Shereshevsky illustrates this principle with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players applied or failed to apply this principle in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Karpov and Spassky from 1974, where Karpov had a slight advantage in a queen and pawn ending with an extra pawn on the queenside. However, he could not win by simply pushing his passed pawn, as Spassky could block it with his queen and king. Instead, he created another weakness on the kingside by advancing his h-pawn and threatening to create a passed pawn there as well. This forced Spassky to weaken his king position and allow Karpov to penetrate with his queen and win.


Shereshevsky also shows how to apply this principle in the endgame by using some techniques and methods, such as:



  • Create a passed pawn or prevent your opponent from creating one.



  • Use your king or your pieces to attack or defend weak pawns or squares.



  • Use zugzwang or waiting moves to force your opponent to make concessions or weaken their position.



  • Use prophylaxis or prevention moves to stop your opponent's counterplay or threats.



  • Use diversion or distraction moves to lure your opponent's pieces away from their optimal squares or duties.



By using these techniques and methods, one can create two weaknesses in the opponent's position and increase the chances of winning the endgame. However, one should also be careful not to create weaknesses in one's own position or allow the opponent to create them. Therefore, one should always be alert and vigilant in the endgame.


The struggle for the initiative




The fourth chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "The struggle for the initiative", which is another essential aspect of endgame strategy. It means that one should try to seize and maintain the initiative in the endgame, as it can give an advantage or a decisive edge. The initiative is the ability to make threats or pose problems to the opponent, forcing them to react or defend. The initiative can also create pressure or psychological stress on the opponent, making them more prone to mistakes or blunders. Therefore, one should always look for opportunities to gain or keep the initiative in the endgame.


Shereshevsky illustrates this principle with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players fought for or lost the initiative in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Tal and Smyslov from 1959, where Tal had a slight advantage in a rook and pawn ending with an extra pawn on the queenside. However, he played too passively and allowed Smyslov to gain the initiative by activating his rook and creating threats on the kingside. As a result, Tal had to give up his extra pawn and settle for a draw after 41 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to gain or keep the initiative in the endgame by using some principles and ideas, such as:



  • Activate your king or your pieces and use them to attack or create threats.



  • Avoid passive or defensive moves that allow your opponent to gain space or activity.



  • Use your pawns to create passed pawns or open files for your pieces.



  • Use sacrifices or exchanges to open lines or weaken your opponent's position.



  • Use surprise or unexpected moves to confuse or shock your opponent.



By using these principles and ideas, one can gain or keep the initiative in the endgame and put pressure on the opponent. However, one should also be careful not to overextend or overestimate one's initiative, as it can backfire or dissipate. Therefore, one should always be realistic and objective in the endgame.


Suppressing the opponent's counterplay




The fifth chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "Suppressing the opponent's counterplay", which is another important concept of endgame strategy. It means that one should try to prevent or neutralize the opponent's counterplay in the endgame, as it can be a source of danger or trouble. Counterplay is the ability to create threats or pose problems to the opponent, forcing them to react or defend. Counterplay can also create chances or opportunities for the opponent, making them more confident or hopeful. Therefore, one should always look for ways to stop or limit the opponent's counterplay in the endgame.


Shereshevsky illustrates this principle with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players succeeded or failed to suppress the opponent's counterplay in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Karpov and Kasparov from 1985, where Karpov had a winning advantage in a queen and pawn ending with two extra pawns on the queenside. However, he played too cautiously and allowed Kasparov to generate counterplay by advancing his h-pawn and threatening to create a passed pawn there. As a result, Karpov could not convert his advantage and had to agree to a draw after 50 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to suppress the opponent's counterplay in the endgame by using some techniques and methods, such as:



  • Use your king or your pieces to block or capture your opponent's pawns or pieces.



  • Avoid unnecessary or risky moves that allow your opponent to gain space or activity.



  • Use your pawns to create passed pawns or close files for your opponent's pieces.



  • Use prophylaxis or prevention moves to stop your opponent's threats or plans.



  • Use zugzwang or waiting moves to force your opponent to make concessions or weaken their position.



Positions with an isolated d-pawn




The sixth chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "Positions with an isolated d-pawn", which is one of the specific topics that he covers in his book. It means that he analyzes the typical features and plans of positions with an isolated d-pawn in the endgame, and how to handle them with both colors. An isolated d-pawn is a pawn on the d-file that has no friendly pawns on the adjacent files (c and e). This pawn can be a strength or a weakness, depending on the position and the activity of the pieces.


Shereshevsky illustrates this topic with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players had an isolated d-pawn in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Botvinnik and Smyslov from 1958, where Botvinnik had an isolated d-pawn in a queen and rook ending. He managed to use his pawn as a strength, by advancing it to d6 and creating threats against Smyslov's king and pawns. He also used his queen and rook to support his pawn and prevent Smyslov's counterplay. As a result, Botvinnik won the game after 41 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to play positions with an isolated d-pawn in the endgame by using some principles and ideas, such as:



  • With an isolated d-pawn, try to create pressure on your opponent's position by using your pawn as a lever or a battering ram.



  • With an isolated d-pawn, try to activate your pieces and use them to attack or defend your pawn.



  • With an isolated d-pawn, try to avoid exchanges that would leave your pawn weak or undefended.



  • Against an isolated d-pawn, try to blockade your opponent's pawn by placing a piece on d5 or d4.



  • Against an isolated d-pawn, try to exchange pieces that would leave your opponent's pawn isolated or vulnerable.



  • Against an isolated d-pawn, try to create counterplay on other parts of the board or exploit your opponent's weaknesses.



By using these principles and ideas, one can play positions with an isolated d-pawn in the endgame more confidently and effectively. However, one should also be flexible and adaptable, as every position with an isolated d-pawn is different and has its own challenges and opportunities.


The two bishops




The seventh chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "The two bishops", which is another specific topic that he covers in his book. It means that he explores the advantages and disadvantages of having two bishops in the endgame, and how to use them effectively or fight against them. Two bishops are two pieces of the same color that move diagonally on opposite-colored squares. They can be a powerful force in the endgame, as they can control a lot of space and create threats on both wings. However, they can also be neutralized or restricted by pawns or other pieces.


Shereshevsky illustrates this topic with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players had two bishops in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Karpov and Timman from 1986, where Karpov had two bishops in a rook and bishop ending. He used his bishops to dominate Timman's rook and bishop, by placing them on optimal squares and creating a strong passed pawn on the queenside. He also used his king to support his pawn and prevent Timman's counterplay. As a result, Karpov won the game after 41 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to play with or against two bishops in the endgame by using some principles and ideas, such as:



  • With two bishops, try to open up the position and create space for your bishops to operate.



  • With two bishops, try to activate your bishops and use them to attack or defend your pawns.



  • With two bishops, try to avoid exchanges that would reduce your advantage or give your opponent chances.



  • Against two bishops, try to close up the position and limit the scope of your opponent's bishops.



  • Against two bishops, try to exchange pieces that would weaken your opponent's bishops or strengthen your own.



  • Against two bishops, try to create counterplay on other parts of the board or exploit your opponent's weaknesses.



By using these principles and ideas, one can play with or against two bishops in the endgame more skillfully and successfully. However, one should also be careful and attentive, as two bishops can be very dangerous or tricky in some situations.


The 3-2 queenside pawn majority




The eighth chapter of Shereshevsky's book is titled "The 3-2 queenside pawn majority", which is another specific topic that he covers in his book. It means that he examines the dynamics and possibilities of having a 3-2 queenside pawn majority in the endgame, and how to create a passed pawn or stop one. A 3-2 queenside pawn majority is a situation where one side has three pawns on the queenside (a, b, and c files) and the other side has two pawns on the same side. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the position and the activity of the pieces.


Shereshevsky illustrates this topic with several examples from grandmaster games, where one or both players had a 3-2 queenside pawn majority in the endgame. For instance, he shows a game between Smyslov and Reshevsky from 1948, where Smyslov had a 3-2 queenside pawn majority in a rook and pawn ending. He used his majority to create a passed b-pawn and push it to b7, threatening to promote it to a queen. He also used his rook to support his pawn and prevent Reshevsky's counterplay. As a result, Smyslov won the game after 41 moves.


Shereshevsky also shows how to play with or against a 3-2 queenside pawn majority in the endgame by using some principles and ideas, such as:



  • With a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to advance your pawns and create a passed pawn on the b or c file.



  • With a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to activate your pieces and use them to support or defend your pawns.



  • With a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to avoid exchanges that would slow down your progress or give your opponent chances.



  • Against a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to stop your opponent's pawns and prevent them from creating a passed pawn.



  • Against a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to exchange pieces that would weaken your opponent's pawns or strengthen your own.



  • Against a 3-2 queenside pawn majority, try to create counterplay on other parts of the board or exploit your opponent's weaknesses.



By using these principles and ideas, one can play with or against a 3-2 queenside pawn majority in the endgame more competently and effectively. How


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