It turned out a little darker than I anticipated (sorry), so I put a happy video at the end.
“Lack of proper endgame technique allows many players to escape from lost positions, even without any spectacular play on their part.” – Leonid Shamkovich
The Beginning of the End Game
I have no idea how old I am. This may have to do with generally weak math skills. But I suspect it’s something more.
“Repeating moves in an ending can be very useful. Apart from the obvious gain of time on the clock one notices that the side with the advantage gains psychological benefit.” – Sergey Belavenets
It has become increasingly important to me to keep my promises. I find myself obsessed with it. Others sow and water, I promise and keep. Each promise leads to two more that must be fulfilled. I seem to require it—the sound of the promises like the company of a clock—these promises accumulating a momentum of moments describing a circle that inevitably and paradoxically leads to an end point, thereby breaking several rather significant physical laws, perhaps most notably that the object in motion will not stay in motion.
“In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else. For whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and end game must be studied in relation to the end game.” – Jose Capablanca
Here, in the middle, I no longer feel that I need to be important, and yet I increasingly find it necessary to assert that I am. I have freed myself of the need to be needed only to find that here, in the middle, if you are not needed, you will begin the decent into obsolescence. Now, here, I fear that if I do not rediscover this need, I will cease to be able to provide for my needs—my needs for which I so carefully have maneuvered to ensure that I require myself to provide for them.
“Agreeing to draws in the middlegame, equal or otherwise, deprives you of the opportunity to practice playing endgames, and the endgame is probably where you need the most practice.” – Pal Benko
I tried so hard to fight the vanity of youth, the child’s selfish question: “Is this enough?” The frantic young eyes that say, “Did I do it right?”—that beg for the sight of pride in the eyes of others. I have worked to be proud of myself, to value my “works and days of hands” by my own standards without the approval of others, and yet here, on the cusp on the end game, I find that this victory over pride and ego and vanity—such as it is, such as any creature can be in this way free –may be potentially catastrophic error in judgment.
“In the endgame, the most common errors, besides those resulting from ignorance of theory, are caused by either impatience, complacency, exhaustion, or all of the above.” – Pal Benko
I see it in the eyes of people I know—people in the middle and people who have entered end game. A sort of weight, a sense of bewilderment or confusion. No longer, “Is this enough?” but “Why wasn’t this enough?”
I have no answer to this question. I do not know that this is the right question. And so, I suppose, I keep moving.
“Patience is the most valuable trait of the endgame player.” – Pal Benko
“Endings.” ChessQuotes.com. ChessQuotes.com, 2014. Web. 10 Sep. 2014.
VISO Trailers. “The Lego Movie—Everything is Awesome.” Online video clip. You Tube. YouTube, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Sep. 2014.