It’s All About the Endgame

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

When I first started learning chess my main point of focus was openings. Generally openings are often a starter point for new chess players. Unfortunately many new players like myself forget to learn the endgame as well. This can lead to a game loss as we see in this game between Henry Terrie, playing as white, and International Master Emory Tate, playing as Black. What at first seems like a draw one of the players manages to play a fantastic endgame and take the win. (Emory Tate, May He Rest in Peace, pictured on the right).

The game begins with the English Opening. Terrie plays c4 a powerful move. This opening was first played by English Chess Champion, Howard Staunton, which is how it earned its name. Tate then responds by  playing d6. This move may appear odd as many would combat this move with e5 by taking control of the center which is what Tate does on the following move.

As the game progresses it is a bit hard to tell who is in a better position. The board seems to be in a relatively open state so it would appear that Terrie has the advantage with his two bishops over Tate’s two knights.

Eventually the game reaches a point where each player has six pawns and a rook. Unfortunately for Terrie his pawns are in a worse position as he has stacked pawns. Terrie plays Rd5 offering a Rook trade and an opportunity to unstack his pawns. But then suddenly Tate plays an impressive move. Before scrolling any further try figuring out Tate’s winning move.

Tate then plays Rd1+ sacrificing his rook. Terrie is forced to take the rook with his king and then Tate plays hxg2. Terrie is unable to move his king back to f1 due to the black pawn and resigns as Tate is about to earn a queen. This game shows how important it is to study the endgame. A game that could have ended up in a draw ended up as a win for Tate due to his ingenuity. It’s important to not just explore the beginning and middle of a game, but the end as well.