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What does Rustam Kasimdzhanov say about endgames?

World Chess is holding the ‘Endgames Masterclass Series’ with the former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov. On August 22, Rustam will hold his second Masterclass.

But why did he decide to zoom in on the endgames? And how, in his opinion, the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, managed to dominate chess for the a decade? Find out from his short interview below.

Kasimdzhanov was Fabiano Caruana’s second during the 2018 World Chess Championship match

Why did you choose “the endgames” as your masterclass series?

Every game starts in the opening, but most games are decided in the endgames. And yet most players hardly spend any time with endgames at all. There is a lot of potential for improvement there.

Which one is your favorite endgame?

Never really thought of it like this. The endgame from game 7 of my match against Adams essentially brought me the title and was also very well played. Some good memories there :)

What do you find more fascinating about endgames?

It is a very satisfying feeling, playing a good endgame. It takes a lot of effort and precision, but once you’re there, you know it. Sometimes a good endgame resembles a precious gem in your hand – you don’t know why it’s valuable, but you feel it.

Why do you think amateur players dislike endgames?

Because they are really tough! But no worries, with some guidance all work gets easier, and one day you’ll suddenly find yourself enjoying it :)

We live in an opening era. Everyone is studying openings and less people talk about endgames. How do you feel about that? Is it a training strategy that you would suggest to new players?

I think in general we overstress the importance of openings. Everybody works on them, and yet it is precisely Magnus Carlsen, the one player who clearly loves endgames and works hard on his endgame technique, who dominated the last decade of top chess. The time has come for all of us to follow suit. I think that the modern dedication of 90 percent of all training time to openings has to give way to a more balanced approach, where all aspects of the game – endgames, complex middlegames, practical decision making etc should get the training time they deserve.

Join Rustam’s Masteclass on the 22nd of August here.

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