In the games I play with my friend Jabba we almost never reach an endgame. Usually we both make a blunder and the one who makes the biggest blunder loses while the board is still full with all kinds of pieces, mostly of the winning side, and pawns. My endgame training hasn't reached further than "mate in 2", so when I suddenly found myself in an endgame, I just didn't really know what to do. Clearly I'm not Dr. Endgame yet.
Last Sunday a friend of mine wiped two others of the board, and then challenged me to a game. Quite unfortunately I didn't see the other two games, so had no idea what to expect. He had been asking if I knew how to play chess for some time and I always stated that: "I know the rules of the game."
So he put down the board, the white pieces on my side and, perhaps overconfident after two victories, said he didn't mind if I took the white pieces. I don't really think it mattered a lot in the end on my level of play, but perhaps it hindered him a bit.
It was an interesting game and we both made some mistakes: I forgot to see what he could do after my move, so when I was heading to fork his queen and rook with a knight I found that he forked both my rooks and queen with his knight on his next move. I was able to limit the damage and got back in the game with this pretty combination.
The Bishop on d3 was there attacking the b1-h7 diagonal and once I moved my Queen and threatened mate in one he moved his pawn forward, this made a hole in his castled position and I've read that that is supposed to be good (Okay, so I actually had the small hope that he wouldn't notice and we would get this over with, silly me: Imagine what Dan would say!). I don't remember the complete position on the board, especially which of White's black Bishops and f3-Knight actually was there, I think it was the Knight. If it was, it was defended. White to move.
Now I first spotted the possible Knight fork on f6, if only there wasn't a Bishop on e5. This kind of thinking was recently brought to my attention when I read the first chapters of LCT, I probably already did this, but now I realised I was doing it. I fastened my seat belt and drove off: 1. Nxe5/Bxe5 dxe5 2. Nf6+, and only now my opponent saw 2... Kh8 Nxd7.
The rest of the game I had the advantage and with the reversed analogy of that "trading pieces mostly serves the player that has the advantage" and not a real clue on how to proceed that's exactly what I went doing and eventually we reached an endgame position. Now, I probably did a lot of things wrong even to get to this position, but here I just thought to much.
Obviously in this position it's Black to move. Once I got to this beautiful fork of Rook and King I started to think that I didn't want to take his Rook, because then he could promote. But what to do? So I didn't take his Rook, moved my Queen a bit around and, because other people around us started to become impatient offered a draw my opponent accepted.
As soon as I got home I put the position up in ChessPad and had Crafty analyse the position. Take a moment here and contemplate what the machine might say.
I'll give you a hint 10:6 vs 18:9? Indeed! Crafty says: 1... Kh1 2. Qxe8 f1Q 3. c8Q Qd1+ 4. Kc7 Qc1+ 5. Qc6+ Qxc6+ 6. Kxc6. And the rest is won. Now I'm not sure if my opponent had played this way, but at least I now know better.
The thing I regretted the most is that I didn't record this game, it would have been a great game to share, analyse, annotate and learn from.
 Referring to Dan Heisman, more especially to his wonderful Novice Nook on flip-coin chess, hope chess and real chess. You can find the article here. Please note that this is not an example of hope chess, but when I got myself forked is.
For more of Dan Heisman's splendid articles follow the link on my sidebar to visit his site trough which you can find all the Novice Nooks he wrote for http://www.chesscafe.com. I cannot imagine I actually have to recommend this, since the praise he gets everywhere, but if you've missed it so far: Stop reading here and start catching up!
A reply to comments
Apparently my writing wasn't clear enough on a few things, I hope this will help to better understanding of what I meant to say. First let met state that I'm very thankful for people to take the time and trouble to comment on my post, especially if it's a post on the endgame by one who is known as "the endgame tactician". Second, the part above "reply to comments" is a reference to a book that in an updated edition has an appendix called "a reply to critics". Now let's proceed to what we're all really here for.
In the first diagram only one of the f3, f4 and g3 squares was there in the game, I just don't remember which one.
The point I was trying to make on the endgame, was not so much that I didn't see it as deep as Crafty did, but that I made the fork and then very consciously decided to do the wrong thing. Even the plain logic of counting how much the difference is between my Queen and his Rook vs. My two Queens vs. his lone Queen could have made the difference. The point I was trying to make is explained very short and powerful in likesforests' first paragraph
12 hours ago