“[I]n order to improve your game you must study the endgame before anything else; for, whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame.” (Emphasis in original.) (Capablanca 1966:19)
I ask my friends this a lot, when they relate stories of kookiness from exes, and bosses, and crazy relatives… because when you hear a story of someone threatening to sue their child’s other parent, or stonewalling a colleague, or generally behaving in on-the-edge and over-the-top ways, I just wonder: What’s their endgame? If their opening is THAT, where, precisely, do they plan to go from there?
Wikipedia surfing led me to chess, today, and that led me to the above quote. And I think it’s relevant to more than chess. Study your endgame before anything else. Know where you’re going, and what you plan to do when you get there, and what you plan to do to affect those traveling with you. Because without knowing those things, your opening and middlegame are just shots in the dark.