In chess, the endgame is one of the three main portions of the game, the Opening, the Middlegame, and the Endgame. Many lower level players find the endgame boring, but those dedicated to the art love a good endgame. The endgame is characterized by a trading off of most of the pieces and pawns. The result is that the game will usually be decided by very subtle maneuvering. It is very important to understand endgame theory, because if you don't know what you want the endgame position to look like you won't know which middlegame lines to play. Chess is best studied from the back to the front, but few people actually go about it this way.