ChessBase Logo Shop Link
Language :
Search :
OK

Carlsen's Counterattack, Sokolov's Sorrow, Hou's Hammerblow

1/23/2013 – These are the themes of the latest endgame training session, provided by our ChessBase Magazine columnist GM Karsten Müller, who has been following the games at Tata Steel in Wijk aan Zee very attentively. He has picked Carlsen and Sokolov against Nakamura, and Hou Yifan vs Anish Giri, to explain some valuable techniques that you can use in practical tournament play. Learn and enjoy.
 

Carlsen's Counterattack

In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight a slight initiative often weighs heavily and activity counts for a lot:

[Event "75th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2013.01.13"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E90"] [WhiteElo "2802"] [BlackElo "2861"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2013.01.14"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 Nc6 7. d5 Nb4 8. Be2 e6 9. Be3 Re8 10. Nd2 a5 11. O-O Bd7 12. Re1 b6 13. Rc1 Kh8 14. a3 Na6 15. Qc2 e5 16. Rb1 Ng8 17. b4 f5 18. Nb5 Bh6 19. Bxh6 Nxh6 20. exf5 gxf5 21. f4 exf4 22. Qc3+ Kg8 23. Bh5 Nf7 24. Rxe8+ Qxe8 25. Qf6 Qf8 26. Bxf7+ Qxf7 27. Qg5+ Qg7 28. Qxf4 axb4 29. axb4 Re8 30. Nd4 Qe5 31. Qg5+ Qg7 32. N2f3 Qxg5 33. Nxg5 Kg7 34. Nge6+ Kf6 35. Rf1 Bxe6 36. Nxe6 h5 37. g4 hxg4 38. hxg4 Nxb4 39. Rxf5+ Kg6 40. Nf4+ Kg7 41. g5 c6 42. Kf2 cxd5 43. cxd5 {Carlsen's Counterattack In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight a slight initiative often weighs heavily and activity counts for a lot:} Re5 $1 {A well calculated counterattack.} (43... b5 $6 {draws as well, but White keeps practical chances after} 44. Rf6 Nxd5 45. Nxd5 Re5 46. Rxd6 Rxg5) 44. Ne6+ (44. Rxe5 dxe5 45. Ne6+ Kg6 46. d6 Nc6 47. d7 Kf5 $11) 44... Kg6 $5 {Carlsen chooses the active option again.} 45. Rf6+ (45. Rxe5 Nd3+ 46. Ke3 Nxe5 $11) 45... Kh5 $1 {This time the advance is forced as} (45... Kh7 $4 {runs into} 46. g6+ Kh6 (46... Kg8 47. Rf8#) 47. g7+ Kh7 48. Rf8 $18) 46. Kf3 (46. Rh6+ Kg4 47. g6 Nd3+ 48. Kg2 Re2+ 49. Kf1 Re1+ 50. Kg2 Re2+ $11) (46. g6 $6 Nxd5 47. Nf4+ Nxf4 48. Rxf4 Kxg6 49. Rd4 d5 50. Rb4 Re6 51. Rb5 Rd6 52. Ke3 Kf5 53. Kd4 $11) 46... Re3+ $1 {The beautiful point of Magnus Carlsen's concept. The draw is now clear due to} ( 46... Re3+ $1 47. Kxe3 Nxd5+ 48. Kd4 Nxf6 49. gxf6 Kg6 $11) 1/2-1/2

Sokolov's Sorrow

A rook is usually much superior to a bishop in a pure technical endgame:

[Event "75th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2013.01.13"] [Round "2.6"] [White "Nakamura, Hi"] [Black "Sokolov, Ivan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A22"] [WhiteElo "2769"] [BlackElo "2663"] [PlyCount "180"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2013.01.14"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bb4 4. Nf3 e4 5. Nd4 Nc6 6. Nc2 Bxc3 7. bxc3 O-O 8. Bg2 d5 9. cxd5 Qxd5 10. f3 exf3 11. Bxf3 Qa5 12. Bg2 Bf5 13. O-O Be4 14. Ne3 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Rfe8 16. Rf5 Re5 17. Qf1 Rae8 18. Rxf6 gxf6 19. Qxf6 R8e6 20. Qf3 Ne7 21. Qxb7 Nf5 22. c4 Qc5 23. Qb3 Re4 24. Qd3 Nxe3+ 25. dxe3 Qxc4 26. Qd8+ Kg7 27. Bb2+ f6 28. Rf1 Qc6 29. Kg1 Qd6 30. Qxd6 Rxd6 31. Rc1 Rxe3 32. Rxc7+ Kg6 33. Kf2 Ree6 34. Rc2 Rc6 35. Rd2 Red6 36. Rxd6 Rxd6 37. a3 a5 38. Bc3 a4 39. Bb4 Rb6 40. Bc5 Rb5 41. Bd6 Rb3 42. h4 Kf5 43. Be7 Kg4 44. Bd6 f5 45. Kg2 h6 46. Kf2 h5 47. Kg2 {Sokolov's Sorrow A rook is usually much superior to a bishop in a pure technical endgame:} f4 $1 {Sokolov shatters the foundations of Nakamura's house.} 48. gxf4 (48. Bxf4 Rxa3 $19 {is completely lost due to the outside passed a-pawn.}) 48... Kxh4 49. e4 Kg4 50. f5 Rd3 $1 {The bishop is forced to leave one of the two key diagonals.} 51. Bb4 h4 52. f6 h3+ 53. Kh2 Rf3 $1 54. e5 Rf2+ 55. Kh1 Kh5 $2 {This retreat is too sophisticated.} (55... h2 $1 56. f7 (56. Be1 Re2 57. f7 Kh3 58. Bb4 Rb2 59. Be1 Rb1 60. f8=Q Rxe1+ 61. Qf1+ Rxf1#) 56... Rxf7 57. Kxh2 Rf2+ 58. Kg1 Re2 {transposes to the game and wins as shown below.}) 56. Bc5 $1 Rf3 57. Kh2 Kg4 58. Bb4 $2 {This allows Black to make decisive progress. The bishop must stay on the a7-g1 diagonal:} ( 58. Bb6 Rxa3 (58... Kf5 59. Bc7 Ke6 60. Bd6 Rb3 61. Bc5 Rc3 62. Bd6 Rf3 63. Kg1 $11) 59. f7 Ra2+ 60. Kh1 Ra1+ 61. Kh2 {and Black has not more than a repetition by} Ra2+ $11 ({as} 61... Rf1 $4 {even loses to} 62. e6 $18)) 58... Rf2+ 59. Kh1 $1 {The right retreat as} (59. Kg1 $6 {loses directly to} Rc2 60. f7 h2+ 61. Kh1 Kh3 62. f8=Q Rc1+ $19) 59... h2 $1 ({Of course not} 59... Kg3 $4 60. Be1 $18) 60. f7 $5 {The only chance to continue the fight.} (60. Bc5 $6 { runs into} Re2 61. f7 Kh3 62. f8=Q Re1+ 63. Qf1+ Rxf1+ 64. Bg1 hxg1=Q#) 60... Rxf7 61. Kxh2 Rf2+ 62. Kg1 Re2 63. Bd6 Kf3 64. Kf1 Re4 65. Kg1 Re1+ 66. Kh2 Rd1 67. Bb4 Rd4 68. Bd6 Rh4+ 69. Kg1 Rh6 70. Bf8 Rh8 71. Bd6 Rh6 72. Bf8 Rb6 73. Bd6 Rb1+ 74. Kh2 Re1 75. Bc7 Ra1 76. Bd6 Rd1 77. Bb4 Rd4 $3 {The only winning move as e5-e6 must be prevented.} 78. Bd6 (78. e6 $6 {is beautifully refuted by } Rh4+ 79. Kg1 Rxb4 80. axb4 a3 81. e7 a2 82. e8=Q a1=Q+ 83. Kh2 Qb2+ 84. Kh3 Qg2+ 85. Kh4 Qg4#) 78... Rg4 $2 {This is probably based on a miscalculation as it allows White's e-pawn to advance.} (78... Rd2+ {wins, e.g.} 79. Kg1 (79. Kh3 Kf4 80. Bb4 Rd3+ 81. Kg2 Kxe5 82. Kf2 Rb3 83. Bf8 Kd5 84. Ke2 Rb8 85. Bb4 Rxb4 86. axb4 a3 $19) 79... Rd1+ 80. Kh2 Re1 81. Bb8 Re2+ 82. Kg1 (82. Kh3 Kf4 83. Bd6 Rd2 84. Bc7 Rd3+ 85. Kg2 Rxa3 86. e6+ Kf5 87. e7 Re3 88. Bd6 Kf6 89. Kf2 Rxe7 90. Bxe7+ Kxe7 91. Ke2 a3 $19) 82... Rg2+ 83. Kh1 (83. Kf1 Ra2 84. Ke1 ( 84. Bd6 Ra1#) 84... Rxa3 85. Kd2 Rb3 $19) 83... Kf2 84. Bd6 Rg5 85. Bc5+ Kf1 86. Kh2 Rxe5 87. Bd6 Rg5 $19) 79. e6 $1 Rg2+ 80. Kh1 (80. Kh3 $4 Rg6 $19) 80... Re2 (80... Rg8 {does not help. After} 81. e7 Ke4 82. Kh2 Kd5 83. Bb4 Ke6 84. Kh3 Kf7 85. Bd6 Rg6 {the situation is similar to the game. White's bishop can always escape the hunters, e.g.} 86. Bb4 Rb6 87. Bc5 Rb5 88. Bd6 $11) (80... Kf2 81. e7 Rg8 82. Bc5+ Kf1 83. Kh2 $11) 81. e7 Kg4 82. Kg1 Kf5 83. Kf1 Re6 84. Kf2 Kg6 85. Kf3 Kf7 86. Bb4 Ke8 87. Bc5 Kd7 88. Bb4 Rb6 {Sokolov hunts the bishop, but the diagonal b4-d6 is just long enough.} 89. Bc5 Rc6 90. Bb4 Rc4 ( 90... Rc4 91. Bd6 Rd4 92. Bc5 Rd5 93. Bb4 Rb5 94. Bd6 $11) 1/2-1/2

Hou's Hammerblow

The rook is usually much stronger than a bishop in a pure technical endgame, but if the pawns are only on one wing and complement the bishop there are many fortresses:

[Event "75th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2013.01.18"] [Round "6.7"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B70"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2603"] [PlyCount "170"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.01.18"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. g3 Nc6 7. Nde2 Bd7 8. Bg2 Qc8 9. h3 Bg7 10. a4 O-O 11. Bg5 Re8 12. Qd2 Ne5 13. b3 Rb8 14. Ra2 Nc6 15. Nd5 a5 16. c3 b5 17. axb5 Rxb5 18. Qd1 Qb8 19. Ra3 Nxd5 20. exd5 Ne5 21. O-O a4 22. Nd4 Rxb3 23. Nxb3 Nc4 24. Nc5 dxc5 25. Ra1 Qe5 26. Bf4 Qxc3 27. Qe2 Na5 28. Rac1 Qb4 29. Bd2 Qb6 30. Bc3 Nb3 31. Qb2 a3 32. Qxa3 Nxc1 33. Rxc1 Bxc3 34. Qxc3 Rc8 35. Qe3 Qd6 36. Re1 Re8 37. Rc1 Rc8 38. Re1 e6 39. dxe6 Bxe6 40. Bf1 c4 41. Qc3 Qf8 42. Rxe6 fxe6 43. Bxc4 Rc6 44. Qd4 Qc8 45. Be2 Rc1+ 46. Kg2 Rc2 47. Qe4 Qc6 48. Qxc6 Rxc6 {Hou's Hammerblow The rook is usually much stronger than a bishop in a pure technical endgame, but if the pawns are only on one wing and complement the bishop there are many fortresses:} 49. f4 $1 {Giri puts his pawns on dark squares to complement his bishop.} Kg7 50. h4 {This formation should be a fortress as Black must exchange pawns to make progress and there are many book draws lurking around.} Rc2 51. Kf3 Rc3+ ({The direct try to} 51... Kf6 $5 {can be met by} 52. Bf1 (52. Bd3 $2 Rc3 53. Ke4 Ra3 54. Kd4 h6 55. Ke4 g5 56. fxg5+ hxg5 57. hxg5+ Kxg5 $19) 52... h6 (52... Rc3+ 53. Kf2 Kf5 54. Bh3+ Ke4 55. Bg2+ $11) 53. Bh3 Rh2 54. Bg2 g5 55. hxg5+ hxg5 56. Bf1 Kf5 57. Bd3+ Kf6 58. Kg4 $11) 52. Kf2 Kf6 53. Bg4 Rc5 (53... e5 $6 54. fxe5+ Kxe5 55. Bf3 {leads to a well known book draw.}) 54. Bh3 Rc2+ (54... h6 55. Bg4 g5 56. hxg5+ hxg5 57. Ke3 e5 58. fxe5+ Kxe5 59. Bf3 Rc3+ 60. Kf2 $11) 55. Ke3 Ke7 $5 {Hou starts a long king march to the centre to play her main hammerblow ...g6-g5 only later. This is good technique to probe the patience of the defender.} 56. Bg4 Kd6 57. Bf3 Rc3+ 58. Kf2 Rc5 59. Be4 ({Taking aim at e6 with} 59. Bg4 $5 {comes strongly into consideration.}) 59... Ra5 60. Bb7 Kc5 61. Ke3 Ra3+ 62. Kf2 Kd4 63. Bc6 Ra7 64. Ke2 Rc7 (64... Ra2+ {is met by} 65. Kf3 $1 $11) 65. Ba8 $2 {This is a very unfortunate place for the bishop. Now Giri is not in time anymore to deal with Black's main plan to open the kingside.} (65. Bg2 {still defends the fortress, e.g.} Rc3 (65... Rc2+ 66. Kf3 e5 (66... h5 67. Bh3 Rc6 68. Kf2 $11) 67. fxe5 Kxe5 68. Bh3 $11) (65... h6 66. Bh3 g5 67. hxg5 hxg5 68. Kf3 Rc3+ 69. Kg4 gxf4 70. gxf4 $11) 66. Kf2 h6 67. Bh3 Rc6 68. Bg4 (68. Bg2 $2 Rc2+ 69. Kf3 Rc3+ 70. Kf2 g5 $19) 68... Rc2+ 69. Kf3 Kd5 70. Bh3 $11) 65... h6 $1 66. Kf2 ({After} 66. Bf3 Rc2+ ({the direct approach} 66... g5 $6 67. hxg5 hxg5 $2 {surprisingly only leads to a draw due to} (67... Rc2+ {still wins.}) 68. Bg4 gxf4 (68... e5 69. fxe5 Kxe5 70. Bf3 $11 ) 69. gxf4 $11) 67. Kf1 Ke3 68. Bb7 (68. Bg4 h5 69. Bxe6 Kf3 $19) 68... g5 69. fxg5 hxg5 70. hxg5 Rc5 $19) 66... g5 $1 {Hou Yifan blows open the gates of Giri's fortress in typical style. It is very important that her valuable e-pawn remains on the board.} 67. fxg5 hxg5 68. Kf3 (68. h5 g4 $19) (68. hxg5 Rg7 69. Kf3 Rxg5 70. Kf4 Rg8 71. Bb7 e5+ 72. Kf3 e4+ 73. Kf4 Rf8+ 74. Kg5 e3 75. Ba6 Rf2 76. g4 e2 77. Bxe2 Rxe2 78. Kf5 Rf2+ 79. Ke6 Rg2 80. Kf5 Kd5 $19) 68... gxh4 69. gxh4 Ke5 70. h5 Rh7 ({The cut off} 70... Rc4 {is the alternative.}) 71. Kg4 Rg7+ 72. Kh4 Kf5 73. h6 Rg8 74. Bf3 e5 $6 {This makes the conversion of Black's advantage more difficult.} (74... Rg6 $5 {wins the h-pawn first and the game sooner or later:} 75. Kh5 (75. h7 Rh6+ $19) 75... Rg3 76. Kh4 Rxf3 77. h7 Rf1 $19) 75. Bd5 $1 Rd8 ({Now it is too late for} 75... Rg6 $2 {due to} 76. Kh5 $11) 76. h7 Rh8 77. Bg8 e4 78. Kg3 Ke5 79. Kf2 ({One beautiful sample line after} 79. Kg4 {runs} Kd4 80. Kg5 e3 81. Kg6 e2 82. Kg7 e1=Q 83. Kxh8 Qe5#) 79... Kd4 80. Ke2 e3 81. Ke1 $6 {As White loses the pawn h7 in any case, it was more tenacious to give it immediately with} (81. Bf7 Rxh7 82. Be6 {and Black wins, but some care is still required as the pawn e3 is in the way of Black's attack, e.g.} Rh2+ 83. Ke1 Rc2 (83... e2 $4 {spoils it due to} 84. Kd2 e1=Q+ 85. Kxe1 Ke3 86. Kd1 $1 $11) 84. Bb3 Rc7 85. Ke2 Rb7 86. Be6 Ke4 87. Bc4 Rb2+ 88. Ke1 Rb6 89. Ke2 Kd4 90. Bf7 Rb2+ 91. Ke1 Rg2 92. Be8 e2 93. Kd2 Rg5 94. Bd7 Re5 95. Ke1 Ke3 96. Bb5 Rc5 97. Bxe2 Rc1+ 98. Bd1 Ra1 $19) 81... Kd3 82. Be6 e2 $1 ({Of course not} 82... Rxh7 $4 83. Bf5+ $11) 83. Bg4 Ke3 84. Bxe2 (84. Bf5 Rd8 85. Bc2 Rf8 86. Bf5 Rxf5 87. h8=Q Rf1#) 84... Rxh7 85. Kf1 Rf7+ (85... Rf7+ 86. Ke1 Ra7 87. Bg4 Ra1+ 88. Bd1 Rb1 $19) 0-1

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

Click to go to the ChessBase Magazine page

Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Müller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.

Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service

See also

Rules for reader comments
    Not registered yet? Register