CBM training: Endgames from the Chess Classic

12/12/2012 – "London was wonderful, especially for endgame fans," wrote our ChessBase Magazine columnist GM Karsten Müller. Today he has four games from this event, demonstrating Aronian's attacking queens, Carlsen's pawn ending artistry, Nakamura's knight attack and Anand's activity. This is a great opportunity to learn from the strongest players in the world. Don't miss it.

Aronian's attacking queens

Round 4 report summary on McShane-Aronian 1-0: This game saw an incredibly complex material balance. In a fantastic endgame White had a Rook and Knight and four(!) passed pawns against Black’s Queen and Bishop. However, there were also a-pawns for both players, and after Aronian won his opponent’s he had the edge with his now passed a-pawn. Although it looked scary for both sides, at the very end Black’s two queens proved to be too much for White’s pieces and some cool maneuvering led directly to checkmate. Awesome game!

[Event "4th London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2012.12.04"] [Round "4"] [White "McShane, Luke"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2713"] [BlackElo "2850"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "152"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 Bd7 9. c3 O-O 10. Nbd2 Na5 11. Bc2 c5 12. Re1 Re8 13. Nf1 Nc6 14. Ne3 b4 15. h3 Rb8 16. Nc4 Be6 17. Bb3 h6 18. Be3 bxc3 19. bxc3 d5 20. exd5 Nxd5 21. Qc2 e4 22. dxe4 Nxe3 23. Rxe3 Rxb3 24. Qxb3 Na5 25. Nxa5 Bxb3 26. Nxb3 Qb6 27. Nbd2 Qb2 28. Rae1 Rd8 29. Nf1 c4 30. Ne5 Bc5 31. Rf3 Qb3 32. a5 Rd6 33. Nxf7 Rf6 34. Rxf6 gxf6 35. Nxh6+ Kf8 36. Ng4 Qxc3 37. Rd1 Qb4 38. Nxf6 Kf7 39. Nd5 Qb2 40. Nde3 c3 41. Rd5 Be7 42. Rf5+ Ke8 43. g4 c2 44. Nxc2 Qxc2 45. Ng3 Qc7 46. Nh5 Bd8 47. Kg2 Qc6 48. Re5+ Kf7 49. g5 Qa4 50. h4 Bxa5 51. Rf5+ Ke6 52. Nf4+ Kd7 53. f3 Qc2+ 54. Kh3 Qf2 55. Kg4 Be1 56. Ng6 a5 57. Rf7+ Kd8 58. e5 a4 59. e6 Bb4 60. e7+ Bxe7 61. Nxe7 Qc5 62. Kh5 a3 63. Kh6 a2 64. g6 {Aronian's attacking queens It is very seldom that two queens fight to storm a fortress:} Qc4 {Aronian stops White's play first.} ({The direct promotion} 64... a1=Q { wins as well:} 65. g7 Qa6+ 66. Ng6 Qe3+ 67. Kh7 (67. f4 Qe8 $19) 67... Qe8 68. g8=Q Qxg8+ 69. Kxg8 Qxg6+ $19) 65. Nf5 a1=Q 66. Rf8+ Kc7 67. g7 {The pawn promotion comes too late, but White's pawns are also too slow after} (67. h5 $5 Qe5 $1 {Strong centralisation!} 68. Kh7 Qcc5 {and Black wins, e.g.} 69. Rf7+ Kd8 70. Ng7 Qcd6 71. Nf5 Qde6 72. Rf8+ Kd7 73. g7 Q5xf5+ 74. Rxf5 Qxf5+ 75. Kh6 Qf7 76. Kh7 Qxh5+ 77. Kg8 Ke6 78. f4 Ke7 79. f5 Kf6 80. Kf8 Qf7#) 67... Qc6+ 68. Kh7 Qxf3 69. g8=N {The underpromotion does not help, but there was no salvation anywhere to be found anyway e.g.} (69. g8=Q Qh5+ 70. Nh6 Qb1+ 71. Rf5 Qbxf5+ 72. Kg7 Qhg6+ 73. Kh8 Qe5+ 74. Qg7+ Qgxg7#) (69. Rf7+ Kb6 $1 70. g8=Q Qh5+ 71. Nh6 Qb1+ 72. Kg7 Qbg6+ 73. Kf8 Qc5+ 74. Re7 Qc8+ 75. Re8 Qcxe8#) 69... Qh5+ 70. Ngh6 Qe5 $1 {Centralisation is often called for as the queen conrols so many important squares from the middle of the board.} 71. Ng7 (71. Rf7+ Qxf7+ 72. Nxf7 Qxf5+ $19) 71... Qxh4 72. Rf7+ Kb6 73. Ngf5 Qee4 74. Kg6 Qe6+ 75. Kg7 Qg5+ 76. Kf8 (76. Kh8 Qgg6 77. Rg7 Qe5 78. Ng8 Qgxf5 79. Ne7 Qf8+ 80. Kh7 Qh5#) 76... Qc8# 0-1

Carlsen's King

Round 5 report summary on Adams-Carlsen 0-1: The tournament’s wrecking ball came close to being stopped! Michael Adams held a nice advantage in the middlegame, but he shied from complications and allowed Magnus Carlsen to equalize. Perhaps hoping to save the half point as easily as possible, Adams allowed a seemingly harmless endgame. But the combined powers of Carlsen’s bishop and queen proved to be too much for the stranded white king. White shed a pawn, and then blundered into a lost K+P endgame. Carlsen didn’t forgive and continues his destruction of London.

[Event "4th London Chess Classic"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.12.06"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2710"] [BlackElo "2848"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "126"] [EventDate "2012.12.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 Bd7 9. h3 O-O 10. Be3 Be6 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nbd2 b4 13. c3 d5 14. cxb4 Bd6 15. b5 axb5 16. axb5 Rxa1 17. Qxa1 Nb4 18. d4 exd4 19. Nxd4 Qe8 20. Qa4 Nxe4 21. Nxe4 dxe4 22. Nc6 Nd5 23. Qxe4 Nxe3 24. Qxe3 Rf5 25. Nd4 Re5 26. Qb3 Rd5 27. Qc4 Qf7 28. b3 Qd7 29. Nf3 Rxb5 30. Ra1 Rd5 31. g3 h6 32. Qe4 Qe8 33. Kg2 Kf7 34. Ra2 Qd8 35. Re2 Qf6 36. h4 Qf5 37. Qc4 Rd3 38. Re3 Rxe3 39. fxe3 Qb1 40. e4 $2 Qb2+ 41. Kh3 Qf2 42. e5 Qxf3 43. exd6 Qh1+ 44. Kg4 Qd1+ 45. Kh3 Qxd6 46. h5 c5 47. g4 Qd4 48. Qf1+ Ke7 49. Qf3 Qd5 50. Qc3 e5 51. Kg3 Kd6 52. Qc4 Qxc4 53. bxc4 {Carlsen's King Pawn endings must be calculated very precisely:} e4 $1 { The e-pawn must be sacrificed to open an invasion road for the king.} (53... Ke6 $2 54. Kf3 Kf6 55. Ke4 Kg5 56. Kxe5 Kxg4 57. Kd5 Kxh5 58. Kxc5 g5 59. Kd5 g4 60. c5 g3 61. c6 g2 62. c7 g1=Q 63. c8=Q {is only drawn.}) 54. Kf4 e3 55. Kf3 (55. Kxe3 {is met by} Ke5 $1 56. Kf3 (56. Kd3 Kf4 $19) 56... Kd4 57. Kf4 Kxc4 58. Kf5 Kd5 ({But not} 58... Kd4 $4 59. Kg6 c4 60. Kxg7 c3 61. g5 c2 62. gxh6 c1=Q 63. h7 Qg5+ 64. Kf7 Qxh5+ $11 {and Black's king is just outside the winning zone.}) 59. Kg6 Ke6 60. Kxg7 c4 61. g5 c3 62. g6 c2 63. Kh8 c1=Q 64. g7 Qg5 65. g8=Q+ Qxg8+ 66. Kxg8 Kf6 $1 $19) 55... Ke6 $1 {The king walks around the minefield.} (55... Ke5 $2 56. Kxe3 Kf6 57. Ke4 Ke6 {is only drawn.}) 56. Ke2 Kf6 $1 {Carlsen's king continues to creep around e5.} 57. Kf3 Kg5 {Now it can finally invade.} 58. Kxe3 Kxg4 59. Ke4 Kxh5 60. Kd5 g5 61. Kxc5 g4 $1 62. Kd4 g3 63. Ke3 (63. c5 g2 64. c6 g1=Q+ $19) 63... Kg4 {And White resigned as both pawns would queen with check, but Black comes first:} (63... Kg4 64. c5 Kh3 ({However, not} 64... Kf5 $4 65. Kf3 $11) 65. c6 g2 66. c7 g1=Q+ $19) 0-1

Nakamura's knight attack

Round 5 report summary on Polgar-Nakamura 0-1: Hikaru Nakamura’s Archangel Spanish left him with the disadvantage of facing the two bishops as his quickly developed but somewhat vulnerable dark square bishop was traded for a knight. However, with some clever knight rerouting he forced the trade of one of his knights for the light squared bishop, and a curious opposite colored bishop struggle arose. Some unusually passive play by Judit Polgar handed the initiative to Hikaru, who never let go. He won a pawn and held the advantage, but never let go of the attack. After further misplay from Polgar, Black was able to organize a surprising mating attack and the game was over.

[Event "4th London Chess Classic"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.12.06"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Polgar, Judit"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2705"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2012.12.01"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.12.06"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. axb5 axb5 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. d4 Bxd4 11. Qxd4 d6 12. f4 Nc6 13. Qc3 Ne7 14. Nd2 O-O 15. e5 Nfd5 16. Bxd5 $146 Nxd5 17. Qd4 Bb7 18. Ne4 f5 19. Ng5 Qd7 20. Nf3 Ra8 21. Bd2 c5 22. Qd3 c4 23. Qd4 dxe5 24. Nxe5 Qc7 25. Rfd1 h6 26. Be1 Rfe8 27. Bd2 Red8 28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. h3 Ra2 30. Rb1 Nf6 31. Bb4 Be4 32. Re1 Bxc2 33. g4 Qa7 34. Qxa7 Rxa7 35. Nc6 Ra6 36. Ne7+ Kf7 37. g5 hxg5 38. fxg5 Ne4 39. Nxf5 Nxg5 40. Re7+ Kg6 41. Nd4 Bd3 42. Rb7 Nxh3+ 43. Kh2 Ng5 44. Nxb5 Rf6 45. Bc5 { Nakamura's knight attack Opposite colored bishops favor the attacker, when more pieces are still on the board:} Rf4 $1 {The rook joins the attack.} 46. Nc3 $2 {This loses directly, but Black should win in the long run anyway as his attack is very powerful, e.g.} (46. Be3 Rh4+ 47. Kg1 Rg4+ 48. Kf2 Ne4+ 49. Kf3 Kh5 $19) (46. Rb8 Rg4 47. Be3 c3 48. bxc3 Nf3+ 49. Kh3 Bf5 50. Nd6 Rb4+ 51. Kg3 Rxb8 52. Kxf3 Rd8 $19) (46. Kg3 Rf3+ 47. Kg2 Be4 48. Rb6+ Kh5 $19) 46... Rg4 $1 {The rook closes the mating net.} 47. Nd1 (47. Nd5 {is also met by} Bf1 $19) ({and} 47. Be3 {runs into} Nf3+ 48. Kh3 Kh5 49. Rb5+ g5 50. Rxg5+ Nxg5+ $19) 47... Bf1 (47... Bf1 48. Rb6+ (48. Ne3 Nf3+ 49. Kh1 Rg1#) 48... Kh5 49. Kh1 Nf3 50. Bf2 Bg2#) 0-1

Anand's activity

Round 5 report summary on Carlsen-Anand ½-½: Carlsen tried and tried and tried, despite only needing a draw. The third Ruy Lopez of the day gave the Norwegian little, and although Anand had some difficulties here and there, he was never in any serious danger. Eventually the game was drawn as Anand showed good defensive skill.

[Event "4th London Chess Classic"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.12.10"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2848"] [BlackElo "2775"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2012.12.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Nc3 d6 6. Na4 Bb6 7. Nxb6 axb6 8. c3 Bd7 9. Ba4 Ne7 10. Bc2 Ng6 11. h3 O-O 12. O-O h6 13. Re1 Re8 14. d4 Bc6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Qxd8 Rexd8 17. g3 Nd7 18. Be3 Nc5 19. Nd2 Nf8 20. f3 Nfe6 21. h4 Bb5 22. a3 Rd7 23. b4 Nd3 24. Reb1 Ba4 25. Bxa4 Rxa4 26. Kf1 b5 27. Ke2 Ra6 28. h5 c5 29. bxc5 Ndxc5 30. Rxb5 Na4 31. Rc1 Rc7 32. Nb1 f6 33. c4 b6 34. Rd5 Nac5 35. Rc2 Rc6 36. Rb2 Kh7 37. Rb4 g6 38. hxg6+ Kxg6 39. Rd2 h5 40. Nc3 Rxa3 41. Nd5 Kf7 42. Nxb6 Nb3 43. Rd7+ Ke8 44. Rb7 Nbd4+ 45. Bxd4 Nxd4+ 46. Kd1 Kd8 47. Rd7+ Ke8 48. Rb7 Kd8 {Anand's activity In endings with rooks and knights a slight initiative usually weighs heavily and activity counts for a lot:} 49. Nd5 $2 {Magnus misses the moment as his own king has no shelter now.} (49. Kc1 $1 {gives White excellent winning chances, e.g.} Ne6 (49... Rxf3 $4 {runs into a direct mating attack:} 50. Ra4 $18) (49... Nxf3 $6 50. Rg7 {(Baburin in Chess Today 4416)} Ne1 51. Rb5 Nd3+ 52. Kc2 Nf2 53. Nd5 Kc8 54. Kb2 Raa6 55. Nb4 $18) 50. Kb2 Rxf3 51. Ra4 Nc7 52. Raa7 Rxg3 (52... Rd3 $2 53. Rb8+ Ke7 54. Nd5+ Kd6 55. Nb4 Rxg3 56. Nxc6 Kxc6 57. c5 Rg7 58. Ra5 $18) 53. Rb8+ Ke7 54. Nd5+ Kd6 55. Rd8+ Kc5 56. Nxc7 Rb6+ 57. Kc2 {and White should be able to win in the long run, e.g.} Rg2+ 58. Rd2 Rxd2+ 59. Kxd2 Kd4 60. c5 Rc6 61. Ra4+ Kxc5 62. Ne8 h4 63. Ke3 h3 64. Kf2 Re6 65. Ng7 Rc6 66. Kg3 Kb5 67. Ra1 Rc3+ 68. Kh2 Kc5 69. Nf5 Rc4 70. Ng3 Kd6 71. Kxh3 $18) 49... Ra1+ 50. Kd2 Ra2+ 51. Rb2 Rxb2+ 52. Rxb2 Nxf3+ 53. Kd3 Ng5 54. Rb8+ $6 ({Baburin's suggestion} 54. Rb7 $5 {was the last chance to fight for the full point, but Black should be able to defend due to the reduced material, e.g.} Ke8 55. Rb5 (55. c5 Ne6 56. Nxf6+ Kd8 57. Rd7+ Kc8 58. Ke3 Rxc5 59. Rd5 Rc3+ $11) 55... Nh3 56. c5 Nf2+ 57. Ke3 Ng4+ 58. Ke2 {Knight check shadow!} Kd8 59. Ra5 Rc8 60. Nb4 Nh6 61. Kd3 Ng4 62. Kc4 f5 63. exf5 Ne3+ 64. Kb5 Nxf5 65. Nc6+ Kd7 66. Nxe5+ Ke6 67. Ng6 Nxg3 $11) 54... Kd7 55. Rb7+ Kd6 $1 {Now Anand activates his king of course.} 56. Nxf6 Ra6 {Anand finally brings his rook into play. Now Anand's army is so active, that it can't be defeated.} 57. Ne8+ Kc5 58. Rc7+ Kb4 59. Rb7+ Kc5 60. Rc7+ Kb4 61. Rb7+ 1/2-1/2

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.


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