CBM training: Endgames training with game from recent events

10/16/2012 – Carlsen's king, Leko's initiative, Matlakov's mighty knight,Nakamura's knock out blow – those are subjects our ChessBase Magazine columnist GM Karsten Müller has pulled up from games from topical games played at the highest level. There is a lot to learn and many a rating point to pick up if you go through Dr Müller's clear and precise instructions. And it's free of charge.

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Carlsen's King

In endings with rooks and same colored bishops the traditional values like space advantage, the more active king and initiative count for a lot:

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2012.10.08"] [Round "6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C00"] [WhiteElo "2843"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "131"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.10.08"] 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O a5 8. Re1 e5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nc4 Re8 11. Bf1 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. g3 Nb6 14. Nxb6 cxb6 15. Bg2 b5 16. a4 b4 17. Be3 Bc7 18. Qb3 h6 19. Qc4 bxc3 20. bxc3 e4 21. dxe4 Bxf3 22. Bxf3 Ne5 23. Qe2 Nxf3+ 24. Qxf3 Qd3 25. Kg2 Qxe4 26. Bd4 Qxf3+ 27. Kxf3 b6 28. Rab1 Rac8 {Carlsen's King In endings with rooks and same colored bishops the traditional values like space advantage, the more active king and initiative count for a lot:} 29. Re4 $1 {White's activity is extremely difficult to deal with as Black has no real counterplay.} g6 30. g4 $5 {Makes it difficult for Black to get rid off his potentially weak pawns.} Kf8 31. h4 Rxe4 32. Kxe4 Re8+ 33. Kd3 Re6 34. Be3 Kg7 35. Rb5 Bd8 36. h5 $1 {The typical lever to undermine Black's structure.} Rd6+ 37. Kc4 Rc6+ 38. Kd5 Re6 (38... Rxc3 $4 {runs into} 39. Bd4+ $18) 39. Bd4+ Kf8 40. f4 Bc7 $6 {Without his king Black can not deal with the coming invasion of White's king.} (40... Ke7 { makes it more difficult for Carlsen's king, e.g.} 41. c4 (41. f5 Rd6+ 42. Ke4 gxh5 43. gxh5 Rc6) 41... Kd7 42. f5 gxf5 43. gxf5 Rd6+ 44. Ke4 Rc6 {and in both cases Black can still offer tough resistance, but it is hard to believe that he can really defend in the long run.}) 41. f5 $1 {Magnus prepares to open roads and takes away e6 from Black's rook.} Rd6+ 42. Ke4 Rc6 43. Rb1 $1 { Magnus redirects his rook so that it can operate quickly on both wings.} Ke8 ( 43... gxh5 44. gxh5 Rc4 {is met by} 45. Kd5 Rxa4 46. Kc6 Bb8 47. Rg1 Rc4+ 48. Kxb6 $18) (43... g5 44. Kd5 Rd6+ 45. Kc4 Ke7 46. Re1+ Kd7 47. Kb5 $18) 44. hxg6 fxg6 45. Rh1 $1 {Typical play on two wings. The defender has more problems to bring his forces to the other front than the attacker.} Kf7 46. Kd5 Rd6+ 47. Kc4 gxf5 $6 {Usually it is good, if the defender exchanges pawns. But this is an exception as in the following the whole kingside is exchanged and Black has no means of creating counterplay there.} (47... g5 $1 {is more tenacious, but White should be winning anyway in the long run, e.g.} 48. Kb5 Bd8 49. Re1 Bf6 50. Bxb6 Bxc3 (50... h5 51. gxh5 Rd5+ 52. Kc6 Rxf5 53. c4 g4 54. Rg1 $18) 51. Rc1 Bb4 52. Rc7+ Kf6 53. Rh7 Rd5+ 54. Kc6 Rd6+ 55. Kb7 Rd2 56. Rxh6+ Kf7 57. Rh7+ Kg8 58. Rc7 Rg2 59. Rc4 $18) 48. gxf5 Bd8 49. f6 $1 {This breaks the lines of communication in Black's camp. Now it is over as Black's king is too far away from the queenside.} Bxf6 (49... Kg6 50. Rg1+ Kf7 51. Rg7+ Ke6 52. Rh7 $18) 50. Rxh6 Be7 51. Rxd6 Bxd6 52. Kb5 Ke6 53. Bxb6 Kd7 54. c4 Kc8 55. Bxa5 Kb7 56. Bb4 ({Of course not} 56. c5 $4 Bxc5 57. Kxc5 Ka8 $11) 56... Bf4 57. c5 Ka7 58. c6 Kb8 59. a5 Ka7 60. a6 Ka8 61. Bc5 Bb8 62. Kc4 Bc7 63. Kd5 Bd8 64. Ke6 Bc7 65. Kd7 Ba5 66. Be7 {An impressive performance by Magnus Carlsen!} (66. Be7 Ka7 67. Bd8 Kxa6 68. Bxa5 Kxa5 69. c7 $18) 1-0

A slight initiative weighs heavily

In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight activity is very important as both pieces do not like permanent passivity. So a slight initiative often counts for a lot:

[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.09.22"] [Round "2"] [White "Leko, Peter"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Ne2 b4 11. Bxc5 Nxc5 12. Ned4 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 Qb6 14. a3 Rb8 15. Be2 a5 16. axb4 axb4 17. O-O O-O 18. Qe3 Ba6 19. Bxa6 Nxa6 20. Qxb6 Rxb6 21. Kf2 Nb8 22. Ra8 Nc6 23. Rfa1 f6 24. Ke3 fxe5 25. fxe5 h6 26. h4 Rb7 27. h5 Rc7 28. Rxf8+ Kxf8 29. Ra8+ Ke7 {A slight initiative weighs heavily In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight activity is very important as both pieces do not like permanent passivity. So a slight initiative often counts for a lot:} 30. g4 $1 {Leko brings another attacker forward.} Nd8 31. Nd4 Nc6 32. Nf3 (32. Rg8 $5 Nxe5 33. Rxg7+ Nf7 34. Rg6 e5 35. Nc6+ $18 {is also very strong.}) 32... Kf7 $6 {The king is not safe here. But good advice is hard to give, e.g.} (32... Nd8 33. Nd4 Nc6 34. Rg8 Nxe5 (34... Kf7 $4 35. Rxg7+ Kxg7 36. Nxe6+ Kf7 37. Nxc7 $18) 35. Rxg7+ Nf7 36. Rg6 e5 37. Nc6+ Kd7 38. Nxb4 $18 {(Baburin in Chess Today 4337)}) (32... Ra7 33. Rc8 Nd8 34. Nd4 $16) 33. g5 $1 {Now White's initiative brings direct dividends.} hxg5 (33... b3 34. c3 Ra7 35. Rc8 Ra6 36. g6+ Ke7 37. Rc7+ Kf8 38. Rf7+ Kg8 39. Kf4 Ra4+ 40. Kg3 Ra6 41. Rc7 Kf8 42. Rc8+ Ke7 43. Rg8 $18) 34. Nxg5+ Ke7 35. Rg8 Nxe5 36. Rxg7+ Kd6 37. Rxc7 Kxc7 38. Nxe6+ Kd6 39. Nf4 Kc6 40. Nd3 Ng4+ 41. Kf4 Nf6 42. Kg5 (42. Kg5 Nh7+ 43. Kh6 Nf8 44. Nxb4+ $18) 1-0

Matlakov's mighty knight

In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight activity is usually of crucial importance:

[Event "St Petersburg Rapid Cup 2012"] [Site "St Petersburg RUS"] [Date "2012.10.07"] [Round "9.4"] [White "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2691"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2012.10.05"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.10.07"] 1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 d5 6. Nc3 O-O 7. e3 Qe7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. h3 Nb4 11. Bb1 Ne4 12. Qc1 c6 13. O-O Ng5 14. Nxg5 Qxg5 15. f4 Qe7 16. f5 f6 17. Qd2 Bd7 18. a3 Na6 19. e4 dxe4 20. Ba2+ Kh8 21. Rae1 Qd8 22. Rxe4 Be8 23. Rfe1 Bf7 24. Bxf7 Rxf7 25. d5 h6 26. Qe3 Qb6 27. dxc6 bxc6 28. b4 Nc7 29. Kh2 Qxe3 30. R1xe3 a5 31. Rd3 axb4 32. axb4 Rb8 33. Rc4 Na6 34. Rdd4 Rfb7 35. Rxc6 Nxb4 36. Rcd6 Rb6 37. Ne2 Nc6 38. Rd2 Ne7 39. Rxb6 Rxb6 40. g4 Kg8 41. Nf4 Rb8 42. Rd7 {Matlakov's mighty knight In endings with rook and knight against rook and knight activity is usually of crucial importance:} Re8 $2 {Passive defense will not do.} ({The active} 42... Rb2+ 43. Kg3 Rb3+ { holds, e.g.} 44. Kh4 (44. Kf2 Rb2+ 45. Ke3 Rb3+ 46. Kd2 Rb2+ 47. Kc3 Rf2 48. Ne6 Kf7 49. Nxg7 Rf3+ $11) 44... Re3 $11) 43. Ne6 Kf7 44. Kg3 Rc8 (44... h5 { is met by} 45. Nf4 $1 hxg4 46. Ng6 {when the knight dominates:} gxh3 47. Kxh3 Kg8 48. Rxe7 $18) 45. Nxg7 Rc3+ 46. Kh4 Kxg7 (46... Ra3 47. Ne6 Rf3 48. Rd8 Nxf5+ 49. gxf5 Rxf5 50. Rd6 $18) 47. Rxe7+ Kg8 48. Kh5 Rxh3+ 49. Kg6 Kf8 50. Rf7+ Kg8 51. Rb7 Kf8 52. Kxf6 Ke8 53. Rb8+ (53. Rb8+ Kd7 54. Kg7 Rg3 55. Rb4 h5 56. f6 Rxg4+ 57. Rxg4 hxg4 58. f7 g3 59. f8=Q $18) 1-0

Nakamura's knock out blow

Often it is not easy to convert a space advantage, when there are no inroads:

[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.10.02"] [Round "10"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2730"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. h3 h6 11. Re1 Rd8 12. Nd4 Bf8 13. Bf3 c6 14. b4 Nbd7 15. g3 Nb6 16. Bg2 a5 17. bxa5 Rxa5 18. a4 Nbd7 19. Nb3 Ra6 20. a5 Nc5 21. Nxc5 dxc5 22. Ra4 Nd5 23. Nxd5 cxd5 24. Bf4 Bd7 25. Raa1 Bc6 26. Bc7 Rc8 27. Bb6 Bd6 28. h4 Raa8 29. Bh3 Rcb8 30. c3 Kf8 31. h5 Re8 32. Bg2 Rxe1+ 33. Rxe1 Rc8 34. Rd1 Be7 35. f4 f6 36. Kf2 d4 37. Bh3 Ra8 38. c4 Bd6 39. Re1 Re8 40. Be6 Re7 41. g4 Re8 42. f5 Re7 43. Re2 Re8 44. Rb2 Ra8 45. Rb1 Ke8 46. Re1 Be5 {Nakamura's knock out blow Often it is not easy to convert a space advantage, when there are no inroads:} 47. g5 $3 {A very creative solution! Black cannot prevent the opening of the kingside.} hxg5 (47... Bf4 48. gxf6 gxf6 49. Ra1 Bd6 50. Rg1 $18) 48. h6 gxh6 49. Rxe5 $1 {The real point. White's resulting passed f-pawn will decide the day.} fxe5 50. f6 Bd7 51. f7+ Ke7 52. Bxd7 Kxd7 (52... Kxf7 { does not help due to} 53. Bf5 Kf6 54. Be4 Rb8 55. Bxc5 h5 56. Kg3 $18 { (Baburin in Chess Today 4347)}) 53. Bxc5 h5 54. f8=Q Rxf8+ 55. Bxf8 h4 56. Bh6 g4 57. Bg5 h3 58. Bh4 Kd6 (58... h2 59. Kg2 e4 60. dxe4 d3 61. Bg5 $18) 59. Bg3 Ke6 60. Ke2 ({An alternative win is} 60. Bh2 Kd6 61. Kg3 Kc5 62. Kxg4 e4 63. dxe4 d3 64. Kf3 Kxc4 65. e5 Kc3 66. Bf4 h2 67. Kg2 $18) 60... Kd6 61. Kd2 Kc5 62. Bxe5 Kb4 63. Kc2 Kxa5 64. Kb3 Kb6 65. Bxd4+ 1-0

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.

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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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