CBM training: Learning from the Chess Olympiad

9/11/2012 – The biggest chess event of the year is over – but not for us. GM Karsten Müller, our ChessBase Magazine columnist, has been busy looking at the endings in literally hundreds of games played in Istanbul and come up with a lot of instructive positions. In this installment he shows us Volokitin's breakthrough, a race of passed pawns, and of rook pawns, and finally Oswaldo Zambrana's Octopus.

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Volokitin's Breakthrough

Christoph Pragua drew my attention to the following beautiful breakthrough:

[Event "81st ch-UKR 2012"] [Site "Kiev UKR"] [Date "2012.07.27"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Vovk, Y."] [Black "Volokitin, And"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D87"] [WhiteElo "2562"] [BlackElo "2704"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2012.07.27"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "UKR"] [EventCategory "17"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2012.07.30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8. Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O Na5 11. Bd3 b6 12. Rc1 e6 13. Qd2 Bb7 14. Bg5 Qd6 15. e5 Qd7 16. Qe3 Rac8 17. Ng3 cxd4 18. cxd4 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Nc6 20. Be4 Rc8 21. h4 Nb4 22. Rxc8+ Qxc8 23. Bf6 Bxe4 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Nxe4 Nd5 26. Nd6 Qc3 27. Qxc3 Nxc3 28. Nc8 a5 29. Nxb6 Nxa2 30. Kf1 Nc3 31. Nc4 a4 32. Na3 Kh6 33. g4 Kg7 34. Ke1 {Volokitin's Breakthrough Christoph Pragua drew my attention to the following beautiful breakthrough:} h5 $1 35. Kd2 ({For} 35. g5 Kf8 36. Kd2 Nd5 $19 {see the line 35...Nd5.}) (35. gxh5 gxh5 $19 {opens the roads on the kingside.}) 35... g5 $3 ({Unfortunately the prosaic} 35... Nd5 {wins as well, e.g.} 36. g5 (36. gxh5 gxh5 $19) 36... Kf8 37. Nc4 Ke7 38. Ne3 (38. Kc2 Kd7 39. Kb2 Kc6 40. Ka3 Nf4 41. Kxa4 Kd5 42. Kb3 Kxd4 $19) 38... Kd7 39. Kd3 (39. Nxd5 exd5 40. Kc3 Ke6 41. Kb4 Kf5 42. Kxa4 Ke4 $19) 39... a3 40. Kc2 Nb4+ 41. Kb3 a2 42. Kb2 Kc6 43. Ka1 Kb5 44. Kb2 Nc6 45. Kxa2 Nxd4 46. Kb2 Kb4 47. Ng2 Nf3 48. Kc2 Kc4 49. Kd1 Kd3 $19) 36. hxg5 ({After} 36. Kxc3 gxh4 $19 {White's king cannot reach the square of the h-pawn and the knight is also too far away.}) 36... h4 {White's king can move into the square of the h-pawn now, but it does not help as Black will invade on the kingside anyway.} 37. Ke1 (37. Ke3 h3 38. Kf3 Ne4 $5 $19) 37... h3 38. Kf1 Kg6 39. f4 Nd5 40. Kf2 Nxf4 (40... Nxf4 41. Kg3 Kxg5 42. Nc2 h2 43. Kxh2 Kxg4 44. Kg1 Kf3 45. Kf1 Ke4 46. Ke1 Kd3 47. Kd1 Kc3 48. Kc1 Ne2+ $19) 0-1

Race of the Passed Pawns

Such races must be calculated precisely:

[Event "87th ch-FRA 2012"] [Site "Pau FRA"] [Date "2012.08.17"] [Round "5"] [White "Istratescu, A."] [Black "Maze, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C06"] [WhiteElo "2647"] [BlackElo "2573"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "162"] [EventDate "2012.08.13"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "FRA"] [EventCategory "15"] 1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. c3 c5 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Ngf3 Be7 8. a3 a5 9. h4 c4 10. Bc2 b5 11. Nf1 Qc7 12. Ng3 h6 13. Nh5 Bf8 14. Rh3 g6 15. Nf4 Nb6 16. Nh2 Ne7 17. Ng4 Bd7 18. Nf6+ Kd8 19. h5 g5 20. Ne2 Ng8 21. Nxd7 Qxd7 22. Rf3 Bg7 23. a4 f5 24. axb5 Ne7 25. b3 Nec8 26. Ba3 Bf8 27. Bxf8 Rxf8 28. g4 f4 29. bxc4 Nxc4 30. Nc1 N8b6 31. Nb3 Qe7 32. Bd3 Rg8 33. Rh3 Kc7 34. Kf1 Kb8 35. Kg2 Rc8 36. Bxc4 Nxc4 37. Qb1 Rg8 38. Nc5 Kc7 39. Ra4 Kb6 40. Rh1 Rac8 41. Re1 Rxc5 42. dxc5+ Qxc5 43. Qh7 Qf8 44. Kg1 Qg7 45. Qd3 Qc7 46. Qd4+ Kb7 47. b6 Qc6 48. Rea1 Ra8 49. Qd3 Nxe5 50. Qh7+ Kxb6 51. Qb1+ Kc7 52. Rxa5 Rxa5 53. Rxa5 Nf3+ 54. Kg2 d4 55. Qb5 Ne5+ 56. Qxc6+ Nxc6 57. Ra2 d3 58. Kf3 Ne5+ 59. Ke4 Nxg4 60. Kxd3 Nf6 61. Kd4 g4 62. Ra7+ Kd8 63. Rg7 g3 64. fxg3 Nxh5 65. Rg8+ Ke7 66. gxf4 Nxf4 67. Rg4 Kd6 68. Ke4 Nd5 69. Rg3 Kc5 70. Kd3 Nf4+ 71. Kc2 h5 72. Rg5+ Kd6 73. c4 e5 74. Kc3 h4 75. Kb4 h3 76. Rg1 e4 77. Kb5 e3 78. c5+ Ke5 79. c6 Nd5 80. Rg5+ Ke4 {Race of the Passed Pawns Such races must be calculated precisely:} 81. Rxd5 $5 {The best try to win.} (81. Rg1 e2 82. Kc4 Nc7 83. Rh1 h2 84. Kc3 Ke3 85. Kc4 $11) 81... h2 $2 {Now the rook can stop both black pawns.} (81... h2 $2 82. Rd1 e2 83. Ra1 Kf3 84. c7 Kf2 85. c8=Q e1=Q 86. Qf5+ $18) (81... Kxd5 $2 {is also wrong due to} 82. c7 {and Black can queen one of his pawns, but the new born queen is lost immediately in both cases:} e2 (82... h2 83. c8=Q h1=Q 84. Qc6+ $18) 83. c8=Q e1=Q 84. Qd8+ Ke4 85. Qe8+ Kf3 86. Qxe1 {(Chess Today 4301)} h2 (86... Kg2 87. Qe4+ Kg1 88. Qg4+ Kh2 89. Qf3 Kg1 90. Qg3+ Kh1 91. Qf2 h2 92. Qf1#) 87. Qh1+ $18) ({Only} 81... e2 $1 {draws:} 82. c7 (82. Rd8 h2 83. c7 h1=Q 84. c8=Q Qb1+ $11) 82... e1=Q 83. c8=Q Qf1+ 84. Kc6 Qf6+ 85. Rd6 Qc3+ 86. Kd7 Qxc8+ 87. Kxc8 Kf3 $11) 1-0

Race of the Rook's Pawns

Pawn races must always be calculated very precisely:

[Event "87th ch-FRA 2012"] [Site "Pau FRA"] [Date "2012.08.23"] [Round "10"] [White "Lagarde, M."] [Black "Bacrot, E."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C46"] [WhiteElo "2505"] [BlackElo "2713"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2012.08.13"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "FRA"] [EventCategory "15"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.08.23"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Bc5 4. Nxe5 Nxe5 5. d4 Bd6 6. dxe5 Bxe5 7. f4 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 d6 9. Bc4 Qh4+ 10. g3 Qf6 11. Qd4 Ne7 12. Qxf6 gxf6 13. e5 fxe5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. O-O Be6 16. Bxe6 fxe6 17. Bg5 Rg8 18. Bf6 e4 19. Rae1 Rg4 20. h3 Rxg3+ 21. Kh2 Rg6 22. Rxe4 Nd5 23. Bh4 b5 24. Rf5 Nxc3 25. Re3 b4 26. Rh5 h6 27. Rg3 Kf7 28. Rxg6 Kxg6 29. Re5 Kf7 30. Rh5 a5 31. Rxh6 Nxa2 32. Rf6+ Ke7 33. Rf1+ Kd6 34. Bf6 a4 35. h4 Nc3 36. Bg7 a3 37. h5 a2 38. h6 {Race of the Rook's Pawns Pawn races must always be calculated very precisely:} Ra5 $1 {Black's rook must be activated.} ({The greedy} 38... a1=Q $2 {spoils it due to} 39. Rxa1 Rxa1 40. Bf8+ $1 Kd5 41. h7 b3 42. cxb3 Ra2+ 43. Kh3 Ra1 44. Kh2 $11) 39. Bf8+ (39. Ra1 {can be met by} Ke7 40. Bxc3 bxc3 41. h7 Rh5+ 42. Kg3 Rxh7 43. Rxa2 Rf7 44. Ra3 e5 45. Rxc3 Ke6 $19) 39... Kc6 40. Ra1 (40. Bxb4 {runs into} Rh5+ 41. Kg3 Nb1 $19) 40... Rh5+ 41. Kg3 Kb5 42. Kg4 Rh2 43. Kg3 $2 {This retreat is too slow.} (43. Bg7 $1 {offers the best practical chances:} Kc4 $1 ( {However, not} 43... e5 $2 44. Kg3 Rxc2 45. h7 Ne4+ 46. Kg4 Rh2 (46... Rg2+ 47. Kf5 Nd6+ 48. Ke6 Rh2 49. h8=Q Rxh8 50. Bxh8 b3 51. Bxe5 Nc4 52. Bc3 $11) 47. h8=Q Rxh8 48. Bxh8 b3 49. Bxe5 Nd6 50. Kf3 {and White draws.}) 44. Kg3 (44. Bxc3 $2 Kxc3 45. Rxa2 Rxh6 $19) (44. Kg5 $2 Rxc2 45. h7 Rg2+ 46. Kf4 Rh2 47. h8=Q Rxh8 48. Bxh8 b3 $19) 44... Rxc2 45. h7 b3 46. h8=Q b2 {and White's queen is so clumsily placed that she can do no real harm.} 47. Rxa2 b1=Q 48. Rxc2 Qxc2 49. Qh4+ Kb3 {and Black should win in the long run.}) 43... Rxc2 44. h7 Ne4+ $1 {Black's rook must stop the h-pawn as} (44... b3 $2 45. h8=Q b2 46. Qe5+ Nd5 47. Qe1 bxa1=Q 48. Qxa1 {is only drawn.}) 45. Kf4 (45. Kh3 {runs into} Ng5+ $19) 45... Rh2 46. Rxa2 (46. Kxe4 b3 47. Bg7 Rxh7 48. Be5 c5 49. Kd3 Rh3+ 50. Kd2 c4 51. Re1 Kb4 52. Bd6+ Ka4 53. Be5 Ka3 54. Bd6+ Kb2 55. Be5+ c3+ $19) 46... Rh4+ $1 47. Ke5 Nd6 0-1

Oswaldo Zambrana's Octopus

Sometimes a knight can dominate a bishop:

[Event "40th Olympiad Open"] [Site "Istanbul TUR"] [Date "2012.08.28"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Zambrana, Oswaldo"] [Black "Movsesian, Sergei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B46"] [WhiteElo "2471"] [BlackElo "2698"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2012.08.28"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.08.29"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 Bb4 8. Bd3 e5 9. Nxc6 dxc6 10. f5 h5 11. Qf3 Ng4 12. Bd2 Bc5 13. h3 Nf2 14. Rf1 Nxd3+ 15. cxd3 Qh4+ 16. g3 Qe7 17. O-O-O b5 18. Kb1 f6 19. Rc1 Bb7 20. Be3 Bd6 21. g4 hxg4 22. Qxg4 O-O-O 23. Nd5 Qf7 24. Bb6 Rd7 25. Qg1 Rxh3 26. Rxc6+ Bxc6 27. Rc1 Qh5 28. Rxc6+ Rc7 29. Qc1 Rh1 30. Bg1 Rxg1 31. Rxc7+ Bxc7 32. Qxg1 Qe2 33. Qc1 Qxd3+ 34. Ka1 Qc4 35. Qxc4 bxc4 36. Kb1 Kd7 37. Kc2 Ba5 38. Ne3 Ke7 39. Nxc4 Bc7 40. b4 Kf7 41. Kd3 g6 42. fxg6+ Kxg6 43. Ne3 Bb6 44. Nf5 Kg5 45. a4 Kf4 46. Ne7 Bd8 {Oswaldo Zambrana's Octopus Sometimes a knight can dominate a bishop:} 47. Nd5+ $1 {The octopus knight dominates the bishop.} (47. Nc6 $2 Bc7 {lets the bishop escape:} 48. a5 (48. Ne7 Bd6 49. Nd5+ Kg5 50. b5 (50. a5 f5 $11) 50... axb5 51. axb5 f5 52. b6 f4 $11 ({However, not} 52... fxe4+ $2 53. Kxe4 Bc5 54. b7 Bd6 55. Nb6 Kf6 56. Kd5 Bc7 57. Kc6 Bb8 58. Nd7+ $18)) 48... f5 49. b5 fxe4+ 50. Ke2 axb5 51. a6 Bb6 $11) 47... Kg5 (47... Kf3 {does not help due to} 48. a5 f5 49. exf5 e4+ 50. Kd4 e3 51. Nxe3 $18) 48. a5 $3 {The coming breakthrough is White's point.} (48. b5 $2 axb5 49. axb5 f5 50. exf5 Kxf5 {is only drawn of course.}) 48... f5 (48... Bxa5 49. bxa5 f5 50. exf5 Kxf5 51. Nb4 $18) 49. b5 fxe4+ 50. Kxe4 axb5 (50... Bxa5 51. bxa6 $18) 51. a6 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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