CBM training: Memorable endgames from the Tal Memorial

6/13/2012 – Our ChessBase Magazin endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller has been following the games from the Tal Memorial very keenly, and has picked up four examples of instructive manoeuvres – a fortress by McShane, a successful opposite colored bishop attack by Grischuk, counterplay by Morozevich and an active army mobilized by Aronian. Study these examples and improve your endgame skills.

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McShane's fortress

Simplifications into pawn endings must always be calculated carefully:

[Event "7th Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.12"] [Round "4"] [White "McShane, L."] [Black "Nakamura, H."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B85"] [WhiteElo "2706"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "158"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.06.12"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 a6 7. f4 Qc7 8. O-O Be7 9. Kh1 O-O 10. a4 Nc6 11. Be3 Bd7 12. Nb3 Na5 13. e5 Ne8 14. Nxa5 Qxa5 15. Ne4 Qc7 16. a5 Bc6 17. Bb6 Qb8 18. Qd4 d5 $16 19. Nc5 $5 Qc8 $146 20. Bf3 g6 21. c4 Ng7 22. cxd5 exd5 23. Rac1 Bd8 24. Rfd1 Ne6 25. Qd2 Bxb6 26. axb6 Qd8 27. Bxd5 Nxc5 28. Rxc5 Qxb6 29. b4 Rad8 30. Qe1 Bxd5 31. Rcxd5 Rxd5 32. Rxd5 Rc8 33. h3 Qe6 34. Rd4 h5 35. Kh2 Qf5 36. Qh4 Kg7 37. Rd6 Rc4 38. Qf6+ Qxf6 39. exf6+ Kh6 40. Rb6 Rxf4 41. Rxb7 Rxf6 42. b5 axb5 43. Rxb5 Rf4 44. Kg3 g5 45. Rb6+ Kg7 46. Kh2 Ra4 47. Kg1 Ra3 48. Kf2 f6 49. Rb7+ Kg6 50. Rb5 Ra2+ 51. Kf1 Rd2 52. Ra5 h4 53. Rb5 f5 54. Rb6+ Kf7 55. Ra6 Rd4 56. Kf2 Re4 57. Rb6 Re6 58. Rb5 Kf6 59. Ra5 Rd6 60. Ra2 Ke5 61. Re2+ Kf4 62. Ra2 Rd4 63. Rb2 Rd3 64. Ra2 g4 65. Ra4+ Kg5 66. hxg4 fxg4 67. Ra5+ Kf4 68. Ra4+ Kf5 69. Ra5+ Ke4 {McShane's fortress Simplifications into pawn endings must always be calculated carefully:} 70. Ra4+ $1 Rd4 71. Rxd4+ Kxd4 72. Ke2 Ke4 {McShane has taken the correct decision as Black has the opposition, but can not convert it due to White's stalemate defenses.} 73. Ke1 Kd3 (73... Ke3 {is answered by} 74. Kf1 g3 75. Kg1 $1 $11 {and White draws as in the game.} ({However, not} 75. Ke1 $4 h3 76. Kf1 h2 77. Ke1 h1=Q#)) 74. Kf1 Kd2 75. Kf2 g3+ (75... Kd1 {is met by} 76. Kf1 $1 $11 (76. Ke3 $2 Ke1 77. Kf4 g3 78. Kg4 Kf2 79. Kh3 Kg1 $19)) 76. Kg1 { Here passive defense is again called for as} ({the active} 76. Kf3 $2 {runs into} Ke1 77. Kg4 Kf2 78. Kh3 Kg1 79. Kxh4 Kxg2 $19) 76... Ke1 77. Kh1 h3 $5 { The last trick.} 78. Kg1 $1 ({Of course not} 78. gxh3 $4 Kf2 79. h4 g2+ 80. Kh2 g1=Q+ 81. Kh3 Qg2#) 78... h2+ 79. Kh1 Kf2 {stalemate} 1/2-1/2

Grischuk opens the gates

Opposite colored bishops favor the attacker, if there are more pieces on the board like rooks or queens:

[Event "7th Mikhail Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.08"] [Round "1"] [White "Grischuk, A."] [Black "McShane, L."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2761"] [BlackElo "2706"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "125"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [EventCategory "22"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2012.06.11"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. e3 a6 8. d4 Ba7 9. h3 Rb8 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. b3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 b5 13. Qe2 bxc4 14. Qxc4 a5 15. Bb2 Bd7 16. Rac1 Bc5 17. Rfd1 Re8 18. Na4 Bxa4 19. Qxa4 Bb6 20. Bc6 Re7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Qg4+ Kh8 23. Rc4 Re5 24. Rd5 Qe7 25. Qf3 Rg8 26. Kg2 Rg6 27. b4 axb4 28. Rxb4 Kg7 29. a4 Qe6 30. h4 f5 31. Rf4 Rf6 32. Kh2 h6 33. h5 Kf8 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Kh2 Kf8 36. Kg2 Kg7 37. Qd1 Kf8 38. Kf1 Qc8 39. Qd3 Kg7 40. Kg2 Rxd5 41. Bxd5 Qe8 42. Rxf5 Rxf5 43. Qxf5 Qe7 44. Bb3 Qf6 45. Qd5 c5 46. Bc4 Ba5 47. f4 Qe7 48. Kf2 Bc3 49. Ke2 Bb4 50. g4 Qd7 {Grischuk opens the gates Opposite colored bishops favor the attacker, if there are more pieces on the board like rooks or queens:} 51. Kd3 $1 {White's king is safe and even part of the attacking army, while the days of Black's king are numbered, if the queens remain on the board. But if Black exchanges queens then White's passed a-pawn will decide the day.} Qe7 (51... Qe6 52. Qxe6 fxe6 53. Bxe6 Kf6 54. f5 Ke5 ( 54... Kg5 55. Kc4 Bd2 56. Kb5 $18) 55. g5 hxg5 56. h6 Kf6 57. Bg8 g4 58. h7 Kg7 59. f6+ Kh8 60. Kc4 $18 (60. f7 $2 d5 61. f8=Q c4+ $11)) (51... Qxg4 $2 {runs into} 52. Qxf7+ Kh8 53. Qf8+ Kh7 54. Kc2 Qg2+ 55. Kb3 $18) 52. g5 hxg5 (52... Qe6 53. gxh6+ Kh7 54. Qg5 Qxh6 55. Qf5+ Kh8 56. Bxf7 $18) 53. fxg5 Be1 54. g6 $5 {Grischuk opens the gates.} fxg6 ({After} 54... f5 55. Qf7+ Qxf7 56. gxf7 { White just has too many passed pawns, e.g.} Bh4 57. h6+ Kf8 58. h7 Bf6 59. a5 $18) 55. Qg8+ Kf6 56. Qxg6+ Ke5 57. h6 d5 58. Qg7+ Qf6 (58... Qxg7 59. hxg7 dxc4+ 60. Kxc4 $18) 59. Bxd5 $5 {This small combination is best.} ({But the simple} 59. Qxf6+ Kxf6 60. Bxd5 {wins as well, e.g.} Kg6 61. Kc4 Bb4 62. Kb5 Kxh6 63. a5 $18) 59... Bh4 (59... Qxg7 60. hxg7 Kxd5 61. g8=Q+ $18) 60. Kc4 Kd6 61. Qxf6+ Bxf6 62. a5 Kc7 63. h7 1-0

Morozevich's counterplay

Rook endings often contain tactical tricks:

[Event "7th Mikhail Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.09"] [Round "2"] [White "Morozevich, A."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E35"] [WhiteElo "2769"] [BlackElo "2835"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [EventCategory "22"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2012.06.11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8. dxc5 g5 9. Bg3 Ne4 10. e3 Qa5 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. Nge2 Ndxc5 13. a3 Bxc3+ 14. Nxc3 Nxc3 15. Qxc3 Qxc3+ 16. Rxc3 Ne4 17. Rc7 Nxg3 18. hxg3 Rb8 19. Bb5+ Kf8 20. Kd2 Kg7 21. Rhc1 Rd8 22. Re7 Kf6 23. Rcc7 Rf8 24. b4 a6 25. Bd3 a5 26. bxa5 Ra8 27. Bb5 Rxa5 28. a4 Ra8 29. Kc3 h5 30. Kb4 h4 31. Re8 Rxe8 32. Bxe8 Be6 33. Bb5 d4 34. gxh4 gxh4 35. exd4 Bd5 36. f3 Rg8 37. Rc2 Ke7 38. a5 Kd6 39. Bc4 Bxc4 40. Rxc4 Rxg2 41. Rc5 h3 42. Rh5 h2 43. Kc4 Rc2+ 44. Kd3 Ra2 45. Ke4 f5+ 46. Kf4 Kd5 47. Rxf5+ Kxd4 48. Rh5 Rg2 49. Rh7 Kd3 50. Ke5 Ke2 51. f4 Kf1 52. f5 Ra2 { Morozevich's counterplay Rook endings often contain tactical tricks:} 53. f6 $5 ({However, not} 53. Rxb7 $4 Re2+ 54. Kf4 h1=Q 55. Rb1+ Re1 $19) 53... Rxa5+ ({One way to meet} 53... Kg1 {is} 54. f7 Rf2 55. Ke6 h1=Q 56. Rxh1+ Kxh1 57. Ke7 Re2+ $11) 54. Ke6 Ra6+ 55. Ke7 Rxf6 (55... Kg1 {does not help as Black's king has no shelter after} 56. Rg7+ Kf2 (56... Kh1 $4 {even loses due to} 57. f7 Ra8 58. Rg8 $18) 57. Rh7 $11) 56. Kxf6 Kg1 57. Ke5 h1=Q 58. Rxh1+ Kxh1 59. Kd4 1/2-1/2

Aronian's Active Army

Activity counts for a lot. Especially the king should usually be activated in the endgame:

[Event "7th Mikhail Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.08"] [Round "1"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "Nakamura, Hi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2825"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [EventCategory "22"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2012.06.11"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. d3 O-O 9. Be3 f5 10. Rc1 Kh8 11. a3 Bf6 12. Bc5 Re8 13. b4 Be6 14. Re1 Qd7 15. e4 a6 16. Bh3 g6 17. Be3 Qg7 18. Ng5 Bg8 19. Nf3 f4 20. Bxb6 cxb6 21. Nd5 g5 22. Bd7 Re6 23. Bxe6 Bxe6 24. Nxf6 Qxf6 25. Rxc6 bxc6 26. Qa1 a5 27. Qxe5 Qxe5 28. Nxe5 axb4 29. axb4 c5 30. bxc5 bxc5 31. gxf4 gxf4 {Aronian's Active Army Activity counts for a lot. Especially the king should usually be activated in the endgame:} 32. Kg2 $1 {Aronian has judged correctly that Black's counterplay will lead nowhere.} (32. Rc1 $6 {is less precise, but should win in the long run as well due to White's superiority on the dark squares, e.g.} Bh3 33. Nf7+ (33. Rxc5 $4 Ra1+ 34. Rc1 Rxc1#) 33... Kg7 34. Ng5 Bc8 35. h4 h6 36. Nf3 Ra3 (36... Ra5 37. d4 Bb7 38. d5 Kf6 39. Rb1 Ba8 40. Rb6+ Kg7 41. Kg2 $18) 37. Rxc5 Rxd3 38. Ne5 Rd8 39. Kg2 $18) 32... Ra3 33. Kf3 c4 34. Kxf4 cxd3 (34... c3 {is just met by} 35. Rc1 Kg7 36. d4 {and Black's passed c-pawn is not dangerous at all, what can not be said about White's passed pawns in the centre of course, e.g.} Kf6 37. d5 Bc8 38. Nc4 Rb3 39. Nd6 Bd7 40. e5+ Ke7 41. Ne4 $18) 35. Rd1 $1 Ra2 36. Nxd3 Bc4 37. f3 Rxh2 38. Ne5 {What an octopus knight!} Ba2 39. Rd7 Rh6 {This retreat allows Aronian to simplify into a won rook endgame, but Black is lost in any case, e.g.} (39... Rh5 40. Ng4 Be6 41. Rc7 Bb3 42. Nf6 Rh1 43. Ke5 Ba2 44. f4 Bb3 45. f5 Ba2 46. Nd5 $18) 40. Nf7+ $5 Bxf7 41. Rxf7 Kg8 42. Rf5 $5 {Good technique! Aronian makes sure that his pieces remain very active and in full control.} Rh1 (42... Rh4+ 43. Kg5 Rh1 44. e5 Kg7 45. Rf6 Rg1+ 46. Kf5 h5 47. e6 h4 48. e7 Re1 49. Re6 $18) 43. e5 h5 ({ Passive defense with} 43... Kg7 44. Rg5+ Kf7 45. Kf5 Rh6 46. f4 Ra6 {is broken by} 47. Rh5 h6 48. Rh1 Kg7 49. Rg1+ Kf7 50. Rb1 Ra7 51. Rb6 Kg7 52. Rg6+ Kh7 53. Kf6 Ra6+ 54. e6 Rxe6+ 55. Kxe6 Kxg6 56. f5+ Kg7 57. Ke7 $18) 44. Rg5+ Kf8 45. Kf5 h4 46. Rh5 {This game is a good example of the guideline that the rook belongs behind the passed pawn and not in front of it. White's rook is very powerful, while Black's is in the way of its own pawn.} Kg7 47. f4 h3 (47... Kf7 48. e6+ Ke7 49. Rh7+ Kd6 50. Kf6 Re1 51. f5 Re4 52. Kg5 $18) 48. Ke6 Kg6 ( 48... Rf1 {is of course met by} 49. f5 $18 ({and not by} 49. Rxh3 $2 Rxf4 50. Ra3 Rb4 51. Ra7+ Kf8 $1 52. Ra8+ (52. Kf6 Rf4+ $11) 52... Kg7 53. Ke7 Rb7+ 54. Kd6 Rb6+ 55. Kd7 Rb7+ 56. Kc6 Rb1 $11)) 49. Rg5+ Kh6 50. Kf5 $1 {Black's h-pawn is not dangerous at all as his rook is in the way on h1.} Rh2 (50... h2 51. Rg2 Kh5 52. e6 Kh4 53. e7 Kh3 54. e8=Q Kxg2 55. Qe4+ Kg1 56. Kg4 $18) ( 50... Ra1 51. Rg3 h2 52. Rh3+ Kg7 53. Rxh2 $18) 51. Rg8 Rh1 52. e6 h2 53. Rg2 ( 53. Rg2 Kh7 54. Kf6 Rf1 55. Rxh2+ Kg8 56. f5 $18) 1-0

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

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