ChessBase DVDs – Müller's Chess Endgames 9

1/17/2012 – "If I have to tell you that Karsten Müller is one of the very top endgame analysts of our time, I would first have to ask what planet you have been living on for the past fifteen years," Steven B. Dowd in Chess Cafe. "This trainer is one of his best, taking a topic not often explored in endgame texts: how rooks and minor pieces work together." He gives the DVD full six stars in his product review.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Karsten Müller – Chess Endgames 9

By Steven B. Dowd

Chess Endgames 9, Rook and Minor Piece (DVD), Karsten Müller, ChessBase, Playing Time: 7 hours 38 minutes $34.95 (ChessCafe Price: $28.95)

If I have to take the time to convince you that Karsten Müller is one of the very top endgame analysts of our time, I would first have to ask what planet you have been living on for the past fifteen years. The German grandmaster consistently produces excellent endgame analysis, often finding obscure games to analyze – he either has a prodigious memory or the best endgame database in the world, to say nothing of his uncanny ability to analyze the most difficult of endings.

This trainer is one of his best, taking a topic not often explored in endgame texts: how rooks and minor pieces work together – or in many cases, how they do not. As with any endgame study, seeing how pieces work together will improve your middlegame and opening skills, as well as improve your knowledge of that particular endgame.

There are five chapters to this DVD, the first is rook and knight versus rook and knight, with twenty-one examples, the second is rooks and opposite-colored bishops, with fourteen examples, the third is rooks and same-colored bishops (although it is erroneously given the same title as the second chapter), with ten examples, the fourth, what is called the "Fischer endgame" where the bishop dominates the knight, with fourteen examples, and finally, what Müller has named the "Andersson endgame" in honor of the Swedish grandmaster, who handles knights like no other, with eleven examples.

The stem game for the fourth chapter is the famous Fischer-Taimanov match game, and if you haven't studied it before, Müller's smooth analysis should be your introduction. I've studied this game over the years, many times, and I learned a few new things about it from Müller. One chapter I particularly enjoyed was on opposite-colored bishops. Of course, with a rook on board, there are definite winning chances, many of them tactical, and I have always enjoyed playing opposite-colored bishop endgames anyway, because so many of my opponents seem to assume they are "automatic" draws.

Müller presents well in English. Some of his pronunciations are a bit odd (the way he says "attacker" always throws me) and he is sometimes given to long pauses, probably to think out what he wants to say, but this is minor, and does not detract. He uses nice snappy titles for his examples, which I always find helps me to remember them later. Some on this DVD include, "The bishop shoots in the air," "Shirov fails to set the board on fire," and the follow-up, "He does better in the second (example)," and, "To exchange or not to exchange, that is the question."

Consider this game fragment. Can you see, as Müller puts it, how "A light initiative weighs heavily," and Smyslov forced Benko (two other great endgames experts to capitulate in only eighteen more moves? How many of you would offer a draw here? Yet it only took two mistakes by Benko, and the game was over. Smsylov first exploited Black's undeveloped and then off-side knight to win; I'll let you either work out how or let you buy the trainer to see!

Smyslov – Benko, Monte Carlo, 1969

As I stated earlier, the section on opposite-colored bishops and rooks was one of my favorites. Look at how Black's light-squared weaknesses in this game led to his defeat. But how, you say? Isn't the rule that only one pawn up with "opposites" is a draw?

Finally, a short example of the "Andersson endgame." I chose this one because I once watch Andersson on the ICC blithely trade off his bishop(s) for a knight(s) in game after game. (A bishop it looked to me like he needed sorely for defense!) Then, with apparent ease, he showed the superiority of the knight in those positions. His opponent here is another world-class endgame expert. You would expect that with this material, only a pawn down, Black might have drawing chances. But Timman's light-squared bishop is ineffective as a defender or attacker of the dark squares, and serves as little more than a target for the rook.

There's little more to say here except that if you want to tackle more complicated endgames, this trainer is the ticket to that goal.

My assessment of this product: Excellent (six out of six stars)


Sampler from Karsten Müller: Chess Endgames 9 – Rook and Minor Piece


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register