A draw - but not always an easy one

by Karsten Müller
4/16/2024 – Usually the endgame rook and knight against rook is an easy draw. But matters are different, when the defending king is in trouble near the corner of the board. In the diagram position, it is Black to move and draw. What should he do?

Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen

Let endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller show and explain the finesses of the world champions. Although they had different styles each and every one of them played the endgame exceptionally well, so take the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the best endgames in the history of chess.


Karsten Mueller 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 Mueller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.

Karsten Mueller

Karsten Mueller regularly presents endgame lessons in the ChessBase Video Portal


Karsten Müller is considered to be one of the greatest endgame experts in the world. His books on the endgame - among them "Fundamentals of Chess Endings", co-authored with Frank Lamprecht, that helped to improve Magnus Carlsen's endgame knowledge - and his endgame columns for the ChessCafe website and the ChessBase Magazine helped to establish and to confirm this reputation. Karsten's Fritztrainer DVDs on the endgame are bestsellers. The mathematician with a PhD lives in Hamburg, and for more than 25 years he has been scoring points for the Hamburger Schachklub (HSK) in the Bundesliga.
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Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 4/18/2024 01:48
And part 2:
"A few years back, Fredric was even going to make me a Rook on PlayChess at one point, but he did not like my handle, so he tried to get me to change it. I was already PhishMaster for over 20 years at the time, and now, 27 years, so I refused. A LOT of people already knew me by my handle. I was actually quite famous for my kibitzing on ICC since I was very good at explaining things, and kibbing good lines. Although engines were still not so strong, using them, I would come up with excellent lines by combining them and my human knowledge...so called "advanced chess" before it was called "advanced chess". Anyway, I was not going to change my handle because some word came along that made my innocent handle look guilty.

Now you know, as the late, great, Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story". (Paul Harvey was a man, who did the most incredible radio show for many years. He would tell a story, and then there was always more to it in a fantastic way, usually emotionally. To give you a sense of how popular he was, and I did not know this until looking up his Wikipedia page, but he had as many as 24 million listeners weekly!)


All the best,

Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 4/18/2024 01:48
Kevin Cotreau adds (part 1):
"Hi Karsten,

For the record, "PhishMaster" has nothing to do with the crimes associated with "phishing". In fact, for 30 years, I have been a computer-network consultant, whose job it is to protect his client's networks from such attacks. I have never had a successful attack, so far, actually. I hope to retire before I ever do.

I created "PhishMaster" right around the time the term "phishing" was coined back in 1997, but the term was not yet widespread, and I had never heard it, despite my profession even. A "fish" is a weak player in English, and I was joking that I am a fish among Masters, that is, a weaker Master if you can call any Master "weak", the point of the joke (I have been a USCF Master for 38 years now). I just spelled it that way for fun since the "ph" makes the same sound as the "f" in English. As it turns out, there is also a very popular band called "Phish", which I had also never heard of, but I used to get asked a lot if I was a fan of the group."
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 4/18/2024 07:38
Phishmaster: I will see, what I can do...
PhishMaster PhishMaster 4/17/2024 04:40
I would like to see an article on that ending, and some of Keith Arkell's wins in that R+B vs R endgame.
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 4/17/2024 06:51
Kevin Cotreau adds:
"Hi Karsten

I read the article, as I do every endgame article you write on ChessBase. Actually, I usually do surprisingly well, although not today.

The reason I am writing is the title, and that it brought something to mind: I have been reading "100 Endgames You Must Know", and frankly, the R+B vs R ending, while often drawn, fits your title very well: "A draw - but not always an easy one". The superior side can certainly make it very tricky.

It also made me think of something I read in "Grind Like a Grandmaster" (page 161) by David Howell, and Magnus Carlsen. David mentioned that Keith Arkell was 27 out of 27 in that ending, despite it being a "draw"."