A tricky endgame revisited: Caruana vs Duda, Altibox Norway Tournament 2020

by Karsten Müller
2/25/2021 – In round 2 of the Altibox Norway Tournament 2020 Fabiano Caruana won a fascinating and tricky endgame against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Of course, endgame expert and aficionado Karsten Müller was intrigued but the result notwithstanding he was not sure whether the endgame was also theoretically won. But now, after lengthy analyses with Zoran Petronijevic, he came to a definite conclusion. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Magical Chess Endgames Vol. 1 & 2 + The magic of chess tactics Magical Chess Endgames Vol. 1 & 2 + The magic of chess tactics

In over 4 hours in front of the camera, Karsten Müller presents to you sensations from the world of endgames - partly reaching far beyond standard techniques and rules of thumb - and rounds off with some cases of with own examples.


Two minor pieces vs a rook

Usually, two minor pieces are better than a rook – a rule of thumb every beginner learns quickly. However, in practice things are usually more difficult. Sometimes a rook is better than the minor pieces and sometimes the two minor pieces are indeed theoretically better but cannot win because the position is too blocked.

This happened in the game between Caruana and Duda. White had the two minor pieces but it was not easy to see how he could enter Black's position. In the game Black made an error that allowed Caruana to demonstrate how White can win such positions, but after taking a very close look at the position Zoran Petronijevic came to the conclusion: "The position is even – White cannot penetrate". In practice, the two minor pieces won the game, but theoretically the rook could have saved a draw.



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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