Airthings Masters, Carlsen vs Dubov: A close look at a difficult endgame

by Karsten Müller
12/28/2020 – In the first eight rounds of the Airthings Masters Preliminary Tournament Magnus Carlsen (pictured) drew seven of his games and won only one. He defeated Daniil Dubov in a difficult technical endgame. The Airthings Masters is a rapid tournament, and the players often have only seconds to make their moves - not enough to think too much about endgame subtleties. However, analysts like to search for the truth, and Zoran Petronijevic and Karsten Müller decided to take a close look at the endgame in Carlsen vs Dubov and found an amazing ressource. | Photo: Lennart Ootes (Archive)

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Karsten Müller, born 1970, has a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest endgame experts. He has, together with Frank Lamprecht, written a book on the subject: “Fundamental Chess Endgames” in addition to other contributions such as his column on the website ChessCafe as well as in ChessBase Magazine. Müller's ChessBase-DVDs about endgames in Fritztrainer-Format are bestsellers. The PhD in mathematics lives in Hamburg, where he has also been hunting down points for the HSK in the Bundesliga for many years.
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Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 12/29/2020 03:19
From Zoran Petronijevic:
Dear Karsten,

I truly enjoy analyzing games on the real board, and i have found it without engine, although it was checked by engine...

Best wishes,

Zoran
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 12/29/2020 10:08
lajosarpad: Good question. I will ask Zoran Petronijevic.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/29/2020 09:39
Was 50... Kh8!! found without an engine? If so, then it's an amazing find!
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 12/28/2020 08:38
Yes you are right. For example 45...Rd7 draws as well. After your plan Nf5 and push h4 a rook endgame with f+g vs h pawn may arise in a tablebase draw. But these kind of rook endings are sometimes won over the board...
dwaltz dwaltz 12/28/2020 07:52
I think that also 45... Nh4 is "not necessary", not a mistake, but black can simply keep shuffling the R on the 7th rank, holding f4 and h4 protected and h6 behind the Ng6. I see no way for white to make any progress. Even after Nf5 Kh7, pushing in h4 seems to bring to a tablebase draw.
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