Aronian triumphs, Karsten Müller analyzes

by Karsten Müller
7/4/2021 – It was a rather quick victory by Levon Aronian in the finals of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament. The Armenian won the first set on Saturday and scored back-to-back wins in the second mini-match to make it impossible for Vladislav Artemiev to equalize the score and take the match to tiebreaks. Karsten Müller analyzes two endgames in which Aronian showed his excellent technique with the black pieces.

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A patient trickster

For some, it was surprising to see Vladislav Artemiev reaching the finals of the Goldmoney Rapid Asian event. However, if we take a look at the rapid-chess ranking, we note that the Russian is a quickplay specialist. Not only that, Artemiev is also known for his tactical ability in positions that other might evaluate as lifeless.

But Aronian was on fire during this event. He won the preliminaries and went on to knock out Magnus Carlsen in the semifinals before securing first place rather quickly against his younger opponent. After winning the first set 2½-1½, he won the first two games in Sunday’s second set to make it impossible for Artemiev to equalize the score and take the match to tiebreaks.

On Saturday, he made good use of a tricky knight to survive an ending a pawn down with the black pieces.


Artemiev’s conversion started well from the diagrammed position, but he faltered on move 44 and Aronian had no trouble finding a surprising refutation.


In Sunday’s first game, Aronian showed his great technique again, as he won an endgame with rook and two pawns against bishop and three pawns.


Often patience is a key factor in endgames. In this position, Artemiev rushed with 50.f3 and went on to lose the game eight moves later. GM Müller annotates.



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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Peter B Peter B 7/5/2021 09:26
@ChrisHolmes it is surprising. Maybe Aronian was blitzing, anticipating 56 e7, and moved his king anyway.
ChrisHolmes ChrisHolmes 7/4/2021 11:54
After 56. Bg4 Kf6 is superfluous. The capture 56... Nxe6 draws immediately. The move 56. ...Kf6 makes it look like Karsten Müller has been suddenly replaced by a computer.