Endgames from Havana

by Karsten Müller
5/18/2023 – The 56th edition of the Capablanca Memorial took place in Havana, Cuba on May 3-11. Danish grandmaster Jonas Buhl Bjerre, aged 18, won the tournament with a remarkable 7/9 score, following in the footsteps of Danish legend Bent Larsen, who won the event back in 1967. As ever, our in-house expert Karsten Müller followed the action closely, looking for endgame highlights. Find here six instructive positions from the traditional competition! | Photo: Thomas Vestergård

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Invite everyone to the party

Activity must never be underestimated, not even during the endgame phase. Jonas Buhl Bjerre showcased great technique throughout the Capablanca Memorial, correctly assessing when to go for the most active alternative, even when only a few pieces were left on the board.

Facing Elier Miranda in round 3, Bjerre infiltrated the opposite camp with his queen and rook to claim a second consecutive win.

40.Re1 grabs the initiative at once. Having the safer king and the threat of pushing the a-pawn allowed White to gain a few tempi to infiltrate with his major pieces.

Miranda resigned shortly after, as White’s tandem on the back rank was too much to handle.

47.Rf8 and Black resigned.

In similar fashion, Bjerre made the most of his active major pieces to beat Carlos Albornoz in round 7. An analogous strategy was employed by Alexandr Fier — who finished in second place — in his round-2 victory over Luis Quesada. Don’t forget to invite everyone to the party!

This is just one of the six instructive endgame positions which you can study and enjoy in our dynamic replayer below.

How to attack - principles of training

Most players prefer to attack rather than defend. But what is the correct way to do it? GM Dr Karsten Müller has compiled many rules and motifs to guide you, along with sharpening your intuition for the exceptions.


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.