Carlsen in the endgame

by Karsten Müller
11/23/2022 – The highlight of the Meltwater competition was of course the presence of Magnus Carlsen, and he did not disappoint as he showed off his endgame skills in game after game. They may not have all ended in resounding victories but every one of them was a lesson.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package ChessBase 17 - Mega package

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it.


Using the active notation

You might be inclined to believe the game notations below are just to be looked at and the moves to be played through in your mind. But as most of you know you can click on the moves to get a separate replay board, which you can resize and move to the best place on your screen.

Chess Endgames 13 - Double rook endings

Double rook endings occur frequently and are different from single rook endings in several respects.

The popup board has full controls, and you can use the navigation buttons to advance the moves, as well as use an engine or save the game or position to your computer. In the engine window you can ask for multiple lines, or what the threat is, or see the positional evaluation of the position. 

Crooked rooks

Young Arjun is given a lesson in queen and rooks to just a rooks endgame, and while he had his chances, the World Champion is able to eventually squeeze out a win.


A matter of technique

Magnus takes advantage of the Vietnamese player's offer to enter a queen versus rook and bishop endgame, even though converting it is anything but straightforward.


By the hair of his chinny-chin-chin

It is a close affair in this sample as Wesley So drops a tactical bomb on Carlsen's lap, giving himself a winning position in the process. It is a tense but fascinating struggle between the two.


To the bitter end

Magnus knows he has the better position but faces monumental defensive efforts by his rival. Don't miss this fascinating end.




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 11/26/2022 01:40
Aldert: It is really amazing that in this case after 55.Qxa4+ Black's fortress does not hold. The reason is indeed that the queen can invade on the 6th rank, e.g. 55...Rb5 56.Qa6+ Kc7 57.Qe6 Kd8 58.Qd6+ Kc8 59.Qe7 and Black can not keep the set up.
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 11/26/2022 01:02
dear karsten,
without access to those resources i can't exclude that i was blinded
by the euphoria from the past and the blown up triangle is not drawn.
the main difference seems to be that the rook does not cover the sixth
row to prevent the queen from using it to harass the king at d8 and f8,
for example w= kc3, qg7, b4, h4; b= kd8, rb5, be8: 1.qf6+ kd7, 2.kc4.
less clear is w= kc3, qg3, b4, h4; b= ke7, rb5, be8: 1.qg7+ bf7, or
1.qc7+ bd7 2.kc4 rh5 (both with no check).
i am looking forward to your article about this esoteric subject!
--aldert westra hoekzema