CBM training: Caruana's king, activating the rook, pushing passed pawns

7/1/2012 – These are the subjects of this weekend's series of lessons that our endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller has pulled out for you from the 7th Tal Memorial and the 65th Russian Higher League Championships. This is extremely valuable material that will increase your practical strength. ChessBase Magazine has many more of them, but the selection on our newspage is free. Learn and enjoy.

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Caruana's king

The king is often a good piece to break a blockade:

[Event "7th Mikhail Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.17"] [Round "8"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2770"] [BlackElo "2801"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. Nd2 g6 10. Nf3 Bg7 11. Bg5 f6 12. exf6 Qxe2+ 13. Bxe2 Nxf6 14. O-O-O O-O-O 15. Be3 Rde8 16. Bd3 d6 17. c5 Bxd3 18. Rxd3 Nd5 19. cxd6 cxd6 20. Bxa7 Kc7 21. Be3 Ra8 22. a3 Ra4 23. Re1 Rf8 24. Ng5 Re8 25. Bb6+ Kd7 26. Rxe8 Kxe8 27. Be3 Kd7 28. Rb3 Kc8 29. Bd2 h5 30. Nf7 Kc7 31. Rg3 Ne7 32. b4 Kd7 33. Rd3 d5 34. Kc2 Nf5 {Caruana's King The king is often a good piece to break a blockade:} 35. Bc3 $5 {Caruana challenges Kramnik's strong bishop and wants to use the light squares, if Black plays ...d5-d4.} (35. Kb3 Ra8 36. Ng5 Nd4+ 37. Ka2 {is the alternative approach.}) 35... d4 (35... Rxa3 $2 {runs into} 36. Bxg7 Rxd3 37. Kxd3 Nxg7 38. Ne5+ Kd6 39. Nxg6 $18) 36. Kb3 $1 Ra8 (36... Ke6 $4 {is refuted by} 37. Nd8+ Kd5 38. Kxa4 Kc4 39. Bxd4 Kxd3 40. Bxg7 Nxg7 41. Nxc6 $18) 37. Ng5 Kd6 38. f3 $2 {This allows Kramnik's king too become too active.} (38. Kc4 $1 {prevents this and gives White practical winning chances after} Rxa3 39. Bxd4 Rxd3 40. Bc5+ Ke5 41. Kxd3 $16) 38... Kd5 $1 39. Ne4 Ne3 $4 {A time trouble blunder.} ({The shot} 39... Rxa3+ $3 {saves Black:} 40. Kxa3 Kc4 41. Bxd4 ({After} 41. Rd1 dxc3 {Black passed c-pawn is so strong that White can not win, e.g.} 42. Rc1 Ne3 43. Nd6+ Kd3 44. Kb3 Kd2 45. Ra1 c2 46. Ne4+ Ke2 47. Rg1 Bd4 {and White can not untangle himself.}) 41... Kxd3 42. Bxg7 Nxg7 43. Ng5 Nf5 44. Ka4 Ne3 45. Nf7 Kd4 46. f4 (46. g3 Nf1 $11) (46. Nd8 Kd5 47. Ka5 Nc4+ 48. Ka6 h4 49. g3 Nd2 50. gxh4 Nxf3 51. Kb6 Ne5 $11) 46... Nxg2 47. Ne5 Nxf4 48. Nxc6+ Kd5 49. b5 Kd6 50. Ka5 Nd5 $11) 40. Rxe3 $1 (40. Rxe3 $1 dxe3 41. Bxg7 e2 42. Nc3+ $18) 1-0

Activate the rook

Activity is crucial in many endgames. But which piece shall be activated first? This is often difficult and the guideline that the strongest piece should be activated first has many exceptions. But here it is indeed the rook's turn before Kramnik's king can come:

[Event "7th Mikhail Tal Memorial"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2012.06.18"] [Round "9"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Morozevich, A."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D44"] [WhiteElo "2801"] [BlackElo "2769"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "143"] [EventDate "2012.06.08"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Be7 11. exf6 Bxf6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. a4 Rh4 14. axb5 Rxd4 15. Qf3 Qxf3 16. gxf3 Bb7 17. Rg1 Nd7 18. Rg8+ Nf8 19. Be2 cxb5 20. Nxb5 Rd7 21. h4 f5 22. h5 Kf7 23. Rg3 Bd5 24. O-O-O Rad8 25. Nc3 Bc6 26. Rh1 Kf6 27. Bxc4 Rh7 28. Kc2 Be8 29. Rgh3 Bf7 30. Rh4 Rc8 31. b3 Nd7 32. Be2 Ne5 33. f4 Nc6 34. Rd1 Rch8 35. Rd7 Be8 36. Rxh7 Rxh7 37. Kd2 Rd7+ 38. Ke1 Nd4 39. Bd1 Kg7 40. Rh3 Rb7 41. Na4 Bc6 42. Nc5 Rb5 43. Nd3 Be8 44. Ne5 Rb4 {Activate the rook Activity is crucial in many endgames. But which piece shall be activated first? This is often difficult and the guideline that the strongest piece should be activated first has many exceptions. But here it is indeed the rook's turn before Kramnik's king can come:} 45. Kd2 $2 ({The zwischenschach} 45. Rg3+ {is stronger to activate the rook first, e.g.} Kh7 46. Rc3 Rb7 ({After } 46... Nb5 {White can force a favorable exchange of rooks as his king is quicker:} 47. Rc4 a5 (47... Rxc4 48. bxc4 Nc7 49. Kd2 Kh6 50. Kc3 Bxh5 51. Ba4 a5 52. c5 Kg7 53. Kd4 Kf6 54. c6 Ke7 55. Nc4 $18) 48. Rxb4 axb4 49. Nd3 Kh6 50. Kd2 Bxh5 51. Bxh5 Kxh5 52. Ke3 Kg6 53. Nxb4 Kf7 (53... Kf6 54. Nc6 $18) 54. Kd3 Ke7 55. Kc4 Nd6+ 56. Kd4 Ne4 57. Nd3 Kd6 58. b4 $18) 47. Rc8 Re7 {and only now the king can come:} 48. Kd2 Nb5 49. Ke3 Nd6 50. Rb8 Ne4 (50... Kg7 51. b4 Bb5 52. Kd4 $16) 51. b4 Kh6 52. Bf3 Nf6 53. Kd4 Rc7 (53... Rh7 54. Kc5 $16) 54. b5 $16) 45... Nc6 $5 {Morozevich immediately challenges Kramnik's knight and it seems that White can not win anymore due to the reduced winning potential.} 46. Nc4 ({Now Black can meet} 46. Rg3+ Kh7 47. Rc3 {with} Rd4+ 48. Kc1 Nxe5 49. fxe5 {and should be able to defend due to} Re4 50. Rc8 Bb5 51. Rc7+ Kh6 52. Rxa7 Be2 53. Bxe2 Rxe2 54. b4 Kxh5 $11) 46... Ne7 47. Nd6 Rb8 48. h6+ Kh7 49. Re3 Bd7 50. Nf7 Nd5 51. Rg3 {Kramnik threatens a nice mate, but Morozevich can defend with} Rg8 $1 52. Rxg8 Kxg8 53. Ng5 Nxf4 54. b4 Bc6 55. Ke3 {Black should also be able to hold after the alternativs} (55. Bc2 Nd5 {and}) (55. Bb3 Bd5) 55... e5 ({The direct} 55... Nd5+ {draws as well, e.g.} 56. Kd4 Nxb4 57. Kc5 a5 58. Bh5 Bd5 59. Bf7+ Kf8 60. Kb5 Nc6 61. Be8 Ne5 62. Bh5 Kg8 63. Kxa5 Kh8 $11) 56. Bb3+ Bd5 57. Bc2 Ba2 58. b5 $6 (58. Bxf5 $5 {was a better practical chance, but Black should be able to defend after} Nd5+ 59. Ke4 Nxb4 60. Kxe5 a5 {due to the reduced winning potential.}) 58... Nd5+ 59. Kd2 e4 60. Bd1 Bc4 61. Bh5 Nf6 62. Bg6 f4 63. Bxe4 (63. Nxe4 Nxe4+ 64. Bxe4 Bxb5 $11 {is also completely drawn.}) 63... Nxe4+ 64. Nxe4 Bxb5 65. Ng5 a5 66. Kc3 Be2 67. Kd4 a4 68. Kc3 Bd1 69. Kb4 Kh8 70. Ne6 Kh7 71. Nxf4 Kxh6 72. Nd3 1/2-1/2

Passed pawns must be pushed

As they become much more dangerous, when they are far advanced:

[Event "65th ch-RUS HL"] [Site "Tyumen RUS"] [Date "2012.06.21"] [Round "6"] [White "Frolyanov, D."] [Black "Dubov, Daniil"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B65"] [WhiteElo "2564"] [BlackElo "2569"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "136"] [EventDate "2012.06.16"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.06.21"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 h6 10. Bh4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Qa5 12. Bc4 e5 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Qd3 Bg4 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Rdf1 Rac8 17. Bb3 Be6 18. Nd5 Bg5+ 19. Kb1 Qc5 20. h4 Be7 $146 21. Qe2 b5 22. Nxe7+ Qxe7 23. Bxe6 Qxe6 24. Qxb5 Rfd8 25. Qe2 Rc4 26. Rd1 Rdc8 27. Rd2 Qc6 28. Re1 a5 29. a3 Rb8 30. Ka1 $2 Rc3 $1 31. Rb1 Qa4 32. Rd3 Rxc2 $17 33. Qd1 Qc4 34. Rd8+ Rxd8 35. Qxd8+ Kh7 36. Qxa5 Qxe4 37. g4 Qd4 38. Qb5 e4 39. g5 Rc5 40. Qb3 Rf5 41. gxh6 Rf3 42. Rd1 Rxb3 43. Rxd4 f5 44. Kb1 { Passed pawns must be pushed As they become much more dangerous, when they are far advanced:} e3 $1 45. Kc2 Rxb2+ $3 {Beautiful and neccessary as} (45... e2 $2 46. Kd2 {is only drawn, e.g.} Rxb2+ (46... Re3 $6 {is met by} 47. Ke1 $11) 47. Ke1 Kxh6 48. Rd2 (48. a4 $5 $11) 48... Rb3 49. a4 Ra3 ({After} 49... Rb4 { White's rook gets behind the passed a-pawn:} 50. Ra2 Rxh4 51. Ra3 $11) 50. Rd4 Ra2 51. Kf2 Kh5 52. Rf4 g6 53. Ke1 g5 54. hxg5 Kxg5 55. Rf2 $11) 46. Kd1 ({ Black's point is that} 46. Kxb2 {runs into} e2 $19) 46... Kxh6 47. Rf4 g6 48. Ke1 (48. Rf3 e2+ 49. Ke1 Ra2 50. Re3 Kh5 51. Rxe2 Rxa3 52. Re6 Ra4 $19) 48... Ra2 {Black's rook is well placed behind White's passed pawn and controls almost everything.} 49. a4 Kh5 50. Kf1 Rb2 51. Ke1 Rc2 52. Kf1 Ra2 53. Ke1 g5 54. Rxf5 (54. hxg5 Kxg5 55. Rb4 f4 $19) 54... Kxh4 55. Re5 (55. a5 g4 56. Re5 g3 57. Kf1 Kh3 58. Rh5+ Kg4 59. Re5 Rf2+ 60. Kg1 e2 $19) 55... Rxa4 56. Rxe3 Rf4 $1 {The decisive cut off.} 57. Ke2 g4 58. Ra3 g3 59. Ke3 Rf1 60. Ra8 g2 61. Rh8+ Kg3 62. Rg8+ Kh2 63. Rh8+ Kg1 64. Ke2 Rf7 65. Rh5 Re7+ 66. Kd2 (66. Kf3 Kf1 $19) 66... Kf2 67. Rf5+ Kg3 68. Rg5+ Kf3 (68... Kf3 69. Rf5+ Kg4 70. Rf8 Rg7 $19) 0-1

Passed pawns must be pushed

Alekseev first creates a passed pawn and then advances it immediately:

[Event "65th ch-RUS HL"] [Site "Tyumen RUS"] [Date "2012.06.21"] [Round "6"] [White "Alekseev, Evgeny"] [Black "Bezgodov, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2508"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "123"] [EventDate "2012.06.16"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.06.21"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nbd2 Bf5 9. Re1 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 O-O 12. Bf4 a6 13. Qf5 Bf6 14. c3 Ne7 15. Qh5 c6 16. Be5 Ng6 17. Re3 Be7 18. Rae1 f6 19. Bg3 Rf7 20. Qf5 Qc8 21. Qe6 Qxe6 22. Rxe6 Rd8 23. Nd2 Bf8 24. b4 Re7 25. Rxe7 Bxe7 26. Nb3 Kf7 27. Kf1 Nf8 28. Ke2 Ne6 29. Kd3 g5 30. Nc5 Nxc5+ 31. bxc5 Rd7 32. f4 gxf4 33. Bxf4 Bd8 34. Re2 Be7 35. c4 dxc4+ 36. Kxc4 h5 37. Bg3 Bf8 38. Bf2 Be7 39. Re4 Rd5 40. Bg3 Bf8 41. Be1 Be7 42. Rf4 Bf8 43. Rh4 Be7 44. Re4 f5 45. Re2 Bf6 46. Bf2 Rd7 47. Rd2 Ke6 48. Bg3 Rg7 49. Bf4 h4 50. h3 Bg5 51. Re2+ Kd7 52. Be5 Rf7 53. d5 Re7 54. d6 Re6 55. Kd3 Bd8 56. Bd4 Rxe2 57. Kxe2 Ke6 58. Kf3 Ba5 {Passed pawns must be pushed Alekseev first creates a passed pawn and then advances it immediately:} 59. g3 hxg3 60. h4 b5 (60... f4 61. Kxf4 g2 62. h5 {Again it is good to push the passed pawn as Black can not deal with it in the long run, e. g.} Bc3 (62... b6 63. cxb6 Kxd6 64. Kf3 c5 65. b7 Kc7 66. Bxc5 Kxb7 67. h6 Kc6 68. Ba7 Kd5 69. Kxg2 Bc3 70. Kf3 Ke6 71. Ke4 Kf7 72. Bd4 $18) 63. Bg1 Kf6 64. Kg4 Kg7 (64... Ke6 65. Kg3 Kf5 66. h6 Kg6 67. d7 Bf6 68. Be3 g1=Q+ 69. Bxg1 Kxh6 70. Bd4 Bd8 71. Kf4 Kg6 72. Ke5 Kf7 73. Kd6 $18) 65. d7 Bf6 66. Kf5 Kf7 67. h6 Be7 68. h7 Kg7 69. Ke6 Bh4 70. h8=Q+ Kxh8 71. Kf7 a5 72. Ke8 Kg7 73. d8=Q Bxd8 74. Kxd8 $18) (60... Bd2 61. h5 $18) 61. cxb6 Kxd6 62. h5 (62. h5 { and Black resigned as one of White's pawns will queen:} Bd2 63. Be5+ Kxe5 64. b7 $18) 1-0

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

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