CBM training: Endgames from the London Grand Prix

10/2/2012 – "Gelfand's king goes for glory" – or should we simply call it entrapment? You remember the surprising and traumatic mate trap that Chinese GM Wang Hao walked into. Our ChessBase Magazine columnist GM Karsten Müller has been busy looking at the games in London and explains the entire genesis of the Gelfand mate. Two other examples complete this highly instructive endgame column.

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Gelfand's king goes for glory

Rook endings have a large drawish tendency, but only when the defender is active:

[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.09.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Gelfand, B."] [Black "Wang Hao"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 c6 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 b6 9. Bf4 Ba6 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Rc1 Nbd7 12. Nc3 b5 13. a4 Qb6 14. axb5 Bxb5 15. Nxb5 Qxb5 16. Bf1 a5 17. e3 Qb7 18. Qc6 Qxc6 19. Rxc6 a4 20. Bb5 a3 21. bxa3 Bxa3 22. Rc7 Nb6 23. Rb7 Nc4 24. Bxc4 dxc4 25. Rc7 h6 26. Rxc4 g5 27. Be5 Ne4 28. g4 Be7 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Rc2 f6 31. Bg3 Kf7 32. Kg2 h5 33. gxh5 Rh8 34. Rc7 g4 35. Ne1 Rxh5 36. Nd3 Rb5 37. h3 gxh3+ 38. Kxh3 Ke8 39. Ra7 Rb3 40. Nf4 Nxg3 41. Kxg3 Bd6 42. Kf3 Bxf4 43. Kxf4 Rb2 44. f3 Rh2 45. Ke4 Rh3 46. Rb7 Kf8 47. Rd7 Ke8 48. Rc7 Kf8 49. f4 {Gelfand's king goes for glory Rook endings have a large drawish tendency, but only when the defender is active:} f5+ $2 { This invites Gelfand's king to join his attack.} (49... Rh5 {and}) (49... Ke8 { should lead to a draw with careful defense.}) 50. Ke5 $1 Rxe3+ 51. Kf6 {The king just marches on.} Kg8 52. Rg7+ Kf8 (52... Kh8 53. Rg1 Kh7 54. Kf7 Rh3 55. Kxe6 $18) 53. Rh7 $2 {Gelfand goes to the wrong side.} ({He should go to the long side:} 53. Ra7 Kg8 (53... Ke8 54. Re7+ Kf8 55. Rxe6 $18) 54. Ra8+ Kh7 { And now his king can close the net with} 55. Kf7 $1 Rb3 (55... Re4 56. Ra1 $18) (55... Rd3 56. Ra1 Rh3 57. Kxe6 Kg6 58. Rg1+ $18) 56. Kxe6 Kg6 57. Rg8+ Kh7 58. Rg5 $18) 53... Kg8 54. Rh1 Re4 55. Rd1 Kh7 $4 {A blunder probably in high time trouble.} ({One way to draw is} 55... Kf8 56. d5 exd5 57. Rxd5 Kg8 (57... Rxf4 $4 58. Rd8#) 58. Kxf5 Ra4 $11) (55... Rxf4 56. Kxe6 Kf8 57. d5 Ke8 58. Ra1 Re4+ 59. Kd6 Kf7 60. Kd7 Kf6 61. d6 Kg5 {is playable as well.}) 56. Kf7 {Gelfand's king closes the mating net himself.} (56. Kf7 Kh6 57. Rh1#) 1-0

Grischuk's great rook

How to deal with Black's dangerous passed b-pawn?

[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.09.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2754"] [BlackElo "2729"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Nbd2 Re8 9. Re1 Bf8 10. d4 b5 11. Bc2 exd4 12. cxd4 Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. a3 h5 16. g5 Nh7 17. Nf1 Qd7 18. Kg2 d5 19. e5 Bxc2 20. Qxc2 g6 21. Be3 Nd8 22. Rac1 Rc8 23. Ng3 c6 24. Nh4 Ne6 25. Nxg6 fxg6 26. Qxg6+ Ng7 27. Qh6 Nf5 28. Qxh5 Nxg3 29. Kxg3 Bg7 30. Qg4 Nf8 31. f4 c5 32. Qxd7 Nxd7 33. dxc5 Nxe5 34. fxe5 Bxe5+ 35. Bf4 Bxb2 36. Rxe8+ Rxe8 37. Rc2 Bxa3 38. c6 b4 39. c7 Rc8 40. Rc6 b3 41. Rxa6 Bc5 42. Ra5 Bb6 43. Rxd5 Bxc7 {Grischuk's great rook How to deal with Black's dangerous passed b-pawn?} 44. Bxc7 $1 {Rook endings have a large drawish tendency, but here the simplification is completely correct.} ({ The direct} 44. Rb5 $4 {runs into} Rb8 45. Rxb8+ Bxb8 46. Bxb8 b2 $19 { (Golubev in Chess Today 4340)}) ({and} 44. Rc5 $4 {into} Bxf4+ 45. Kxf4 Rxc5 $19) 44... Rxc7 45. Rb5 {The rook controls the pawn easily and White wins in standard fashion.} Kg7 46. Kg4 (46. Kg4 Rc3 47. h4 Rc4+ 48. Kh5 Rc3 49. Rb7+ Kg8 50. g6 Rh3 51. Kg5 Rg3+ 52. Kh6 Rf3 53. h5 $18) 1-0

Topalov's pawns dominate Dominguez

When fighting against dangerous passed pawns always precise calculation is needed to keep them under control:

[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.09.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Topalov, V."] [Black "Dominguez Perez, L."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2725"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.09.28"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. e3 a6 5. Nc3 b5 6. c5 g6 7. Ne5 Bg7 8. f4 Qc7 9. Be2 h5 10. O-O a5 11. a3 Bf5 12. h3 Nbd7 13. Bf3 Ne4 14. Bxe4 dxe4 15. Bd2 Nf6 16. Qe2 Be6 17. b4 axb4 18. axb4 O-O 19. Rfc1 Rfb8 20. Be1 Qc8 21. Kh2 Ra6 22. Bh4 Rba8 23. Rxa6 Qxa6 24. Qe1 Qb7 25. Ra1 Rxa1 26. Qxa1 Nd5 27. Nxd5 Bxd5 28. Qa5 Qc8 29. Bxe7 Qe8 30. Qc7 f6 31. Qd7 Bf7 32. Bxf6 Bxf6 33. Qxc6 { Topalov's pawns dominate Dominguez When fighting against dangerous passed pawns always precise calculation is needed to keep them under control:} Bxe5 $2 {Now Black does not have enough pieces to blockade the pawns.} ({After} 33... Qxc6 34. Nxc6 Kf8 35. Na7 Bc4 {Black's bishops can not be beaten.}) 34. Qxe8+ Bxe8 35. fxe5 $1 ({After} 35. dxe5 $2 h4 {White has to fight for the draw, e.g. } 36. g3 hxg3+ 37. Kxg3 Bd7 38. Kh4 Kg7 39. c6 Bxc6 40. Kg5 Bd7 41. h4 Bc8 42. h5 gxh5 43. Kxh5 Kf7 44. Kg5 Ke6 45. Kg4 Bb7 46. Kg5 Ba8 47. Kg6 Bc6 48. Kg7 Be8 49. Kh6 Kf5 50. Kg7 Bh5 51. Kf8 Ke6 52. Kg7 $11) 35... h4 {This allows Topalov's wave of pawns to start rolling immediately.} ({However, Black is lost in any case, e.g.} 35... Bc6 36. Kg3 Bd5 (36... g5 37. h4 $18) 37. Kf4 Kf7 38. Kg5 Bb7 39. h4 Bd5 40. g3 Kg7 41. e6 Bxe6 42. Kf4 Kf6 43. Kxe4 Ke7 44. Ke5 $18) 36. d5 $1 {and now White's victory is only a matter of time as White's king has an inroad.} Kf7 37. Kg1 Ke7 38. Kf2 g5 39. Ke1 Bf7 40. e6 Bh5 41. Kd2 Kd8 42. d6 g4 43. hxg4 Bxg4 44. e7+ Ke8 (44... Kd7 45. c6+ $18) 45. c6 Be6 46. Kc3 Bd5 47. c7 Bb7 48. Kd4 Kd7 49. Kc5 (49. Kc5 Ba6 50. Kb6 Bc8 51. Kxb5 Ke8 52. Kc6 Bd7+ 53. Kb7 $18) 1-0

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

Click to go to the ChessBase Magazine page

Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Müller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.


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