CBM training: Mighty Magnus, Topalov's rooks

8/1/2012 – Today's endgame lessons, brought to you by ChessBase Magazine columnist GM Karsten Müller, are taken from the recent World Rapid Chess Championship in Astana. Two are by Bulgarian GM Veselin and two from games of Magnus "How-does-he-do-it?" Carlsen. Dr Müller explains how the world's number one sets traps and maintains pressure until the opponent cracks. Learn and enjoy.

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Mighty Magnus

Magnus Carlsen always fights to the end like Bobby Fischer did, even where the material is very limited and the winning chances do not look too great:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "10"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2837"] [BlackElo "2779"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. O-O a6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. Nxd4 Bc5 8. c3 O-O 9. f3 Nd7 10. Be3 Ne5 11. Qe2 Qe7 12. Nd2 f6 13. Kh1 Bd6 14. Rae1 c5 15. Nf5 Bxf5 16. exf5 Qd7 17. f4 Nf7 18. g4 Rfe8 19. Qf3 Bf8 20. Ne4 Qd3 21. Nf2 Qb5 22. g5 Qxb2 23. gxf6 Qxc3 24. fxg7 Bxg7 25. Rg1 Kh8 26. Qxb7 Nd6 27. Qd5 Nxf5 28. Bxc5 Rad8 29. Rxe8+ Rxe8 30. Nd3 Qf6 31. Rg5 Rd8 32. Qxf5 Qxf5 33. Rxf5 Rxd3 34. Rf7 Rd1+ 35. Kg2 Rd2+ 36. Kf3 Rxa2 37. Rxc7 Kg8 38. h4 Rc2 39. Rc8+ Kf7 40. Ke4 Rc4+ 41. Kf5 Bd4 42. Rf8+ Kg7 43. Bd6 Rc6 44. Rd8 Bc5 45. Be5+ Kf7 46. Rd7+ Be7 47. h5 Ke8 48. Ra7 Rh6 {Mighty Magnus Magnus Carlsen always fights to the end like Bobby Fischer did, even where the material is very limited and the winning chances do not look too great:} 49. Bg7 $5 {Magnus sets a clever trap.} Rc6 $5 {Karjakin spots it and just keeps his defensive lines intact.} (49... Rxh5+ $4 {runs into} 50. Ke6 Bd8 51. Rf7 $1 $18 {as given by Baburin in Chess Today 4260.}) 50. h6 Kf7 51. Ke4 Ke8 52. Ra8+ Kf7 53. Rh8 (53. Kf5 {is answered by} Rc5+ 54. Kg4 Rc6 55. Rh8 Bf6 56. Rf8+ Ke7 $11) 53... Rc4+ $2 {Finally Karjakin blunders under the constant pressure probably in high time trouble.} ({Baburin gives the correct defense:} 53... Bf6 $1 {and Black escapes, e.g.} 54. Rf8+ (54. Rxh7 Kg6 55. Rh8 Bxg7 56. f5+ Kf7 57. hxg7 Kxg7 $11) (54. Kd5 Bxg7 55. hxg7 Kxg7 56. Rxh7+ Kxh7 57. Kxc6 Kg6 $11) 54... Kg6 55. f5+ Kg5 56. Kd5 (56. Rf7 a5 $11) 56... Rb6 57. Kc5 Rb5+ $11) 54. Kf5 $1 {The king enters the attack with decisive effect.} Rc5+ (54... Bd6 55. Be5 Bxe5 56. fxe5 Rc6 (56... Rh4 57. e6+ Ke7 58. Rxh7+ Ke8 59. Kg5 Re4 60. Ra7 Rxe6 61. h7 $18) 57. e6+ Rxe6 (57... Ke7 58. Rxh7+ Ke8 59. Kf6 $18) 58. Rxh7+ Kg8 59. Rg7+ Kh8 60. Kxe6 $18) 55. Be5 Bf8 ({Now it is too late for} 55... Bf6 {due to} 56. Rxh7+ Kg8 57. Rc7 Rxc7 58. Bxc7 Kf7 59. Be5 $18) 56. Rxh7+ Kg8 (56... Ke8 { does not help either:} 57. Rh8 Rc6 58. Rxf8+ Kxf8 59. h7 Rh6 60. h8=Q+ Rxh8 61. Bxh8 $18) 57. Rh8+ Kf7 58. Rxf8+ (58. Rxf8+ Kxf8 59. h7 Rxe5+ 60. fxe5 Kg7 61. e6 Kxh7 62. e7 a5 63. e8=Q $18) 1-0

Changing direction

The rook's pawn is the worst enemy of the knight and Magnus has even two of them. But Mamedyarov could still have saved himself by an amazing manover of his king:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C76"] [WhiteElo "2837"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 Bd7 6. d4 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. d5 Nce7 9. Bxd7+ Qxd7 10. Be3 h6 11. Nfd2 f5 12. f3 Nf6 13. c4 O-O 14. Nc3 g5 15. c5 Ng6 16. exf5 Qxf5 17. Nde4 Nxe4 18. fxe4 Qxf1+ 19. Qxf1 Rxf1+ 20. Rxf1 dxc5 21. Bxc5 Bf8 22. Be3 Bd6 23. Ne2 Rf8 24. Rc1 Ne7 25. Ng3 b6 26. Nf1 Kf7 27. Nd2 Ke8 28. Rf1 Rxf1+ 29. Kxf1 Kf7 30. Ke2 b5 31. Nb3 c6 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Nxc5 cxd5 34. Nxa6 dxe4 35. Nc7 Nf5 36. Kd2 Nh4 37. Nxb5 Nxg2 38. a4 Ke7 39. a5 Kd7 40. Nc3 e3+ 41. Ke2 g4 42. b4 h5 43. a6 Kc6 44. b5+ Kb6 45. Nd5+ Ka7 46. Nf6 Kb6 47. Nd7+ Ka7 48. Nxe5 Nf4+ 49. Kxe3 Ne6 50. Nc6+ Kb6 51. Nd4 Nc7 52. Kf4 Kc5 53. Kg5 Kxd4 54. Kxh5 Nxb5 55. Kxg4 {Changing direction The rook's pawn is the worst enemy of the knight and Magnus has even two of them. But Mamedyarov could still have saved himself by an amazing manover of his king:} Nc7 $2 { This retreat allows the a-pawn to advance too far.} ({The king must first head to the queenside with} 55... Kc5 {or with 55...Kd5 and only after} 56. h4 { must it change direction to the queenside.} (56. Kf5 Kb6 57. h4 Nd6+ 58. Kg6 Ne4 59. h5 Nc5 $1 60. h6 Ne6 $11 {(Baburin in Chess Today 4260) and the knight can deal with the h6 pawn alone as it has reached the magical square.}) 56... Kd6 $3 ({But not} 56... Kb6 $2 {as White h-pawn then manages to advance to the 7th rank:} 57. h5 Nd6 58. h6 Nf7 59. h7 Kxa6 60. Kf5 Kb7 61. Kf6 Nh8 62. Kg7 $18) 57. Kg5 Ke7 58. Kg6 Kf8 $11 {(Baburin)}) 56. a7 Kc5 57. h4 Kd6 58. Kf5 Ke7 59. Kg6 Kf8 {Black has managed to stop the h-pawn, but the knight can not deal with the a7 alone. So it was Magnus' time to change the direction of his king now:} 60. Kf6 $1 Ke8 (60... Kg8 61. Ke7 Kg7 62. Kd7 Na8 63. Kc6 Kg6 64. Kb7 $18 ) 61. Kg7 1-0

Topalov's rooks on top

With two rooks and one minor piece each king safety often plays a major role:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "10"] [White "Kurnosov, I."] [Black "Topalov, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B72"] [WhiteElo "2663"] [BlackElo "2752"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.07.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 9. h3 a6 10. O-O Na5 11. f4 Qc7 12. Qd3 b5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Bb7 15. b3 e6 16. Bxb7 Nxb7 17. b4 Rad8 18. f5 exf5 19. exf5 Rfe8 20. f6 Bf8 21. Bf4 Qb6 22. a4 Nc5 23. a5 Nxd3 24. axb6 Nxf4 25. Rxf4 d5 26. c3 Ra8 27. b7 Rab8 28. Rxa6 Rxb7 29. Ra5 h5 30. Rxb5 Rc7 31. Rf3 Bh6 32. Kf2 Bd2 33. Rc5 Ra7 34. Ra5 Rc7 35. Rc5 Ra7 36. Kg3 Be1+ 37. Kh2 h4 {Topalov's rooks on top With two rooks and one minor piece each king safety often plays a major role:} 38. Rxd5 $2 {This runs into a very dangerous counterattack.} (38. Rf1 Bg3+ 39. Kg1 {was called for, when White has winning chances.}) 38... Ra1 $1 39. Nc6 Re2 $5 {A clever trick as the direct} (39... Bg3+ {can be parried by the beautiful} 40. Rxg3 Ree1 41. Ne7+ Kh7 42. Rh5+ gxh5 43. Rg7+ Kh8 (43... Kh6 $4 44. Nf5#) 44. Rg8+ {with perpetual check.}) 40. Nd4 $2 {Now White is amazingly mated by force.} ({One way to reach a draw is} 40. Ne5 Kh7 ({as now} 40... Bg3+ $2 {can be met by} 41. Rxg3 Ree1 $6 42. Rxg6+ fxg6 43. Rd8+ Kh7 44. Rd7+ Kh6 45. Ng4+ Kg5 46. Rd5+ Kf4 47. Nf2 Rf1 48. f7 Ra8 49. Ng4 Rf8 50. Rd4+ Kg5 51. Ne5 $16) 41. Ng4 Rc2 42. Rf1 Rxc3 43. Nf2 Rc2 44. Ne4 Bg3+ 45. Kg1 Bh2+ 46. Kxh2 Rxf1 47. Ng5+ Kh6 48. Nxf7+ Kh7 49. Ng5+ Kh6 $11) 40... Bg3+ 41. Rxg3 Ree1 $1 42. Rxg6+ (42. Rxg6+ {and White resigned as Black king can run away, but his king can not, e.g.} fxg6 43. Rd8+ Kh7 44. Rd7+ Kh6 45. g4 Ra2+ 46. Nc2 Rxc2+ 47. Rd2 Rxd2#) 0-1

The Mine Field

Sometimes knights can create barriers:

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana KAZ"] [Date "2012.07.08"] [Round "12"] [White "Tkachiev, V."] [Black "Topalov, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C01"] [WhiteElo "2644"] [BlackElo "2752"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/P1n5/8/8/4K3/4N1pk/8/8 w - - 0 75"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] {The Mine Field Sometimes knights can create barriers:} 75. Kd3 $5 {A clever try to walk around the mines.} (75. Ke5 $6 {can be met by} g2 76. Nxg2 Kxg2 { and the knight barrier saves Black, e.g.} 77. Kf6 (77. Kd6 Nb5+ $11) 77... Kf3 78. Ke7 Ke4 79. Kd7 Na8 80. Kc6 Ke5 81. Kb7 Kd6 82. Kxa8 Kc7 {stalemate.}) (75. Kf3 {is answered by} Na8 76. Nd5 Kh2 77. Nf4 Nc7 ({But not} 77... Nb6 $2 78. Ke4 g2 79. Nxg2 Kxg2 {as now White can pass through the mine field directly:} 80. Kd4 Kf3 81. Kc5 Na8 82. Kc6 Ke4 83. Kb7 Kd5 84. Kxa8 Kc6 85. Kb8 $18) 78. Ne2 g2 79. Ke4 Kh3 ({However, not} 79... g1=Q $2 80. Nxg1 Kxg1 81. Kd3 $1 Kf2 82. Kc4 Ke3 83. Kc5 Ke4 84. Kc6 Na8 85. Kb7 $18) 80. Kd3 Kg4 81. Kc4 Kf3 82. Ng1+ Kf2 $11) (75. Nd5 {runs into} g2 76. Nxc7 g1=Q $11) 75... Kh2 $2 {Topalov takes the wrong direction.} ({After} 75... Kh4 {Black is always just in time:} 76. Nf5+ (76. Kc4 Kg5 77. Kc5 Kf4 78. Nd5+ Ke5 79. Nxc7 g2 80. a8=Q g1=Q+ $11) 76... Kh3 77. Nxg3 Kxg3 78. Kc4 Kf4 79. Kc5 Ke5 80. Kc6 Na8 81. Kb7 Kd6 82. Kxa8 Kc7 $11 {stalemate}) (75... Na8 $11 {draws as well.}) 76. Kc4 {Tkachiev uses the hole in the net.} Kg1 77. Nf5 Kf2 (77... g2 78. Nh4 Kf1 79. Nxg2 Kxg2 80. Kc5 $18) 78. Nxg3 Kxg3 79. Kc5 Kf4 80. Kc6 Na8 81. Kb7 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.

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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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