Endgames from Chennai (3)

by Karsten Müller
8/5/2022 – Over 650 games are being played daily at the record-breaking Chess Olympiad in Chennai. GM Karsten Müller is attentively following the games, looking for instructive endings. Naturally, all sorts of setups and typical patterns show up with so many encounters running concurrently. Go over our in-house expert’s analyses, and you are sure to find something to learn or, at the very least, something to enjoy! | Pictured: Teodora Injac (Serbia) | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Six instructive positions!

Giri’s powerful sacrifice

The Dutch team arrived in Chennai as the seventh favourites. After recovering from a loss against Israel in round 4 with back-to-back victories, the Europeans stand two points behind the Armenian leaders.

Elite GM Anish Giri is playing on top board, and has collected victories over Nils Grandelius, Eric Hansen and Baadur Jobava. Facing the creative Jobava in round 6, Giri played an outstanding positional exchange sacrifice to get an unstoppable duo of passed pawns!


The sting of the scorpion

Not only top-GMs’ games provide instructive positions to study and learn. The encounter between Anousha Mahdian (Iran) and Toritsemuwa Ofowino (Nigeria) from round 4 of the women’s tournament saw the Iranian winning an endgame with rook and pawn against bishop and knight — an oft-seen material distribution.

Ofowimo failed to find the most resilient defensive king manoeuvre on move 49.


The pawn race

Studying basic pawn endgames is frequently the first step of any chess player on his or her learning path in the final phase of the game. This is the simplest kind of setup, but that does not mean one should take it for granted — precision is often required even when very few pawns are left on the board.

Sudan’s Mohammed Ibtihal beat the Bahamas’ Trinity Pinder with the black pieces after the latter erred in a pawn race with two pawns per side.


The good knight, the bad king road, and the successful invasion

In the remaining three examples, two relevant topics are explored: the good knight versus bad bishop ending, and the precision needed to find the correct paths for the king in opposite-coloured bishops endgames.

Can you find the correct king road for White in this position? She is, in fact, winning with her two extra pawns despite the presence of opposite-coloured bishops.


Find the solution to this problem and analyses for two more endgames in the replayer below.


Magical Chess Endgames Vol. 1 & 2 + The magic of chess tactics

In over 4 hours in front of the camera, Karsten Müller presents to you sensations from the world of endgames - partly reaching far beyond standard techniques and rules of thumb - and rounds off with some cases of with own examples.


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.