Endgames from Chennai (4)

by Karsten Müller
8/13/2022 – Over 650 games were played daily at the record-breaking Chess Olympiad in Chennai. GM Karsten Müller attentively followed the games, looking for instructive endings. Naturally, all sorts of setups and typical patterns showed 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: Praggnanandhaa beats Javokhir Sindarov after converting a tough technical endgame. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Proper technique at critical moments

Harikrishna does not find the eternal blockade

On their way to getting silver medals, the Armenians won a number of matches by the smallest of margins. In round 8, for example, they beat India 1 by a 2½-1½ score thanks to Gabriel Sargissian’s win over Pentala Harikrishna — all three remaining games finished drawn.

As it turns out, the Indian grandmaster could have set up an ‘eternal blockade’ on the dark squares in the endgame. But finding the correct manoeuvre on move 96 is never easy!


Pragg’s theoretical knowledge

The crucial match between the youthful teams of Uzbekistan and India 2 saw the eventual champions saving a draw after Gukesh had an unfortunate lapse of judgment and blundered a piece against Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

India 2 was up in the scoreboard at that point, after Praggnanandhaa showed the proper technique to convert an endgame with rook and h-pawn against bishop. During the live commentary webcasts, experts repeatedly noted that this was by no means a trivial conversion.

If White puts a step wrong, Black can build an impenetrable fortress.


Kiolbasa’s ninth consecutive win

Poland’s Oliwia Kiolbasa took home the individual gold medal on board 3 after scoring 9½/11 points in the women’s tournament. Remarkably, the 22-year-old collected nine wins in a row in Chennai.

Precisely her ninth consecutive win gave her team match victory over the rating favourites from India. Kiolbasa made the most of her outside passed pawn in a rook endgame against rising star Vaishali.

The ending caught the attention of Wolfram Schön, who sent a thorough analysis of the position, first pointing out that:

  • Overall it was an interesting and highly instructive rook endgame
  • One big/decisive mistake: 57...Kg6
  • Some non-best/inaccurate moves: 56...Kf7, 57.h4 and 58...Kf7
  • Many good moves and ideas, especially by the white player!

This was the critical position, where Vaishali mistakenly responded to 57.h4 with 57...Kg6.

Go over Walter Schön’s full analysis plus two more instrucitve endgames annotated by GM Karsten Müller 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.