Undermining the defenses

by Karsten Müller
3/10/2020 – In the endgame the pair of bishops is often a powerful weapon, as you can see in the example below.

Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen

Let endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller show and explain the finesses of the world champions. Although they had different styles each and every one of them played the endgame exceptionally well, so take the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the best endgames in the history of chess.


Bishops convert new flock

White to play and win


Karsten Mueller 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.

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

Karsten Mueller

Karsten Mueller regularly presents endgame lessons in the ChessBase Video Portal

Chess Endgames 1 to 14

All endgame DVDs by Karsten Müller in one package! More than 70 hours of instruction! from "Basic knowledge for beginners" (volume 1) to "Practical Rook Endgames" (volume 8) to the ever-popular "Golden Guidelines of Endgame Play" (volume 14).

Highlights of this issue

  • CBM 193

    The cunning 6.a3!?
    Alexander Seyb investigates a fresh way to tackle the Najdorf

  • IQP positions welcome!
    Robert Hungaski recommends 3.e3 e5! In the QGA

  • Middlegames without minor pieces
    Mihail Marin on successful strategies with queen and rooks

  • All for the trade of queens - 13.g4!? vs. the Maroczy
    David Navara dissects his endgame triumph over Dmitry Jakovenko in Jerusalem

  • “My favourite game of 2019”
    Together with Simon Williams, retrace the game Dubov-Svane - “Move by Move”!

  • Star analyses
    Annotated games by Giri, Firouzja, So, Duda, Navara, Van Foreest, Nielsen, Sarin, l’Ami and more

  • A fresh wind against the Caro-Kann Exchange Variation
    Roven Vogel recommends  ...♝f5 as an antidote

  • My first draw against the World Champion!
    Jan-Krzysztof Duda analyses an explosive encounter from Wijk

  • Dutch duel
    Anish Giri reviews his game vs. Jorden Van Foreest

  • Long-term compensation
    Real sacrifices are the ones not leading to victory directly. Interactive video with Oliver Reeh!

  • Quiet move decides king hunt
    Rainer Knaak presents another trap in the Philidor Defence (video)


Karsten Müller, born 1970, has a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest endgame experts. He has, together with Frank Lamprecht, written a book on the subject: “Fundamental Chess Endgames” in addition to other contributions such as his column on the website ChessCafe as well as in ChessBase Magazine. Müller's ChessBase-DVDs about endgames in Fritztrainer-Format are bestsellers. The PhD in mathematics lives in Hamburg, where he has also been hunting down points for the HSK in the Bundesliga for many years.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

Sampru Sampru 3/11/2020 09:01
Hi Karsten, thanks for your articles. They and Oliver Reeh's interactive exercises are my favourites on this site.
I didn't use the 7-man tablebase for the solution, but I can't take credit for it either. I consulted a Master, Robert Hamilton, who worked out the solution with me. An interesting exercise.
Situations where the "wrong colour Bishop" might or might not work are an interesting corner (pun intended!) of endgame theory.
Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 3/11/2020 09:08
Many thanks for checking the position with the 7 men tablebase!
By the way: now the ChessBase Let's Check also has the 7 men tablebases: https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-magic-of-7-piece-endgame-tablebases
Sampru Sampru 3/11/2020 03:39
Pursuant to my previous comment, after 73...Nxd4 74 Kxd4, White is winning. Black cannot both hold the long a8-h1 diagonal with his bishop and keep his pawn.
If he doesn't hold the diagonal, he'll be driven far away from a8 and White will be able to take the pawn and promote his own before the Black king gets back.
If he does hold the diagonal, White will win Black's pawn and advance his own to a6, bring his king to b6 and his bishop to c8, conquering b7.
Peter B Peter B 3/11/2020 01:28
The main line is nice but not hard to find. I think the harder part of the problem is that the win after 66...Nxh5 is not obvious.
Sampru Sampru 3/11/2020 01:26
After 66 g5 Nxh5 67 gxh6 gxh6 68 Bxd5 Kd8 69 Bd2 Bb5 70 Bxh6 Ng3 71 Be6 Bd7 72 Bc4 Nf5 73 Bd2, the win, if any, might be difficult after 73...Nxd4 74 Kxd4

Does anyone here have a 7-piece tablebase for a solution?
Dpapa Dpapa 3/10/2020 06:58