Endgames from Beijing and Tromso

9/10/2013 – Karjakin, Mamadyarov, Grischuk, Kramnik, Wang Yue, Vachier-Lagrave – these are players you definitely can learn something from. In today's endgame session our ChessBase Magazine expert GM Karsten Müller presents instructive endgames from two recent FIDE Grand Prix tournaments and teaches you techniques that can prove invaluable in your tournament games. Learn and enjoy.

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The power of passed pawns

Dangerous passed pawns are mighty weapons in an endgame:

[Event "FIDE GP Beijing"] [Site "Beijing CHN"] [Date "2013.07.10"] [Round "6"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "190"] [EventDate "2013.07.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2 Be6 9. O-O-O Qd7 10. Kb1 h6 11. h3 a6 12. g4 h5 13. gxh5 Rxh5 14. Rg1 Bf6 15. Bg5 O-O-O 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. h4 Ne5 18. Qe3 Kb8 19. b3 Bg4 20. Be2 Bxf3 21. Bxf3 Rxh4 22. Bg2 Qf5 23. Rd4 Rg4 24. Rxg4 Nxg4 25. Qd4 Qxf2 26. Qxf2 Nxf2 27. Rf1 Ng4 28. Bh3 Ne5 29. Rxf6 c6 30. Rf2 Rg8 31. c4 Rg3 32. Bf5 Kc7 33. Rh2 Rf3 34. Rh5 a5 35. Kb2 Rg3 36. Rh7 Kb6 37. Bc8 Rg8 38. Bf5 Kc5 39. Rh4 Rg2 40. Rf4 Rg3 41. Bc8 b6 42. a3 Rf3 43. Rxf3 Nxf3 44. Kc3 d5 45. b4+ axb4+ 46. axb4+ Kd6 47. cxd5 cxd5 48. Kd3 Ne5+ 49. Ke3 Nc6 50. c3 Ke5 51. Kd3 Ne7 52. Bb7 Nf5 53. Bc8 Nd6 54. Bg4 f5 55. Bf3 f4 56. Bh5 Nc4 57. Bf3 Ne3 58. Be2 Ng2 59. Bg4 Ne3 60. Be2 Nc4 61. Bf3 Nd6 62. Bh5 Ne4 63. c4 d4 64. Bf3 Ng5 65. Bg4 f3 66. c5 f2 {The power of passed pawns Dangerous passed pawns are mighty weapons in an endgame:} 67. Ke2 $2 {This blockade can be broken.} ({After} 67. Be2 $1 bxc5 68. bxc5 Ne6 69. Bf1 Nxc5+ (69... Nf4+ 70. Kc4 Ke4 71. c6 d3 72. c7 d2 73. c8=Q d1=Q 74. Qb7+ Ke3 75. Qa7+ $11) 70. Ke2 Ne4 71. Bg2 {Black amazingly can not win according to the endgame tablebases.}) 67... bxc5 $6 (67... Kf4 {is much easier from the practical point of view:} 68. cxb6 (68. c6 d3+ 69. Kxf2 Ne4+ 70. Ke1 Kxg4 71. c7 Nd6 72. Kd2 Kf4 73. Kxd3 Ke5 $19) (68. Bd7 Kg3 69. Bc6 d3+ 70. Kf1 Nf3 71. Bxf3 Kxf3 72. cxb6 d2 73. b7 d1=Q#) 68... Kg3 69. b7 Kg2 70. b8=Q f1=Q+ 71. Kd2 Qb1 72. Qa8+ $6 Ne4+ 73. Ke2 $6 Qf1#) 68. bxc5 Kf4 69. c6 Kg3 70. c7 Kg2 71. c8=Q f1=Q+ 72. Kd2 Ne4+ 73. Kc2 d3+ 74. Kb2 $6 (74. Kb3 $1 { escapes the direct mating attack. But Black wins in the long run after} Qb1+ 75. Ka3 Qa1+ 76. Kb3 Nd2+ 77. Kb4 Qd4+ 78. Kb5 Ne4 $19 {due to his centralised pieces. Guy Haworth confirms that the Lomonossov seven men endgame tablebases indeed give a win for Black in 57 moves starting with 74...Qb1+.}) 74... Kg3 $2 {Mamedyarov does not have time for this. He should continue his attack with} ( 74... Qf2+ 75. Kb3 (75. Kb1 Qe1+ 76. Kb2 Qb4+ 77. Ka1 Qa3+ 78. Kb1 Nd2#) (75. Ka3 Qa7+ 76. Kb4 Qb6+ 77. Ka3 Qa5+ $19) 75... Qb6+ 76. Kc4 Nd6+ $19) 75. Qf5 $1 Qg2+ (75... Qxf5 76. Bxf5 d2 77. Kc2 $11) 76. Ka3 Qh1 77. Bd1 $1 Qxd1 78. Qxe4 Qe2 79. Qg6+ Kf2 80. Qf6+ Qf3 81. Qd4+ Ke2 82. Qe5+ Kf2 83. Qd4+ Kf1 84. Qa1+ Kg2 85. Qg7+ Qg3 86. Qb7+ Kf2 87. Kb2 Ke2 88. Qe4+ Qe3 89. Qg2+ Qf2 90. Qe4+ Kd2 91. Kb3 $2 {Karjakin, who has defended well, now cracks under the pressure, as his king can be forced to leave the drawing zone near the pawn.} ({One way to draw is} 91. Qc4 Ke1+ (91... Qb6+ 92. Ka2 Qa5+ (92... Ke3 93. Qc1+ Ke2 94. Qc4 $11) 93. Kb2 Qe5+ 94. Kb3 Qe3 95. Qb4+ Ke2 96. Qc4 $11) 92. Kb1 d2 93. Qe4+ Qe2 94. Qh4+ Qf2 95. Qe4+ Kf1 96. Qd3+ Qe2 97. Qh3+ Ke1 98. Qh4+ $11) 91... Qb6+ 92. Kc4 Qa6+ (92... Qc7+ $5 {wins quicker.}) 93. Kb3 $6 (93. Kb4 {is met by} Qb6+ 94. Kc4 (94. Ka4 Kc3 95. Qe1+ d2 96. Qg3+ Kc2 $19) 94... Qc7+ 95. Kb5 (95. Kb3 Qc3+ 96. Ka2 Qa5+ 97. Kb2 Qb5+ 98. Ka3 Kc3 $19) 95... Qc3 $19 {and Black king is cut off in the losing zone.}) 93... Qb5+ 94. Ka2 Kc3 95. Qe1+ Kc2 (95... Kc2 {and White resigned as he runs out of checks after} 96. Qf2+ d2 $19) 0-1

Black's Knight's Nightmare

Sometimes a knight can construct a fortress against a rook, but here Wang Yue should keep his rook:

[Event "FIDE GP Beijing"] [Site "Beijing CHN"] [Date "2013.07.10"] [Round "6.5"] [White "Grischuk, A."] [Black "Wang Yue"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2705"] [PlyCount "153"] [EventDate "2013.07.04"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O g6 5. d3 Bg7 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. e4 a5 8. a4 Bg4 9. e5 Nfd7 10. d4 c5 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Nxf3 cxd4 13. e6 fxe6 14. Nxd4 Nc5 15. Re1 Ra6 16. c3 Nbd7 17. Be3 Kh8 18. Nb5 Qc8 19. Rc1 Rd8 20. b4 Ne4 21. c4 axb4 22. cxd5 Nc3 23. Nxc3 bxc3 24. Bd4 Bxd4 25. Qxd4+ e5 26. Qb4 Qc5 27. Qxc5 Nxc5 28. Rxc3 Nd7 29. Re4 Rd6 30. Rc7 b6 31. Re1 Kg7 32. f4 exf4 33. Rxe7+ Kf6 34. Rxh7 fxg3 35. Rc3 Ne5 36. Rxg3 Rc8 37. Rh4 Rc4 38. Rxc4 Nxc4 39. Kf2 g5 40. Rg4 Ne5 41. Rd4 Ng6 42. Kg3 Ke5 43. Rg4 Kf6 44. Rc4 Ne7 45. Rc3 Kg7 46. Rd3 Rh6 47. Kg4 Kf6 48. d6 Rh4+ 49. Kg3 Nf5+ 50. Kf3 Nd4+ 51. Kf2 Ne6 52. d7 Ke7 53. Bc6 Nd8 54. Bb5 g4 55. hxg4 Rxg4 56. Rh3 Kd6 57. Rc3 Rb4 58. Ke3 Ke7 59. Rc8 { Black's Knight's Knightmare Sometimes a knight can construct a fortress against a rook, but here Wang Yue should keep his rook:} Rxb5 $2 {Without the rook Black can not defend as White can often simplify into a won pawn endgame.} ({After} 59... Rh4 60. Rb8 (60. Ra8 Rh6 61. Ra6 Rd6 $11) 60... Rh6 {White can not break the blockade on the dark squares.}) 60. axb5 Kxd7 61. Rb8 Kc7 62. Ra8 ({Of course not} 62. Rxd8 $4 Kxd8 63. Kd4 {[%csl Gc6,Gd6,Ge6] as White can not transform the distant opposition into a normal opposition due to} Ke8 $1 64. Ke4 Kd8 $1 65. Ke5 Ke7 $1 $11) 62... Ne6 63. Ke4 Kd6 64. Rc8 Nc5+ (64... Nc7 { is met by} 65. Rxc7 Kxc7 66. Ke5 {[%csl Gc7,Ge5] Diagonal opposition} Kd7 67. Kd5 {[%csl Gd5,Gd7] Opposition} Kc7 68. Ke6 {[%csl Gc6,Gd6,Ge6,Ge7]} Kc8 69. Kd6 Kb7 70. Kd7 Kb8 71. Kc6 Ka7 72. Kc7 Ka8 73. Kxb6 {[%csl Ga6,Gb6,Gc6]} Kb8 74. Ka6 $1 Ka8 75. b6 Kb8 76. b7 Kc7 77. Ka7 $18) 65. Kd4 $1 (65. Ke3 $2 {runs into} Kd5 $11 {[%cal Gd5c4]}) 65... Nb3+ 66. Kc3 Na5 67. Rh8 Kc5 68. Rh5+ Kd6 69. Rg5 Kc7 70. Kd4 Nb3+ (70... Kd6 71. Rg6+ Kc7 72. Kd5 $18) 71. Kd5 Na5 72. Rg7+ Kc8 73. Kd6 Kb8 74. Rc7 Ka8 75. Rc8+ Kb7 76. Kd7 Ka7 (76... Nb3 77. Rc7+ Kb8 78. Kc6 Nd4+ 79. Kxb6 Nxb5 80. Rh7 Nd6 81. Rh8+ Nc8+ 82. Kc6 $18) 77. Kc7 ( 77. Kc7 Nc4 78. Rb8 Nd6 79. Kxd6 (79. Rxb6 {wins even quicker.}) 79... Kxb8 80. Kc6 Ka7 81. Kc7 Ka8 82. Kxb6 Kb8 83. Ka6 $18) 1-0

Safarli's strong shot

Opposite colored bishops favor the attacker, if an additional pair of rooks is on the board:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2013"] [Site "Tromso NOR"] [Date "2013.08.13"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Safarli, Eltaj"] [Black "Amin, Bassem"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A05"] [WhiteElo "2660"] [BlackElo "2652"] [PlyCount "181"] [EventDate "2013.08.11"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.08.13"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 d6 8. h3 Ne8 9. Nd5 Be6 10. c3 Qc8 11. Kh2 h6 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 Bxd5 14. exd5 Nxd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. dxc6 bxc6 17. Qa4 d5 18. Bf4 Qb7 19. Rac1 Rc8 20. Rc2 g5 21. Bd2 Nd6 22. Bb4 Rfd8 23. Bc5 Ne4 24. b3 a6 25. Re1 Nxc5 26. Rxc5 Bf8 27. Rc2 Qb4 28. Qxb4 Bxb4 29. Rec1 Ba3 30. Rd1 c5 31. dxc5 Rxc5 32. Rxc5 Bxc5 33. Bxd5 Kg7 34. Kg2 Kf6 35. f4 gxf4 36. gxf4 a5 37. Kf3 Bb4 38. Rd3 Rd7 39. Ke2 Re7+ 40. Kf3 Rd7 41. h4 Rd8 42. h5 Rd7 43. Rd4 Bc5 44. Rd1 Bb4 45. Rd3 Rd8 46. a4 Rd7 47. Rd1 Rd8 48. Ke4 Re8+ 49. Kd4 Re1 50. Rd3 Rf1 51. Ke4 Re1+ 52. Kf3 Rf1+ 53. Kg3 Rc1 54. Rd4 Rc3+ 55. Kg4 Bc5 56. Rd2 Bb4 57. Rd1 Re3 58. Bc4 Re1 59. Rd7 Re7 60. Rd5 Rc7 61. Rf5+ Kg7 62. Rb5 Kf6 63. Rb6+ Kg7 64. Kf5 Bd2 65. Rb5 Bb4 66. Ke4 Kf6 67. Rb6+ Kg7 68. Bd5 Re7+ 69. Kd4 Bd2 70. Ra6 Rc7 71. f5 Bc3+ 72. Kd3 Rc5 73. Ke4 {Safarli's strong shot Opposite colored bishops favor the attacker, if an additional pair of rooks is on the board:} Rc7 $2 {Amin should keep the position static with} (73... f6 $1 74. Ra7+ Kh8 75. Be6 Re5+ 76. Kd3 Rc5 {and Black should be able to defend.}) 74. f6+ $1 {Safarli's strong shot.} Bxf6 (74... Kh7 $2 75. Kd3 Rd7 76. Kc4 Rc7+ 77. Kb5 Rc8 78. Bxf7 $18) 75. Rxa5 Re7+ 76. Kd3 Re5 77. Rb5 (77. Kc4 $5 Rxh5 78. Ra7 $18 {is more precise.}) 77... Rxh5 78. a5 Rh3+ 79. Kc4 Rc3+ 80. Kb4 Rc1 (80... Rc7 81. Bc4 Be7+ 82. Ka4 Bc5 $6 83. Rxc5 Rxc5 84. a6 Rc7 85. Kb5 $18) 81. Rb7 Bc3+ 82. Kb5 Rf1 83. a6 Bd4 84. Bc4 Rf2 (84... Rf5+ 85. Kc6 Rc5+ 86. Kd6 Kf6 87. Rxf7+ $18) 85. b4 Rf3 86. Bd5 Rf1 87. Kc4 $1 Bg1 (87... Be3 88. Re7 Bg1 89. a7 $18) 88. a7 Rc1+ 89. Kb5 Ra1 90. Rxf7+ Kg6 91. Rf1 $3 {[%cal Gf1a1,Gf1g1] Safarli's second strong shot.} (91. Rf1 $3 Rxf1 (91... Rxa7 92. Rxg1+ $18) (91... Bxa7 92. Rxa1 $18) 92. a8=Q $18) 1-0

Maxime's Miracle

In endgames with rook and knight against rook and knight usually a light initiative weighs heavily:

[Event "WorldCup 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.08.27"] [Round "47.2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D17"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2719"] [PlyCount "249"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Nb6 8. Ne5 a5 9. e3 Nbd7 10. Nc4 Qb8 11. Bd3 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 e5 13. O-O Bb4 14. Qf5 exd4 15. exd4 O-O 16. Rd1 Qe8 17. Bf4 Qe6 18. Qxe6 fxe6 19. Bd6 Rfd8 20. f3 Bxc3 21. bxc3 Nd5 22. Rdc1 b5 23. axb5 cxb5 24. Nxa5 Rdc8 25. Bb4 Rc7 26. Rab1 Rac8 27. h4 e5 28. Rd1 exd4 29. Rxd4 N7f6 30. Kh2 h6 31. Rb2 Nxc3 32. Bxc3 Rxc3 33. Rxb5 Rc2 34. Nb3 Kh7 35. Rdb4 R8c3 36. Kh3 Ra2 37. Nd4 Rc1 38. Ne6 Re1 39. Nf4 Ra7 40. h5 Rae7 41. g4 R1e5 42. Ng6 Rxb5 43. Rxb5 Re8 44. Rb7 Rd8 45. Kg3 Kg8 46. Kh4 Kh7 47. Ra7 Kg8 48. f4 Kh7 49. Rb7 Ne4 50. Rb4 Re8 51. g5 Nd6 52. Rb6 Nf7 53. Rb5 Re1 54. Nf8+ Kg8 55. Rb8 hxg5+ 56. fxg5 Rh1+ 57. Kg3 {Maxime's Miracle In endgames with rook and knight against rook and knight usually a light initiative weighs heavily:} Rg1+ $1 {The first check is right as} (57... Rxh5 $2 58. g6 $18 {and}) (57... Nd6 $2 58. g6 Rg1+ 59. Kh2 Rc1 60. Ne6+ Rc8 61. Rb6 Nf5 62. Rb7 Re8 63. Kg2 Kh8 64. Kf3 Nd6 65. Rf7 $18 {are both insufficient.}) 58. Kf4 {The best try as} (58. Kf2 $6 {runs into} Rxg5 59. Ne6+ Kh7 60. Nxg5+ Nxg5 61. Kg3 (61. Rb6 Ne4+ 62. Kf3 Nf6 $11) 61... Ne4+ 62. Kh4 Nf6 63. Kg5 Ne4+ $11) 58... Rf1+ $2 {But the second check is wrong as the checks will run out soon.} ({The only defense is} 58... Nd6 $1 59. Ng6+ (59. Ke5 {can even be met by} Rxg5+ 60. Kxd6 Rxh5 61. Ne6+ Kh7 $11) 59... Kf7 60. Ne5+ Ke6 61. Nf3 Ra1 62. Rb4 Ke7 {when Black should be able to hold.}) 59. Ke3 g6 (59... Nd8 60. Ne6 Re1+ 61. Kf4 Rxe6 62. Rxd8+ Kf7 63. g6+ Ke7 64. Rg8 Kf6 65. Rf8+ Ke7 66. Rf7+ $18) (59... Re1+ 60. Kf2 Rd1 61. Nd7+ $18) 60. hxg6 $1 {The right capture as} ( 60. Nxg6+ $2 {is met by} Kg7 61. Rb7 Rg1 62. Ne5 (62. Kf4 Rf1+ 63. Ke4 Kg8 $11) (62. Nf4 Rg3+ 63. Kd4 (63. Ke4 Rxg5 64. Ne6+ Kf6 65. Nxg5 Nd6+ $11) 63... Rxg5 64. Ne6+ Kh6 65. Nxg5 Nxg5 $11) 62... Rxg5 63. Rxf7+ (63. h6+ Kf6 64. Nxf7 Rh5 $11) (63. Nxf7 Rxh5 $11) 63... Kh6 64. Kf4 Rxh5 $11) 60... Kg7 (60... Nd8 61. Nd7 ({Of course not} 61. Rxd8 $4 Rxf8 62. Rxf8+ Kxf8 63. Kf4 Kg7 64. Kf5 Kg8 $1 $11) 61... Kg7 62. Rxd8 Kxg6 63. Rg8+ Kh7 64. Rf8 Rxf8 65. Nxf8+ Kg7 66. Ne6+ Kg6 67. Kf4 $18) 61. gxf7 Kxf7 62. Ke4 $2 {Now White's pieces are too clumsily placed and Kramnik's king has no good shelter, so that Maxime Vachier-Lagrave can make a Houdini like escape.} ({Surprisingly the only move to win for White is} 62. Nd7 $1 Rf5 63. Rf8+ Kg6 64. Rg8+ Kf7 65. Ke4 $1 {The point, which was missed by Kramnik.} Ra5 66. Rf8+ $5 {The smooth solution.} ({In this position the clumsy} 66. Nf6 {wins as well, e.g.} Ra1 67. Rd8 Kg6 68. Rd5 Re1+ 69. Kf4 Rf1+ 70. Ke3 Re1+ 71. Kf2 Ra1 72. Ne4 $18) 66... Kg6 (66... Ke7 67. g6 Kxd7 ( 67... Rg5 68. Rf7+ Ke8 69. Nf6+ Kd8 70. g7 $18) 68. g7 $18) (66... Kg7 67. Kf4 Rd5 68. Nf6 Rxg5 (68... Rd4+ 69. Ke5 Kxf8 70. Kxd4 $18) 69. Rg8+ Kxf6 70. Rxg5 $18) 67. Ne5+ $3 Kxg5 68. Rf5+ Kh6 (68... Kh4 69. Nf3+ $18) 69. Nf7+ Kg6 70. Rxa5 $18 {(Heimers)}) 62... Re1+ 63. Kf3 Rf1+ 64. Kg3 Rg1+ 65. Kf4 Rf1+ 66. Ke3 Re1+ 67. Kf3 Rf1+ 68. Kg2 Rf5 69. Nh7 Kg6 70. Rb7 Rf4 ({Of course not} 70... Rf7 $4 71. Rxf7 Kxf7 72. Nf6 Kg6 73. Ne4 $18) 71. Kg3 Ra4 72. Re7 Rg4+ 73. Kf3 (73. Kxg4 $6 {stalemate.}) 73... Ra4 74. Rb7 Rh4 75. Nf6 Kxg5 76. Ne4+ Kf5 77. Re7 Rh8 78. Ke3 Rd8 79. Rf7+ Ke6 80. Rh7 Rd1 81. Nc5+ Kf5 82. Rf7+ Ke5 83. Nd3+ Ke6 (83... Kd5 $4 {runs into} 84. Rd7+ Kc6 (84... Ke6 85. Nc5+ $18) (84... Kc4 85. Ne5+ $18) 85. Ne5+ $18) 84. Ra7 Rh1 85. Ke4 Rh4+ 86. Nf4+ Kd6 87. Ra6+ Kc5 88. Rg6 Kc4 89. Rc6+ Kb5 90. Rc1 Rh8 91. Ke5 Rh4 92. Rc8 Rh1 93. Ne6 Rh5+ 94. Kd6 Rh6 95. Rc1 Kb4 96. Kd5 Rh5+ 97. Ke4 Rh4+ 98. Nf4 Kb5 99. Ke5 Rh8 100. Rc2 Rh4 101. Rf2 Kc4 102. Ke4 Rh8 103. Rc2+ Kb5 104. Ng6 Rh1 105. Ne5 Re1+ 106. Kd4 Rd1+ 107. Nd3 Kb6 108. Rc3 Rb1 109. Kd5 Rb5+ 110. Nc5 Rb1 111. Nd7+ Kb5 112. Rd3 Rb4 113. Ne5 Rb1 114. Nc4 Kb4 115. Nd2 Rb2 116. Kc6 Rc2+ 117. Kb6 Rb2 118. Kc6 Rc2+ 119. Kb7 Rc3 120. Rd8 Rc5 121. Ne4 Rc4 122. Re8 Rc2 123. Kb6 Re2 124. Kc6 Re1 125. Nd6 1/2-1/2

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

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