Endgames from Vrnjacka Banja (3)

by Karsten Müller
3/15/2023 – Close to 250 games were played daily for 11 rounds at the European Championship that came to an end on Monday. The players were fighting for an entrance to the World Championship cycle via the World Cup, which made for very competitive struggles. Karsten Müller kept an eye on the games, and sent us many notable endgames with instructive analyses. Replay here ten of his finds! | Pictured: Ellen Fredericia Nilssen | Photo: European Chess Union

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Tricky knights

Teaching an absolute beginner how the knight moves is more difficult than teaching any other piece’s movement. For grandmasters, dealing with the knight is also one of the most difficult tasks — at least in endgames requiring deep calculation. 


As per Capablanca’s Theorem, queen and knight are stronger than queen and bishop. Eray Kilic (Black) here failed to realize that trading queens was the way to draw the game. After 39...Qd7, Daniil Yuffa showed the correct technique to create a mating attack with his killer duo. 


David Anton (White) here had an advantage thanks to his outside passer and his bishop’s ability to defend from afar. However, it turns out that Nikolas Wachinger had a way to draw this position. He could not find the right knight road, though. Can you find it?


In this double-edged position, the underdog, Ulviyya Fataliyeva (Black), had the upper hand against Alexander Donchenko. She, however, faltered by choosing the incorrect knight manoeuvre in this position. Black to play and win.

These are only three of the ten instructive endgame positions which you can study and enjoy in our dynamic replayer below!


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.


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.
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Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 3/16/2023 09:26
Wolfram Schön adds at the end of the drawing line 46...Qxf6! in Yuffa-Kilic:
"Yes, this fortress holds. If White wants to try something, first his king should come to the queenside. 55.Kg4 Be4 56.Kg3 Bc2 57.Kf2 Bb3 58.Ke3 Ba2 59.Kd4 Bb3 60.Kc5 Ke8 61.Kd6 The optimum king position for White, Black needs to be a bit careful from here on. (Instead, going for the a4 is fairly harmless: 61.Kb4 Bc2 62.Nc4 Kf7 63.Nb6 Kxf6 64.Nxa4 Bxa4=) 61...Kf8 62.Nf3 Kf7! 63.Ke5 Ke8! 64.Ng5 Kd7! Actually, this is a position of mutual zugzwang. But as always, knights can't lose tempi. 65.Ne4 Ke8! 66.Nc5 Kf7! 67.Nb7 Ke8!="