Endgames from Dürres

by Karsten Müller
11/8/2023 – Magnus Carlsen’s Offerspill had a stellar performance at the 2023 European Chess Club Cup. The tournament took place in Dürres, Albania at the start of October. GM Karsten Müller found plenty of endgame highlights to share with us ChessBase readers. Find here thirteen instructive positions, with helpful, to-the-point analyses — perfect for those looking to improve their endgame abilities! | Pictured: David Anton | Photo: Niki Riga

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Extra (passed) pawns, still a draw

Mindlessly entering an endgame with one or even two extra pawns might lead to unwelcomed surprises. On the other hand, for the defensive side, keeping an eye for hidden recourses until the very end is surely worth it.

In the penultimate round of the European Club Cup, Offerspill obtained a key draw against Superchess, the rating favourites in Albania. Pranav Venkatesh, who had a great performance for Offerspill, defeated Jorden van Foreest with the white pieces. Van Foreest, however, could have escaped with a draw despite being two pawns down in a rook endgame.

It is Black to move here. Keeping the rook on the h-file with 61...Rh8, as seen in the game, allowed White to improve his position via 62.Kf3 Kh4 63.Rf3, when 63...Kxh3 loses in straightforward fashion, while after 63...Rf8+ 64.Kg2 White is ready to make progress.

61...Rf7, on the other hand, draws. Check out all the relevant lines that demonstrate the path to a half point in the replayer below.

Somewhat similarly, Jonas Barkhagen could have dealt with Kirill Shevchenko’s connected passers and escape with a draw in the following knight ending.

79...h1Q 80.Nxh1 Nxh1 was followed by resignation, since White will simply trap the knight on the corner starting with 81.Kf3.

The alternative 79...Ne2+ draws, as Black will continue to harass the white king with checks while transferring the knight to a useful defensive spot while the white knight is busy keeping an eye on the h-pawn.

These are only two of the thirteen 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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