Endgames from Madrid (3)

by Karsten Müller
6/29/2022 – Eight of the strongest players in the world are fighting in Madrid to get a shot in the next match for the world crown. Deep opening preparation and maximum focus often lead to slightly better (or worse) endgames. GM Karsten Müller aims his attention at the last stage of the game, as he compiles the most salient and instructive endings from the Candidates Tournament. | Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage

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Open roads / blockades

Sometimes it is all about creating pathways for your pieces, or impenetrable blockades which will fully paralyse the opponent.

In round 7, Teimour Radjabov temporarily stabilized his position in the centre, but by doing so, he created an open road for Fabiano Caruana’s king to infiltrate later on.


Radjabov’s 29...f6 turned out to be a lasting weakening move. Caruana’s king marched on and decisively reached the g6-square eight moves later.

If the defensive side does not create a road for the opponent, the player with the advantage first needs to neutralize the defender’s counterchances. In the following position, Hikaru Nakamura fully blockaded Caruana’s play before making the final steps towards victory.


67.Ng2 creates an impenetrable blockade around Black’s chances to queen his e-pawn. White went on to win the game.

Find analyses for these two positions and two more endgames 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.