Fridman's fortress, Meier's mighty, Anand's exploits

2/21/2013 – The recent Baden Baden tournament saw some deep and exciting chess, often culminating in decisive endgames, which our columnist GM Karsten Müller has been carefully monitoring for the next issue of ChessBase Magazine. We bring you four instructive examples which you can use to hone your skills in an important part of the game.  Learn and enjoy.

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Fridman's fortress

The fight bishop against knight can be very complicated:

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.17"] [Round "10"] [White "Fridman, D."] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D10"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2757"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "172"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 a6 7. Bd3 Bg4 8. Nge2 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Rc1 O-O 11. f3 Bh5 12. Bg3 Rc8 13. Nf4 Bg6 14. Na4 Nd7 15. Bxg6 hxg6 16. Nd3 Na5 17. Rxc8 Qxc8 18. Qe1 Nc4 19. b3 Nd6 20. Qd2 Nb5 21. Rc1 Qa8 22. Rc2 b6 23. Ne5 Nxe5 24. Bxe5 Qb7 25. Bg3 Re8 26. Qc1 Ba3 27. Qd2 Rd8 28. Qd3 Rc8 29. h3 Rc6 30. Kh2 Be7 31. Nb2 a5 32. Qd2 Bg5 33. Rxc6 Qxc6 34. h4 Be7 35. Nd3 Nd6 36. Bxd6 Qxd6+ 37. f4 Bxh4 38. Qc1 Bd8 39. Qc8 g5 40. g3 gxf4 41. gxf4 Qc7 42. Qxc7 Bxc7 43. Kh3 Kh7 44. Kg4 Kg6 45. Ne1 Bd6 46. Nf3 f6 47. Ne1 Bb4 48. Nf3 Ba3 49. Ng1 Bc1 50. Kf3 Bd2 51. Ne2 Bb4 52. a4 Bd2 53. Ng3 Be1 54. f5+ exf5 55. Ne2 Kf7 56. Nf4 g5 57. Nxd5 Ke6 58. Nc7+ Kf7 59. Nd5 Bb4 60. Nxb6 g4+ 61. Kf2 Ke6 62. Ke2 Kd6 63. Nc4+ Kd5 {Fridman's fortress The fight bishop against knight can be very complicated:} 64. Kd3 $2 {Passive defense will not do as Black can open roads on the kingside with help of zugwang and the well timed advance ...f5-f4.} ({But counterplay with} 64. Nb6+ $1 Ke4 65. Nd7 Be7 (65... f4 66. Nxf6+ Kf5 67. Nd5 f3+ 68. Kf1 g3 69. Nxb4 axb4 70. d5 Ke4 71. d6 Kxe3 72. d7 g2+ 73. Kg1 Ke2 74. d8=Q f2+ 75. Kxg2 f1=Q+ 76. Kh2 Qf2+ 77. Kh1 Qf3+ 78. Kh2 Qxb3 79. a5 $11) 66. b4 $3 {holds the draw:} (66. Kf2 $2 g3+ 67. Kxg3 Kxe3 $19) (66. Nb6 $2 f4 67. exf4 f5 68. Nc4 (68. d5 Bb4 69. Kf1 Kd4 70. Kg2 Kc5 71. Nc4 Kxd5 72. Kg3 Ke4 73. Ne5 Be1+ 74. Kg2 Bc3 75. Nf7 Kxf4 $19) 68... Bb4 69. Ne3 Bc3 70. d5 Bb4 71. Nc2 Bc5 72. Ne1 g3 73. Ng2 Bd6 74. Ne3 (74. Kf1 Kxd5 75. Ne3+ Ke4 76. Nc4 Bxf4 77. Nxa5 Kf3 $19) 74... Bxf4 75. Nc4 Bb8 76. d6 f4 77. Nd2+ Kd5 78. d7 Bc7 79. Kf3 Kc6 80. Ne4 Kxd7 $19 ) 66... f4 (66... axb4 67. a5 Kd5 68. a6 Kc6 69. a7 Kb7 70. Nb6 Kxa7 71. Nc8+ Ka6 72. Nxe7 b3 73. Nd5 b2 74. Nc3 $11) (66... Bxb4 $4 67. Nxf6#) 67. bxa5 (67. Nc5+ $2 Kd5 68. exf4 axb4 69. Nb3 Bd6 70. f5 g3 71. Kf3 Kc4 72. a5 Kxb3 73. a6 Bb8 74. d5 Kc2 75. d6 b3 76. d7 b2 77. d8=Q b1=Q $19) 67... f3+ 68. Kf1 g3 69. a6 Kxe3 70. a7 g2+ 71. Kg1 Ke2 72. a8=Q f2+ 73. Kxg2 f1=Q+ 74. Kg3 Qf2+ 75. Kg4 Qxd4+ 76. Kh5 Qxd7 77. Qe4+ Kd2 78. Kg6 {and amazing as it may seem Black can not convert his large material advantage, e.g.} Qe8+ 79. Kf5 Qc8+ 80. Qe6 Qc2+ 81. Qe4 Qc5+ 82. Ke6 Qd6+ 83. Kf7 Bd8 (83... Qe5 84. Qb7 f5 85. Qxe7 Qxe7+ 86. Kxe7 f4 87. a5 $11) 84. a5 Bxa5 85. Qg2+ Kc3 86. Qf3+ Kb4 87. Qxf6 $11) 64... g3 65. Ke2 Ke4 $2 {Caruana's king will be forced back. So he had to advance the kingside pawns first to open more roads:} (65... f4 66. exf4 (66. Kf3 fxe3 67. Kxe3 g2 68. Kf2 Kxd4 69. Kxg2 Kc3 70. Kf3 Kxb3 71. Nxa5+ Bxa5 72. Ke4 Kxa4 73. Kf5 Bc3 $19) 66... Kxd4 67. Kf3 Kc3 68. Kxg3 Kxb3 69. Nxa5+ Bxa5 70. Kg4 Kxa4 71. Kf5 Bc3 $19) (65... g2 {wins as well, e.g.} 66. Kf2 f4 67. Kxg2 (67. exf4 Kxd4 68. Kxg2 Kc3 69. Kf3 Kxb3 70. Nb6 Bc5 71. Nd7 Be7 72. Nb6 Bd8 73. Nd7 Kxa4 $19) 67... fxe3 68. Kf3 (68. Nxe3+ Kxd4 69. Kf3 (69. Nc4 Kc3 70. Kf3 Kxb3 71. Nxa5+ Bxa5 72. Ke4 Kxa4 73. Kf5 Bc3 $19) 69... Kc3 70. Nd5+ Kxb3 71. Nxf6 Kxa4 72. Ke2 Kb3 73. Nd5 Bc5 74. Nf4 a4 75. Nd3 Be7 76. Kd1 a3 77. Nc1+ Kb2 78. Nd3+ Kb1 79. Nc1 Bb4 80. Nd3 a2 81. Nxb4 a1=Q $19) 68... Kxd4 69. Nxe3 Kc3 70. Ke4 Kxb3 71. Kd3 Kxa4 72. Kc4 (72. Kc2 Kb5 $19) 72... Bd6 73. Nd5 Be5 74. Nb6+ Ka3 75. Kb5 Bc3 76. Kc4 Bb4 77. Nd5 f5 78. Nf4 a4 79. Ne2 Ba5 80. Kb5 Bc7 81. Kc4 Kb2 82. Nc3 a3 83. Nd1+ Kc2 84. Ne3+ Kb1 $19) 66. d5 $1 {This active counterblow saves White.} ({The passive retreat} 66. Kf1 $2 {is refuted by} Kf3 67. d5 g2+ 68. Kg1 Be1 $19) ({and} 66. Nb6 $2 {runs into} f4 67. exf4 Bc3 68. Nc4 Bxd4 69. Kf1 Kf3 70. Nd2+ Kxf4 71. Kg2 Bc3 72. Nf3 f5 73. Ng1 Kg4 74. Nf3 f4 75. Ng1 Bb4 76. Nf3 Kf5 $19) 66... Kxd5 (66... f4 {is too late now due to} 67. exf4 Bc5 68. Kf1 ({Even} 68. d6 g2 69. d7 g1=Q 70. d8=Q {is playable.}) 68... Kf3 69. Nd2+ Kxf4 70. Kg2 Ke5 71. Nc4+ Kxd5 72. Kxg3 Bb4 73. Kf4 $11) 67. Kf3 Be1 (67... g2 {also does not win due to} 68. Kxg2 Ke4 69. Kf2 Kd3 70. Kf3 Kc3 71. Kf4 Kxb3 72. Nxa5+ Bxa5 73. Kxf5 Bc3 74. a5 $11) 68. Nb2 g2 69. Kxg2 Ke4 70. Nc4 Bc3 71. Kf2 f4 72. exf4 Kxf4 73. Ke2 f5 {Now White's knight is always in time to deal with Black's active options. But Black can not win anyway, e.g.} (73... Ke4 74. Nd6+ Kd5 75. Nc4 Kc5 76. Kd3 Bb4 77. Ke4 Bc3 78. Kf5 Kb4 79. Ke6 Kxb3 80. Nxa5+ Bxa5 81. Kxf6 $11) 74. Kd3 Bb4 75. Ne3 Bc5 76. Nc4 Bb4 ({After} 76... Kg3 77. Nxa5 f4 78. Nc4 {White's knight is back in time: } f3 79. Nd2 f2 80. Ne4+ Kg2 81. Nxf2 Bxf2 $11) 77. Ne3 Bd6 78. Nc4 Bc7 79. Ne3 Bd8 80. b4 $5 axb4 81. Nd5+ Kg3 82. Nxb4 f4 83. Ke2 Kg2 84. Nd3 f3+ 85. Ke3 Kg3 86. Ke4 Bb6 (86... Bb6 87. Kd5 Kh2 88. Ke4 Kg3 $11) 1/2-1/2

Meier's mighty men

In endings with rooks and knight against rook and knight a light initiative often weighs heavily:

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.16"] [Round "9"] [White "Meier, Geo"] [Black "Naiditsch, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2716"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 d5 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 Nbd7 8. O-O dxc4 9. Rc1 Qe7 10. Rxc4 c6 11. b3 Re8 12. Ne5 Nd5 13. Qb2 f6 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15. Nd2 e5 16. dxe5 Qxe5 17. Qxe5 Rxe5 18. Ne4 Nb6 19. Rd4 Be6 20. Rad1 Bd5 21. Nc3 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Rae8 23. e3 Kf7 24. a4 R8e7 25. b4 Na8 26. e4 g5 27. f4 gxf4 28. gxf4 Rh5 29. Ne2 Rh4 30. Kg3 Rh5 {Meier's mighty men In endings with rooks and knight against rook and knight a light initiative often weighs heavily:} 31. Kg2 $1 {A very strong retreat with the idea to activate the knight with Ne2-g3-f5.} Rh4 (31... c5 $6 {is met by} 32. Rd8 Nb6 33. Ng3 Rh4 34. Nf5 Rxf4 35. Nxe7 Kxe7 36. bxc5 Nxa4 37. R8d7+ Ke6 $6 38. R1d6+ Ke5 39. Re7#) 32. Ng3 Rxf4 (32... Rg4 {runs into} 33. Kf3 Rg8 34. Nf5 Rc7 35. Nh6+ $18) 33. Nf5 {What a mighty octopus!} Rxf5 ({After} 33... Rc7 {Meier collects the rook with} 34. Kg3 $18) 34. exf5 Nb6 35. Rh4 Kg7 36. Rg4+ Kf7 37. Rh4 Kg7 38. Rg1 ({The more direct} 38. Rd8 {wins as well.}) 38... Nxa4 $6 {This greedy capture allows the decisive invasion of White's rooks. But good advice is hard to give anyway, e.g.} (38... Nd5 39. Kf2+ Kh8 40. Rhg4 Re8 41. Re1 Rxe1 42. Kxe1 h5 43. Rc4 Kg8 44. b5 Ne7 (44... cxb5 45. Rc5 Ne7 46. Rxb5 b6 47. Kf2 Kf7 48. Kg3 $18) 45. a5 Kf7 46. a6 bxa6 47. bxc6 Ke8 48. Re4 $18) (38... Kf8 39. Rg4 h5 40. Rg6 Nd5 41. Kf2 Ke8 42. Rg7 b5 43. axb5 cxb5 44. Rxe7+ Kxe7 45. Re1+ Kd7 46. Re4 Ne7 47. Re6 Nxf5 48. Rxf6 Ne7 49. Rh6 Nd5 50. Rxh5 Nxb4 51. Rxb5 $18) 39. Kf3+ Kf8 40. Rhg4 Rf7 41. Rg8+ Ke7 42. Rd1 $1 {The second rook comes.} Nb6 (42... Rf8 43. Rg7+ Rf7 44. Rxf7+ Kxf7 45. Rd7+ Ke8 46. Rxb7 $18) (42... Nc3 {runs into} 43. Rdd8 $18) 43. Rb8 Nd7 (43... Nd5 44. Rxb7+ Kf8 45. Rxf7+ Kxf7 46. b5 Ne7 47. bxc6 Nxc6 48. Rd7+ Kg8 49. Ke4 a5 50. Kd5 Ne5 51. Ra7 h5 52. Ke6 $18) 44. Rxb7 Ke8 45. Kf4 Ne5 46. Rxf7 Kxf7 47. Ke4 $5 {Meier stops even the slightest chance for counterplay so Naiditsch resigned.} 1-0

Anand's Activity

In rook endings activity is often of crucial importance, but they also have a large drawish tendency:

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.17"] [Round "10"] [White "Naiditsch, A."] [Black "Anand, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2716"] [BlackElo "2780"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.02.17"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. O-O Nc6 10. Nde2 Qe6 11. Nd5 Qxe4 12. Nc7+ Kd7 13. Nxa8 Qxc4 14. Nc3 Rxa8 15. Bg5 e6 16. Re1 Nd5 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. Qxd5 exd5 19. Rad1 h6 20. Bc1 d4 21. Rd3 Rc8 22. Rb3 b6 23. Kf1 Ne5 24. Ra3 a5 25. b4 Rc2 26. bxa5 bxa5 27. Rxa5 Nd3 28. Ra7+ Kc6 29. Rxf7 Nxe1 30. Kxe1 Rxc1+ 31. Kd2 Rg1 32. Rxg7 Rxg2 33. Ke1 Rxh2 34. Rxg6 Rh1+ {Anand's Activity In rook endings activity is often of crucial importance, but they also have a large drawish tendency:} 35. Kd2 $2 {Naiditsch chooses the wrong square and will fall in zugzwang later.} ( 35. Ke2 $1 {draws:} h5 36. a4 h4 37. a5 h3 (37... Kc5 {also does not win, e.g.} 38. Rh6 Ra1 39. Rxh4 Kc4 40. Rh8 Ra2+ 41. Ke1 Rxa5 42. f4 d3 43. Kd2 Ra2+ 44. Kd1 Rf2 45. f5 Rxf5 46. Rc8+ $11) 38. Rh6 h2 39. a6 d3+ 40. Kd2 Kb6 41. Rxd6+ Ka7 42. Rh6 {and in this reciprocal zugzwang now Black is to move and can't win, e.g.} Kb8 43. Rh8+ Ka7 44. Rh6 $11 {It is of crucial importance that Naiditsch's pawn f2 blocks the second rank, so that Ra1 does not win here.}) 35... h5 36. Rh6 h4 37. a4 h3 38. a5 (38. f4 h2 39. f5 Ra1 40. f6 h1=Q 41. Rxh1 Rxh1 42. f7 Rf1 $19) (38. Ke2 h2 39. Kf3 d3 40. Kg2 d2 $19) 38... h2 39. a6 Kc7 $5 {Anand demonstrates good technique.} ({However,} 39... Kb6 $6 {wins as well: } 40. Rxd6+ Ka7 41. Rh6 d3 {Zugzwang} 42. Rh5 (42. f4 Ra1 43. Rxh2 Ra2+ 44. Kxd3 Rxh2 45. Ke4 Kxa6 46. f5 Kb6 47. Kd5 Kc7 48. Ke6 Kd8 49. f6 Ke8 $19) 42... Kxa6 $19) 40. Rh7+ Kb8 41. Ke2 d3+ 42. Kd2 (42. Kxd3 Rd1+ 43. Ke4 h1=Q+ $19) 42... Ka8 43. Rh5 (43. a7 {is met by} d5 {and White is in fatal zugzwang.}) 43... Ka7 44. Rh6 d5 45. Rh8 Kxa6 46. Rh6+ Kb5 47. Rh8 Kc4 48. Rc8+ Kd4 49. Rh8 Ke4 (49... Ke4 {and Naiditsch resigned as he will lose to the typical trick Ra1 sooner or later, e.g.} 50. Rh3 Kf4 51. Rh8 Kf3 52. Rf8+ Kg2 53. Rg8+ Kxf2 54. Rf8+ Kg3 55. Rg8+ Kf4 56. Rf8+ Ke4 57. Re8+ Kd4 58. Rh8 Ra1 {The trick.} 59. Rxh2 Ra2+ $19) 0-1

Counterplay counts

In endgames with rooks and opposite colored bishops the initiative counts a lot:

[Event "1st GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden-Baden GER"] [Date "2013.02.15"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Meier, Geo"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C10"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2640"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2013.02.07"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "19"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2013.02.18"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Be3 Bd6 8. Bd3 O-O 9. Qe2 b6 10. O-O-O Bb7 11. c4 c5 12. dxc5 bxc5 13. Ng5 h6 14. Nh7 Nxh7 15. Bxh7+ Kxh7 16. Qd3+ Kg8 17. Qxd6 Qa5 18. Kb1 Be4+ 19. Ka1 Bc2 20. Qg3 Kh7 21. Bd2 Qa4 22. b3 Qc6 23. Bc3 Bg6 24. Rd6 Qe4 25. Re1 Qc2 26. Rd2 Qf5 27. Qe5 f6 28. Qxf5 Bxf5 29. Ba5 Rf7 30. Red1 g5 31. Rd6 Rc8 32. Rd7 Rcf8 33. R1d6 Kg6 34. Bd2 e5 35. Rxf7 Rxf7 36. Be3 Rc7 37. Ra6 h5 38. Kb2 h4 39. Ra5 { Counterplay counts In endgames with rooks and opposite colored bishops the initiative counts a lot:} Rd7 $1 {Black must activate his rook as his queenside can not be defended in any case.} 40. Bxc5 ({Black's counterplay is also sufficient after} 40. Kc1 Be4 41. f3 Ba8 42. Bxc5 h3 43. gxh3 Bxf3 44. Rxa7 Rd1+ 45. Kc2 Rh1 $11) 40... Rd1 41. Ra6 $1 {Anand attacks himself as} (41. Rxa7 $2 {runs into} Rg1 {when only Black can harbor hopes to win.}) 41... Bc8 $1 {Meier destroys the harmony of White's forces before he continues his counterattack.} (41... Rg1 42. Be7 Be6 $1 {most likely also draws, but is much more complicated, e.g.} 43. Rxe6 Kf7 44. Ra6 Kxe7 45. g3 Rg2 $11) 42. Rxa7 Rh1 43. Rc7 Bf5 44. h3 Rh2 45. a4 (45. b4 $5 {is an easier way to draw:} Rxg2 46. b5 g4 47. hxg4 Be4 48. b6 h3 49. Rc8 Kg7 50. Rc7+ Kg6 51. Rc8 $11) 45... Rxg2 46. a5 g4 (46... Bxh3 {is playable as well, e.g.} 47. a6 Bf5 48. a7 Be4 49. Rc8 h3 50. a8=Q Bxa8 51. Rxa8 h2 52. Rh8 Kg7 53. Rh5 Kg6 54. Rh8 Kg7 $11) 47. hxg4 Bxg4 (47... Rxg4 $5 {was the more enterprising alternative, which in the end also leads to dynamic equality after} 48. a6 h3 49. a7 (49. f3 $4 Rg2+ 50. Ka3 h2 $19) 49... Be4 50. Rd7 Rh4 51. f3 h2 52. fxe4 h1=Q 53. a8=Q Rh2+ 54. Rd2 Rxd2+ 55. Kc3 Rd7 56. Kb4 $11) 48. a6 h3 49. a7 Bf3 50. Rd7 $1 {A precise move as it is already the World Champion, who has to think about making the draw here.} (50. Rc8 $2 {runs into} Kh7 51. Rc7+ $2 Rg7 $19) 50... h2 51. Rd5 $1 Bxd5 52. cxd5 h1=Q 53. a8=Q Rg1 54. Qg8+ Kf5 55. Qe6+ Kg6 56. Qg8+ 1/2-1/2

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

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