Karsten Müller: Looking back at Ningbo

9/2/2013 – Today's endgame session by GM Karsten Müller are taken from the China vs USA classical and rapid chess match that was played in Ningbo, China, from July 18-28. It features four instructive examples of practical endings, selected by our ChessBase Magazine expert, who uses them to teach you techniques that can prove invaluable in your tournament games. Learn and enjoy.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

China vs USA in Ningbo

Earlier this year the Chinese Chess Federation invited the United States Chess Federation to send a male and female team to participate in a friendly China vs. USA match to be held in Ningbo, China from July 18 to July 28. The match consisted of five classic time control games in Scheveningen style followed by ten rapid games in a double Scheveningen format. The men were playing for a prize fund of $30,000 divided 60% to the winning team and 40% to the other. The women are playing for the same odds but for a prize fund of $20,000. Here are two reports on the event:

ChessBase reports on China vs USA in Ningbo

  • China leads at halftime
    24.7.2013 - The China vs. USA match has started in Ningbo. Ray Robson leads the Americans while Wang Yue does the same for the Chinese. After the classical games China has a substantial lead, but with the rapids still left the final result is yet to be determined. The American women's team has provided us with impressions and a huge pictorial report. Standings, games and pictures.

  • China trounces USA
    1.8.2013 - China was able to finish off a weakened USA who put very little resistance in the rapid games. In the women's section Tan Zhongyi scored an unbelievable 9.5/10 which put all hope of an American comeback to rest. The American girls again sent us their impressions from the tournament, of Ningbo and even annotated one of their best game. Beautiful pictorial report.

And now to Karsten Müller's endgame survey of the tournament:

Counterplay counts

Pawn endings must be calculated very carefully:

[Event "Yinzhou Cup CHN-USA"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2013.07.20"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Tan Zhongyi"] [Black "Abrahamyan, T."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A31"] [WhiteElo "2478"] [BlackElo "2316"] [Annotator "Karsten Mueller"] [PlyCount "123"] [EventDate "2013.07.19"] [EventType "schev"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "CHN"] [WhiteTeam "CHN"] [BlackTeam "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. g3 e5 6. Nb5 Bb4+ 7. N1c3 O-O 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. Nxc3 d6 10. Bg2 Be6 11. b3 h6 12. O-O Rc8 13. h3 Qd7 14. Kh2 Rfd8 15. e4 Na5 16. Re1 b5 17. Nxb5 Nxb3 18. Qxb3 Bxc4 19. Qf3 Bxb5 20. Bxh6 Nh7 21. Be3 Rc3 22. h4 Nf8 23. Bh3 Qc7 24. Rec1 Bd7 25. Bg5 Rc8 26. Rxc3 Qxc3 27. Qd1 Qc2 28. Qxc2 Rxc2 29. Bg2 Ne6 30. Be3 Nc5 31. Rd1 Bc6 32. Rxd6 Bxe4 33. Rd8+ Kh7 34. Rc8 Bxg2 35. Kxg2 Nd3 36. Rxc2 Ne1+ 37. Kf1 Nxc2 38. Bc5 a6 39. Ke2 Na1 40. Kd3 Nb3 41. Bb6 Kg6 42. Kc2 Nd4+ 43. Bxd4 exd4 44. Kd3 Kf5 45. Kxd4 Kg4 46. Ke4 f6 47. a4 a5 48. h5 Kxh5 49. Kf5 Kh6 50. g4 Kh7 51. Ke6 Kh6 52. f4 Kg6 53. Ke7 Kh6 54. Kf7 Kh7 55. Ke6 Kh6 56. Ke7 Kg6 {Counterplay counts Pawn endings must be calculated very carefully:} 57. Kd6 $2 {Now White's king is too far away from the kingside.} ({After} 57. Ke8 {White always manages to keep control and to win the fight for the corresponding squares, e.g.} Kh7 (57... f5 58. g5 Kh5 59. Kf7 Kg4 60. Kxg7 Kxf4 61. Kf6 Ke4 62. g6 f4 63. g7 f3 64. g8=Q $18) (57... Kh6 58. Kf7 Kh7 59. g5 $18) 58. Kf8 Kh6 (58... Kg6 59. Kg8 f5 60. g5 Kh5 61. Kxg7 Kg4 62. Kf6 Kxf4 63. g6 Ke4 64. g7 f4 65. g8=Q $18) 59. Kf7 ({ The direct} 59. Kg8 $2 {runs into} g5 60. f5 {stalemate}) 59... Kh7 60. g5 fxg5 (60... f5 61. Kf8 Kh8 62. Ke7 Kh7 63. Kf7 Kh8 64. Kg6 $18) 61. fxg5 Kh8 62. Ke6 Kh7 63. Kf5 $1 {The counterplay must be stopped first again.} Kg8 64. g6 Kf8 65. Ke6 Ke8 66. Kd6 Kd8 67. Kc6 Ke7 68. Kb6 Kf6 69. Kxa5 Kxg6 70. Kb6 Kf5 71. a5 g5 72. a6 g4 73. a7 g3 74. a8=Q $18) 57... f5 $1 {The counterplay must be started immediately as} (57... Kf7 $2 {runs into} 58. Kc5 Ke6 59. Kb5 f5 60. g5 Kd5 61. Kxa5 Ke4 62. Kb6 Kxf4 63. a5 $18) 58. g5 Kh5 59. Ke5 ({Black's counterattack is also in time after} 59. Ke6 Kg4 60. Kf7 Kxf4 61. g6 Ke5 62. Kxg7 f4 63. Kh6 f3 64. g7 f2 65. g8=Q f1=Q $11) 59... Kg4 $1 60. g6 Kh5 61. Kxf5 Kh6 62. Ke4 1/2-1/2

At a 2608 classical performance and a near 2400 rapid performance
Tatev Abrahamyan was without a doubt America's best girl

Breaking the blockades

In the endgame a rook and two pawns are usually stronger than bishop and knight. So Alexander Lenderman convertes his advantage by breaking several blockading setups:

[Event "Yinzhou Cup CHN-USA"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2013.07.20"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Xiu Deshun"] [Black "Lenderman, A."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2556"] [BlackElo "2548"] [PlyCount "128"] [EventDate "2013.07.19"] [EventType "schev"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "CHN"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2013.07.22"] [WhiteTeam "CHN"] [BlackTeam "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. exd4 Nc6 12. Bb5 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Bd7 14. Qe2 Rfd8 15. Qe4 Rac8 16. Bd3 g6 17. Qe3 Kg7 18. Nd2 Qe7 19. f4 Qd6 20. Nc4 Qc7 21. Ne5 Ne7 22. Ng4 Nd5 23. Qg3 Qd6 24. Bb1 Bb5 25. Ne5 Nxc3 26. Rxc3 Rxc3 27. Qxc3 Bxf1 28. Kxf1 Qxd4 29. Qxd4 Rxd4 30. Nd3 g5 31. g3 gxf4 32. gxf4 Rd5 33. Bc2 b5 34. h3 a5 35. Kf2 b4 36. Ke3 Rh5 37. Nf2 Rc5 38. Bb3 Rc3+ 39. Nd3 Kg6 40. Ke4 Kf6 41. h4 Ke7 42. Kd4 Kf6 43. Ke4 Rc8 44. h5 {Breaking the blockades In the endgame a rook and two pawns are usually stronger than bishop and knight. So Alexander Lenderman convertes his advantage by breaking several blockading setups:} Rc3 $1 {This puts White in zugzwang, which breaks the first blockade.} 45. Kd4 (45. Ke3 Kf5 46. Kd4 {allows Black's king to invade with} Kg4 47. Bd1+ Kh4 $17) 45... Kf5 46. Ne5 {The alternativs also look shaky, e.g.} (46. Ke3 Kg4 47. Bd1+ Kh4 $17) (46. Bd1 Ra3 47. Bb3 a4 48. Bc4 Rc3 49. Nxb4 Rh3 50. Bb5 a3 51. Be8 Rxh5 52. Bxf7 Rh4 $17) 46... Kxf4 $6 (46... Rh3 $1 {was more precise, e.g.} 47. Nxf7 Rxh5 48. Nd8 (48. Ne5 Rh3 49. Nd3 h5 50. Nc5 Rc3 51. Bxe6+ Kxf4 $17) 48... Rh2 49. Nxe6 (49. Ke3 a4 50. Bxa4 Rxa2 $17) (49. Kd3 h5 50. Bxe6+ Kxf4 51. Nc6 h4 52. Nxa5 Ke5 53. Bc8 Kd6 54. Nc4+ Kc7 55. Bf5 Rxa2 $17) 49... h5 50. Nc5 Kxf4 {and Black has better winning chances than in the game.}) 47. Nxf7 Rc6 48. Ba4 $2 {The resulting blockade will not hold.} ({The surprising} 48. Nh8 $3 {was a better chance to fight as the winning potential is very reduced after} Kg5 49. Nf7+ Kxh5 50. Ne5 Rc1 51. Bxe6) 48... e5+ $1 49. Kd5 ( 49. Nxe5 $2 Rd6+ $19) 49... Rf6 50. Nd6 Rf8 51. Bc2 (51. Bc6 Rg8 52. Kc5 Rg1 53. Kb5 Ra1 54. Bd5 Rd1 55. Kc5 a4 $19) 51... Ra8 {The rook must be activated again later, so the direct} (51... Rg8 $5 {is more precise, e.g.} 52. Bg6 a4 53. Kc4 b3 54. axb3 a3 55. Kc3 e4 56. Nxe4 Ra8 $19) 52. Kc5 Rd8 53. Kc6 $6 ({ The defense} 53. Bg6 {is more tenacious, but will not hold in the long run, e. g.} a4 54. Nb5 b3 55. axb3 axb3 56. Kc4 b2 57. Nc3 Ke3 58. Kb3 (58. Nb1 e4 59. Kc3 Rb8 60. Kc2 Kf3 61. Nd2+ Kf4 62. Bxe4 b1=Q+ 63. Nxb1 Kxe4 $19) 58... Kd2 59. Nb1+ Kc1 60. Nc3 Rb8+ 61. Ka2 (61. Kc4 Rf8 62. Kd5 Rf3 63. Na2+ Kd2 64. Kxe5 Rf1 65. Nb4 b1=Q 66. Bxb1 Rxb1 $19) 61... Rb4 62. Ka3 Rb6 63. Ka2 Rf6 64. Be4 (64. Kb3 Rf3 65. Kc4 Rh3 66. Kb4 Re3 67. Kc4 e4 68. Bxe4 Rxe4+ 69. Nxe4 b1=Q $19) 64... Rf1 65. Bg6 Rf3 66. Nb5 Rf2 67. Bb1 e4 $19) (53. Kd5 Rg8 $19 { also wins in the long run.} ({However, not} 53... e4 $2 54. Bxe4 Rxd6+ 55. Kxd6 Kxe4 {as the pawn ending is only drawn:} 56. Kc5 Ke5 57. Kb5 Kd5 58. Kxa5 Kc5 $11)) 53... a4 $5 {This time Lenderman breaks the blockade forcefully.} ({The prosaic} 53... Rg8 {wins as well, e.g.} 54. Kb5 Rg2 55. Bb3 e4 56. Kxa5 e3 $19) 54. Bxa4 e4 55. Kc5 (55. Nxe4 Kxe4 56. Kc5 Rd5+ 57. Kxb4 Rxh5 58. Bc6+ Kd4 59. a4 Rh2 60. a5 Rb2+ 61. Ka3 Rb1 62. Bf3 Kc5 63. Ka2 Rb5 $19) 55... e3 56. Bb5 ( 56. Bd1 Ra8 57. Kxb4 Rxa2 58. Nf7 Rd2 $19 ({Even} 58... e2 $6 {wins as the knight can not escape after} 59. Bxe2 Rxe2 60. Nxh6 {due to} Re7 $1 61. Ng8 Rg7 62. Nf6 Ke5 63. Ne8 Re7 $19)) 56... Ra8 57. Nc4 (57. Bc4 {is met by} Rxa2 58. Bxa2 e2 59. Kxb4 e1=Q+ 60. Kb5 Qd2 $19) 57... e2 58. Nb2 Rxa2 59. Nd3+ Ke3 60. Kxb4 Ra1 61. Kc5 Rh1 62. Nf4 e1=Q 63. Ng2+ Kf2 64. Nxe1 Rxh5+ 0-1

Aleksandr Lenderman (right) here in a game against Chinese GM Wang Yue

Deadly double attacks

This powerful tactical weapon also occurs in the endgame of course:

[Event "Yinzhou Cup CHN-USA"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2013.07.19"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Melekhina, A."] [Black "Tan Zhongyi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2216"] [BlackElo "2478"] [PlyCount "154"] [EventDate "2013.07.19"] [EventType "schev"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "CHN"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2013.07.22"] [WhiteTeam "USA"] [BlackTeam "CHN"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nge2 Nf6 5. g3 O-O 6. Bg2 e5 7. O-O c6 8. h3 b5 9. a3 Bb7 10. Be3 Nbd7 11. Qd2 a5 12. Rfd1 Qc7 13. d5 cxd5 14. exd5 Ba6 15. a4 bxa4 16. Nxa4 e4 17. Rac1 Ne5 18. Nec3 Rab8 19. b3 Nf3+ 20. Bxf3 exf3 21. Bd4 Qd7 22. Qf4 Be2 23. Nxe2 fxe2 24. Rd2 Nxd5 25. Qg4 Qxg4 26. hxg4 Bh6 27. f4 Nxf4 28. gxf4 Bxf4 29. Bc3 Rfc8 30. Bxa5 Rxb3 31. Rxe2 Ra3 32. Nb6 Bxc1 33. Nxc8 Rxa5 34. Nxd6 Rg5 35. Rg2 Rd5 36. Ne4 Be3+ 37. Kf1 Rd4 38. Nc3 Kg7 39. Ke2 Bg5 40. Kf3 Rf4+ 41. Ke2 f5 42. gxf5 Rxf5 43. Ne4 Be7 44. c4 h5 45. Rf2 Ra5 46. Kd3 g5 {Deadly double attacks This powerful tactical weapon also occurs in the endgame of course:} 47. c5 $3 {This advance destroys the harmony of Black's forces.} Bxc5 (47... h4 48. c6 Bd8 (48... Ra3+ 49. Kc4 Bd8 50. Nxg5 Bxg5 51. c7 Ra8 52. Kd5 h3 53. Kc6 $11) 49. Rb2 h3 50. Rb7+ Kg6 51. c7 Bxc7 52. Rxc7 h2 53. Rc1 g4 54. Rh1 Ra2 55. Ng3 Kg5 56. Ne2 $11) 48. Rf5 {[%cal Gf5c5, Gf5g5] The first double attack.} Ra3+ (48... Bb4 $6 49. Rxa5 Bxa5 50. Nxg5 $11) 49. Ke2 $1 Be7 (49... Re3+ {is met by} 50. Kf1 Rxe4 51. Rxg5+ Kf6 52. Rxc5 $11) 50. Re5 $1 {[%cal Ge5e7,Ge5g5] The next double attack.} Bf6 51. Rf5 $2 {[%cal Gf5f6,Ge4g5] This third double attack is based on a miscalculation and spoils the combination.} ({The double threat} 51. Rb5 {[%cal Gb5g5,Gb5b7] defends as Black can not regain coordination in time, e.g.} h4 (51... Kg6 52. Rb6 $11) ( 51... Ra7 52. Nxg5 $11) (51... Ra2+ 52. Kf1 Ra1+ 53. Ke2 Rg1 54. Rb7+ Kg6 55. Rb6 $11) 52. Rb7+ Kg6 53. Rb6 Kf5 54. Nxf6 g4 55. Nxg4 Kxg4 56. Kf2 $11) 51... Ra6 52. Nxf6 (52. Nxg5 Kg6 $19 {[%cal Gg6f5,Gg6g5]}) 52... Kg6 $1 {[%cal Gg6f6, Gg6f5] The deadly double attack wins the knight and keeps both pawns, so the rest is just a matter of technique:} 53. Rb5 (53. Nxh5 Kxf5 $19) 53... Kxf6 ( 53... Rxf6 {is even easier.}) 54. Kf2 Kg6 55. Kg3 h4+ 56. Kg2 Kh5 57. Rb4 Ra2+ 58. Kg1 (58. Kh3 g4+ 59. Rxg4 Ra3+ $19) 58... h3 59. Rb1 Kh4 60. Kh1 g4 61. Rb4 Rf2 62. Ra4 Kg3 63. Ra1 Rf3 64. Rb1 Re3 65. Ra1 Kf2 66. Kh2 Kf3 67. Rf1+ Ke4 68. Rg1 Kf4 69. Rf1+ Rf3 70. Ra1 Rf2+ 71. Kg1 g3 72. Ra4+ Kf3 73. Ra3+ Kg4 74. Ra4+ Rf4 75. Ra2 h2+ 76. Kg2 Rf2+ 77. Kh1 (77. Rxf2 gxf2 78. Kxh2 Kf3 79. Kh3 f1=Q+ 80. Kh4 Qb5 81. Kh3 Qh5#) 77... Rf1+ (77... Rf1+ 78. Kg2 Rg1#) 0-1

The battle between the Chinese and American women

White Knight's Nightmare

Sometimes an extra knight is insufficient to win:

[Event "Yinzhou Cup CHN-USA Rapid"] [Site "Ningbo CHN"] [Date "2013.07.27"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Wen, Yang"] [Black "Shankland, Samuel L"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A11"] [WhiteElo "2593"] [BlackElo "2599"] [PlyCount "130"] [EventDate "2013.07.25"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.07.27"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c6 4. c4 a6 5. b3 Bf5 6. O-O e6 7. Bb2 Be7 8. d3 h6 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. Qc2 Bh7 11. a3 Nbd7 12. Bc3 Rc8 13. Qb2 Ne8 14. b4 Bf6 15. Rfc1 Nd6 16. a4 Re8 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Bxe5 Nxe5 19. Qxe5 Qe7 20. Nb3 dxc4 21. dxc4 Rcd8 22. a5 f6 23. Qc3 e5 24. Nc5 Qf7 25. Rd1 Kh8 26. Rd2 Bg8 27. Rad1 Qe7 28. h4 e4 29. e3 Nxc4 30. Rd7 Ne5 31. Rxd8 Rxd8 32. Rxd8 Qxd8 33. Qd4 Qxd4 34. exd4 Nd3 35. Nxb7 Nxb4 36. Bf1 Nd3 37. Nc5 Bc4 38. Nxe4 Nb2 39. Nc5 Bxf1 40. Kxf1 Nc4 41. Nb3 Kg8 42. Ke2 Kf7 43. Kd3 Nd6 44. Nc5 Ke7 45. Nxa6 Nb7 46. Nc5 Nxa5 47. Kc3 Kd6 48. Kb4 Kd5 49. Kxa5 Kxd4 50. Kb6 Kd5 51. h5 f5 52. f3 Kd6 53. Nd3 Kd5 54. Nb4+ Kd4 55. Nxc6+ Ke3 56. Ne5 f4 57. g4 Kd4 58. Nf7 Ke3 59. Ne5 Kd4 { White Knight's Knightmare Sometimes an extra knight is insufficient to win:} 60. Nf7 $2 {With the knight White can surprisingly not win.} ({The pawn ending } 60. Kc6 Kxe5 61. Kc5 {is the right solution, e.g.} Kf6 62. Kd4 Kg5 63. Ke4 Kh4 (63... g6 64. hxg6 Kxg6 65. Kxf4 Kf6 66. Ke4 Kg5 67. f4+ Kxg4 68. f5 Kg5 69. Ke5 $18) 64. Kxf4 Kh3 65. Kf5 Kg3 66. Kg6 Kxf3 67. Kxg7 Kxg4 68. Kxh6 Kf5 69. Kg7 $18) (60. Ng6 $2 Ke3 61. Nh4 {is also insufficient as Black's counterplay is just in time, e.g.} Kf2 62. Kc5 Kg3 63. Kd4 Kxh4 64. Ke5 Kg3 65. Ke4 Kg2 66. Kxf4 Kf2 67. Ke4 Kg3 68. Ke3 Kh3 69. Kf2 Kh2 70. f4 Kh3 71. Kf3 Kh4 72. f5 Kg5 73. Kg3 Kf6 74. Kf4 Kf7 75. Ke5 Ke7 76. f6+ gxf6+ 77. Kf5 Kf7 $11) 60... Ke3 61. Nxh6 (61. Ne5 Kd4 {leads to a draw by threefold repetition.}) 61... Kxf3 ({Even} 61... gxh6 {is playable due to} 62. g5 (62. Kc5 Kxf3 63. g5 hxg5 64. h6 Kg2 65. h7 f3 66. h8=Q f2 $11) 62... hxg5 63. h6 g4 64. h7 gxf3 65. h8=Q f2 66. Qe5+ Kd2 67. Qxf4+ Ke2 $11 {[%csl Gb1,Gb2,Gb3,Gb4,Gc4,Gd4,Ge4,Ge5, Gf5,Gg5,Gh5] as White's king is outside the winning zone.}) 62. g5 Ke4 63. Ng4 Kf5 64. h6 gxh6 65. gxh6 Kg6 (65... Kg6 66. Kc5 f3 67. Kd4 f2 68. Nxf2 Kxh6 $11 ) 1/2-1/2

Also without question Shankland was the saving grace of America's men's team,
scoring a brilliant 6.5/10 in the rapid and a 50% in the classical


Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

Click to go to the ChessBase Magazine page

Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Müller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register