Notable endgames from the Grand Swiss - Karsten Müller analyses

by Karsten Müller
10/31/2021 – High-level chess is being played in Riga at the open and women’s sections of the Grand Swiss. Our in-house endgame expert has been following the games closely, and sent us a few analyses from instructive positions played by Harika Dronavalli, Meruert Kamalidenova and Jeffery Xiong. | Photo: Anna Shtourman

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Instructive endgames

In a week’s time, we will know which two players from each section get spots in the next edition of the Candidates. But first we will get to enjoy top-level, over-the-board games, with very strong and motivated players showcasing their preparation in a tense, lengthy event.

GM Karsten Müller, a well-known endgame specialist, is keeping a close eye on the games, and sent us three instructive positions for us to learn and enjoy.

Harika Dronavalli vs Antoaneta Stefanova

Not all rook endgames are drawn! In round 3, Harika calculated precisely before entering a winning pawn ending from a materially balanced position.


58.Rxf6 would have let go of the advantage, while Harika’s 58.Rf5 allowed her to win a second consecutive game in Riga.


Meruert Kamalidenova vs Pia Cramling

White is a pawn up, but she has a knight against a bishop in a race with passed pawns on both flanks. Cramling could have won with Black from the following position!


58...h3 was too hasty. Can you find the winning move?


Haik Martirosyan vs Jeffery Xiong

Opposite-coloured bishop endings have a large drawish tendency. Here Black is two pawns up, but he needs to find a way to “break the wall”.


Does White matinain the blockade along the light squares?



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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