Karsten Müller analyzes endgame highlights from the Chessable Masters tournament

by Karsten Müller
9/10/2020 – The recent online tournaments led to a huge number of interesting endgames, and it is amazing how often the top players find the right moves in these endgames though they sometimes have only seconds left on the clock. Karsten Müller took a look at the endgame highlights from the Chessable Masters. Thorsten Cmiel helped him.

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Endgame highlights from the Chessable Masters 2020

The Chessable Masters saw a number of fascinating endgames. I picked some gems and sorted them according to material.

A) Rook against pawns

A1) Rook stops passed pawns

Usually, a rook is of course much better than the pawns. However, far advanced pawns are tricky:


B) Rook endings

B1) The safety zone

Usually, the attacker should only move his passed pawn to the seventh or second rank if this wins more or less directly. Otherwise, this often leads to a draw, as in the example below:


B2) The problematic pawn push

Thorsten Cmiel indicates that the pawn push ...e6-e5 is often not good in the constellation below.

Indeed, in Artemiev - Nepomniachtchi 34...e5? was a decisive mistake.


This endgame reminded Cmiel of an endgame between Rasmus Svane and Markus Ragger, played in the Bundesliga:


However, Svane found an antidote to Cmiel's winning attempt, and analyses indicate that Black can hold when he refrains from ...e5.


B3) Outside passed pawn

In the example below Black's counterplay is fast enough. But though the position was drawn, Ding lost the game because of an internet disconnect.


But in the following case the win is rather simple:


The next case is more complicated.


B4) Three rook endgames by Anish Giri

Giri set up the typical f2-g3-h4 constellation and now shows good defensive technique.


In the following game Giri also showed good defensive skills.


In the next example, Giri attacks, but the result is the same: a draw.


B5) An endgame by Magnus Carlsen

The following example is so complicated that even Carlsen failed to find the win.


C) Bishop endings

C1) Zugzwang is a sharp endgame weapon

Bishop endings have drawish tendencies. In the example below White did not play precise enough to win.


D) Bishop against knight

In a race of passed pawns a bishop is usually better than a knight.


E) Rook and bishop rook and bishop with bishops of opposite colours

E1) Opposite coloured bishops favour the attacker

Endgames with opposite coloured bishops, in which only bishops remain on the board, have drawish tendencies. However, if other pieces remain on the board, the rule of thumb quoted above, comes into play.


F) Minor piece endgames

When to exchange and when not to exchange is an important question in chess.


Karsten Müller regularly presents his instructive endgame analyses in the ChessBase Magazine.

The current issue:

ChessBase Magazine 197

Specials: Anish Giri presents his best games with the Italian + Palma de Mallorca 1970 - an extensive retrospect. Analyses from Biel 2020 by Wojtaszek, Harikrishna, Adams, Keymer et al. Videos by Marin, King and Ris. 11 opening articles and much more!



Karsten Müller, born 1970, has a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest endgame experts. He has, together with Frank Lamprecht, written a book on the subject: “Fundamental Chess Endgames” in addition to other contributions such as his column on the website ChessCafe as well as in ChessBase Magazine. Müller's ChessBase-DVDs about endgames in Fritztrainer-Format are bestsellers. The PhD in mathematics lives in Hamburg, where he has also been hunting down points for the HSK in the Bundesliga for many years.
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ChrisHolmes ChrisHolmes 9/11/2020 08:49
Nice selection.
ninth-pawn ninth-pawn 9/10/2020 09:44
Excellent endgame selection!