Karsten Müller: Topical Endgames

by Karsten Müller
9/7/2022 – Our ineffable Karsten Mueller brings this lovely set of endgames for both your entertainment and enjoyment as well as one more learning lesson. Be sure to check out how to beat a 2800 in a rook endgame, not to mention scary positions you should not be afraid of, and when sending a knight to a corner can be a saving maneuver. The last position has some aesthetic ideas that serve as the cherry on top.

Chess Endgames 14 - The golden guidelines of endgame play Chess Endgames 14 - The golden guidelines of endgame play

Rules of thumb are the key to everything when you are having to set the correct course in a complex endgame. In this final DVD of his series on the endgame, our endgame specialist introduces you to the most important of these rules of thumb.


Using the active notation

You might be inclined to believe the game notations below are either to be just looked at and the moves played through in your mind. But as most of you know you can click on the moves to get a separate replay board, which you can resize and move to the best place on your screen. The popup board has full controls, and you can use the navigation buttons to advance the moves, as well as use an engine or save the game or position to your computer. In the engine window you can ask for multiple lines, or what the threat is, or see the positional evaluation of the position. 

Punishing passiveness

They say all rook endgames are drawn, but this truism is put to the test day in and day out by even the best players in the world. In the following quite equal endgame, Nepomniachtchi punishes Firouzja's passive approach to the position with merciless strokes that become a masterclass in rook endgame play.


Don't judge a book by its cover

Visually, the opening diagram for the endgame has to look not a little frightening for Black. White has two advanced connected passed pawns, the king next to them for support, and Black's king is in the crosshairs, but appearances can be deceiving as both GM Sadhwani and Karsten Mueller demonstrate. 


Magical Chess Endgames

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.


The classic fight between knight and bishop should have ended in a draw with more than one path to equality. Perhaps the most astonishing analysis is how a trip to the corner by the knight was also a possibility, but the magic is in how it pulls this trick off. The real lesson here: any move can be possible so long as there is a solid plan behind it.


Battle of the Zwischenzugs

This cute finale starts with black and white trying to outfinesse each other, but the deciding zwischenzugs by each player end in Black's favor. A very pretty sequence to wrap things up.



Here are all the above endgames in our traditional player:



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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