Karsten Müller: Topical Endgames in Meltwater

by Karsten Müller
9/22/2022 – Rapid events are exciting to watch especially with the World Champion in play, controversy aside, and one of the reasons for the excitement is also the larger number of mistakes leading to more decisive games. But another way of looking at it is that there are more opportunities for a good lesson as Karsten Mueller shows. Don't miss Keymer's knight underpromotion to beat Saric!

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.

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Using the active notation

You might be inclined to believe the game notations below are just to be 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. 

The Shelter

Black has two passed pawns and is certainly the one with the better chances, but White could still hold by balancing his active king and Black's own wide-open king in this fascinating queen ending.

 

King to the queenside

With a single obvious check, White's fate is to be decided by which side he chooses to flee with his king. Should he try defensive measures on the king side, or aggressive on the queenside. A very instructive situation!

 

Chess Endgames 10: Rook and two minor pieces

Although the distribution of material with a rook and two minor pieces against a rook and two minor pieces is a very common one in practical play, there is very little literature on the subject apart from that dealing with questions relating to the bishop pair.

Activate the rook

No one is going to suggest Carlsen needs lesson in this most fundamental law of endgames with rooks, and despite being a piece down, with pawns to compensate, the World Champion's judgement is flawless.

 

Keymer's King

It is hard to blame Saric for not finding such an unobvious move, but it is not a little surprising to learn that this endgame can be saved at all as the notes show. Well worth reviewing and the underpromotion to a knight is the cherry on top.

 

Counterplay counts

White starts with a piece up, albeit not for long as it will have to give itself up for the h-pawn, but in a sense the winning maneuver would still have left him up a piece... where it counts.

 

 

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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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