Mueller and Lamprecht: Wijk endgames (2)

by Karsten Müller
1/22/2015 – Karsten Mueller teamed up with his colleague Frank Lamprecht to analyze a couple of fascinating endgames for your pleasure and instruction. Both have collaborated on classic endgame works, notably Fundamental Chess Endings, a fantastic resource. In the following article, Lamprecht not only shows a fascinating rook endgame, but then compares it shifting one move to the left.

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Small changes make big differences (1)

By Frank Lamprecht

Loek van Wely played a complex rook endgame against Ivan Saric that seemed to just avoid
the usual reference positions, leading to imperfect, but highly instructive analysis.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.20"] [Round "9"] [White "Saric, Iv"] [Black "Van Wely, L."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2667"] [Annotator "Frank Lamprecht"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/6p1/6P1/8/r5k1/2R1KR2/7r b - - 0 79"] [PlyCount "26"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] 79... Rh8 {[#]} 80. Kf1 $2 {A serious mistake that could have lost the game.} ( {The correct (and only) move was} 80. Rd2 $8 $11 Re8+ 81. Kd1 $1 Ra1+ 82. Kc2 Ra2+ 83. Kd1 $1 Rxd2+ 84. Rxd2 $1 Re5 85. Rd6 $1 Rxg5 86. Ke2 $1 {[#]} Rg4 ( 86... Kg2 87. Ke3 $1 Rg4 88. Rd2+ $1 Kg3 89. Rd1 $1 g5 90. Rg1+ Kh3 91. Rh1+ $1 Kg2 92. Rh5 $1 Kg3 (92... Rg3+ 93. Ke4 $1 $11) (92... Kg1 93. Kf3 Rg2 94. Rh8 g4+ 95. Kf4 g3 96. Ra8 $11 (96. Kf3 $4 Rh2 $1 97. Ra8 Rh3 $1 98. Kg4 Kh2 $1 99. Ra3 Rh8 100. Rxg3 Rg8+ $1 $19)) 93. Rh1 $1) 87. Kf1 $1 Kh2 (87... Rf4+ 88. Kg1 $1 g5 89. Rd1 $11) 88. Rf6 g5 89. Rh6+ Kg3 90. Ra6 Rb4 91. Ra1 Kh2 92. Ra2+ $1 Kh1 93. Kf2 $1 Kh2 94. Kf1+ $1 $11) 80... Ra1+ $1 $19 81. Ke2 Re8+ $1 82. Kd3 Rd1+ $1 83. Kc3 Rc8+ $1 84. Kb2 Rxc2+ $1 85. Kxc2 {[#]} Rd5 $1 (85... Kxf2 $4 86. Kxd1 $1 Kf3 87. Ke1 $1 Kf4 88. Kf2 $1 Kxg5 89. Kg3 $1 $11) 86. Rf6 Rxg5 87. Kd3 Rg4 88. Ke3 g5 89. Rg6 Kg2 (89... Kh3 $19) 90. Rg7 $5 {sidesteps a small trap.} ({A small example of how a seemingly minor change can be the difference between a loss or not is seen after} 90. Rg8 $6 {instead of the Rg7 in the game, would lose after} Rg3+ 91. Ke4 Kh3 $1 92. Kf5 Rf3+ $1 $19 {and now} 93. Kxg5 {loses the rook after} Rg3+ 94. Kf6 {If the rook had stood on g7, it would be protected by the king after this line.}) {[#]} 90... Rg3+ $2 {The crucial mistake.} (90... Kh3 $1 {would have won} {[#]} 91. Kf2 (91. Rh7+ Rh4 $1 92. Rg7 g4 $1 93. Kf2 Rh8 94. Kg1 Ra8 95. Kf2 Ra2+ 96. Kg1 Kg3 97. Kf1 {The problem of knight-pawns: the white king can not move in front or the short side! To compensate, a passive defense with the rook on the first rank would be possible in principle, but White will be unable to move his king to g1 and his rook on the first rank all in one move.} (97. Rf7 Ra1+ $1 98. Rf1 Rxf1+ $1 99. Kxf1 Kh2 $1 $19) 97... Ra1+ 98. Ke2 Rg1 {[#]The decisive maneuver. Black prepares Kh2!} (98... Kh3 99. Kf2 {yields nothing.}) 99. Rg8 Kh2 100. Rh8+ Kg2 101. Rg8 g3 102. Rh8 Ra1 103. Rg8 Ra7 104. Rg6 Re7+ 105. Kd2 Kf2 106. Rf6+ Kg1 107. Rg6 g2 108. Rh6 Re5 {Bridge building} 109. Rh8 Kf2 110. Rf8+ Kg3 111. Rg8+ Kf3 112. Rg7 Re4 113. Rg8 Rg4 $19) 91... Rg2+ $1 92. Kf1 (92. Kf3 g4+ $1 93. Kf4 Rf2+ $1 94. Ke3 g3 $19) 92... g4 $1 93. Rh7+ Kg3 94. Ra7 Rb2 (94... Rf2+ $4 95. Kg1 Rf3 96. Ra1 $11) 95. Ra3+ Kh2 $1 96. Ra8 Rb1+ 97. Kf2 g3+ 98. Kf3 Rf1+ 99. Ke2 g2 100. Rh8+ Kg1 101. Rh7 Rf5 102. Rh8 Re5+ 103. Kd2 Kf2 104. Rf8+ Kg3 105. Rg8+ Kf3 106. Rg7 Re4 107. Rg8 Rg4 $19) 91. Ke4 g4 92. Rg5 {A tough game with winning chances for both sides. With not enough time, and after six grueling hours, it is no wonder that the rook ending swung back and forth, especially dealing with unfamiliar positions instead of standard examples.} 1/2-1/2

Small changes make big differences (2)

By Frank Lamprecht

Ivan Saric had the unenviable task of defending the difficult endgame.
As demonstrated by endgame author IM Frank Lamprecht, shifting the
position just one file to the left would have made it impossible to win
with best play. Compare the notes to understand the key differences.

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.01.20"] [Round "?"] [White "Saric-van Wely"] [Black "Shifting to the left"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Annotator "Frank Lamprecht"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/5p2/5P2/8/5k2/1K2R3/2r5 b - - 0 85"] [PlyCount "38"] {[#]} 85... Rc5 86. Re6 $1 Rxf5 87. Kc3 $1 (87. Kc2 $2 Kf2 $3 88. Kd3 Rf3+ $1 89. Kd2 (89. Ke4 Kg3 $1 90. Ra6 (90. Re8 f5+ $1 91. Kd4 Ra3 $19) 90... Kg4 $1 91. Ra8 f5+ $1 92. Ke5 Re3+ $1 93. Kd4 f4 $19) 89... f5 90. Rf6 f4 91. Rf8 Kg2 92. Rg8+ Rg3 93. Rf8 f3 94. Ke3 Rg7 (94... f2+ $4 95. Ke2 $11) 95. Rxf3 Re7+ $1 96. Kf4 Rf7+ $1 $19) 87... Rf4 88. Kd3 $1 f5 89. Rf6 $1 Kf2 {[#]} 90. Rf7 $3 ( 90. Rf8 $2 Rf3+ $1 91. Kd4 Kg3 $1 92. Ke5 Re3+ $1 {As in the actual game, the point of Rf7 is clear. Here taking on g5 loses the rook!}) 90... Kg3 91. Rg7+ $1 Rg4 92. Rf7 $1 f4 93. Ke2 $1 {[#]White has reached a Karstedt position. The defensive idea is always to prevent f4-f3.} (93. Ke4 $2 Rg8 $1 $19) 93... Rg8 94. Kf1 Ra8 ({After} 94... f3 {The black rook would be chained to covering the g-file} 95. Rf6 {and if Black's rook leaves the g-file} Ra8 96. Rg6+ $1 $11 { will draw easily.}) 95. Ke2 Ra2+ 96. Kf1 $1 Kf3 97. Kg1 $1 {The key difference of the pawn on the f-file as opposed to the g-file can be seen now. The white king is able to get to the 'short', after which the white rook will be able to pelt the black king with checks from the long end.} Ra1+ 98. Kh2 Rf1 (98... Ke3 99. Kg2 $11) 99. Ra7 {getting ready to fire checks from the side.} Re1 100. Rf7 Ke3 101. Kg2 Re2+ 102. Kf1 Ra2 103. Rf8 Kf3 (103... f3 104. Re8+ $1 $11 {Black cannot escape the checks.}) 104. Kg1 $1 1/2-1/2

The key to the door

By Karsten Mueller

It seemed an impossible task, but Ding Liren tried his best to save
against overwhelming odds. Usually bishop, knight and pawn are
stronger than a rook, but sometimes breaking the defence can be difficult.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.20"] [Round "9"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Ding Liren"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2732"] [Annotator "Karsten Mueller"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r7/2p5/1p1p3k/1P1P3P/2P1N3/4K3/4B3/8 w - - 0 62"] [PlyCount "27"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] 62. Bg4 $5 {Anish Giri has found the key to the door of Black's house. His king wants to invade on the kingside and needs shelter.} ({The direct} 62. Kf4 Rf8+ 63. Kg4 Rg8+ (63... Ra8 64. Ng3 Rg8+ 65. Kf4 Rf8+ 66. Nf5+ $18) 64. Kh4 { wins as well, e.g.} Rf8 65. Ng3 Rf2 66. Kg4 Rg2 67. Bf1 Rf2 68. Nf5+ Kh7 69. Bd3 Rd2 70. Be4 $18) 62... Ra4 (62... Re8 63. Kf4 Rf8+ 64. Kg3 Re8 65. Bf5 Ra8 66. Kh4 Ra4 67. Nf6 Rxc4+ 68. Ng4+ $18) (62... Rf8 63. Nd2 Kg5 64. Bd1 Kh6 65. Nb3 Re8+ 66. Kd3 Ra8 67. Nd4 Ra1 68. Be2 Ra7 69. Ne6 Ra3+ 70. Ke4 Ra2 71. Kf3 Ra3+ 72. Kf4 $18) 63. Kf4 $1 {Giri's point. The pawn c4 is not needed to win, but his king must invade.} Rxc4 64. Bd7 {The bishop makes way for the king.} Kxh5 65. Kf5 Kh6 66. Bc6 Kg7 67. Ng5 Rh4 (67... Kf8 68. Ke6 Rg4 {is broken by} 69. Nh7+ Kg7 70. Kd7 Kxh7 71. Kxc7 Kg7 72. Kxb6 (72. Kxd6 $2 Kf6 73. Kc7 Rg7+ 74. Kxb6 Ke5 75. Kc5 Rg1 $11) 72... Kf6 73. Kc7 Ke5 74. b6 Rg7+ 75. Kb8 Kd4 76. b7 Kc5 77. Ka8 $18) 68. Ke6 Kg6 69. Nf3 (69. Kd7 Kxg5 70. Kxc7 {wins as well.}) 69... Rf4 (69... Rh3 70. Nd4 Rh7 71. Be8+ Kg5 72. Bf7 Kf4 73. Nc6 Ke3 74. Nd8 Kd4 75. Kd7 Kc4 76. Kxc7 Kxb5 77. Kxd6 $18) 70. Nd2 Kg5 71. Ke7 Rf5 (71... Kf5 72. Kd7 Rd4 73. Kxc7 Rxd2 74. Kxb6 Ke5 75. Kc7 Rh2 76. b6 Rh7+ 77. Kb8 Kd4 78. b7 Kc5 79. Ka8 $18) 72. Ne4+ Kf4 (72... Kg6 73. Kd8 Rf7 74. Be8 $18) 73. Nf6 Ke5 74. Nd7+ Kd4 75. Kd8 (75. Kd8 Rxd5 76. Bxd5 Kxd5 77. Kxc7 Kc4 78. Kxb6 d5 79. Kc6 d4 80. Nc5 $18) 1-0

Caruana's King

By Karsten Mueller

Despite the extra material, a slip could easily have squandered Fabiano Caruana's advantage.
However, in queen endings the king often joins his attacking forces, a lesson he knows well.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.18"] [Round "8"] [White "Van Wely, L."] [Black "Caruana, F."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "2667"] [BlackElo "2820"] [Annotator "Karsten Mueller"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/4p1p1/5k2/1P1Q3K/1q2p3/8/8 b - - 0 71"] [PlyCount "21"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] 71... Qc2 $5 {Good technique as the resulting pawn endgames are won for Black.} (71... g5+ 72. Kh5 Qd5 $19 {wins as well.}) ({However, not} 71... e2 $2 72. Qf2+ Ke4 73. Qxe2+ $11) 72. Qg4+ (72. Qxe3 {is met by} Qh2+ ({and not by} 72... Qe4+ $2 73. Qxe4+ Kxe4 74. Kg5 e5 75. Kxg6 Kd5 76. Kf5 e4 77. Kf4 Kd4 78. b5 e3 79. b6 $11) 73. Qh3+ Qxh3+ 74. Kxh3 Ke4 75. Kg4 e5 76. Kg5 Kd5 77. Kxg6 e4 $19) 72... Ke5 73. Qg3+ Kd4 74. Qd6+ Kc3 75. Qc5+ (75. Qe5+ {does not defend, e.g.} Kd2 76. Qh2+ e2 77. Qf4+ Kd1 78. Qd4+ Ke1 79. Qg1+ Kd2 80. Qg5+ (80. Qd4+ Qd3 81. Qb2+ Ke3 82. Qc1+ Kf2 83. Qf4+ Qf3 84. Qh2+ Kf1 $19) 80... Kd1 81. Qg4 Qf5 82. Qd4+ Ke1 83. Qg1+ Qf1 84. Qg4 Qf6+ 85. Kh3 Kd2 86. Qg2 Qf1 $19) 75... Kd2 76. Qd4+ Qd3 77. Qb2+ Ke1 {Caruana's king has arrived and White will run out of checks sooner rather than later.} 78. b5 (78. Qc1+ Kf2 79. Qc5 Qf5 $19) 78... e2 79. Qc1+ Kf2 80. Qf4+ Qf3 81. Qd4+ (81. Qh2+ Kf1 $19) 81... Kg2 (81... Kg2 82. Kg5 (82. b6 Qh5#) (82. Qd2 Qg3#) 82... Qh5+ 83. Kf6 (83. Kf4 Qf5+ 84. Ke3 e1=Q#) 83... Qh8+ $19) 0-1

Photos by Alina L'Ami

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.

About Frank Lamprecht

Frank Lamprecht is an International Master and chess trainer. He is a co-author of Fundamental Chess Endings, one of the all-time great endgame manuals, and Secrets of Pawn Endings, both with Karsten Müller. He has been a chess trainer since 1983.



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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Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 1/23/2015 01:27
That's the way IM Bouwmeester trained us to study rook endings a long time ago: analyze a position, shift it a file and analyze it again. Great stuff!
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