Müller: Endgames from ChessBase Magazine

by Karsten Müller
4/17/2014 – The best way to improve your endgame skills and improving your ratings is by going through practical endings from top level games – and by in addition having a world-class expert like our resident GM Karsten Müller to explain it all. This time he shows us three games from the World Teams Championship. These instructions are provided for you free of charge.

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Endgames from ChessBase Magazine

Never ending checks

In queen endings perpetual check is often a saving ressource for the defender:

[Event "World Teams 2013"] [Site "Antalya TUR"] [Date "2013.12.02"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Mamedov, Nidjat"] [Black "Onischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C90"] [WhiteElo "2616"] [BlackElo "2672"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2013.11.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Re1 Nc6 12. Nf1 h6 13. h3 Be6 14. Ne3 Re8 15. Bb3 Bf8 16. Nh2 d5 17. Nhg4 Nxg4 18. hxg4 d4 19. Nd5 Na5 20. c4 Bxd5 21. cxd5 Nb7 22. Bd2 Nd6 23. Rc1 Rc8 24. Qe2 Qb6 25. g5 hxg5 26. Bxg5 Be7 27. Bd2 g6 28. a3 Kg7 29. Ba2 Rh8 30. g3 Rh5 31. Kg2 Rch8 32. Rh1 Rxh1 33. Rxh1 Rxh1 34. Kxh1 a5 35. Kg2 a4 36. f4 Bf6 37. fxe5 Bxe5 38. Bf4 Bxf4 39. gxf4 b4 40. Bc4 bxa3 41. bxa3 Qb1 42. f5 Nxc4 43. dxc4 d3 44. Qf2 Qc2 45. fxg6 {Never ending checks In queen endings perpetual check is often a saving ressource for the defender:} f5 $2 {White's pawns can be sacrificed back later to open Black's king.} (45... f6 $1 {wins:} 46. e5 (46. d6 d2 47. d7 d1=Q $19) (46. Kf3 d2 $19) (46. Kg3 d2 47. Qxc5 d1=Q 48. Qe7+ Kh6 49. Qh7+ Kg5 50. Qh4+ Kxg6 $19 {[%cal Gd1h5]}) 46... f5 47. Kg3 d2 48. Qxc5 Qd3+ 49. Kg2 Qe4+ 50. Kf2 d1=Q {[%csl Gg6] and Black's king can use the pawn g6 as umbrella to shelter himself against the rain of checks:} 51. Qe7+ Kh6 {(Baburin in Chess Today 4773)} 52. Qf8+ Kh5 53. Qh8+ Kg4 $19) (45... fxg6 $2 {is met by} 46. e5 d2 47. Qf6+ Kh6 48. Qh4+ $11) ({and} 45... Kxg6 $2 {is also wrong due to} 46. Kf3 d2 47. Qg3+ $11) 46. exf5 d2 ( 46... Kf6 {does not help due to} 47. Kf3 d2 (47... Qxc4 48. d6 Qd5+ 49. Kg4 Qe4+ 50. Kg3 $11) 48. Qh4+ Kxf5 49. Qf4+ Kxg6 50. Qd6+ $11) 47. f6+ $1 {White must get rid off his pawns.} Kxg6 48. Qg3+ (48. f7 $2 {runs into} d1=Q 49. f8=Q Qg4+ 50. Kh2 Qh4+ 51. Kg2 Qce4+ 52. Q8f3 Qhg4+ 53. Q2g3 $6 Qexf3+ $19) 48... Kxf6 49. Qd6+ Kg5 50. Qg3+ ({However, not} 50. Qe5+ $2 Qf5 51. Qe3+ Qf4 52. Qe7+ Kg4 53. Qe6+ Kh4 54. Qe7+ Qg5+ $19) 50... Kh6 (50... Kf5 51. Qh3+ Ke5 52. Qh8+ Kf4 53. Qh6+ Kg4 54. Qg7+ Kh5 55. Qe5+ $11) 51. Qf4+ Kg6 1/2-1/2

The sharp endgame weapon zugzwang

Usually pure opposite colored bishop endings have a very large drawish tendency, but in chess there is no rule without exceptions:

[Event "World Teams 2013"] [Site "Antalya TUR"] [Date "2013.11.30"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Kryvoruchko, Yuriy"] [Black "Esen, Baris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2701"] [BlackElo "2565"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2013.11.26"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "Turkey"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "TUR"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Qd3 O-O 11. O-O Bxd5 12. exd5 Nc5 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. c4 e4 15. Qc2 Bd6 16. f4 exf3 17. Bxf3 Nd7 18. Rae1 Qc7 19. g3 Rfe8 20. Kg2 Re5 21. Bd2 Rae8 22. Bc3 Rxe1 23. Rxe1 Rxe1 24. Bxe1 Ne5 25. Qe4 a5 26. Bd2 b6 27. Bf4 g6 28. Be2 Qe7 29. Qe3 f6 30. Kf2 Kf7 31. b3 g5 32. Bxe5 Bxe5 33. Kg2 Bd4 34. Qd3 Kg7 35. Bg4 Qe5 36. Qf3 Kf8 37. Be6 {The sharp endgame weapon zugzwang Usually pure opposite colored bishop endings have a very large drawish tendency, but in chess there is no rule without exceptions:} Qe3 $2 {Without queens White's king can penetrate with decisive effect.} ({After} 37... Kg7 { Black's blockade can not be broken.}) 38. Qxe3 Bxe3 39. d6 $1 {[%cal Gg2c6] This opens the road.} Bd4 ({After} 39... h5 40. Kf3 Bg1 41. h3 Ke8 (41... Bd4 42. Ke4 Be5 43. Kd5 Bxg3 44. Kc6 Ke8 45. d7+ Kd8 46. Kxb6 g4 47. hxg4 h4 48. g5 fxg5 49. Kxa5 $18) 42. Ke4 Bh2 43. Kd5 Bxg3 44. Kc6 Kd8 45. d7 Bc7 46. Bf5 g4 47. hxg4 h4 48. g5 fxg5 49. Bg4 $18 {even Black's extra pawn does not save him due to zugzwang.}) (39... Ke8 40. Kf3 Bg1 41. h3 h5 42. Ke4 Bh2 43. Kd5 Bxg3 44. Kc6 Kd8 45. d7 Bc7 46. Bf5 g4 47. hxg4 h4 48. g5 fxg5 49. Bg4 Be5 50. Kxb6 Bc3 51. Kxc5 Kc7 52. Kb5 Bb4 53. Ka4 Kd8 54. a3 Bc3 55. c5 Kc7 56. b4 $18) 40. Kf3 Be5 (40... h5 41. Ke4 Bg1 42. g4 hxg4 43. Bxg4 Bxh2 44. Kd5 Ke8 45. Kc6 Kd8 46. d7 Bc7 47. a4 Bf4 48. Kxb6 Bd2 49. Kxc5 Kc7 50. Kd5 Bb4 51. c5 Be1 52. c6 Bf2 53. Kc4 Be1 54. Kb5 Bb4 55. d8=Q+ Kxd8 56. Kb6 Bd6 57. Kb7 Bc7 58. Bf5 Be5 59. b4 $18) 41. d7 Ke7 42. Ke4 Kd8 (42... h5 43. Kd5 h4 44. gxh4 gxh4 45. Kc6 Kd8 46. h3 Bc7 47. Bf5 $18) 43. Kd5 Kc7 44. Bg4 h6 ({After} 44... a4 45. bxa4 h6 {White can blow open the door with} (45... Bc3 46. Bf5 h6 (46... h5 47. Ke6 Kd8 48. Kd6 h4 49. Kc6 Ba5 50. gxh4 gxh4 51. h3 $18) 47. Ke6 Kd8 48. Kd6 h5 49. Kc6 Ba5 50. h3 Ke7 51. g4 hxg4 52. hxg4 Kd8 53. Kb7 $18) 46. d8=Q+ Kxd8 47. Kc6 Bc7 (47... h5 48. Bf5 $18) 48. Bf5 {to use zugzwang again and again:} h5 49. Kb7 h4 50. gxh4 gxh4 51. h3 Be5 52. Kxb6 Bc7+ 53. Kc6 Ba5 54. Kb5 Bd2 55. Kb6 Bf4 56. a5 Bc7+ 57. Kb5 Bb8 58. Kc6 $18) (44... h5 45. Ke6 Kd8 46. Bxh5 $18) 45. Ke6 Kd8 (45... a4 $4 46. Ke7 $18) 46. a4 Bd4 (46... Bb8 47. Kd5 Kc7 48. Bh3 h5 49. Bf5 Kd8 50. Kc6 Bc7 51. Kb7 h4 52. gxh4 gxh4 53. h3 $18) (46... Bc7 47. Kd5 $18 {[%cal Gd5c6]}) 47. Kd6 {[%cal Gd6b6] White's king crosses over to the queenside to win the pawn b6 first. Afterwards the sharp endgame weapon zugzwang will decide the day.} Bg1 (47... h5 48. Bxh5 f5 49. Bg6 f4 50. gxf4 gxf4 51. Be4 Bf6 52. Bf3 Bh4 53. Kc6 Be1 54. Bg4 $18) 48. h4 $1 gxh4 (48... Bf2 49. h5 $1 Bxg3+ 50. Kc6 Bc7 51. Bf5 Be5 52. Kxb6 Bc3 53. Kxc5 Kc7 54. Kd5 $18 { [%cal Gd5f7,Gf7g7,Gg7h6] (Baburin in Chess Today 4771)}) (48... h5 49. Bxh5 Bf2 50. hxg5 Bxg3+ 51. Kc6 fxg5 52. Bg4 $18 {[%cal Gg4d7] wins analogously to the game as White's bishop has everything under control on the h3-c8 diagonal.}) 49. gxh4 h5 (49... f5 50. Bxf5 h5 51. Kc6 Bf2 52. Kxb6 Bxh4 53. Kxa5 Kc7 54. Kb5 Be7 55. a5 Kb7 56. Bh3 h4 57. a6+ Ka7 58. Bg2 Kb8 59. Kb6 Bd8+ 60. Kxc5 $18 ) 50. Bxh5 Bf2 51. Bg6 Bxh4 52. Bf5 {[%cal Gh3d7] The bishop controls everything on one and the same diagonal. An important principle in bishop endings.} Be1 (52... Bg3+ 53. Kc6 Bc7 54. Kb7 $18) 53. Kc6 Bd2 54. Kxb6 Bb4 55. Kb7 Bd2 56. Kc6 Bb4 57. Kb6 {[%cal Gb6a5,Gb6c5,Gb6c7] The king puts Black in fatal zugzwang.} Bd2 (57... Ke7 $6 58. Kc7 $18) (57... Ba3 $6 58. Kxa5 Kc7 59. Kb5 Bb4 60. a5 $18) 58. Kxc5 Kc7 59. Kb5 Be1 60. c5 Bd2 61. c6 Be1 62. d8=Q+ { The d-pawn is less important than breaking Black's blockade.} Kxd8 63. Kb6 Bf2+ 64. Kb7 $5 {The following breakthrough wins beautifully.} ({The greedy} 64. Kxa5 {works as well.}) 64... Bg3 65. b4 (65. b4 axb4 (65... Bc7 66. b5 $18) 66. a5 b3 67. a6 b2 68. a7 b1=Q+ 69. Bxb1 $18) 1-0

The bodycheck

This is a powerful weapon of the king in the endgame rook against pawn, which resulted soon:

[Event "World Teams 2013"] [Site "Antalya TUR"] [Date "2013.12.02"] [Round "6.5"] [White "Sokolov, Ivan"] [Black "Kryvoruchko, Yuriy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E46"] [WhiteElo "2625"] [BlackElo "2701"] [PlyCount "152"] [EventDate "2013.11.26"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.12.02"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 Re8 6. a3 Bf8 7. g3 d5 8. Bg2 dxc4 9. Qa4 Nbd7 10. Qxc4 e5 11. O-O e4 12. Qb3 Nb6 13. Qc2 Bf5 14. h3 h5 15. f3 exf3 16. Qxf5 fxg2 17. Kxg2 Nc4 18. Qf3 Qe7 19. Nd5 Nxd5 20. Qxd5 Qe4+ 21. Qxe4 Rxe4 22. Rf3 Rae8 23. Kf2 Nd6 24. Bd2 Nc4 25. Bc1 c6 26. Nc3 R4e6 27. Ke2 g6 28. Kd3 Nd6 29. Bd2 f5 30. Rg1 Ne4 31. g4 fxg4 32. hxg4 Ng5 33. Rff1 h4 34. Rh1 h3 35. Ne2 Re4 36. Nf4 Bg7 37. b4 a5 38. bxa5 c5 39. dxc5 R4e5 40. Nxg6 Rd5+ 41. Ke2 Ne4 42. Be1 Rxc5 43. Bb4 Rc6 44. Ne7+ Rxe7 45. Bxe7 Ng3+ 46. Kf3 Nxf1 47. Rxf1 Bf6 48. Bxf6 Rxf6+ 49. Ke2 Rg6 50. Rh1 Rxg4 51. Rxh3 Ra4 52. Rh5 Rxa3 53. Rb5 Kf8 54. Kf3 Ke8 55. Kf4 Kd8 56. e4 Kc7 57. Ke5 Kc6 58. Rd5 Ra4 59. Kf5 Rb4 60. Re5 Ra4 61. Kf6 Ra1 62. Rf5 Kc7 {The bodycheck This is a powerful weapon of the king in the endgame rook against pawn, which resulted soon:} 63. e5 $2 {This violates the endgame principle do not rush as White can win Black's rook but not the game now.} (63. Rd5 {wins as the e-pawn can be advanced under more favorable circumstances, e.g.} Kc6 64. Ke6 Rh1 (64... Kc7 65. e5 Rh1 66. Kf7 Rh7+ 67. Kg6 Rh1 68. e6 Kc6 69. Rd2 Kb5 70. e7 Re1 71. Kf7 Rf1+ 72. Ke8 Re1 73. Rb2+ Kxa5 74. Rxb7 $18) (64... b5 65. axb6 Kxb6 66. e5 Rh1 67. Kd6 Rh8 68. e6 Rd8+ 69. Ke5 Rxd5+ 70. Kxd5 Kc7 71. Kc5 Kc8 72. Kc6 Kd8 73. Kd6 Ke8 74. e7 Kf7 75. Kd7 $18) 65. Rd6+ Kc7 (65... Kc5 66. Rb6 Rh6+ 67. Kf5 Rxb6 68. axb6 Kxb6 69. e5 Kc7 70. Kf6 Kd8 71. Kf7 $18) 66. e5 Rh6+ 67. Kd5 Rh1 68. Rb6 Ra1 69. Rb5 Rh1 70. Ke6 Rh6+ 71. Kf7 Rh7+ 72. Kg6 Rh1 73. Rd5 Kc6 74. Rd6+ Kc7 75. Rd2 Re1 76. Kf6 Rf1+ 77. Ke7 {(Rene Kalmes)} Rf5 78. Rc2+ Kb8 79. Kd6 $18) 63... Rxa5 64. Rf1 (64. e6 Rxf5+ 65. Kxf5 Kd8 $1 66. Kf6 Ke8 $11) 64... Ra2 65. e6 b5 66. e7 Re2 67. Kf7 (67. Rf5 Kd6 68. Rxb5 Re6+ $11) 67... Kc6 68. e8=Q+ Rxe8 69. Kxe8 Kc5 $1 {The only move to draw.} (69... Kd5 $2 { runs into} 70. Kd7 b4 71. Kc7 Kc5 72. Rb1 $1 Kb5 73. Kb7 $1 {Black is in deadly zugzwang.} (73. Kd6 $2 {runs into the bodycheck} Kc4 $11 {[%csl Gc5,Gd5] }) 73... Kc4 (73... Ka4 74. Kb6 b3 75. Kc5 Ka3 76. Kc4 b2 77. Kc3 $18) 74. Kb6 b3 75. Ka5 Kc3 76. Ka4 b2 77. Ka3 $18) ({and} 69... b4 $2 {is met by the cut off} 70. Rf5 $18 {[%cal Gf5a5]}) 70. Kd7 b4 $1 {[%csl Gc6,Gd6] Black's king gives a bodycheck!} 71. Ke6 (71. Rc1+ Kd4 72. Kc6 b3 73. Kb5 b2 74. Rb1 Kc3 75. Ka4 Kc2 $11) 71... b3 72. Ke5 Kc4 73. Rf8 (73. Rc1+ {is met by the bodycheck} Kd3 $1 $11 {[%csl Gd4,Ge4]}) 73... b2 74. Rb8 Kc3 75. Ke4 Kc2 76. Rxb2+ Kxb2 1/2-1/2

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.




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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