Notable endgames: Biel, Dortmund, Zagreb

by Karsten Müller
7/24/2022 – Plenty of action was seen in the world of elite chess last week, with top tournaments in Biel, Dortmund and Zagreb. GM Karsten Müller has been paying close attention to the games, and has shared with us a number of instructive endgame positions. Unmissable! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Endgame highlights: summer edition


Le Quang Liem convincingly won the Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel. The Vietnamese was the top scorer both in the classical and rapid sections. Facing Vincent Keymer, he made the most of a mistake by the youngster in a rook and bishop endgame.

Can you find the most precise continuation for Black here?


Keymer’s 63...Ra7 turned out to be too passive, as White went on to weave a mating net by activating his king. Better would have been 63...Rb8, with counterchances for Black.



At the Deutschland Grand Prix, one of many tournaments that were part of the Dortmund Chess Festival, Pavel Eljanov defended his title by scoring a remarkable 4½ out of 6 against strong opposition. 

Luke McShane finished in third place, and as usual, showed enterprising chess throughout. Facing Matthias Bluebaum, the Englishman converted a favourable knight versus bishop endgame after his opponent failed to create counterplay quickly enough.


Instead of 36...Bc4, the German grandmaster needed to immediately open things up with 36...c5 in order to get drawing chances. In the game, McShane showed great technique to win the game, as he faced a fierce defender in the last stage of the game.

Besides this ending, Erwin l’Ami vs Pavel Eljanov is also analysed in the replayer below.



The third event from the Grand Chess Tour was played in Zagreb, with Magnus Carlsen emerging as the winner in the end.

Alireza Firouzja shared second place with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave after scoring 11 points both in the rapid and blitz sections. Facing Jorden van Foreest, the youngster managed to win an opposite-coloured bishops endgame. But the Dutchman could have saved a draw despite being two pawns down.

Can you find the way to do it?


Keeping the bishop on d4 was crucial here, keeping the threat of capturing on b2 alive, thus 65...Kd7 was the way to keep the balance. Van Foreest’s 65...Be3, on the other hand, allowed White to coordinate his army and eventually get the victory.

Four endgames from the SuperUnited Croatia tournament are analysed in the replayer below.


Magical Chess Endgames Vol. 1 & 2 + The magic of chess tactics

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.


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.