Pushing the pawns or retreating the king?

by Karsten Müller
8/3/2021 – In the diagram position both sides have dangerous passed pawns. But it is Black to move and he faces a choice: should he try to stop the white pawns with his king or should he push his g-pawn ahead? What would you do - and why?

Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen Endgames of the World Champions from Fischer to Carlsen

Let endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller show and explain the finesses of the world champions. Although they had different styles each and every one of them played the endgame exceptionally well, so take the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the best endgames in the history of chess.



Karsten Mueller 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.

ChessBase Magazine #202


ChessBase Magazine Extra #201


Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Mueller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.

Karsten Mueller

Karsten Mueller regularly presents endgame lessons in the ChessBase Video Portal


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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qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 8/4/2021 06:04
Petrosianic Petrosianic 8/3/2021 10:14
Without analyzing it much, it seems that moving the King must be right. Reason: White's other pawns are farther away and will take longer to Queen. Conversely, Black has an unstoppable pawn no matter what White does. White will eventually queen either his e or h pawns, but it will take longer than if Black didn't even try to stop the h pawn. Specifically, Black spends one move stopping the h pawn, and the e pawn takes TWO extra moves to queen, so that's a clear saving.