Stark's strong passed pawn

by Karsten Müller
4/26/2016 – Every week ChessBase magazine author and renowned endgame expert Karsten Müller presents a remarkable or particularly instructive endgame in his blog. A click on the diagram opens a larger board. Today on the playchess server, 4 pm: Endgame Magic with Karsten Müller and Pascal Simon!

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Stark's strong passed pawn

White to move. Do you find the winning continuation?   


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.


New! ChessBase Magazine #171 (April/Mai)


The editor’s top ten

1. From world champion to chess player: Magnus Carlsen annotates his win against Michael Adams.
2. Sicilian pearl from Wijk: Fabiano Caruana demonstrates how he outplayed van Wely. 
3. Simple but effective: Sergei Tiviakov introduces 2.d3 as a weapon against the Caro-Kann (video).
4. Tactics are not just about attacking – in Oliver Reeh’s video the focus is on a Saving Defensive Idea.
5. Active against 1.d4: Valeri Bronznik reveals to you the subtleties of the Chigorin Defence (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6).
6. In Rubinstein’s footsteps: Robert Ris presents a surprise weapon against the Blumenfeld Gambit.
7. The best of Gibraltar: checkmate Short – with the moves of Indian woman player Harika! (interactive video - Move by Move)
8. Promoted in Wijk thanks to a smashing move: Adhiban shows his spectacular victory over Abasov.
9. Getting to know Wei Yi: piece sacrifice, attack, mate. Daniel King demonstrates the attack on the king by the Chinese super-talent against David Navara.
10. Knight or bishop – which is the better blockader? Mihail Marin widens your knowledge about the subject of the "Blockade".

Introductory video by Karsten Müller



Opening surveys

Marin: Reti/English Double Fianchetto A05
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 d5 5.c4 dxc4 6.bxc4 c5 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6


In the closing third part of his series on White’s double fianchetto Mihail Marin examines positions in which Black has played ...d5 so as to exchange on c4 immediately. As in Parts 1 and 2 White does not always get an advantage, but he usually does get the more pleasant game.

Schipkov: English A25
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Rb1 Nf6


With 5.Rb1 White has in mind above all the advance b2-b4, but he is also delaying the development of his Ng1. Boris Schipkov recommends 5...Nf6. After that Black can set about matters on the kingside (...Nh5, ...f5) or possibly get his d-pawn to d5 in a single move.

Szabo: King’s Indian - London System A48
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 0-0 5.h3 d6 6.Be2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.c3 Nbd7


From White’s point of view, this setup constitutes a universal weapon against the Grünfeld Defence and above all the King’s Indian – very popular amongst those not keen on learning a lot of theory. Our author Krisztian Szabo considers the subject above all from Black’s point of view.

Moskalenko: Dutch A80
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4 a6


With his suggestion for Black (2...d5) Viktor Moskalenko is proposing a setup based above all on the fact that the Nc3 then occupies an unfavourable position. In Part 1 (3.Bf4) 3...a6 prepares a rapid ...c5.

Gormally: French C06
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ngf3


In his closing part Daniel Gormally examines the remaining plans on Black’s 7th move, above all 7...g6 and 7...f6. White must be prepared to sacrifice a pawn quickly. Things usually become very sharp, however positional struggles are in no way excluded.

Langrock: French C11
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Qf2 Qe7


In the 11.Qf2 Qe7 variation a lot has been happening in recent years and Hannes Langrock can see good reasons for re-examining it after his article in CBM 136. The German author considers the variation to be very playable and considers it “on an upward path as far as popularity is concerned”.

Stohl: Grünfeld Reversed D02
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.d4 Nf6 5.0-0 cxd4 6.Nxd4 e5 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.c4


The game Svidler-Vallejo Pons, Reykjavik 2015, came as a great surprise for Igor Stohl, because it involved the employment of the Exchange Variation of the Grünfeld Defence by White. But the Spanish player demonstrated that White cannot generate an advantage from his extra tempo.

Bronznik: Chigorin Defence D07
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Nc3 e6


With his book “Chigorin Defence” (Schachverlag Kania 2001, 2nd edition 2005) Valeri Bronznik wrote the standard work on this opening. In the first part of his article for ChessBase Magazine he deals with lines in which the bishop is developed to f4.

Kuzmin: Slav D10
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3 Nc6 7.Qxb7 Bd7


White’s move order (3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3) is actually based on the fact that 4...Bf5 is not so good on account of the attack on d5 und b7. But Alexey Kuzmin shows in his article that the pawn sacrifice is “absolutely correct”.

Krasenkow: Grünfeld Defence D85
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qxa2 12.0-0 Bg4


The move order after 8.Rb1 and especially 12...Bg4 is seen as a safe equalising continuation for Black. Many lines have even been almost completely analysed to a finish and have a high drawing ratio. In his article Michal Krasenkow offers a repertoire for Black.

Postny: Catalan E01
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 d5 6.Bg2 e5 7.Nf3 d4 8.0-0 Nc6 9.e3


Conquering the centre with 5...d5 has of course a certain appeal. But although Black can equalise in the position in the diagram (only with 9...Be7), Evgeny Postny sees some practical difficulties for the second player.

Ris: Blumenfeld Gambit E10
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.e4


Until now the question was whether accepting the pawn sacrifice with 5.dxe6 fxe6 6.cxb5 or with 5.Bg5 offers White the better chances of an advantage. For those players who do not have a ready answer, Robert Ris suggests the move 5.e4. White now himself plays a gambit – with good chances of an advantage!


CBM 171 in the ChessBase Shop

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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