Endgames from Wijk aan Zee (4)

by Karsten Müller
1/31/2023 – The much anticipated Tata Steel Chess Tournament finished on Sunday in Wijk aan Zee. GM Karsten Müller, our in-house endgame expert, found plenty of instructive positions from the event in the Netherlands and shared his analyses with us. Find six such mini-lessons here. Enjoy! | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

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A mating counterattack

In endgames with rook and knight against rook and knight, even a slight initiative might turn out to be decisive, as proven in this game between Adhiban Baskaran and Max Warmerdam.


Another R + K vs R + K tactical ending

Luis Paulo Supi and Abhimanyu Mishra battled during 33 moves in another setup with rooks and knights. The Brazilian ended up prevailing, 


Maghsoodloo finds a good-looking final move

In an endgame with opposite-coloured bishops, Parham Maghsoodloo made the most of his initiative and ended the encounter with a flourish. The Iranian star was playing black against Praggnanandhaa.


The right rook’s pawn

Passed pawns are dangerous weapons in endgames, but if there is more than one passer, it is necessarily to choose carefully which one to push. The game between Mishra and Jergus Pechac greatly illustrates this point. 


Tricky defence

Rook endings are always drawn. But over the board they are often quite tricky to defend. Velimir Ivic could not hold Challengers’ champion Alexander Donchenko to a draw in the tournament’s final round.


The right king road

In endgames, the king should usually be activated, but sometimes it is not clear which road to take, as shown in this game between Adhiban and Mishra.


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 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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Saidalimo759 Saidalimo759 2/2/2023 08:20
<a href="https://douradocars.com/">Thank</a> you for posting
WillScarlett WillScarlett 2/1/2023 03:22
GM Karsten Müller - your articles on endgames ( and your earlier books, as well) are consistently and uniformly excellent ! Besides being world-class examples of instructive and entertaining writing, they show an extremely high level of precision and accuracy. Your latest article is no exception.

Please excuse me for exploiting your article for an off-topic digression. I elected to use your article because it is the newest one that invites/permits comments, and I hope you can forgive me for taking advantage of the situation.

I simply wished to point out what I consider a regrettable omission on the part of ChessBase News : there has been no acknowledgement of the January 30th anniversary of World Champion Boris Spassky's birthday, who celebrated his 86th birthday on that day.

This lapse is by no means whatsoever any fault of yours, and if it had been possible to introduce the topic by other effective means I would have.
Spassky is remembered as a "universal player" who had a perceptible flair for the attack, but was able to play a great variety of positions with verve and imagination. Perhaps, even though Spassky is not recalled primarily as an endgame virtuoso like Smyslov, you can present some of his more notable efforts in that area.

Thank you again for your many superb articles !