The endgame teaches chess

by ChessBase
8/27/2017 – Do you know which aspect of double rook endings is most often overlooked? Mating the opponent! But on his DVD about "Double rook endings" Karsten Müller dedicates a whole chapter - with stunning examples - to mating attacks in this endgame. He also shows the most important principles of this endgame. IM Martin Neubauer had a look at the DVD.

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High-class endgame lessons: "Double rook endings" by Karsten Müller

A review by IM Martin Neubauer

Does studying the endgame have to be boring and tedious? No! The times when you had to work your way through the books of Averbakh which are informative but dry as dust are gone. Today, you can buy a DVD, relax on the couch, and let endgame expert GM Karsten Müller explain the dos and don'ts of the endgame to you. In his 14-volume Chess Endgames DVD-series Müller shows the endgame from scratch. Volume 13 of the series deals with double rook endings, a theoretically often neglected part of endgame studies.

The material is divided into five chapters. To start, "theoretical positions" outline the most important differences between rook endings, in which each side has one rook, and double rook endings. My personal favorite is the second chapter which deals with mating attacks: I was amazed how many attacks and counterattacks are possible with such reduced material. A particularly instructive example is the game Cramling-Krush (2012):

White to move mates. (The solution is given at the end of the article.)

Müller also deals with the question when to exchange a pair of rooks and whether this favors the attacker or the defender. The two last chapters present complex double rook endings and here Müller talks about important aspects such as piece activity and pawn structures.

Müller often picks examples from his own practice but also presents instructive endgames from Rubinstein to Kortschnoi and shows how Carlsen and Karjakin handled double rook endings.

In his lectures Müller seems to assume that his viewers are very informed and educated and hide the notation at every move and  press the "Stop"-Button to think about the position before returning to the video. If you happen to have such self-discipline you will of course particularly profit from the DVD. But even those who choose the simpler way and prefer to just enjoy the explanations of the grandmaster will learn about the one or the other important aspect of double rook endings.

If you study double rook endings you should ideally know something about  "normal" rook endings. If you have this knowledge the DVD about double rook endings is suitable for players of all levels.

One advice from a trainer: Studying the endgame particularly helps to improve the general understanding of chess and Karsten Müller's DVD about double rook endings is here definitely a valuable contribution. To quote the American correnspondence player  and author Gerzadowicz: "The opening teaches you openings, the endgame teaches you chess."

About the author

IM Martin Neubauer played from 2000 to 2012 for the Austrian National Team and from 2006 to 2008 he coached the Austrian junior squad.

Dr. Karsten Müller:
Chess Endgames 13 - Double rook endings

  • Language: English
  • Video-run-timet: 4 hrs., 34 minutes
  • Level: Advanced, Tournament Player, Professional

    €25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
    $27.14 (without VAT)

    Delivery: Download, Post

    Order in the ChessBase shop


Solution: 1.f4+ Kxf4 2.g3+ Kg5 3.Rg8+ Kh5 4.Re5! Rg6 5.Rxf5+ Rg5 g4#



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