The Iniyan Challenge

by Karsten Müller
3/27/2023 – It is usual for rook endgames to end in a draw. At least, they usually have a strong tendency to do so. Recently young grandmaster Iniyan visited our company and showed us a position from one of his games which should be won by White. But he needed to work very hard to do so. Even our endgame expert Dr. Karsten Müller, and a visiting super-GM colleague of Iniyan had great difficulty finding the win. Can you help find the convincing proof?

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First of all here is the position Iniyan showed us:


The starting point of the endgame. Iniyan: "For people who like complex endings or a challenge to their calculation, this position is a minefield, with hidden gems. To start off, what are White's breakthrough possibilities, and what are Black's defensive/counterattacking chances? These are the questions to think about."

In the above position you can move the pieces and try to win for White. The engine attached to the diagram will defend – not always with the cleverest defence. But you can use it to experiment with the position. You can also proceed to the replay window at the bottom of this article, where you have access to the full functionality of entering variations and sub-variations, and downloading and submitting your analysis. 

Iniyan (middle) showing his endgame position to super-talent Praggnanandhaa (right) and RB Ramesh (left) in the ChessBase office.

These high-powered chess experts spent over an hour working on the endgame, with Frederic Friedel (2nd from right) egging them on with disparaging remarks

In the end, they solved the endgame (hopefully). We recorded video of the analysis Iniyan summarized, and will publish that in a week. Maybe you can improve on the conclusions they reached. We have prizes for the best analysis we receive from our readers (see below).

Iniyan Panneerselvam is twenty years old and India's 61st grandmaster. He took part in the training camps by Kramnik and Gelfand in France and in Chennai. Take a glance in his bio:

RB Ramesh trains about 500 chess students worldwide. His protégés have won 31 (youth) world championship titles, 40 titles in Asian championships and 34 national titles. That makes him probably the most successful coach in the world.

Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu is an Indian chess prodigy who earned the International Master title at the age of ten, the youngest at the time to do so, and the grandmaster title at age twelve, the second-youngest at the time to do so. Pragg is on a path to reaching the top ten in the world in a couple of years.

Iniyan, Pragg and Ramesh were in Hamburg to record interviews and Fritztrainers. You will be seeing more of them on our news page and in the ChessBase shop in the near future.

The Iniyan Challenge

We ask our readers to study the position Iniyan gave us and submit their analysis. Here is the replay board you can use – or you can download the position and use ChessBase and chess engines to conduct a comprehensive study of the endgame.


Note that there are many useful functions below the board:

The fan icon starts an engine, arrow down allows you to download PGN or FEN, the right-most icon makes it possible to adjust the layout of the app.

Please submit your analysis to The subject should be "Iniyan Challenge". Please give your name and address. The three best submissions will win prizes – DVDs dedicated and signed by me.

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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