Outstanding endgames from the 2023 U.S. Women’s Championship

by Karsten Müller
11/26/2023 – Carissa Yip (pictured) grabbed her second U.S. women’s title last month — at 20 years of age! The youngster scored an incredible 8½/11, leaving the over-performing Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova a half point behind in the final standings. As ever, GM Karsten Müller followed the games closely, looking for interesting setups to analyse. Find here instructive analyses of six outstanding endgame positions! | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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Extreme precision needed

After two contenders have worked hard for hours — calculating, making tough decisions and looking to understand nuances — often a small detail in the ending is what decides the result of the game.

In round 7 of the U.S. Women’s Championship, for example, Atousa Pourkashiyan gained a pawn in her game with black against Tatev Abrahamyan. But on move 68, Abrahamyan found the one bishop manoeuvre that saved the draw despite the material deficit!

Only 68.Bg2 draws for White, keeping the possibility of attacking the f5-pawn via h3 open. The game continued until move 79, but Black could not convert her pawn advantage into a win, as Abrahamyan found the correct defensive concept and executed it proficiently.

Similarly, and also in round 7, Ashritha Eswaran got an extra pawn with black in her encounter against Irina Krush. In this case, however, a rook endgame was reached. Despite the setup’s drawish tendency, Eswaran could have continued fighting for a win had she not faltered on move 61.

61...Ke5 was the winning move here, while Black’s 61...Rg3 allowed Krush to get counterplay and eventually create a fortress in a position with queen against rook and pawn. It was a remarkable defensive effort!

These are only two of the six instructive endgame positions which you can study and enjoy in our dynamic replayer below.

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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