World Cup: A selection of outstanding endgames (1)

by Karsten Müller
8/31/2023 – The FIDE World Cup was a complete success, as top players fought for spots in the Candidates, both in the open and in the women’s section. Magnus Carlsen and Aleksandra Goryachkina were the winners. As ever, GM Karsten Müller compiled the most interesting positions from the tournaments. Find here five instructive endgames from the open category! | Pictured: Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu | Photo: Stev Bonhage

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Pragg’s passed pawns

The fact that Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and Arjun Erigaisi are good friends did not prevent them from playing a hard-fought, exciting quarterfinal match. In this game, each of the Indian youngsters had two pawns per side. Time to calculate!

Arjun Erigaisi

Arjun Erigaisi | Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage

Magnus misses a magical win

Vincent Keymer beat Magnus Carlsen in their first classical encounter. The Norwegian eventually bounced back and went on to win the tournament — he, however, failed to find a remarkable knight manoeuvre in the tiebreaks.

Magnus Carlsen, Vincent Keymer

Magnus Carlsen and Vincent Keymer | Photo: FIDE / Anna Shtourman

Caruana breaks Abasov’s fortress

A rook is often much stronger than a bishop in an endgame. But with pawns only on one flank, fortresses can arise!

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana | Photo: / Maria Emelianova

Duel of the passed pawns

One of the things that make World Cups so attractive is the fact that players tend to be extremely motivated from the first round. Check out this sharp endgame played between Maxime Lagarde from France and Santiago Yago de Moura from Brazil.

Maxime Lagarde

Maxime Lagarde | Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage

Svane’s smart manoeuvring

German grandmaster Rasmus Svane reached the fourth round in Baku, when he was knocked out by Wang Hao in a long tiebreaker. In round 2, Svane upset Croatian star Ivan Saric.

Rasmus Svane

Rasmus Svane | Photo: / Maria Emelianova

Magical Chess Endgames Vol. 1 & 2 + The magic of chess tactics

In over 4 hours in front of the camera, Karsten Müller presents to you sensations from the world of endgames - partly reaching far beyond standard techniques and rules of thumb - and rounds off with some cases of with own examples.


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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Karsten Müller Karsten Müller 9/2/2023 07:42
gwrtheyrn: You have a good point.
gwrtheyrn gwrtheyrn 9/2/2023 04:35
Karsten Mueller's columns are always entertaining and instructive. But I don't think that calling a game in which a 2625 GM wins an ending from a 2657 GM an 'upset' uses the word appropriately. 'Upset' implies a much bigger difference in rating, IMO.