World Cup: A selection of outstanding endgames (2)

by Karsten Müller
9/13/2023 – 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 more instructive endgames from the open category! | Photo: Stev Bonhage

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Carlsen beats Gukesh

The king blockades the passed pawns, while the rook attacks. This is a typical distribution of roles in rook endings. Facing the technical wizard that is Magnus Carlsen, Dommaraju Gukesh failed to find the correct roles for his pieces. Not surprisingly, the Norwegian made the most of his young opponent’s mistake.

Dommaraju Gukesh

Dommaraju Gukesh | Photo: / Maria Emelianova

Caruana errs in time trouble, Pragg wins

Passed pawns must be pushed! Fabiano Caruana tried to play a subtle move before advancing his outside passer and saw Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu escaping with a draw amid a remarkable semifinal encounter in Baku.

Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, Fabiano Caruana

Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and Fabiano Caruana | Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage

Finding the correct capture

When there are two ways to grab a pawn in an endgame, one might think that choosing the correct capture is a minor detail — but as seen in the game between Alexander Grischuk and Bardiya Daneshvar, grabbing the wrong pawn might turn out to be a decisive mistake.

Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk | Photo: FIDE / Anna Shtourman

Rook, knight and pawn vs. rook and three pawns

If they are well-coordinated, a rook and a knight can outplay a rook and a group of pawns. Jergus Pechac, however, failed to find a way to harmonize his pieces in his game against Vladimir Fedoseev.

Vladimir Fedoseev

Vladimir Fedoseev | Photo: FIDE / Anna Shtourman

Pragg’s passed pawns

The eventual runner-up in Baku played a remarkable match against his friend Arjun Erigaisi in the quarterfinals. Pragg’s passed pawns gave him a crucial victory in the second game of the memorable confrontation.

Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, Arjun Erigaisi

Pragg gets a second queen and Arjun resigns | Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage

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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