Endgames from Almaty

by Karsten Müller
1/4/2023 – The cosmopolitan city of Almaty saw Magnus Carlsen adding two world titles to his collection, while Tan Zhongyi and Bibisara Assaubayeva took home gold medals in the women’s events. With so much chess being played in a span of five days, Karsten Müller had no trouble finding remarkable endgames to share with us. Find here six instructive positions to learn and enjoy! | Pictured: Vincent Keymer trying to make the most of his good knight against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s bad bishop. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Good knight, bad bishop

In an elite duel, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had a bad bishop against Vincent Keymer’s strong knight. The sharp ending saw both players missing chances — MVL to draw at once and Keymer to win — and ended in a draw.


A knight against a myriad of pawns

Surya Ganguly had a knight and two pawns against Maksim Chigaev’s five pawns. The game ended in a draw, but only because the Indian captured the wrong pawn on move 54!


The bodycheck

In the game between Johan-Sebastian Christiansen and Matthias Bluebaum, the former failed to find the precise king move to save a draw in a rook endgame. Finding the drawing line was no easy task, though!


The breakthrough

Pawn races are difficult to calculate. Edgar Mamedov (not Rauf) beat Ergali Suleiman with white after the latter misevaluated a position with connected passers against a sole rook.


Opposite-coloured bishops favour the attacker

In a sharp position with rooks, opposite-coloured bishops and pawns on both flanks of the board, Savva Vetokhin (aged 13) emerged victorious in his game against Ergali Suleimen.


Exchanging pawns to defend

Aydin Suleymanli showed the proper technique to hold Boris Savchenko to a draw in an endgame with a pawn deficit. Instructive.


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.