Monday, April 1, 2013

More Elementary Endgames

For the past few weeks, this blog has talked about many elementary endgames. This is because no club player, and even few master strength players are free from error in this phase of the game. So I've got some more together. Actually, I'd say this selection aren't all exactly elementary, but knowledge of practical endgames is of great benefit to players. Trying to plough your way through an endgame manual can be pretty tedious, whereas analysing a few endgames that happened in real play will lead to greater endgame understanding, and even greater general chess understanding.

So, here are 10 endgame positions from the London Candidates. Try to work out some plans depending on the questions asked. I'll try to answer these tomorrow!

This was Ivanchuk-Carlsen from the first half of the Candidates tournament in London. Magnus is a pawn down, and trying hard to hold the position. What plans should he be considering?

Aronian-Kramnik London 2013. Part of Kramnik's success is down to him not losing. As black he saved this position with opposite coloured bishops. Would you have a plan as good? In the above position, white played Ba2.

Kramnik-Svidler London 2013. A space advantage is considered an advantage in the opening and middlegame, but it is also important in the endgame, as often the assessment of a position depends on who's pawns are closer to promotion. Here, white has an undeniable space advantage. How can he make use of it?

Ivanchuk-Radjabov London 2013. In rook endings, the initiative is important. Black has tried to make his rook as active as possible. But it is white's move, and a forcing sequence can help him advance his pawns. Can you find it?

Kramnik-Grischuk London 2013. Black has just centralised his knight with Nf5-d4. A crucial part of endgame understanding is whether a player should exchange into a pawn endgame. If white takes on d4 will he be better, even or worse?

Aronian-Kramnik London 2013. White has the choice of 3 pawn moves and 3 king moves. Only one leads to a draw with best play for both sides. Which one?

Radjabov-Grischuk London 2013. Do you know how to draw this for black? Would you have any tricks for white? Grischuk drew with no problems!

Carlsen-Ivanchuk London 2013. How is this different to the last position? How does black go about trying to win this one?

Radjabov-Carlsen London 2013. White is a pawn down but has a much better king as compensation. What candidate moves would you have for white here remembering the plan is to draw?

Kramnik-Gelfand London 2013. White is a pawn ahead, but with both kings cut off, the position is very unclear. What is the best winning plan for white?

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