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Learn the Endgame with Ulf Andersson - Technical Play (October 2018)
GM Mihail Marin Not purchased

  • 1.  Introduction and Free Preview Free
  • 2.  Andersson, U - Gulko, B Closed
  • 3.  Andersson, U - Liu, W Closed
  • 4.  Andersson, U - Sokolov, A Closed
  • 5.  Andersson, U - Kristinsson, J Closed
  • 6.  Andersson, U - Gheorghiu, F Closed
  • 7.  Andersson, U - Franco Ocampos, Z Closed
  • 8.  Andersson, U - Hort, V Closed
  • 9.  Andersson, U - Tempone, M Closed
  • 10.  Andersson, U - Larsen, B Closed
  • 11.  Kharlov, A - Andersson, U Closed
  • 12.  Test Section Closed
  • 14.90 EUR

    Learn the Endgame with Ulf Andersson - Technical Play

    Preview by GM Mihail Marin


    General aspects of Andersson's endgame technique

    In the previous two databases, we have examined Andersson's virtuosity in rook endings and in knight versus bishop in minor piece endings. We conclude this series with some general aspects regarding Ulf's endgame technique. I have divided the material according to the following categories:

    1) Simplifying to a better ending

    2) Domination

    3) Playing on two wings

    4) Endings arising after exchange or queen sacrifices

    The classification could have also been different, as there are several typical elements to be found in the games below. The "Do not hurry" policy is typical for most of Andersson's endings. From the selection below, this is most clearly seen in the game Andersson-Franco. The art of exploiting weaknesses (eventually after provoking them) is featured by most of the games in the database. For surprising knight maneuvers, the game Andersson-Hort is the most relevant. Andersson-Franco and Andersson-Kristtinsson are illustrative for unexpected rook retreats for the purpose of improving their placement.

    Even though Andersson's style is marked by apparent neutrality and slowness, we should not forget that concrete accuracy is an important part of what we call "technique". This is visible in the final phase of the game with Gheorghiu. But in both games from the last section, Andersson's tendency of thinking in general terms provoked certain inaccuracies. Still, they would have allowed the opponent to save the game only with far from obvious plans or maneuvers.

    1) Simplifying to a better ending

    Since Andersson is a player for whom the endgame is the favorite phase of the game, it makes sense to start with a few games in which a series of exchanges transformed an apparently normal middlegame into a very favorable endgame. In Andersson-Gulko, White correctly understood that the main trump of his position was the better coordination of his minor pieces. Therefore he exchanged all the major pieces in an optimal way, reaching a huge advantage in the endgame. In Andersson-Liu Wenze the hidden drawbacks of Black's position (the weakness of the c5-square and of the c6-pawn) became more relevant after a series of exchanges starting with the queen swap. In Andersson-Sokolov the simplifications increased the relevance of Black's rook's misplacement.

    2) Domination

    Domination is an effective method that turns the endgame into a one-sided affair by taking away the opponent's counterplay or activity. In Andersson-Kristinsson White's bishops did a good job preventing the activation of the enemy rook long enough to gain time to advance the a- and b-pawns and create a weakness on Black's previously solid queenside. In Andersson-Gheorghiu the domination was ensured by the rooks' control over the only open files. In Andersson-Franco Black exposed himself to White's domination by stabilizing the center. White established a firm control over the position due to his stable knight and the rooks' optimal placement.

    3) Playing on two wings

    Over the past decades the so-called "Two weaknesses" principle has widely spread in chess literature. While this is suggestive in many games, I find the term a bit restrictive. I prefer the more general "Playing on two wings" even though "wings" could also be replaced by "board areas". This gives a better description to those games in which the active side combines threats or active plans on two different areas but the defender does not have "weaknesses" on one of the wings or even on either of them. Abstractly, the effectiveness of such a policy can be explained as follows: The player who has the initiative or the advantage usually enjoys higher piece mobility. Taking just one wing as a target may allow the opponent to defend by bringing an equal number of forces to that area, But if the attacker opens a new front, the opponent may not be in time to regroup successfully. In Andersson-Tempone Black had to gradually weaken his queenside, but on the right half of the board White had an advantage without any concrete black weakness. In Andersson-Hort the endgame started with a weakened black kingside, but the queenside weaknesses appeared only when White reached certain kingside progress and decided to turn his attention towards the opposite wing, too.

    4) Endings arising after exchange or queen sacrifices

    These are the most typical sacrifices in Andersson's games. Playing for a win when material down creates a certain feel of magic. In Andersson-Larsen White's compensation (actually more than that, we should call it advantage) consisted of his mobile and massive center. In Kharlov-Andersson Black's main trumps were his perfect stability and the coordination between the rook, bishop and the passed pawn.

    Below, you can see the game Andersson-Liu Wenze which is related to the topic Simplifying to a better ending.



    At the end of the database, you will find a test section which includes 30 technical endgame examples taken from the practice of Ulf Andersson. Below, you will find 5 of them.