Learn the Endgame with Ulf Andersson - Endgames with Minor Pieces
In the second database on Andersson's endgame mastery, GM Mihail Marin deals with the battle of minor pieces. Of course, the author does not limit his survey only to pure minor piece endings. In this database, he also explains how bishops and knights cooperate with major pieces.
Knight's Superiority over the Bishop (with and without heavy pieces)
Since Ulf Andersson is famous for his use of the knight, the first half of the database features knight's superiority over the bishop. In the annotated games, Marin explains how the presence of major pieces can influence the fight between the knight and the bishop. Here is how the author introduces the topic:
Due to his opening repertoire, knight versus bishop endings are frequent in Andersson's games. With White, for instance, he usually employs schemes based on the King's fianchetto, where one of the main plans is to increase the bishop's domination of the light squares by means of Bg5xf6. And with Black, the Nimzoindian (frequently implying ...Bxc3) is one of his main weapons. Endgames with minor pieces are more difficult to classify than rook endgames (examined in the first database). Therefore, I will just mention a few general considerations in the endgames examined below. For illustrating purposes, I will use a simple example which does not require many annotations. In order to be superior to the bishop, the knight requires the following scenario: the position should be stable, with at least parts of the structure blocked. In principle, it is of a great help if some of the enemy pawns are blocked on the same color as that of the squares the bishop is moving on, thus leaving the neighbor squares available for the knight's maneuvering. The general feeling in these positions, irrespective of the objective evaluation (won for the player with a knight or just symbolically better) is complete freedom of action. The player with a knight can move his pieces around at his leisure, creating real and false threats, but most importantly, keeping the opponent under long-term pressure. In such situations, the chance of committing a number of small concessions or a decisive mistake is very high.
Marin explains knight's domination over the bishop in 7 extensively annotated examples. Here is one of them.
Knight Endgames (with and without heavy pieces)
The second part of the current database is dedicated to the knight endgames. After going through the annotated games you will learn all the important ideas in knight endgames. At the same time, you will know how the presence of heavy pieces changes the dynamic of this type of endings.
In his introduction to the knight endgames, Marin writes:
There is an almost unanimously approved rule that "Knight endings are like pawn endings". This is a simple way of referring to the strong similarity between these two type of endings with respect to the evaluation. An extra pawn usually suffices for a win on condition there is a possibility of creating a passed pawn without exchanging all the others. An outside passed pawn is also likely to ensure a decisive advantage. It is no secret that certain pawn endings are extremely difficult to calculate accurately, but with knights, things can really get confusing, due to the unexpected jumping possibilities of these pieces.
The first example is relatively simple:
The knight endgames are examined in 7 annotated games as well.
In the test section, you will find 30 training interactive examples which are almost exclusively taken from the practice of Ulf Andersson. All the tests contain highly detailed answers.
Below, you can take a look at the first 5 interactive tests.