How to win endgames like Magnus Carlsen?


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Have you ever found yourself in an endgame where it was so boring that you could not find any good moves, while your opponent just seems to know what to do? Today we’ll be discussing how Magnus Carlsen plays in such quiet endgames and most importantly, manages to win the game easily.

Before that, I’d like to ‘warn’ you that it is very important to study such endgames. If you don’t give much importance in this area, you’ll keep struggling to find good moves. Let’s take a look at an ending from Magnus’s game.

Magnus Carlsen is playing Black in this game. Please, take a moment and try to evaluate this position. Who do you think it is better and why? It’s Black to play – can you find a good continuation for Black?

Well, it looks like a quiet position from a boring endgame, isn’t it? It’s not the case for Carlsen – yes, he won this game. I’d like to insist that it’s not a very rare occurrence for Magnus to win such positions. As you may have seen, he has been doing that time after time. He calmly outmaneuvers his opponents for a very long time.

How does he do that? How can you do the same? You can watch the video snippet, where you can see how Carlsen found the winning plan in the above endgame. 🙂

P.S. Have you started studying the course already? What’s your impression? Please, write your feedback in the comments below – it will be useful for other students.

Comments
Comments: 3

Comments 3

  1. Igor I’d really like to use the Scandinavian you recommend in gm lab part 1 course, but white has simple refutation you didn’t mention.
    e4 d5 exd5 Nf6 d4 Bg4 f3 Bf5 Bb5+ Nbd7 and now white goes Nc3!! Now after a6 white won’t go Bc4 as you stated in practical part, but he’ll do much better Ba4 which computer keeps making against me. Then after b5 Bb3 Nb6 white simply goes Nge2 Nxd5 Nxd5 Nxd5 and then Ng3 gaining a tempo on the bishop(it’s all forced) and now if white goes Bg6 then white goes f4 e6 0-0 Be7 f5 and white is like +1 – black’s postiion is horrible. If black instead of Bg6 drops it to c8 then that’s passive and white goes with his knight to e4 and c5 gaining positional advantage and there’s nothing for me to do- I can’t do neither c5 or e5 pawn breaks in the future

    Some strong experienced players might play against me this way – instead of going for dynamic position with pawn up where black has counterplay, they’ll instead make material balance but gets nice stable positional advantage and then torture me for the rest of the game – it’s what e.g. Karpov would do.

    1. Hi Lovro,

      You may try 5…Bd7 or even 5…c6. I can’t provide detailed variations within few text sentences, sorry about that. But I will take your comment into account for future lessons. Here are few general notes though:

      1. Before the tournament (when you feel worried), and while playing against computer – all the openings seem terribly bad. That’s normal, we all feel it this way 🙂
      2. This gambit line in Scandinavian is not the most solid opening choice. I would not recommend that you play it against really strong opponents, unless you expect to surprise them.

      1. With the “gambit line”, you mean the whole 2.Nf6 variation? So then I may go for 1… e5 even tho you didn’t recommend it? It’s the response to 1.e4 I feel by far the most comfortable with and one I’ve always played in serious tournaments and I never really played sicilian(I’m saying because you recommended the kan) in real tournaments.

        Thanks for the tiime and effort into responding to my comments! Highly appreciate it. 🙂

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