Category Archives: GM Master Class

GM Master Class-Flohr,S

Here is a model anti-IQP endgame from Flohr.

Flohr,Salo – Pirc,Vasja
Queen’s Gambit Declined[D62]
Podebrady Podebrady (16), 24.07.1936

Position 1
An isolated QP ending has begun. What plan do you suggest for white?

White to Play


Position 2
White has made some progress on the queenside. What should white do next?

White to Play


GM Master Class-Flohr,S

Here is an important classical ending played by Flohr,S in model fashion.

Flohr,Salo – Botvinnik,Mikhail
Moscow/Leningrad m Leningrad (6), 1933

Position 1
White has a space advantage and the bishop pair. There are no tactics. This is a question of endgame knowledge and understanding. How should white conduct the game?

There is no single solution. The game illustrates many typical and thematic facets of bishop pair and general endgame play.

  • Using the king
  • Play on both wings
  • Taking away knight outposts
  • Fixing pawns as targets
  • Creating a second front
  • Outside passed pawn
  • Bishop pair working on an open board
  • Slow unhurried play

White to Play


GM Master Class: GM Nevednichy,V The Knight Pair

Here is an example of knight pair play against BN from the recent Hungarian TCh 2012-13 Rd5.


Nevednichy,V (2554) – Horvath,Zs (2400)
Sicilian 3.Bb5+ [B52]
TCh-HUN 2012–13 Paks HUN (5), 02.12.2012

Critical Position 1
The position is slightly better for white at best. The real question is what to do and how to conduct the game. Tactical play is not the focus here. First it is necessary to understand the position and the needs of each side.
What do you propose for white?

  • Play on the queenside-Nc4 is the strongpoint of white’s position and opening lines with a5 makes sense.
  • Play in the center-White has two knights. One is alredy well placed on c4. The other belongs on d5.
  • Something else

 White to Play




GM Master Class: Potkin,V BB-BN Ending

Here is a wonderful game by GM Potkin,V from recent Bundesliga action.

GM Vladimir Potkin of Russia
‘Vladimir Potkin (Russian: Владимир Поткин; born 28 June 1982) is a Russian chess Grandmaster (2001). 
  • 2007 he tied for 1st–9th with Alexei Fedorov, Andrei Deviatkin, Aleksej Aleksandrov, Viacheslav Zakhartsov, Alexander Evdokimov, Denis Khismatullin, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Sergei Azarov in the Aratovsky Memorial in Saratov.[1]
  • 2011, in Aix-les-Bains, he won the European Individual Chess Championship with 8½/11.’
This was a very instructive example of the bishop pair in an ending. The game was devoid of sharp tactical blows and big attacks so will likely not catch the interest of the chess public.

The BB-BN phase can be divided into smaller steps for ease of study.

  • Driving back the strong Ne4
  • A general advance on the kingside(37.g4 etc)
  • Fixing the kingside(45.g5)-Massaging down the queenside(48.a4) to create a queenside target-the a6 pawn.
  • Clearing out the center for the bishops to roam(54.e4).
  • Tying black’s king down to the g6 pawn(61.Bc2)
  • Sending the king to the queenside to infiltrate via the c-file and dark squares while black’s king is tied to the kingside(Ke3-d2-c3-c4-c5-b6!).
  • Winning the a-pawn(76.Kxa6) and then promoting the b-pawn.

Potkin,V (2663) – Gonda,L (2528)
4.e3 g6 Schlecter Slav[D10]
Bundesliga 2012–13 Baden Baden GER (6), 09.12.2012

Critical Position
Black has just challenged the cramping e5 pawn with 32…f6. How should white continue?

White to Play


GM Master Class:Andersson,Ulf

Here is an instructive game from GM Andersson who wins a game that would otherwise go unnoticed as his opponent has no fancy title and posesses a modest club player’s rating. Yet there are many little things to be learned.

How does a GM win games he is supposed to?
What are the typical mistakes of the normal amateur?

Let us see the game.

Andersson,U (2582) – Mass,E (1966)
Closed Catalan 8.Qd3[E07]
15th OIBM Bad Wiessee GER (1.13), 29.10.2011
Black played the rare 8..dc giving up the d5 central point. This was met by solid practical play and the result was a roughly equal position.

Position 1
White has a well placed central Ne5/Ne4 knight pair while black has the passive bishop pair. What do you recommend for black?
-21…f6 kicking away at least one of those knight to start with. Then the passive Be8 can emerge on f7-g6 or h5 even
-21…a5 restraining the queenside
-Something else

Black to Play


Position 2
The knight pair has shuffled over from e5-e4 to c5-c4. What is next for white?
-24.h4 and if allowed h5 to clamp the kingside light squares
-24.b4 gaining space on the queenside
-Somthing else.

White to Play


Position 3
White has long range bishop to play against black knight. But the intended d-file invasion does not look possible and the c5 pawn clamp is being undermined. What should white do?

White to Play


Endgame Master Class-GM Andersson

Here is an ordinary endgame from GM Ulf Andersson who grinds out a long ending from a slightly better position. Yet the game was not entirely one-sided as both sides did not follow the optimal path.

The endgame phase can be examined under the following themes

  • Greater piece activity
  • Symmetrical pawn structure
  • RN-RN;R-R
  • Open file occupation
  • 2nd rank occupation

Wiley,To (2296) – Andersson,U (2582) [E39]
38th OKU 2011 Utrecht NED (3.2), 04.06.2011

Position 1
After 27.Nf3 black has the more active pieces. What do you recommend black now?

Black to Play

Position 2
After 31…Rc2 black is pressing with at least a slight advantage. How should white defend?

White to Play

Position 3
The R-R is sharp and requires some precision. How should black continue?

Black to Play

Endgame Master Class-GM Andersson

Here is an instructive queenless game that turns into a RN-RB ending from the endgame Maestro-Sweedish GM Ulf Andersson.

‘Ulf Andersson was born on June 27, 1951 in Vasteras, Sweden. He is a leading Swedish chess player. FIDE awarded him the International Master title in 1970 and the International Grandmaster title in 1972.

At his peak, Andersson reached number four on the FIDE Elo rating list. Tournaments he has won include

  • Belgrade 1977,
  • Buenos Aires 1978,
  • Hastings 1978-79,
  • Phillips & Drew 1980,
  • Phillips & Drew 1982,
  • Turin 1982,
  • Wijk aan Zee 1983,
  • Reggio Emilia 1985,
  • Rome 1985 and 1986.

 He drew a six-game match against former world champion Mikhail Tal in 1983, and played top board in the second USSR versus The Rest of The World Match in 1984. He led the Swedish Olympiad Team during the 1970s and 1980s.

Andersson is a very solid positional player. He draws a high percentage of his games against fellow grandmasters. He is renowned as a great player of endgames, especially rook endgames, and is famous for winning seemingly “unwinnable” endgames, often in very long games.’ Supreme-Chess

Giannino,D (1989)-Andersson,U (2556) [C07]

16th OIBM 2012 Bad Wiessee GER (1.12), 27.10.2012[Yip]

Critical Position 1
Both sides have majorities and will advance them to create a passed pawn which will then(hopefully) go onto promotion. Play will be on both wings as a strategic race is now on. Black has a useful minor piece for this type of play as the bishop can play on both wings simultaneously.

Black also has a temporary advantage in the form of a slight lead in development which takes the form of the active Rc8. How does black execute his plan as quickly and efficiently as possible?

Black to Play

Critcial Position 2
Black has sucessfully infiltrated on the kingside and taken the 2nd rank. Everything is going well for black and the win is in sight. But white has ideas too and has just attack the rook with 38.Ne3. What should black do?

Black to Play