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    Mastering the Endgame Volume 2: Closed Games

  • Cadogan Chess Books

    Executive Editor: PAUL LAMFORD

    Adviser: MAL COLM PEIN, 1M

    Russian Series Editor: KEN NEAT

    Some other endgame books:

    Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge


    Comprehensive Chess Endings

    Volume 1: Bishop Endings, Knight Endings

    A verbakh & Chekhover

    Volume 2: Bishop against Knight Endings, Rook against Minor Piece Endings Averbakh

    Volume 3: Queen and Pawn Endings, Queen against Rook Endings, Queen against Minor Piece Endings

    Averbakh, Henkin & Chekhover

    Volume 4: Pawn Endings

    A verbakh & Maizelis

    Volume 5: Rook Endings Averbakh & Kopayev

    Endgame Strategy


    Mastering the Endgame, Volume 1

    Shereshevsky & Slutsky

    Rate Your Endgame

    Mednis & Crouch

    For a complete catalogue of Cadogan Chess Books (which includes the former

    Pergamon and Maxwell Macmillan chess lists), please write to:

    Cadogan Books, 38 Warren Street, London WIP 5PD Tel: 071 388 241 0 Fax: 071 388 2407

  • Mastering the Endgame Volume 2:

    Closed Games by

    M.I.Shereshevsky & L.M.Slutsky Translated and Edited by

    Ken Neat

    CADOGAN ,·"ltit1



    UK/EUROPE/ AUSTRALASIA/ ASIA/AFRICA Distribution: Grantham Book Services Ltd. Isaac Newton Way, Alma

    Park Industrial Estate, Grantham, Lincs NG31 9SD. Tel: 0476 67421;

    Fax: 0476 590223.

    USA/CANADA/LATIN AMERICA/JAPAN Distribution: Macmillan Distribution Center, Front & Brown Streets, Riverside, New Jersey 08075, USA. Tel: (609) 461 6500; Fax: (609) 764


    © 1992 Mikhail Shereshevsky, Leonid Slutsky

    All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored

    in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic,

    electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording or

    otherwise, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    First published 1992

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    (applied for)

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 0 08 037784X

    Cover by Pintail Design

    Printed in Great Britain by B PCC Wheatons Ltd, Exeter

  • Contents


    Dark-Square Strategy Variations with the Central Exchange dxe5

    Pawn Wedge in the Centre

    The Exchange ... exd4

    Attack on the White Centre with ... c5

    2 Light-Square Strategy

    3 Symmetry Open Centre

    Closed Centre: the Exchange cxd5 cxd5

    The Exchange dxc5

    4 Asymmetry Central/Kingside Majority against Queenside Majority

    Maroczy Bind Formation

    Andersson (Hedgehog) Formation

    Transformation of the Isolani

    Backward and Hanging Pawns

    The Two Bishops

    The Catalan Bishop

    Index of Games Index of Openings


    1 2

    38 58



    1 1 8 1 1 8 132 140

    149 149 173 1 84 194 207 2 17 227

    236 240

  • Introduction

    When working on the second volume of this book, the authors decided to change the order in which the material is presented. In games begun with the open and semi-open openings, the endgame for a long time retains its individuality ; thus one does not confuse a Sicilian endgame with a Ruy Lopez, or a Caro-Kann endgame with one from Petroffs Defence. I n the closed openings things are more complicated. [n many of them identical pawn structures arise and, for example, openings so dissimilar in spirit as the Queen's Gambit and the Grunfeld Defence can lead to analogous endings.

    The strategy of systematic pressure, carried out by W hite in the closed openings, can be opposed by Black with various means of counterplay. In principle, all the various closed openings can be arbitrarily divided into two parts : in the first Black allows the creation of a white pawn centre , while in the second he actively prevents this. Methods used by modern theory in the struggle with the enemy centre include impeding it with pawns (King's I ndian set-ups) and piece pressure ( Grunfeld Defence). B lack can also oppose the creation of a pawn centre in different ways - 'physically' (Queen's Gambit set-ups) and by piece pressure on the light squares (Nimzo-Indian, Queen's Indian and Dutch Defences). It was this that led to the plan ofthe second volume: to present all the material not by opening classification, but in accordance with the strategy of the struggle for the centre.

    The reader will rightly notice the relatively large number of 'King's I ndian' endings, presented in the ' Dark-Square Strategy' section. The King's Indian Defence occurs increasingly rarely in top-level tournaments . The charm of its novelty has largely been lost, whereas the degree of risk has grown several-fold. White has a wide range of possibilities for developing his initiative - from direct play 'for mate' in the Samisch Variation to 'emasculating's set-ups with the exchange on e5 . By including in the book some King's I ndian clashes from the 1 950s and 1 960s, the authors wanted to recall the happy times of the King's Indian Defence, when it was called 'the main contemporary opening problem' . ( In recent years , however, thanks to the successes of the World Champion, there is a justification for talking of another burst in popularity of the King's I ndian Defence.)

    The chapters 'Light-Square Strategy', 'Symmetry' and 'Asymmetry' are not so extensive, but in our opinion they will give the reader an impression of the link between the chosen opening strategy and the resulting ending.

    In the closed openings, Black from the very first moves has to solve the problem of fighting for the centre . In all the diversity of the closed openings, two basic strategies for Black can be traced: either he allows the formation of an enemy pawn centre , or else he does everything possible to prevent it. In the first case, exploiting the time spent by White on the formation of his centre, Black strikes a blow at the weakest point - the d4

  • viii Introduction

    pawn - by . . . e5 or . . . c5 , with subsequent play on the dark squares . This has been given the name of dark-square strategy.

    [n practice the second path can be carried out in two ways : by the classical blocking of the d4 pawn ( 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6), or by piece pressure on the light squares ( 1 d4 tDf6 2 c4 e6 3 tDc3 iLb4, or 3 tDf3 b6 etc) . This latter example typifies light-square strategy.

    Translator's Note

    To reduce the original manuscript to a manageable size for publication, several games have had to be omitted. Where they are readily available in other books currently in print, this has been indicated in the text - it is recommended that these games be studied in conjuction with the appropriate chapter.

  • 1 Dark-Square Strategy

    Dark-square strategy is mainly repre­ sented by I ndian ( i .e . King's I ndian and Benoni) set-ups, which in recent times have occurred rather rarely in top- level tournaments. There are many reasons for this, the main one being White's advantage in space. But the possession of more space demands additional care in maintaining it, and in the resulting complex positions a slight inaccuracy by White will allow the opponent to develop a dangerous counterattack. Indian set-ups have brought a number of striking victories to players such as Boleslavsky, Bronstein, Geller, Tal, Gligoric, Stein, Fischer and Kasparov.

    Black usually aims to realise his counter­ chances in the middlegame, since with simplification W hite's spatial advantage becomes increasingly perceptible. This does not mean t hat any I ndian ending is bad for Black, but in general White's prospects are more favourable .



    Black's counterblow against the d4 pawn by . . . e5 or . . . c5 can lead to positions with various pawn structures. In reply to . . . e5 (or . . . c5) White can choose three different methods of play: he can advance his d-pawn, exchange on e5 (c5), or maintain the tension in the centre. These are schematically depicted in the three diagrams above.

  • 2 Mastering the Endgame II

    Usually Black is not able to maintain the central tension for long, and then the exchange . . . exd4 leads to the following pawn formation:

    Positions with the exchange dxc5 are considered in the 'Symmetry' section, and those with the exchange . . . cxd4 under the 'Maroczy Bind' .


    Any player choosing King' s I ndian set­ ups as Black must be able to handle competently the endings arising after the central exchange dxe5 followed by the exchange of queens. There are a number of masters who as White often solve in this way the problem of the King's I ndian Defence, especially since in many opening positions dxe5 is the best move.

    By what is White guided when he chooses the 'unpretentious' exchange in the centre? After all, the drawbacks here are patently obvious . Back in the 1 930s it was observed that the exchange of queens on the 5th move (after 1 d4 liJf6 2 c4 d6 3

    liJc3 e5 4 dx


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