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Keymer edges out Liang to win Kramnik Challenge

A crucial win

Awonder Liang finished day 3 of the Kramnik Challenge in sole first place, with Vincent Keymer standing a half point behind. The fight for tournament victory was fierce on Sunday, as both players kicked off with wins. In the penultimate round, they were paired against each other, and Keymer had the white pieces.

In a tough strategic battle, Keymer got a positional plus. On move 36, the German simplified into an advantageous position with rooks, same-coloured bishops and queens.

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.


35.f3 Nc5 36.Bxc5, and Black cannot capture with the rook — after 36…Rxc5 White has the killer 37.e4, when 37…fxe4 is bad due to 38.Rd8+ Kh7 39.Qxe4+ and Black is doomed.


Thus, Liang had to play 36…bxc5, and White got a strong initiative with his rook infiltrating along the d-file and the bishop finding good coordination with the queen to attack along the light squares.


This position was reached four moves later. After 40.h5, there was no way to save Black’s position. Liang resigned soon after.


So, going into the final round, Keymer was a half point ahead of Liang and knew that he would be granted tournament victory if they finished tied in points. Liang had white against Balaji Daggupati while Keymer was paired up against Dinara Saduakassova with the black pieces. At some point, both players had losing positions!

Keymer was a piece down in an endgame.

Master Class Vol.14 – Vasily Smyslov

Smyslov cultivated a clear positional style and even in sharp tactical positions often relied more on his intuition than on concrete calculation of variations. Let our authors introduce you into the world of Vasily Smyslov.


The conversion is not at all trivial, but of course only White can win from this position. Keymer defended stubbornly and saved an 86-move draw. Meanwhile, Liang in fact tricked his younger compatriot and got a full point to climb to shared first place.

Both dramatic games are presented in the replayer below.


Kramnik Challenge 2021

Final standings (with team points tallied)

Endgame analysis by GM Karsten Müller

In his daily instructive analysis from the youth tournament, endgame specialist Karsten Müller analyses a position with rooks and bishops of opposite colours. French prodigy Marc Andria Maurizzi twice failed to play the winning move with black against Christopher Yoo.

Chess Endgames 9 – Rook and Minor Piece

Endings with rook and minor piece against rook and minor piece occur very frequently, even more often than rook endings, yet there’s not much literature on them. This endgame DVD fills this gap. The four different material constellations rook and knight vs rook and knight, rooks and opposite coloured (and same coloured ) bishops and rook and bishop vs rook and knight are dealt with. In view of the different material constellations Karsten Mueller explains many guidelines like e.g. “With knights even a small initiative weighs heavily”.


The immediate 52…h3+, dubbed ‘the sting of the scorpion’ by GM Müller, wins for Black. Maurizzi played 52…Kxg4 and the tough struggle continued. A couple more imprecisions led to a 75-move draw. Do not miss the full analysis by our in-house specialist!


All games



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