First of all, let me congratulate Levon Aronian for winning Grenke chess classic 2017. Secondly I would like to be clear that this article is aimed to beginners and pre-intermediate players only. Here I will discuss a couple of positions which might help you improve your endgame technique.
Here is the first one:
Aronian vs Vachier Lagrave, Grenke Chess Classic 2017 Round 3
Q: Which bishop should White exchange and why?
A: White should exchange the light square bishops as Black’s dark square bishop has no targets while White’s dark square bishop can easily target Black’s pawns. On top of that White’s king will be free very soon to join the attack pawn on e4. This would fall because Black’s king and bishop have to defend his pawns and to stop White’s outside passer.
In the game Aronian played
1. e6!! Bxe6
2. Bxe6 Kxe6 3. Kd2
Black resigned. Black can force the exchanges of dark square bishops but then the king and pawn endgame would be an easy win for White.
Matthias Bluebaum vs Levon Aronian, Grenke Chess Classic 2017 – Round 4
Q: Formulate a plan that pockets the full point.
A: Of course the plan would be to win more material or exchange the rooks which simplifies into a winning king and pawn endgame.
Q: But the question is how?
A: Well, bring your Rook to b4 that forces the exchanges or loss of further material for White. But there are few turns where you must be careful.
1… Rc2 2. Kg3 Kg7!
Very important, bringing the king into the square. If 2…Rb2 3.f3 Rb4 4. Rxb4! and White can also make a queen and game might end in a draw.
3. h4 Kf6 4. Rf4+ Ke7
Now the White king is boxed in.
5. Rd4 Rc3+ 6. f3 Rc2!
The king has to guard g2 so it can’t support the rook on d4 in case of Black playing …Rb2 and …Rb4.
7. Kh3 Rb2!