Monthly Archives: December 2014

Think before you move

”Think before you move” sounds simple and obvious, but practice has shown that it’s easier said than done. Very often we take things for granted, we see a move and we tell ourselves ”..this move has to be right”, “this is the move”, ”this can’t be wrong” and we go on and play it without hesitation. Then we start thinking on our opponent’s time, and we ussually discover new ideas in the position, sometimes ideas related to that move we  have just  played. We start seeing alternatives that could even improve the conditions to play the ”obvious move” we just did, but it’s too late and there are no takebacks.

I tell my students they should always do a ”double check” before they move, focusing on the opponent’s response. ”I played this because I thought it was winning but I missed this simple move”. Does this sound familiar to you? I must have heard it a thousand times.… Read more

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Solution to this morning’s tactic

I worked a little more than ususal since it’s a game I like very much, even though i’m on the losing side. Enjoy.

Berg,E.-Castellanos,R. White to play

Berg,E.-Castellanos,R. White to play

I remember when I played this game I felt my position was bad, basically black is not developed, his king in stuck in the center and white pieces are all in ideal squares. I had done 9 (!) pawn moves out of 13. violating the basic opening principles. Despite all this, I wasn’t expecting what came after:

14.e5! Of course! Opening lines against the black king, 14.Qxf4 gf5 15.e5! also gives white a strong attack

Position after 14.e5!

Position after 14.e5!

14…dxe5 15.Bb5+! axb5 (alternatives can’t even be considered) 16.Nxb5 +-

Position after 16.Nxb5 black is hopeless

Position after 16.Nxb5 black is hopeless

I played here 16…Qxc2+ 17.Kxc2 Bxf5+ 18.Kc1 Rc8+ 19.Nc3 and resigned a few moves later. In case you haven’t understood yet the desperation that led me to play 16…Qxc2+ let me point out these nice variations: 16…Qb8 17.Qc3 is easy, but 16…Qb8 17.Rxe5+!Read more

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Morning chess tactic

The next diagram is from my game against the swedish Grandmaster Emanuel Berg in the Chess Olympiad celebrated in Calvia, Palma de Mallorca in 2004. After a few dubious decisions in the opening, I found myself in big trouble and soon was ”pushed out of the board” in great style. Can you find the best move for white?

Solution will be up later today.

Berg,E.-Castellanos,R. White to play

Berg,E.-Castellanos,R.  White to play

Written by (IM) Renier Castellanos


Diagrama următoare a survenit în partida jucată împotriva marelui maestru suedez Emanuel Berg în cadrul Olimpiadei din Calvia, Palma de Mallorca, în 2004. După ce am luat câteva decizii îndoielnice în deschidere, am ajuns într-o poziție foarte proastă și curând am fost “€œscos afară de pe tabla” în stil. Puteți găsi cea mai bună mutare pentru alb?

Soluția va fi postată în cursul zilei de astăzi.

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Solution to yesterday’s puzzle

Puzzle_morning

Sgircea, Silvia Raluca – Vilarnovo Caamano, Jose

It is clear that white is better, and the idea of sacrficing the rook on f6 is written all over the board. However during the game I couldn’t make it work and decided to play 23.Qc3, a nice move cutting down all of black’s tricks and leading to a winning endgame. Looking deeper in the diagram position we can see white has a direct solution:

23.R1xf6! gf6 24.Qd3 Qc1+ 25.Be1! (I completely overlooked this move, a second sacrifice leaving the black queen unable to continue the checks, 25.Kg2 also wins 25…Qxb2+ 26.Kg1! and do a similar idea as in the mainline but not 26.Kh3?? Bc8+ 27.Kh4 Qh2++ and black wins) 25…Qxe1+ 26.Kg2 d4+ 27.Kh3 Bc8+ 28.Kh4 wins.

Written by (WIM) Raluca SgirceaRead more

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