Monthly Archives: February 2015

Throwback Thursday

Looking over the games from my last tournament played here in Puerto Rico, I found a couple of positions worth sharing. The first one is from my game against the FM from Dominican Republic Miguel Infante (2277). I had white and, after 19 moves, we reached the following position:

Castellanos-InfanteCastellanos (2465) – Infante (2277)

The position should be equal, but I felt like it was ”more equal” for black than for white, basically because I couldn’t see a plan to improve my own pieces or create any threats. In such cases, when you don’t see a clear plan, the general advice I’ve been taught is to just stay and ”wait”. In other words, make any move that doesn’t weaken your own position and allows you to press the clock and pass the turn. My evaluation of the position has not changed much. However, now I can see that white could continue with 20.Bc2, with the idea of 21.b4 and 22.a4 grabbing some space on the queenside and also waiting for black to decide wether he will take on g3 or play Nf4.… Read more

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Gibraltar Round 10. Nothing decided

Rock of GibraltarGrandmaster Hikaru Nakamura maintains the lead in the Gibraltar Masters after 9 rounds played. However, things are far from clear, as David Howell is only half a point behind him. Although it’s unlikely that Nakamura can lose with the white pieces against Harikrishna and Howell win as black against Hou Yifan, anything can happen. Draws are a common result in last round games, especially in open events where most players want to secure a prize and half a point is acceptable if you’re playing on the top tables. It will be interesting to see if, after 9 games already played, tiredness will have any influence on the games. The players could be exposed to make more unforced errors, resulting in more decisive games. We’ll have to wait and see.

Standings after Round 9 (first 10): StandingsRound9 The pairings for today’s round: Round10 Link on Chess-Results Official siteRead more

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Gibraltar Round Seven update.

HikaruGM Hikaru Nakamura (2776)

The Gibraltar Masters is coming into its final lap with 7 rounds already played and 3 more games to go. GM Hikaru Nakamura is leading the tournament by half a point, followed by Yu Yangi, Axel Bachman, Daniel Naroditsky and David Howell, all with 6 points.

Naka’s form in this tournament has been quite impressive. He won the first six games including a clean victory against the number 1 seeded Veselin Topalov. Yesterday he was very close to make it 7 out of 7 but was unable to convert a better rook endgame into a full point against GM David Howell. So far, Nakamura is going up 14.5 rating points and if he keeps this form in the next three games he could end up the tournament very close to 2800 or even get there.

Big time favorite Veselin Topalov is not having his best tournament. After an unexpected draw from a better position in round two, he went back to winning ways.… Read more

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Gibraltar: Nakamura leads with 5/5.


Nakamura continues to show he is on another level, the american is leading the tournament alone with a perfect score of 5 points out of 5 rounds. Yesterday he defeated the strong GM Adhiban B. (2630) as black, choosing a sharp variation of the queen’s gambit accepted. Nakamura’s performace so far is 3322 and he is gaining 10.6 rating points. He will face Veselin Topalov  today with the white pieces.

Topalov had to work hard to beat the young GM Anton Guijarro. He is a fighter by nature, and yesterday’s game was an example of how to play for a win and sharpen things up. After 10 moves this position appeared on the board:

Anton-Topalov1Anton Guijarro – Veselin Topalov
Position after white’s move 10.0-0

In the diagram above black has a few logical moves, castle would be the most natural thing, Qe7 can be considered too, with a ”solid position”.… Read more

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