Tag Archives: analysis

Rocket Rooks


Rooks are strong pieces. That’s no secret, but do you really know how to use them and get the maximun of their potential? In the next examples we’re going to see some fantastic rook lifts that will change the way you look at this piece.

Our first example is the game Zhigalko,S -Antipov,M Yerevan, 2014 in which, after 12 moves of an English opening, the players reached a typical Isolated Queen’s Pawn position:

Zhigalko-Antipov1Zhigalko,S -Antipov,M Yerevan, 2014
White to Play

We can see that black has firmly blocked the pawn on d4. However, he still has some problems to solve – it is not easy to develop the Knight on b8, as Nd7 would allow white to trade on d5, forcing black to take with the e6 pawn and losing the blockade. In that case of symetrical pawn structure white would have some advantage due to the more active pieces. Capturing on c3 is also a dubious option for black since the white pawns would gain considerable space after white plays c3-c4.… Read more

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Muzychuck’s (Mariya) killer sequence

The women world championship is almost on its final knockout stage with 8 players fighting to adavance to semi finals. In yesterday’s round (GM) Mariya Muzychuk (2526) beat the favorite (GM) Humpy Koneru (2581) in 29 moves of a Scotch opening.

muzychukm01(GM) Mariya Muzychuk (2526)

Position after 25.Nxg5:

Muzychuk-KoneruBlack is a pawn up, however his pieces on the queenside are temporaly out of play and what’s most important, away from the kingside. So we can say that white has material superiority on the kingside with three pieces attacking the black king, the threat of Qh4 has to be stopped but how? There is only one acceptable move for black and that is 25…Rd1! it is good idea to trade the enemy’s pieces when you are under pressure. Without the white rook on e1 Qh4 isn’t a deadly threat anymore because at least the black king can scape f8-e7. A possible continuation is 26.Bf1 Rxe1 27.Qxe1 Qa3!Read more

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Solutions to Wednesday exercises

In all the three positions from yesterday we can recognize one element in common: the presence of the Isolated Queen’s Pawn. It is well known that the side with the IQP should strive for pushing the rupture d4-d5 in this case. After this move is played, the pawns in the center (d4 / e6) dissapear from the board and the activity of the pieces becomes the primary element. Knowing the concept, it’s time to have a look at the moves, it takes precise calculation:

DelaVilla-SionDe la Villa – Sion, Leon 1995

Solution: 17.d5! exd5 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Bxd5 Qb8 20.Bh6 +- With a decisive advantage. 20.Bxf7+! was even stronger, you can see for yourself.

Kamsky-KarpovKasmky – Karpov, Elista 1996

Solution: 18.d5! exd5 19.Bxf6! (key move) Bxf6 20.Bxh7! (20.Nxd5 Bd8 21.b4 Qxa3 22.Ra1 Qb3 23.Bc4 traps the queen) Kxh7 21.Rxd5 White is clearly better, Karpov continued with 21…Bxc3 sacrificing his queen and but it wasn’t enough to save the game.… Read more

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Cappelle La Grande 2015. Game analysis

Today we will have a look at my game from Round 7 in Cappelle La Grande. I had white against Yovann Gatineau (2092), a young talent from France who in the previous round had defeated (!) the legendary master Kamran Shirazi. I was aware that my opponent was not going to be easy despite the 400 points rating difference.

GatineauYovann Gatineau

He played the Kan variation of the Sicilian defense. It was a pleasant surprise for me because it’s one of the openings I play as black. So I was familiar with the positions and the fears of getting suprised by any opening preparation dissapeared very early. After 26 moves we reached the following position:

Castellanos-Gatineau1Castellanos,R (2479) – Gatineau,Y (2092)

Here the position is just slightly better for white but only because it’s his move. If it was black to move then he would seize the initiative and put white on the defensive side by playing b6-b5 or Rc8.… Read more

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