Tag Archives: attack

Active Defense

The other day I was analyzing the recently game played in the Russian Team Championship between Grandmasters Nepomniachtchi and Sjugirov and one variation caught my eye, so I decided to share it with you. The game was a Najdorf Sicilian, namely the Adams Attack, where both sides have been fighting to mate each other’s king. After 27 moves, the game reached the following position:

In this position, black played 27…Be8, allowing white to play 28. h5, followed by g6. The game ended with a beautiful queen sacrifice by Nepomniachtchi. If you haven’t already seen the game, I recommend you replay it and try to find the final blow.

Having seen what happened in the game, I wondered if black could have played 27… g6 instead of 27…Be8 in this position. The variation I looked into looks like this: 27… g6 28. h5 gxh5 29. Rh1 e5 (freeing the light squares bishop) 30.Read more

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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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Morning chess puzzle

The following position occured in my game against GM Francisco Vallejo Pons played in a rapid event in Zaragoza. We were both leading the tournament after 7 rounds and I could have scored a major upset if I had found the right sequence here:

Castellanos-VallejoWhite to play and win

A picture of that game, taken just a couple moves before arriving to the diagrammed position:

IMG_34554951108461Castellanos,R – Vallejo,F
Zaragoza 2013

Solution: 34.Rc7+! Kh6 35.Rg1 [This is the move I didn’t see] Rf5 only move 36.Qd7 white wins


Written by (IM) Renier CastellanosRead more

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Solution to morning chess tactic

CarlosGarcía-Castellanos1C. García Fernandez – Castellanos,R. Cullera 2004
White to play

The solution to this position is both, complex and simple at the same time, white is clearly winning but how?. My opponent went with his intuition and found nothing more than a draw, missing a quiet move that would have forced black to resign. Sometimes all you need is just to create the threat.

In the game white played 41.g4+ ? Kg5 42.Bc1+ Kf6 43.Bb2+ Kg5 with nothing more than a repetition of moves. Can’t blame him for playing 41.g4+ Lots of readers have told me the same move. 🙂

The right move was 41.h4! and now black is helpless against all the threats. Basically there is no satisfactory move, white will play 42.g4+ and if the black queen leaves d3, for example to d8 then Qb1+  and the attack is decisive.

Written by (IM) Renier Castellanos

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