Tag Archives: castellanos

Romanian Individual Championship

Romania’s 2016 chess champions were recently crowned. The tournament was held between 2 and 10 of April in Baile Olanesti, a mountain resort famous for its thermal springs. People of all ages come here to spend a few peaceful days, away from the haste of the city, and use the therapeutic waters to treat different affections.

Located in the Carpathian Mountains and only a few kilometers away from one of Romania’s numerous national parks, it’s no wonder that the scenery was so green and refreshing. The area is home to many protected species, but perhaps the most accessible reservation for the inexperienced hikers (like ourselves) is the two water-lilies lakes that provide a spectacular view when the white and yellow flowers are in bloom. Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive in their season, but still enjoyed the peacefulness of the place.

The battle for the titles was meant to take place over 9 rounds, but it looked like this year the very early leaders remained on top until the end.… Read more

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Remembering a genius.

Vugar Gashimov was one of the greatest talents that chess has seen in the last 20 years. A player with an unique vision of chess who made every game entertaining in his own way. Gashimov often chose sharp openings, full of play, no matter what the theoretical reputation of that line was. He was never afraid to take risks and he became the secret idol of many chess fans who enjoyed following his games all the time (The writer of these lines is one of them).

More than once Gashimov was compared to Mihail Tal – the Tal of our times, they used to say. Not only their playing style was similar, but also their opening choices, with the Benoni and 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf as main points of comparison.

I met Gashimov in 2004, over the board. It was the Calvia Olympiad and I was representing Chile at that time.… Read more

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A Tal masterpiece

One thing I have noticed nowadays is the lack of interest in the classics. The more (new) books I read the more I value the games from the past, previous the computer boom that has turned chess (for some) into +2 / -1 / = evaluations. It’s a pity because there is a considerable amount of great games that I’m sure new generations have not seen and probably won’t see at all.

Fortunately, the legacy of the legends is available for anyone interested in chess history. Looking back in the past is  like breathing fresh air to me; it reminds me that chess can be played in a simple, logical way without worrying about Mr. Komodo and Mr. Houdini saying: 0.20 / -0.18 etc.

Here is one example – one of my favorite games by Mikhail Tal. When I analyzed it with my computer, the engines weren’t so thrilled about Tal’s play.… Read more

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Position of the day

Analyzing my own games, I found this interesting position from my game against the Grandmaster Stefan Djuric (Serbia) that we played in the second round of an Open in Nebrodi, Sicily. White has been pressing through the entire game, but I tried to make things as difficult as possible for him. My last move 33…Ra4! is threatening to trade his active rook and ease the pressure on my king. There is plenty to analyze here, if you enjoy studying puzzles or solving middlegame problems here is one for you:

TS1 (2)

White to play, find the strongest continuation:
Djuric,S – Castellanos,R
Nebrodi 2015Djuric-Castellanosr5k1/4pp2/3p1npQ/3P1P2/r1R5/6P1/q4P2/3R1BK1 w – – 0 33

Solution will be posted in a few days. Feel free to comment your thoughts.

R.C.Read more

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