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V LLucmajor International Open

Summer is approaching (although it seems to be taking smaller steps this year) and, for most of the chess players, this translates to the start of the tournament season. Ours began in the same place where it ended, Mallorca.

The venue was the resort of Arenal, an old fishermen village that is now one of the most famous party destinations on the island. Mallorca tends to be “separated” in areas by the nationality of its tourists, and this one is no exception. It has a very strong German influence that can also be guessed from the great number of restaurants with traditional German food or the German-style nightclubs. Situated only 15 km away from Palma, the resort has a wide white-sand beach and a long pedestrian promenade (6km, to be more precise), perfect for a long, relaxing walk after an eventful game.

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

The resort is only a few km away from Palma airport, so planes landing or taking off are a common view

The resort is only a few km away from Palma airport, so planes landing or taking off are a common view

A very suggestive message

Yes to chess

The tournament was hosted by Club Nautic El Arenal, situated at the end of the 6 km pedestrian walk.… Read more

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Endgame Puzzle

WIM Raluca Sgircea

WIM Raluca Sgircea

Today I won this position with the black pieces. At first sight it looks like black is winning, but white has an incredible resource. Can you find it?

Astazi am castigat cu negru pozitia din diagrama de mai jos. La prima vedere, pare ca pozitia negrului este castigata, insa albul are o resursa incredibila pentru a se apara. O puteti gasi?

Apostoae, L - Sgircea, R, Romanian Team Championship, Mamaia 2015 White to play and draw

Apostoae, L – Sgircea, R, Romanian Team Championship, Mamaia 2015
White to play and draw


Solution:

1. Rf6! In order to save the game, white needs to keep the black king cut and advance the passed pawn. 1… a4  2. e6 – a3  3. e7 – a2  4. Ra6! A nice little tactical trick to force the draw.

1. Tf6! Pentru a salva partida, albul trebuie sa tina regele negru taiat si sa isi avanseze propriul pion liber. 1… a4  2. e6 – a3  3. e7 – a2  4.Read more

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Ivanchuk and Carlsen share the lead in TATA Steel

We have seen an exciting 7 rounds of the Masters tournament so far, with many surprise results and unexpected turns. Ivanchuk is leading with 5 points, followed by Carlsen, who has the same number of points, but is worse on tie-breaks. After a shaky start, the World Champion has managed to win the last four rounds, showing a great come-back. You can find the standings after seven rounds below:

TataSteelStandingsThere are six rounds yet to be played, and we are sure we are going to see more exciting chess. Don’t miss out round 8, starting tomorrow at 13:30, local time:

StandingsFor more information, you can visit the official website.… Read more

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Endgame solution

Sgîrcea, Raluca - Ivanov, Jordan

(WIM) Sgîrcea, Raluca – (IM) Ivanov, Jordan

After black’s move (24… f6), it’s clear that the pawn on h2 is lost. So, what to do? The idea I got was to play against the bishop on h2, which after f4 looks trapped.

The moves I considered here were 25. Ng4 and 25. Nd3. After 25. Ng4, black responds with 25… h5 26. Nf2 – Bxh2 and now, after 27. f4, threatening to trap the bishop, black plays 27… Bg3, trading the bishop or getting it out via h4. As a result, I played 25. Nd3. The game continued with 25… Bxh2 26. f4 – Bg3, wanting to play Bh4 and regrouping his pieces. The position we are looking at is now this:

RalucaIvanov_endgame1

Position after 26… Bg3

I continued my idea by playing 27. Kg2 – Bh4 28. Kh3 – g5. Now, taking advantage of the weaknesses black created in his camp and the fact that he can never capture on f4 because of the bishop hanging on h4, I played 29.Read more

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