Tag Archives: endgame

My view on the Candidates

The candidates is over and finally we have a new challenger for the world title: Sergey Karjakin. There are and will be many reports in your favorite chess sites on how good his chess was as well as detailed analysis of his games, but in my opinion he simply played his cards better. He had strong nerves to hold when he was pressed, stamina to recover from a loss and ambition to win. Karjakin showed competitive spirit and had a little bit of luck as well. The chess community should be pleased with the winner; Karjakin has been showing top quality chess for some time, extremely well prepared openings, sharp style and hunger for victory. I’m sure he will be a tough contender for Magnus Carlsen and I truly expect a very entertaining match for the world crown.

On the opposite corner was Fabiano Caruana, who could’ve also been a great challenger for Magnus if he had beaten Karjakin in the last round, but the truth is he had an extremely difficult (I don’t want to say impossible) task.… Read more

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Endgame Puzzle

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?


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. Ta6! O importanta resursa tactica ce forteaza remiza.Read more

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Solution to last diagram.

One week ago I shared in this blog a position from my game against Lubomir Facnik where I missed a huge opportunity to win the game. The position was this:

Ftacnik-CastellanosFtacnik (2597) – Castellanos (2467)
Black to Play

In the game I continued with 50…Nf4?? and after 51.a7 Qf1 52.Qf2 Qh3+ 53.Kg1 black loses since there is no move and white will simply play 54.a8 = Q

However, I could have won the game if I had played 50…Ng5!! the knight cannot be taken because the rook on a2 is hanging and the threat of Nxf3 is not easy to stop. See the next diagram:


White is now lost. There is no defense against Nxf3. For example:

a) 51.Ra3 Qxa6!-+ 52.Rxa6 Nxf3+ 53.Kh3 Nxd2 the endgame seems winning for black.
b) 51.Qe2 Nxf3+ 52.Kg2 Qb3 -+ black has a very strong attack with h4-h3 coming.

It’s been already 9 years since this game was played, therefore it’s hard to draw any conclusions on why I lost this game.… Read more

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Endgame solution

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:

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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