Tag Archives: online lessons

Romanian Team Championship

Not long ago, Romania has crowned its team champions, both in open and women sections. The tournaments started on 3rd of October in the famous Romanian beach resort, Mamaia.

Known for its great parties and the big sandy beaches, Mamaia has turned into the most popular touristic destination and can become, at times, overcrowded. Starting from May, when the sun starts chasing the cold away, the tourists rush to the seaside to enjoy the beach, the parties, the annual carnival (inspired from the Rio one), have a ride over the city in the cable car or just spend a fun day in the Aqua Park.

However, we arrived to an almost empty (that did become completely empty until the end) and tranquil Mamaia thanks to the extra season, which created the perfect conditions for playing chess.

In the men section, AEM Luxten Timisoara started out as favorites with an average rating of 2582, followed by Clubul de Sah al Municipiului Baia Mare (2572) and Medicina Timisoara (2562).… Read more

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Living Chess Festival in Javea

The 19th edition of the living chess festival took place in Javea (also known as Xabia, in valenciano), Spain, on Saturday night, 25th of July.The “Ajedrez Viviente de Javea” is a theatrical group , who has been trying to bring chess closer to people through acting. The festival has already a long tradition and, every year since 1996 (excepting 2012), the children have been playing a famous chess game. They have brought on the chessboard “Don Quijote”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Asterix and Obelix” and, in 2006, even obtained the rights to play “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” from no other than the the author herself, J.K. Rowling.

This year, it was the game between Garry Kasparov and Boris Gelfand, played in Linares, in 1991. On a huge chessboard, the actors combine chess, culture and history.

This edition showed the life and habits of the native Americans, as well as their relationship to the “White Man”, who arrived in the “Far West”.… Read more

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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

ivory-tower

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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