Tag Archives: Sgircea

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.

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The quiet streets of Baile Olanesti, also known as “The Golden Springs”

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

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.… 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).

Vugar Gashimov Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photgraphy

Vugar Gashimov. (photo credit: 123RF Stock Photography)

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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32nd Cappelle la Grande Open

The Cappelle la Grande Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and attracts hundreds of chess players every year. Besides being a very strong competition, the organizers do their best to make the players feel welcome and maintain a friendly and professional atmosphere.

Cappelle la Grande is a small village situated in the North of France, but with great love for chess. The tournament has reached its 32nd edition and the officials promise that there are many more to come. The playing venue is the spacious Palais des Arts that is adapted to the players’ needs by the team of volunteers who help throughout the whole event.

The playing hall

The playing venue

Monument to the heroes in Cappelle la Grande

Monument to the heroes in Cappelle la Grande

While all the action takes place in Cappelle, most of the players stay about 15 minutes away in Dunkerque, the main city in the region and third-largest harbor in France.… Read more

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