Tag Archives: training

8th International Chess Festival “Terre degli Elimi”

Italy is one of our favourite destinations and not long ago we were (again) travelling to this beautiful country, this time to one of its famous islands, Sicily. It was my first time here and I was eager to get to know this place whose calling card is beyond inviting. I had great expectations and was afraid I might come back disappointed, as it usually happens in such situations, but nothing like that! I am only looking forward to my next trip to Sicily where the scenery, the food and people are wonderful.

Our destination was the small, but old and full of history town of Erice, located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 meters above sea level and overlooking the city of Trapani. I could even say that it seems like a magical place, with its narrow streets, impressive historical monuments and breathtaking views of the island. Throughout the history Erice has been seen as a holy place (also thanks to its particular geographic position) and still holds the remains of numerous churches and cathedrals – no wonder it is known nowadays as “the Mountain of God”.… Read more

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Book review: Pearls of Azerbaijan by Djakhangir Agaragimov

The book of the 2016’s Olympiad, “Pearls of Azerbaijan” contains a selection of tactics for chess players of all strength who want to improve their tactical vision.

The author, Grandmaster Djakhangir Agaragimov, had the idea of creating this book while going through the games of the Azerbaijani players who he noticed created many combinational motifs in their play. Out of all those games, he decided to select the most beautiful and sparkling ones and put them in this volume just in time for the start of the 42nd Chess Olympiad that was celebrated in Baku.

The reader can find all types of tactics, as the book is structured in three levels of difficulty – easy, medium and hard. The first part of the exercises are very useful for lower rated players who want to train their ability to immediately spot basic tactical motifs. Not much calculation is required here, although there are situation when you’ll have to rely on your intuition.… Read more

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Jobava: the perfect striker

If there is one chess player nowadays that (almost) always delivers entertainment over the chessboard that is Jobava Baadur. Unlike many other chess professionals, Jobava seeks to win every game no matter if he is playing white or black. Playing for a predetermined result (a draw) is just not natural for him. He is a true fighter of our times that some compare to Tal’s style back then. This approach has gained Jobava thousands of fans rooting for him to win whenever he is playing.

I have always had the habit of comparing chess players to football players. Gelfand once said that he’d “rather be more like Xavi than Beckham”, so I’m not the only one with such ideas.

cb04804-2A long time ago I had the idea of recreating a football team with the best chess players in the world (just for laughs). It ended up being something like this:

12748041_1118161341548749_7751048324269811317_oWhen this squad was published on our Facebook Page it had many reactions, mostly about the absence of Anand.… 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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