Throwback Thursday

Looking over the games from my last tournament played here in Puerto Rico, I found a couple of positions worth sharing. The first one is from my game against the FM from Dominican Republic Miguel Infante (2277). I had white and, after 19 moves, we reached the following position:

Castellanos-InfanteCastellanos (2465) – Infante (2277)

The position should be equal, but I felt like it was ”more equal” for black than for white, basically because I couldn’t see a plan to improve my own pieces or create any threats. In such cases, when you don’t see a clear plan, the general advice I’ve been taught is to just stay and ”wait”. In other words, make any move that doesn’t weaken your own position and allows you to press the clock and pass the turn. My evaluation of the position has not changed much. However, now I can see that white could continue with 20.Bc2, with the idea of 21.b4 and 22.a4 grabbing some space on the queenside and also waiting for black to decide wether he will take on g3 or play Nf4.


IM Castellanos – FM Infante

In the game I played the horrible move 20.f3? (You should Stay and wait! not weaken the position of your own king) and got into trouble very quickly after 21…Nxg3 22.hxg3 d5! I totally understimated this move, black has taken over the initiative. See the next diagram:

Castellanos-Infante2Position after 22…d5!

I played 23.Ng4 [23.exd5 exd4 24.Qxd4 Qxd4 25.Rxd4 Bxg3 eliminates the risk of getting checkmated. I dismissed this option as I was trying to keep some winning chances.] The game went on with 23… Qg7!  very strong move by my opponent, only now I realized my position could be at risk 24.Nxe5 [Again, I should have played 24.ed5 exd4 25.Qxd4 forcing the trade of queens with perhaps equal or slighly better for black]. Here my opponent blundered the game. He could have played 24…f6!, to which I have no satisfactory answer. If 25.exd5 then cxd5 and I’m going to lose the g3 pawn. Black would be much better, winning. Instead he played 24…dxe4?? 

Castellanos-infante3White to play and Win

The next position is from my game against Edgar Almedina (2201). Black is winning, he is up an exchange for no compensation at all. However, the knight on d6 is still giving white some hopes for counterplay. I found a nice sequence here that makes all ghosts dissapear:

Almedia-CastellanosBlack to play.

Almedina (2201) - Castellanos (2465)

Almedina (2201) – Castellanos (2465)

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