February 28, 2011

Tired of chess?! Take a break:)

If you had a long and tiring day, working on your openings, cleaning your bases, analysing your games and so on, it is just about time to stop for a second.

If you had a long and boring day, without being in the mood for anything, no inspiration, no motivation, it is just about time to stop for a second.

The best therapy...see the picture:)

February 27, 2011

Don't let your brain fall asleep!

IM Vlaicu Crisan
Recently I discovered a new passion: solving studies and problems. In fact, I always liked that but only after my successful third place in the solving competition from Wijk aan Zee, during Tata Steel Chess, I started to think more about it. Why not to participate in the European and World events?!
This new idea was planted in my head by our Roumanian IM in this field: Vlaicu Crisan, an enthusiastic chess problem solver and composer.

February 26, 2011

Chess Confidence

Self-confidence is not solely in the hands of fate, you are the person responsible for determining how confident you feel in a chess encounter.

My recent loses in the National Championship motivated me to search deeper the reasons of my poor performance and, at my husband's suggestion, I decided to write about my discoveries. In fact, you don't need to be a genius to realize what  happened to me: lack of self confidence was one of the responsible causes.
A misconception that many players have is that confidence is something which is inborn, or that if you don't have it at an early age, you will never get it. In reality, confidence is a skill, much like technical skills, that can be learned.

February 23, 2011

Roumanian National Championship

For every player, in all countries, once a year, there is an important event that shouldn't be missed: the National Championship. First of all: it is a matter of honor and pride to be there and play well. Second of all: always, without any exceptions, "accidents" appear on the boards, due to psychological pressure, tiredness or simply because you want too much to win.
To sum up: this type of tournaments are very interesting to watch and I know many of you love to comment the games or...the players:)

February 21, 2011

Roumanian National Chess Championship

Sărata Monteoru

Roumania's National Chess Championship was hosted this year by Sărata Monteoru, a well-known spa, placed at 86 m high and 105 km far away from Bucharest. Despite my performance, which I am trying to forget, I still enjoyed the tournament, the place and the entire organization. If I am saying this, me, a player with only 5 points out of 9, without having faced the strongest opponents, it means that something was special there, something was done right, so that even the most unfortunate ones would feel great:)

February 10, 2011

Grandmasters are humans too

Two days ago I was asking you if the famous queen "sacrifice" looks familiar...of course, we also have our "highlights", but somehow, we expect that such kind of terrible blackouts don't occur in the games of strong Grandmasters. 
But, as you will see in a few following samples, blunders and bad days don't avoid the top players. We should maybe stop blaming ourselves and our brains when these kind of mistakes appear on our boards as well...it happens!

February 8, 2011

Historical chess blunders

Time is indeed "flying", as one of my friends likes to repeat over and over again:) I was in Holland this morning and now I am back home to my parents, in Roumania. And, as usual, I had a book to keep me company while flying.
This is how I re-discovered that even the best of the best, the chess gurus, the greatest Grandmasters ever, they are all humans. So...yes, they make terrible blunders as well.

My question for you is: Which top player "forgot" that his queen is under attack and played, in the following position, Ng5?

If you like the idea, we can start today the: Top 10 historical chess blunders.
The position given above is my suggestion. If you know other astonishing moments like this one, with famous chess players of course, don't hesitate to share them! 

February 6, 2011

Interview with Mihail Marin

It is always difficult to find the best words to describe a person that you respect and appreciate very much. I will give it a try, although I am afraid words might look too small or sound empty when compared to his achievements.
I am honoured to present you my dear friend: Mihail Marin, who doesn't need any further introduction. His name has its own well deserved place in the chess world and everybody heard of him.

February 4, 2011

Interview with the winner of the C-Group!

Daniele Vocaturo

If Daniele was shared 3rd last year in Wijk aan Zee, when the tournament was called "Corus", this year in Tata Steel Chess Tournament, he finished alone on the 1st position, half a point ahead of the 2nd place, with a convincing score: 9 points out of 13!
Success didn't come overnight for Daniele. It is the result of hard work carried over the years, with the combined efforts of Yuri Garett (his manager) and Mihail Marin (his trainer). Ups and downs, happy and sad moments, a tremendous work and love for the game, determination, hopes and illusions, they are all present in Daniele's career. What we can see, is only the top of the iceberg, the beautiful result of his struggles, culminating in his attacking style and tendency for seeking complications.

February 2, 2011

Dramatic moments in Wijk aan Zee

No matter how strong they are, top Grandmasters are not gods, they are still humans, they do get tired and yes, they all make mistakes. Their errors make chess even more interesting to watch, a sport where psychology plays an important role. Besides, a good physical shape is highly recommended!
Let's take a look to a few critical moments that appeared in all A, B and C groups.

The winners of the Rotterdam Chess Set

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has come to an end and so is the competition for winning an unique Rotterdam Chess Set, which was held on Schaaksite.nl. Maybe you have tried your chance to win this beautiful chess set and, in case you haven't yet checked the official website, now is the moment to find out the lucky winners!