Afek's Best (2)

Wijk an Zee is over, the champions are already known, and I shall continue to please you with Afek’s best studies:
Yochanan Afek
3rd Prize Chess Life 1997-2000, 2000
Annotations by:[Afek,Y]

White's material advantage should be sufficient if he only could trade knights safely (Not hastily by 1.gxf6?? though...). 1.Rf7! Pinning the knight and activating a strong battery with the king as the front firing piece.The routine alternative [1.Rc7? Ne4 leads the battle nowhere] 1...Qd2! A strong counter pin while [1...Qxc2 2.Rxf6 Qd2 3.Rf5+- is a 32 moves DGTB win] 2.Kg6+ Nh5! [To leave the white pawn on the fifth rank whereas 2...Kg4 3.gxf6 Qxc2+ 4.Kg7 Kg5 5.Rh6+- is a win in 18 moves] 3.Rxh5+ Kg4

4.Rh2!! Giving away a Rook (by no means for the last time!) is the only way since following [4.Kh6 Qxc2 5.Rf1 Qc5= white can hardly make any further progress] 4...Qd6+! A strong intermediate check as an immediate capture loses the queen: [4...Qxh2 5.Ne3++- with either a fork or a skewer next ] 5.Rf6 Qxh2 6.Ne3+ Kh4 7.Rf4+! Kh3 The Rook is obviously taboo: [7...Qxf4 8.Ng2+] 8.Rf3+ Kh4

Will white settle for a perpetual check? not quite! 9.Rg3!!+- A sudden mate threat wins the queen after either 9...Kxg3 10.Nf1+ or 9...Qxg3 10.Nf5+

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