Blagoevgrad BUL, 73rd Men Ch R-13 Blagoevgrad BUL (13.2), 22.02.2009
This game was played in the final round of the Bulgarian Individual Championship. Boris Chatalbashev was leading with 10/12, I was second with 9, third was Momchil Nikolov with 8, and the fourth- Julian Radulski had 7 points. The spiciness of the situation was the fact that in all the players that were chasing the one in front of them had better tie-breaks. This meant that in case of a win, I could hope for the title (in case that Chatalbashev loses). On the other hand, a possible loss could send me to the third place. I needed to play for a win with maximum stability. The exchanged line of the KID did not bother me.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0–0 5.e4 d6 6.h3 e5 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5 Na6 10.Nd5 Rd6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Rc1 Bd8 13.c5 Re6 14.a3 Kg7
A very useful prophylactic move. The king goes away from the possible pin on the a2-g8 diagonal, thus preparing f7-f6 or f7-f5 advances. [14...c6 is also logical. However, after: 15.Bxa6 it is better for Black to capture the knight, rather than the bishop, as the following game shows: (15.Ne3 b6 Ѕ–Ѕ Grivas,E (2475)-Kotronias,V (2610)/Karditsa 1996/CBM 053 16.cxb6 axb6 17.Bc4 Re8 18.Bxa6 Bxa6 19.Rxc6 Bb7 20.Rc4і 1/2 Grivas,E (2505)-Mozetic,D (2585)/Karditsa 1994/CBM 043) 15...bxa6 (№15...cxd5 16.Bd3 Re7 17.0–0 Bd7=) 16.Ne3 see the game 1–0 Arnaudov,P (2195)-Urukalovic,R (2273)/Zadar CRO 2008 (48)] 15.b4 [15.h4?! does not promise anything for White- 15...c6 16.Bxa6 (16.Ne3 b6 17.Bc4 White wins a pawn, but the powerful bishops an the insecure position of the enemy king provide more than sufficient compensation to Black. 17...Re7 18.Bxa6 Bxa6 19.cxb6 axb6 20.Rxc6 Bb7 21.Rc4 b5 22.Rc5 Bxe4 23.Rxb5 (23.Rxe5 Ba5+ with the idea- 24.b4 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Bc7 with big advantage for Black) 23...Rc8 and Black does not have to complain at all) 16...cxd5 17.Bd3 dxe4 (17...Re7!?) 18.Bxe4 f5 19.Bd5 Re7 20.Ke2 And White already experienced difficulties, since the line: (20.0–0 e4 21.Nd4 Re5 22.Bb3 Bxh4 loses a pawn (Ilincic)) 20...e4 21.Nd2 Re5 and Black was already better in Grivas,E (2505)-Ilincic,Z (2530)/Varna 1994/EXT 1997 (33); 15.Ne3!? is worth a try in a practical game. Now: 15...c6 can transpose, but (15...Nb8 is an interesting alternative- 16.Bc4 (16.h4 Nc6 17.Bc4 Re8 18.h5 Nd4ѓ) 16...Re8 17.0–0 f6 18.Rfd1 c6= should give good play to Black.) 16.Bc4 (16.Bxa6 bxa6 transposes to Arnaudov,P (2195)-Urukalovic,R (2273)/Zadar CRO 2008 (48), where the rook on e6 was a target for the white knights.) 16...Re7 17.Bxa6 bxa6 18.Nc4 Bc7 19.Kd2 a5 20.Kc3 Ba6 21.Nfd2 Rb8 22.Rhd1 a4= is a line given by Ilincic in the Chess Informant.] 15...c6 16.Bxa6 cxd5 17.Bd3 Re7 18.0–0 f5This is better version of the game Kapnisis- Kotronias where Black had his king on g8, but still quite unclear. If Black wants save equality, he can opt for: [18...dxe4 19.Bxe4 f5 20.Bd5 e4 21.Nd4 Re5 22.Bb3 Bf6=] 19.exd5 e4 20.d6 Rd7 I felt that this is the best choice. [20...Rf7 21.Ne5 a) 21.Bxe4 fxe4 22.Ne5 Rf5; b) 21.Bc4! exf3 22.Bxf7 Kxf7 (22...fxg2? 23.Rfd1) 23.b5 Bg5 24.Rc2 Bd7 25.c6 bxc6 26.bxc6 Rc8 27.h4!