Important Draw

The following game was played in round six of the Bulgarian Individual Championship. Krasimir Rusev was one of the favourites, a player who has a strong white colour. He did not start very impressively, and he needed to win for sure if he still wanted to chase the title. In my turn I had not to lose and keep him in distance. However, a possible win would be quite desirable, in order to keep the lead together with Boris Chatalbashev.
Rusev,Krasimir (2546) - Bojkov,Dejan (2477) [E81]
Blagoevgrad BUL, 73rd Men Ch r_6 Blagoevgrad BUL (6.5), 16.02.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 The first surprise. He did not play like this for about two years. 5...0–0 6.Be3 c5 This was already a surprise for him, since I do not have games on this subject in Magabase. 7.Nge2 Qa5 8.Qd2 [8.d5 b5 9.cxb5 a6 10.Ng3 (10.Nc1? is not working due to

10...Nxe4! 11.fxe4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Qxc3+–+) 10...axb5 11.Bxb5 Ba6 12.Bxa6 Nxa6 13.0–0 Nd7 14.Rc1 Ne5 15.Qe2 c4і 16.a3 Nd3 17.Rc2 Nac5 18.Nd1 Qb5 19.Bd2 Na4 20.Bc3 Nxc3 21.Nxc3 Qb3 22.Nd1 Rab8 23.f4 e6 24.dxe6 fxe6 25.Rf3 Nxf4 0–1 Bogdanovski,V (2483)-Kempinski,R (2587)/Chalkidiki 2002/CBM 092; 8.Nc1 cxd4 9.Nb3 (9.Bxd4 Nc6 10.Nb3 Qd8 11.Be3 Be6 12.Rc1 Ne5 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.cxd5 e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Be2 (16.Qd2 d5) 16...Nxe4 17.fxe4 Qh4+ 18.Kd2 Qxe4 19.Rc3 Qxg2 was rather unclear and soon after a draw was agreed in Bischoff-Stelvagen, Germany, 2004(19...d5! however would have given Black strong initiative) ) 9...Qh5 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Qd2 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Be6=] 8...Nc6 9.d5 [9.dxc5 is somewhat antipositional exchange. 9...dxc5 10.Nd5 Qxd2+ 11.Kxd2 Nd7 and Black has an excellent position; 9.0–0–0 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Be6 12.Kb1 Rfc8 13.b3 a6 14.Nd5 Qxd2 15.Rxd2 Bxd5 16.cxd5 Nd7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Be2 a5= or maybe even slightly more pleasant for Black.] 9...Ne5 10.Ng3

[10.Nc1 a6 11.Be2 (11.a4 e6! 12.Ra3 (12.Be2 exd5 13.cxd5 b5) 12...exd5 13.cxd5 Nh5! 14.Be2 f5 15.exf5 gxf5 16.Bh6 Qb4 17.Bxg7 Nxg7 (17...Qh4+ 18.g3 Nxg3 19.Bxe5! Ne4+ (19...dxe5 20.Rg1) 20.Bg3 Nxg3 21.Rg1 f4 (21...Qxh2 22.Qg5+ Kf7 23.Rxg3+-) 22.Bd3+-) 18.f4 Nc4 19.Bxc4 Qxc4 20.a5 Bd7 21.N1e2 Rae8 1/2 Spassky,B (2565)-Polgar,J (2595)/Budapest 1993/CBM 033/[Ftacnik] ) 11...Bd7 12.f4?! a) 12.a4 Qb4 13.b3 e6 14.N1a2 Qa5 15.dxe6 Bxe6 16.Qxd6 Nfd7 17.Kf2 Nc6 18.Rac1 Nd4 19.b4 Qb6 20.Qxb6 Nxb6 21.bxc5 Nxe2 22.Nxe2 was quite messy in Kramnik,V (2685)-Gelfand,B (2690)/Linares 1993/CBM 034 (53); b) 12.h3? b5 13.b3 Nh5!µleads to big advantage for Black (13...Ne8! is also good) ; 12...Neg4 13.Bg1 b5 14.Bf3 Nh5 (14...Bh6! is already an edge for Black) 15.N1e2 0–1 Lehtivaara,P (2337)-Gallagher,J (2531)/Neuchatel 2004/CBM 100 ext (32)] 10...Qb4 [10...a6 is the main continuation 11.f4?! (11.Be2 is more solid.) 11...Ned7 12.h3 h5 (12...b5! 13.cxb5 h5 14.bxa6 h4 15.Nge2 Bxa6 gives strong initiative to Black as Dautov pointed out) 13.Bd3 b5 14.0–0 1–0 Dautov,R (2595)-Kempinski,R (2530)/Bad Wiessee 1997/CBM 061 ext (34)] 11.a3 [11.b3? Nfg4! 12.Rc1 Nxe3 13.Qxe3 b5 14.cxb5 f5 15.exf5 gxf5 16.Qd2 Qh4 17.Qf2 a6 18.bxa6 Bxa6 19.Bxa6 Rxa6 20.Qe2 c4 21.0–0 Nd3 22.Nb5 Nxc1 was great for the second player 0–1 Gupta,A (2470)-Jones,G (2567)/Yerevan 2007/CBM 120 ext (64)] 11...Qb3 12.Qd1 Qxd1+ 13.Rxd1 Nfd7

[or 13...e6 14.Be2 exd5 15.cxd5 a6 16.f4 1/2 Maiwald,J (2500)-Kempinski,R (2613)/Dresden 2008/CBM 125 Extra] 14.Kd2 Nb6 15.b3 e6 16.Kc2 White could sacrifice a piece with: [16.Nb5!? exd5 17.exd5 f5 18.Nxd6 f4 19.Bxc5 fxg3 20.hxg3 Nbd7 21.Bf2 with compensation] 16...exd5 17.exd5?! [Better was 17.Nxd5 Be6 (17...Nxd5 18.Rxd5 Nc6 19.Rxd6 Nd4+ 20.Bxd4 Bxd4 21.Ne2 Bg7 and nice compensation on the black squares) 18.Nc7 (18.Nxb6 axb6 19.Rxd6 Rxa3 is excellent for Black) 18...Rad8 19.Nxe6 fxe6=] 17...f5

The opening battle is in favour of Black. I managed to develop harmoniously my pieces, and can try to press on both flanks. 18.f4 Ng4 19.Bg1 Bh6 20.Nge2 Bd7 21.h3 Nf6 22.Be3 Rae8 23.Bd2 Na8!?

The knight is heading to c7 (b4) and wants to support the b7-b5 advance. However, the computer recommends: [23...Ne4!? 24.Nxe4 fxe4 25.Be3 but in this line I did not appreciate- 25...a5 with the idea-26.a4?! Nxc4! I considered this blow during the game, but could not find an appropriate moment for it... 27.bxc4 Bxa4+ 28.Kd2 Bxd1 29.Kxd1 a4 and Black is close to win] 24.a4 Nc7 25.g3 Na6 26.Bg2 [26.Nb5 Ne4 27.Re1 Nxd2 28.Kxd2 Bxb5 29.axb5 Nb4 30.Ra1 a6 31.bxa6 bxa6 is advantageous for Black.] 26...Nb4+ 27.Kb1 a6 The patient [27...b6 was suggested by my opponent after the game.] 28.a5 Re7 29.Bf3 Rfe8 30.Nc1 Bg7 31.N3a2 Nxa2 32.Kxa2 [32.Nxa2? loses on the spot- 32...Re3 33.Bxe3 Rxe3 34.Rhf1 Rxb3+ 35.Kc2 Ra3 36.Nc3 Ng4

] 32...Ne4 33.Bxe4 fxe4 34.Ne2 e3 35.Bc1 Bf5 36.Bb2 Bf8 [36...h5!?] 37.Rh2 b5 I decided to open a second front in the time-scramble. Not very practical decision, indeed. [37...Be4 38.Ng1 h5 39.Re2 Bf5 40.Bc3 looks solid for White.] 38.axb6 Rb7 39.Re1 Rxb6 40.g4 Bd7 The last move before the control is a serious inaccuracy. I was afraid to place the bishop on a vulnerable position, and went back passively. Correct was: [40...Be4! 41.Nc1 (41.Ng1 a5 42.Rxe3?? Bb1+) 41...Bf3 42.Bc3 Bg7

for example: 43.Bxg7 Kxg7 44.Ne2 a5 45.Ng1 Be4 46.Rhe2 Reb8 47.Rxe3 Bc2 48.Re7+ Kf8 49.Rxh7 Bxb3+ 50.Ka1 Bxc4 51.Ra7 Bxd5 52.Rxa5 Rb4 and Black is clearly on top.] 41.Ng3 a5 42.Rhe2 a4 There is no other way for me anymore. 43.Rxe3 axb3+ 44.Kb1

The tables have turn in White's favour now. 44...Kf7 45.Rxe8 Bxe8 46.Bc3 White wants gradually to improve his position. Before the second time-limit I correctly decided to sacrifice my passer in order to liquidate in seemingly drawish position. However, I did not foresee all the aspects of white ideas. 46...b2!? 47.Ne4 Ba4 48.Re2 h6 49.Rxb2 Rxb2+ 50.Kxb2 Bd1 The bishop hits the enemy pawns and does not let him to improve his knight and king. I believe that this is a draw with precise play. 51.g5 Bf3 [51...hxg5 is more precise.] 52.Nd2 Be2 53.h4 hxg5 54.hxg5 Be7 55.Ba5 Ke8 56.Kb3 Bd1+ 57.Kc3 Be2 58.Kb3 Bd1+ 59.Ka3 Bf8 60.Bc3 Kd7?? 61.Nf1?? We both played carelessly and missed half point each. I did not occupy the vital diagonal at one, and could be punished severely- [61.f5! Bc2 62.f6+-

after this White's plan is simple- he goes with his knight on e6, exchanges the dark-squared bishop, transfers the bishop on c7 and simply wins both the pawns, since my king is busy guarding the f6 passer.] 61...Be2 White tries now various set-ups, but finally, in vain.62.Ne3 Bd3 63.Bf6 Bb1 64.Kb3 Be4 65.Kc3 Ke8 66.Kd2 Kf7 67.Kc1 Bd3 68.Kb2 Ke8 69.Kb3 Kd7 70.Ka4 Be4 71.Ka5 Bd3 72.Kb5 Be4 73.Nf1 Bd3 74.Ng3 Ke8 75.Nh1 Kd7 76.Nf2 Bc2 77.Kb6 Bb3 [77...Bf5] 78.Kb5 Computer defends after the straightforward: [78.f5 Bxc4 79.fxg6 Bxd5 80.g7 Be7 81.Ng4 Be6 82.Kb5 d5 (82...Ke8 83.Nh6) 83.Nh6 d4 84.g8Q Bxg8 85.Nxg8 d3=

] 78...Bc2 79.Ng4 Bf5 80.Ne3 Bd3 81.Kb6 Be2 82.Kb5 [82.f5 gxf5 83.Nxf5 Bxc4=] 82...Bd3 83.f5 Bxf5 84.Ka4 1/2



Oleg Pervakov

White is a pawn ahead, but it is under attack. The material is reduced, and he needs to co-ordinate all his pieces in order to achieve the win. First he starts a hunt for the rook. 1.Bc2 White loads the gun. The rook is in danger. 1...Rxa3+ White will realize the extra pawn prosaically in the line: [1...Kh6 2.a4 Ne6 (2...Rb2 3.Rb1!) 3.Kc3 Nc5 4.Rg4] 2.Kc4+ Kh8 [2...Kh6 3.Rg6+ Kh7 4.Rxa6+] 3.Rh1+ The move transposion is impossible: [3.Bb3? Ra5 4.Rh1+ Rh5=] 3...Kg8 4.Bb3!

The gun is loaded again. Black must give away the rook. Instead he goes for the last white pawn. 4...Ne6 5.Kb4 Rxb3+ 6.Kxb3 Nd4+ 7.Kc4 Nxe2

However, the knight is far away from his monarch, and another hunt starts... 8.Rf1! Kh7 9.Rf2 Ng3 [9...Nc1 10.Rc2+-] 10.Rh2+ Kg6 11.Rg2 1–0


Concentration till the End

I try to teach my students how to avoid the mistakes of my poor experience, and to save them precious time. This recent game reminded me of some of the most common ones that I did:
Lupulescu,C (2608) - Abasov,N (2397)
Victor Ciocaltea Mem Bucharest ROM (6), 28.03.2009

29.Rf6!! What made White discover this move? Let us try to follow his thinking process. [White is a pawn ahead, and he has more active pieces. Various tactical ideas can be seen for him. The first one is the weak eight rank: 29.Qf7!? (Not 29. Qf5 because of 29...g6 30.Qe5+ Bg7) 29...g6 30.Rd8 Black must defend with only moves- 30...Qa3 (30...Rxd8 will either lose both rooks or lead to mate as in the line- 31.Qf6+ Kg8 32.Qxd8+ Kf7 33.Bd5+ Kg7 34.Qe7+ Kh8 35.Qf6+ Bg7 36.Qd8+ Bf8 37.Qxf8#) White is at crossroads, should he win a second pawn with- 31.Qf6+ or should he better proceed with the development- (31.Rfd1!

This option is in fact much better. Bringing more forces into the attack is never a mistake. Even the tricky computer move- 31...Qd6!? would not save Black- 32.Qxh7+ Kxh7 33.R8xd6 Rxc4 34.Bxg6+ Kg7 35.Rxa6+-) At the same time the win of the second pawn makes White's task more difficult- 31...Bg7 32.Rxf8+ Qxf8 33.Qxa6±

True, he emerged two pawns ahead. However, the presence of the opposite coloured bishops, active black pieces, and last but not least-the fact that black king is now in safety should make us abandon this line. I missed many wins like this in my life. Remember, when you realize your advantage there is always a moment in which you must calculate precisely the win till the end. Any prolonging of the battle increases the possibility of your further mistakes.
Another interesting tactical idea is: 29.Rxh6?? With the idea to pick up the rook in case of- …29...gxh6 (However, this rushy continuation may cost you a well deserved win, since White's back rank is also weak. The cold shower- 29...Qxf2+!!
30.Rxf2 Rc1+ 31.Rf1 Rfxf1# will follow. We must never forget that the opponent has his own, creative ideas!) 30.Qe5+; Finally, we reach the move made in the game. It is both attacking and prophylactic, excluding the Black's counter attacking options. 29.Rf6!! gxf6 30.Qxh6 Rf7 31.Bxh7 White's attack is enough to take back the material with interest- 31...Qa3 32.Be4+ Kg8 33.Qg6+ Kf8 34.Bd5 Qe7 35.Rb1 Rb3!?

36.Qh6+ Kg8 37.Bxf7+ Kxf7 38.Qh7+ Kf8 39.Qxe7+ Kxe7 40.Rxb3+-] 1–0