The Sweet Fruit of Success

Pavlidis,Antonios (2307) - Sanduleac,Vasile (2438) [B15]
Thessaloniki op Thessaloniki (5), 30.04.2009
Every trainer is proud when he sees the results of his work in the hands of his students. The trainer's job is an ungrateful one- when your student loses, it is almost never his fault, when he wins- it is because he is ingenious. I would like now to show you a game of my best student in Kavala, Greece. His name is Antonis Pavlidis, he is fifteen, and the last month he made his second IM norm. Actually, it could have been a GM one, his performance was very close to the Grandmaster level (2591), but I am pretty sure that this goal will soon be achieved. Pavlidis is a self-confident young man, with great tactical abilities, and taste for the attack. He also works hard on his own, which a needed fundament is his progress. For the last six months Antonis improved his rating with 100 points, and keeps on growing. 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Be3 Qb6 6.Qd2

Antonis is not interested in these pawns. He likes the initiative, and to attack, so sacrificing a "b" pawn does not bother him at all. 6...Qxb2 7.Rb1 Qa3 8.Bd3 Qa5 9.Nge2 Qd8N This novelty probably was a product of an over-the-board thinking. Sanduleac already had negative experience in the line: [9...dxe4 10.fxe4 Nf6 11.0–0 0–0 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Bh6‚ Qd8 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Rf4 e6 17.Rbf1 Nd7 18.Rf6! Nxf6 19.exf6+ Kh8 20.Qh6 Rg8 21.Rf4 Qf8 22.Qg5 e5 23.Rh4 e4 24.Bxe4 Be6 25.Nf4 Re8 26.Bd3 b5 27.g4 Bf5 28.Nh3 Bxd3 29.Rxh7+ 1–0 Ivanov,A (2462)-Sanduleac,V (2478)/Bucharest 2007/CBM 117 ext; 9...e6 was recently tried by a Top GM, but without much success- 10.h4 h5 11.0–0 Nd7 12.Bg5 a6 13.Nxd5± 1–0 Mamedyarov,S (2731)-Svidler,P (2727)/Almaty 2008/EXT 2009 (32)] 10.0–0

All white pieces are developed for a miserable price. 10...Nd7 11.Ng3!? [11.exd5 cxd5 12.Nxd5 Ngf6 13.Nxf6+ Nxf6 14.a4± was a good alternative, in which White would exert pressure in equal material terms.] 11...Nb6 12.a4 Nf6 Probably better is first to exchange in the center- [12...dxe4 13.fxe4 Nf6 although Black opens files against his king, he can at least secure some squares for the knights.] 13.e5 Ng8 14.a5 Now it is getting too frightening. 14...Nd7 [14...Nc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.Nce4±] 15.f4 e6

16.f5! Of course! Antonis feels the initiative too well to be afraid to sacrifice material. I am pretty sure that he did not think twice before going for the kill. 16...exf5 17.Bxf5 Ne7 Black cannot take the piece- [17...gxf5 18.Nxf5 Bf8 19.Bg5 f6 20.Rbe1! fxg5 21.Nd6+ Bxd6 22.exd6++-] 18.Bxd7+ Bxd7 More stubborn would have been: [18...Qxd7 19.Bh6 0–0 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Qg5 Kh8 22.e6 Qe8‚ Indeed, White has a strong attack, but at least Black can count on his extra material in case that he somehow repels it.] 19.Rxb7 Bc8 20.Rb3 0–0 21.Bg5 Be6 22.Rb7 Re8 23.Na4 Bc8

White is completely winning. With energetical and elegant play Pavlidis wraps up the game home. 24.a6! Bxb7 25.axb7 Rb8 26.Nc5 Qc7 [26...Rf8 27.Rb1] 27.Qf4 Rf8 28.Qh4 Rbe8

29.b8Q! Qxb8 30.Bxe7 Qb4 31.Bxf8 Bxe5 32.Nd7 Qxd4+ 33.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 34.Kh1 Re3 35.Bh6 Rc3 36.Ne2 This is how the young Greek outplayed an experienced GM. Two more GMs (Vl. Georgiev and Kr. Georgiev) failed his victims at the same tournament. 1–0

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