The Unprepared Attack

The following game against an old rival of mine from my youth days was my cleanest game in Albena. White’s overoptimistic attacking play in the opening was easily refuted by simple development.

Yovchev,A (2284) - Bojkov,D (2542)
BUL Teams (3.4), 09.06.2011
[,Dejan Bojkov]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qc1?!

Alexi is an extremely sharp tactician. His dream now is to swap the bishops, weaken the fianchettoe position of my king, and to push the h pawn as far it gets. Therefore, exchanges are not part of his plan: [5.Qd2 Ne4 6.Nxe4 dxe4 7.Ne5 Nd7= or even(7...f6 8.Nc4 Be6) ] 5...Bf5! Hits the pawn on c2, and provokes White for his next move. 6.Nh4?! [6.Bh6? Bxh6 7.Qxh6 Bxc2] 6...Be6! One might argue that the bishop is not better placed on e6 than on c8, but this is not the case. This piece is targeting... the a2 pawn! 7.Bh6 Bxh6 8.Qxh6 Qd6 Thanks to the small development twist, Black is already better. The knight on h4 as well the queen on h6 are completely unprepared for an "attack". Moreover, they are obstructing White's normal development. 9.Qd2 Played after 40 minutes of thought. I can only imagine White's frustration. However, the other options are no better: [9.h3 Ne4 (9...c5!?) 10.Nxe4 dxe4 is better for Black; Even worse is: 9.e3 Nc6 10.0–0–0 Ng4 11.Qg7 0–0–0–+

The most obvious: 9.0–0–0? is in fact losing after: 9...Ng4 10.Qg7 Rf8] 9...Nc6 10.g3 Probably White needed to settle on the continuation: [10.0–0–0 0–0–0 11.e3 Ne4 12.Qe1 when Black is a little better anyways (12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.g3 Bxa2 is a clear pawn ahead for me

this is when the bishop is needed on e6!) 12...f5 although I would defenetely prefer to have the black pieces here.] 10...0–0–0 11.Bg2 h6 The knight on h4 is still a concern for the first player. 12.Nb5 Qd7 13.f4 Ne4 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.e3 The only move, as there is a double attack in case of the other pawn defense: [15.c3 Qd5] 15...g5 16.f5 Alexi decided to sacrifice a pawn. The alternative was not great either: [16.Ng2 Bg4 17.0–0

with a pleasant choice for Black- 17...gxf4 (17...Bf3 18.Ne1 g4) 18.Rxf4 f5 In both cases with great advantage.] 16...Bxf5 17.Nxf5 Qxf5 18.c4 a6 More energetic would have been: [18...Ne5 19.Qa5 Nd3+ 20.Kd1 (20.Kd2 Qf2+ 21.Kd1 Nxb2+ 22.Kc1 Nd3+ 23.Kd1 b6 24.Qxa7 Qf3+ 25.Kd2 Qg2+) 20...Qf3+ 21.Kc2 Qe2+ with immediate win.] 19.Rf1?! Qg4 20.Nc3 Ne5

21.Qe2 Nf3+ 22.Kd1 f5 23.Kc1 h5 Once that the h file is opened, black pieces will flood the opponent's position. 24.c5 c6 25.Nd1 [25.Qc4 Kb8 26.Qe6 h4 would not help either.] 25...Qh3 26.Rf2 h4 27.Rg2 hxg3 28.hxg3 Qh1 29.b4 Ne1 0–1
Naturally, not a great play by the first player, but a good example how to refute an overoptimistic play by your opponent.

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