The following game won one of the daily brilliancy prices contest, and was chosen as best in the tournament. Indeed, there was a lot of fight, many strategical nuances, and a sweet finish as a dessert.
Amanov,Zhanibek (2382) - Bojkov,Dejan (2544) [E61]
1st Metropolitan International Los Angeles (7), 20.08.2011
1.c4 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nc3 0–0 5.e3 d6 6.Nge2 e5 7.0–0 Nbd7 8.d4 Re8 9.b3 h5 10.h3 e4 I play this position as White, and even though a tempo down, the ideas are very familiar to me. 11.Qc2 Qe7
12.g4!?N This move appears to be a novelty in the the featured position. However, with reversed colours the idea is not new. White wants to get rid of the strong pawn on e4, but the problem is that he had already castled. [12.Nf4 c6 13.b4 Nf8 14.c5 d5 15.b5 1/2 (15) Wahls,M (2580)-Joachim,S (2443)/Germany 2001/ EXT 2003] 12...hxg4 13.hxg4 Nxg4 14.Qxe4 Qh4!? [14...Nde5!? is another idea as: 15.dxe5? is bad after: (15.Rd1 is playable though.) 15...Qh4 16.Qf4 Bxe5–+] 15.Qf4 he only move. [Do not listen to your silicon advisers, who claim that there is a forced draw- accepting the sacrifice is bad for White: 15.Qxe8+ Bf8! 16.Rd1 Qxf2+ 17.Kh1 Ndf6 18.Qd8 (18.Qb5 Bh6–+) 18...Bf5! (18...b5 might win as well) 19.Qxa8 Ne4 20.Nxe4 Bxe4 21.Nf4 Qg3 22.Kg1
22...g5 and White is helpless.] 15...Nf8 [At first I considered: 15...Ndf6 16.Qg3 Qh8!? 17.Rd1 but then realized that: 17...Nh5 is simply met by: 18.Qf3] 16.Qg3 Qd8 [From objective point of view correct is: 16...Qxg3 17.Nxg3 f5 with approximate equality. However, I wanted to keep the queens on the board, and to try to win.] 17.Bf3! This is correct, White drives back my pieces from the active positions and gives additional air to his king. 17...Nf6 18.Kg2 N6h7 19.Rh1 [The generally advisable expansion in the center is premature: 19.e4?! Ne6 20.Rd1 c5!] 19...Ng5 20.Bg4 c6 [Going for the bishop seemed risky to me: 20...f5 21.Bf3 Nxf3 (21...c6 22.Ba3 with an edge) 22.Qxf3 as the g6 pawn is vulnerable, and once that the b1–g8 diagonal is opened my king will be in constant danger.] 21.Bd2
Simple but dangerous. Zhanibek intends to bring his heavy pieces along the h and maybe g files and try to mate. [Computer claims slight edge for White after: 21.Bxc8!? Rxc8 22.Ba3 d5 23.cxd5 cxd5 24.Qd6 Ne4 25.Qxd8 Rexd8 26.Nxe4 dxe4 27.Rac1 but I do not really believe it. Something similar will happen in the game, but White first wants to try an attack.] 21...d5! Flank attack is best met by a central counter-strike, and here is a good case for this. 22.cxd5 [Or: 22.Rh2 f5 23.Bf3 dxc4 24.bxc4 Be6 25.c5 Nxf3 26.Qxf3 Qc7 and Black is ready to further ruin White's center after b7–b6.] 22...cxd5 Now the c file is open and I can deflect the opponent's pieces. 23.Bxc8 [Better than: 23.Rh4 Ne4 24.Nxe4 Rxe4!] 23...Rxc8 24.Rh4 Ne4 25.Nxe4 Rxe4 26.Rxe4 dxe4 27.Nc3 White managed to move the black pawn on e4, where it is a target. Now f7–f5 is needed for the defense, but this weakens the g6 pawn. In short, the position is ballanced, but we both need to be careful. [White is not ready yet to compete for the open file: 27.Rc1 Rxc1 28.Nxc1 Qc8] 27...f5 28.Rh1 [28.Rc1!?=] 28...a6 29.Be1!?
Setting a trap. 29...Kf7 Best, as if: [29...b5 30.Ne2 Rc2 31.Nf4 Kf7 32.Bb4! is strong and suddenly Black is in trouble.] 30.Na4 [30.f3!?] 30...Ne6 31.d5? Zhanibek decided to go "all in" in the time trouble. However now the knight on a4 is left without sufficient support and the intended counterplay is refuted convincingly. [31.Nc3 is best although Black is already better after 31... Ng5] 31...Nf8 32.Bb4 b5 33.Bxf8 [33.Nc5 Qxd5 34.Nxa6 Ne6 leaves the knight struggling at the edge of the board.] 33...Bxf8 34.Rh7+ Bg7 35.Qe5 Qg5+ 36.Kh2
36...Qh5+! He obviously saw this but calculated only the capture of the white rook after: 37.Kg2 [37.Rxh5 Bxe5+] 37...Qf3+ [After: 37...Qxh7? 38.Qe6+ Kf8 39.Qxc8+ Kf7 40.Qe6+ Kf8 41.Nc5 it is White who wins.; Wheras after the move in the game we have the opposite result. 37...Qf3+ 38.Kh2 Qxf2+ 39.Kh3 Qf1+ 40.Kh4 Qh1+ 41.Kg3 Qf3+ 42.Kh2 Rc2+] 0–1