The Game for the Title

The Bulgarian Individual championship in Panagyurishte welcomed a new female champion. Iva Videnova have always been one of the contenders for the medals in the past championship and have already won medals; none of them was a gold one though.
This tournament started more than well for her and she scored seven wins in her first seven games! Still, the defeat in the last-but-one led her to a situation when she could not afford loss of other point in the final game. A draw would be sufficient for a tie and an additional match for the title.
This is how the last game went with the notes by the winner:

Nikolova,Adriana (2293) - Videnova,Iva (2301) [B22]
BUL-ch (w) 61st Panagyurishte (9), 28.04.2012

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 g6 [A rare variation of Sicilian Alapin, played from time to time by Radjabov, Dreev, Almasi, Babula.]

5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Na3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qe4+ 8.Be3 0–0 9.0–0 [If White goes for material 9.dxc5 Ng4 Black has compensation for the sacrificed pawn. In example: 10.Qc2 (10.Qd2 Nxe3 11.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 12.fxe3 Nd7 White cannot keep the pawn up and easily gets a worse position, because of his demolished pawn structure and the lack in development.) 10...Qxc2 11.Nxc2 Nxe3 12.Nxe3 Nd7 13.Nd5 e6 14.Ne7+ Kh8 15.c6 Nb6 16.Be2 bxc6 17.Nxc6 Bb7 with initiative- 18.Na5 Rab8 19.Nxb7 Rxb7 20.a4 Nd5 and despite the pawn up, White is the one who has problems.]

9...cxd4 10.cxd4?!

May be the first key-moment in the game. White could recapture in 4 ways and Adriana chose the worst, in my opinion. Many books are written about the positive and negative sides of the isolated pawn and for sure in this particular position creating IQP doesn't seem to favour White. The knight on a3 is misplaced, after recapturing 10.c:d4 the obvious place for him is the c3–square.]

[10.Bxd4; 10.Nxd4; 10.Qxd4]

10...a6?! [takes away the b5–square for the knight, but makes a weak point on b6.]

[Better was 10...Nc6 developing naturally.]

11.Ne5?! [A rock solid rule: if you have an isolated pawn do not exchange pieces! The knight on e5 just longs to be exchanged.]

[White could use the drawbacks of the last Black move this way: 11.Bd3 Qd5 12.Nc4 and the misplaced piece enters the game 12...Nbd7 13.h3 b5 14.Na5ч with mutual chances.]

11...Ng4? [Is 10...a6 wasn't fatal, the second lost of a tempo already is!]

[Developing a piece 11...Nc6 is always the better option: 12.Nxc6 (12.Bd3 Qd5 13.Nac4 (worse is-13.f4?! Nxe5 14.dxe5 (14.fxe5 Ng4і 15.Qe2 Be6 16.Bc4 Qe4 17.Bxe6 Nxe3 18.Rxf7 Rxf7 19.Nc4 Qxd4 20.Nxe3 Raf8 with Black's advantage) 14...Ng4 15.Qe2 Rd8 16.Rad1 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Be6 18.Nc4 Qd4і) 13...Nxd4 14.Bxg6 Nf5 15.Bxf5 Bxf5 16.Bd4 Ng4 taking the initiative: 17.Nxg4 Bxg4 18.Qxg4 Qxd4 19.Qxd4 Bxd4 20.Rad1 Rfd8 with chances only for Black.) 12...Qxc6 13.Rc1 Qd6 hanging around the IQ pawn.]

12.Bd3?! [The second very important key move wasn't imressive neither. Black is by no means worse after it.]

[White could find a deep tactical motif: 12.Nxf7! Rxf7 13.Bxf7+ Kxf7 14.Nc4!

Calm move, threatening f3 and Nb6. 14...Qd5 (14...Be6 15.f3 Qxe3+ 16.Nxe3 Nxe3 17.Qd3 Nxf1 18.d5 Bf5 19.Qb3 b5 20.Rxf1+– Although Black has enough material for the Queen, the lack of coordination between his pieces bothers the defensive task.) 15.Rc1! This move is hard to find when calculating 12.N:f7, but practically wins the game. 15...Bf6 the only move as (‹15...Nc6?? 16.Nb6 Qd6 17.g3+–) 16.Nb6 Qd6 17.g3 Qxb6 18.Rxc8 Nxe3 19.fxe3 Qe6 20.Qb3 Qxb3 21.axb3+– and Black is lost.]

12...Nxe3 13.Bxe4 Nxd1 14.Rfxd1 Ra7!? [Precise move.]

[Although Black is not worse even after 14...Nd7 15.Nxd7 Bxd7 16.Bxb7 Rab8 17.Bxa6 Rxb2 18.Nc4 Rb4 19.a3 Ra4 20.Nb6 Rxa6 21.Nxd7 Rfa8 and White must be careful to keep the balance.]

15.Nac4 b5 16.Na5 Be6 [16...f6 17.Bd5+ (17.Nec6 Nxc6 18.Nxc6 Rc7 19.Bf3 (19.d5? is a mistake in view of 19...f5 with advantage) 19...e6 20.Rac1 Re8) 17...e6 18.Nec6 Nxc6 19.Bxc6 f5=; 16...Rc7 17.Rac1 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Be6 19.b3 Rd8 20.Nac6 Nxc6 21.Nxc6 Re8 22.d5 Bd7=]

17.Rac1 Re8 18.f4 f6 19.Nec6

19...Nxc6 20.Bxc6 [20.Nxc6 Rc7 21.d5 Bf7 22.Bf3 f5 23.b4 Kf8 and Black must be OK.]

20...Rd8 [20...Rb8 hampering the knight to get in play. 21.d5 Bf7]

21.Nb7 Rb8 22.Nc5 Bf7 23.d5 f5 24.b3 [24.b4?! a5 25.bxa5 Rxa5 and Black gets counterplay on the queenside.]

24...Bb2!? [The idea behind is placing the bishop on d6 - a better square, from which can take an eye on both flangs, hampering an eventual movement of d5–pawn.]

25.Rc2 Ba3 26.Ne6? [26.Re1 a5 27.Re3 a4 28.bxa4 Bxc5 29.Rxc5 bxa4=]

26...Bd6 [26...Bxe6 immediately is not so strong, because of 27.dxe6 Rc7 28.Rd7 the only move Rbc8 29.Rxc7 Rxc7 30.Kf2 Bd6 31.g3 Kg7 32.Ke3 Kf6і and Black takes the e6–pawn, but the chances to win are not so big with the opposite-coloured bishops on board.]

27.g3 [27.Re1 Bxe6 28.Rxe6 Bxf4і and although Black has a clear pawn up, the probable outcome is draw.]

27...Bxe6 28.dxe6 Rc7 29.Rdc1??

After this blunder White gives up the game.]

[Time trouble didn't let my opponent to find the right continuation. There were chances to rescue: 29.a4 Rbc8 (29...bxa4 30.bxa4 Rbc8 31.Rdc1 Ba3 32.Ra1 Rxc6 33.Rxc6 Rxc6 34.Rxa3 Rxe6 with slight advantage for Black.) 30.Rxd6 exd6 31.e7 (worse is-31.axb5? Kf8! 32.Re2 Ke7 when Black is close to winning) 31...Kg7 32.Re2 Rxc6 33.e8Q Rxe8 34.Rxe8 Rc1+ 35.Kg2 Rc2+ 36.Kg1 bxa4 37.bxa4 Ra2 38.Rd8 Rxa4 39.Rxd6 and after precise play by White the game is supposed to end draw.]

29...Rbc8 30.b4 Bxb4 31.Rb1 Bd6 [And title comes :)]


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