Farewell, Julian

One of my bright memories that I have about Julian is the tournament in Ferrol (Spain) some years ago. The event was coming to its end and a bunch of Bulgarian players were sitting outside the restaurant before the final round, having lunch.
Julian was co-sharing the lead in the event and had the white pieces against the future GM Ilmars Starostits from Latvia. The latter needed a draw to achieve his final norm. None was deeply surprised to see Julian having a beer at lunch. After all, a draw would be good for everyone in this situation.
We went to the hall, the games started. Starostits was late. He then came, made ten moves and offered a draw. To our surprise it was rejected. Julian won quickly (did not spend more than an hour on his clock and twenty five moves for the game). He then explained that his opponent did not pay the needed respect (came late) and offered the draw too late (he had already messed the things up).
Had the Latvian come in time he would have achieved the desired draw as Julian was too good a person to spoil anyone’s happiness. On the other hand his perception of right and wrong and the way that he was understanding things in life was very clear, and the gentleman behavior- a law.
16-th of February was a black day for the Bulgarian chess. Our most modest, honorable and pure friend GM Julian Radulski passed away at the age of forty.
He was always a model person in behavior towards the game of chess and the people in general. Quiet, calm and respective towards his opponents, he would always find a good word for his adversary, no matter how good (bad) that person played.
I have the feeling that this was one of the main reasons for him not to achieve the maximum of his enormous knowledge and strength. Ever since I remember him he was rated around 2500-2550 but the respect that he had towards the names was somehow limiting him.
In the last two years though, he started trusting himself. He understood how strong he is. And the results were spectacular.
I already mentioned the tournament in Ferrol, but forgot to add that he won this even three times in a row, without losing a single game. He shared the win at the prestigious Linares open 2002 with 7.5/10, came third at Cappelle la Grand open 2010, won the strong Miguel Najdorf Memorial (Warsaw Poland) 2010 and many others.
In 2011 after winning many national team titles he was also crowned as a Bulgarian Individual Champion.
He lifted his rating above the 2600 mark and could improve further...
Julian was always very loyal to the clubs that he represented and would do the best for the team. At the Olympiad in 2002 he scored 9/13 for the Bulgarian squad, when out of these games he played seven with the black pieces!
I can spend days describing you in detail the many good things he did and caused in our chess community, the respect that people had to him.
But let now leave the chess pieces speak with his own words:

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2716) - Radulski,Julian (2497) [C97]
EU-ch 5th Antalya (1), 15.05.2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.d5 Bd7 12.b3 0–0 13.h3 Nb7

[13...c4 14.b4 Nb7 15.Be3 a5 16.a3 axb4 17.cxb4 c3 18.Bg5 h6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Re3 Rfc8 21.Nxc3+– 1–0 Kasparov,G-Comp Meph Experimental/Hamburg 1985/EXT 2002 (55)]

14.c4 [14.Nbd2 g6 (14...a5 15.Nf1 a4 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bd2 axb3 18.axb3 Rfb8 19.g4‚ 1–0 Kozlov,S-Pokazaniev,N/Smolensk 2001/EXT 2002 (48)) 15.Nf1 Ne8 16.Bh6 Ng7 17.Ng3 f6 18.Nh2 Nd8 19.f4 Nf7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.f5І 1–0 Livshits,R-Lesiege,A/Canada 1992/EXT 98 (53); 14.a4 Rfb8 15.Na3 Ne8 16.Qe2 Nd8= 1/2–1/2 Hracek,Z-Nikolic,P/Selfoss 2002/CBM 92 (24); 14.Be3 a5 15.Nbd2 b4 16.c4 a4 17.g4 axb3 18.axb3 Na5 19.Nf1 Ra7 20.g5‚ 1–0 Berzina, I-Petrovich,I/Paris 1998/EXT 2000 (30); 14.c4 b4 15.Nbd2 Ne8 16.Nf1 g6 17.Bh6 Ng7 18.g4 f6 19.Ng3 1/2–1/2 Kasparov,G-Matanovic,A/Banja Luka 1979/EXT 99 (19); 14.a4 Rfb8 15.Na3 Ne8 16.Qe2 Nd8 17.Bd2 g6 18.Nh2 f6 19.c4 bxa4 20.bxa4 Nf7 21.Ng4 Bf8 22.Bc3 Qd8 23.Ne3 Bh6 24.Nb1 1/2–1/2 Hracek, Z-Nikolic,P/Selfoss 2002/CBM 92 (24)]

14...Rfe8 [14...b4 15.Nbd2 Ne8 16.Nf1 g6 17.Bh6 Ng7 18.g4 f6 19.Ng3 1/2–1/2 Kasparov,G-Matanovic,A/Banja Luka 1979/EXT 99 (19)]

15.Nc3 [15.Nbd2 is more standard.]

15...g6 16.Bd2 Bf8 17.g4

White starts the classical K-side attack, but in this game things develop in quite an unusual fashion. As we will see the combination of Nc3 and g4 works against White here.]

17...h5! 18.Nh2 [18.g5 Nh7 looks drawish.]

18...b4! 19.Na4 [Without this N on the K-side White's expansion with g4 lacks punch.]

19...hxg4 20.hxg4 Be7! 21.Nb2 Kg7!

Black is quick to seize his chance. As it turns out he gets the benefit of the opened h-file. White is worse already.]

22.Kg2 Rh8 23.Rh1 Rh4 24.f3 Rah8 25.Qe2 Qc8 26.Rag1 Qg8 27.Be1 [27.Kf1 Qh7 28.Rg2 no fun, but maybe White can survive by just protecting h2.]

27...Rh3 28.Nd1? [Better was 28.Kf1]

28...Qh7 29.Bg3 Nxg4!

[29...Nxg4 30.fxg4 Rxg3+ 31.Kxg3 Qh3+ 32.Kf2 Bh4+–+]


RIP Julian, (from the Bulgarian chess players and the many friends around the world...)