Round 1- The Lucky Start

Bojkov,Dejan (2477) - Radulski,Julian (2579) [C55]
Blagoevgrad BUL, 73rd Men Ch Blagoevgrad BUL (1.6), 12.02.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 Na5 8.Bb5 c5!?

Creative idea. Black avoids the advance of the pawns on the queen's flank (it is not sure if they might not become a target) and wants to use the position of the Bb5 in order to win some time. 9.Nbd2 The first official game in my base saw: [9.Ba4 Qc7 10.Nbd2 Nd7!? this is the idea 11.Nf1 Nb6 12.Bc2 Nc6 13.Ne3 Bf6 14.a4 Be6 with good play for Black in 0–1 Malaniuk,V (2485)-Kupreichik,V (2480)/Sverdlovsk 1984/EXT 1999 (34)] 9...Bd7 10.Bxd7 Qxd7 11.Nf1 Nc6 12.Ne3 d5 [12...Rfe8 looks safer.] 13.Nf5 Bd8 [Or 13...dxe4 14.dxe4 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Bd8 (15...Nxe4 16.Re1 Nd6 17.Nxe7+ Nxe7 18.Rxe5 with advantage) 16.Nd6 and White has a pull] 14.Bg5 g6 On: [14...h6 I intended- 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Ne3 fighting for the d5 square …16...Ne7 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Nc4 Nf4 19.Ncxe5 Bxe5 20.Nxe5 Qd5 21.Re4 with a pawn ahead] 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Ne3 d4 17.Nd5 Bg7 18.Qb3

White's chances look better in the coming struggle. My initiative on the queen's flank and the center develops faster. 18...Kh8 Black goes away from the possible fork on e7. [18...dxc3 19.bxc3 Ne7 20.Rab1 (20.Reb1 b6 21.a4 (21.c4 is also an edge) ) ] 19.Qb5 b6 20.a4 Rad8?! [Better is 20...dxc3 21.bxc3 Rad8 22.Rab1 f5 when everything is possible] 21.cxd4 exd4 22.b4 f5 Julian seeks practical chances with direct attack, and this works well against me. The conventional: [22...cxb4 23.Rec1 Ne5 24.Nxe5 Bxe5 25.Nxb4± leads to a solid plus for White without much counter play for Black.] 23.bxc5 fxe4 24.dxe4 a6

25.Qb3? Chicken-hearted! The principled line: [25.Qxb6! wins- 25...Rxf3 (25...d3 26.Ra3 Rxf3 27.gxf3 Ne5 28.Re3 d2 (28...Nc4 29.Qb3 Nxe3 30.fxe3 d2 31.Ra2 Qh3 32.Qd1 Be5 33.Rxd2+-) 29.Rad3 Rf8 30.Rxd2 Nc4 (30...Nxf3+ 31.Rxf3 Rxf3 32.Nf6!) 31.Qb4 Nxd2 32.Qxd2) 26.gxf3 Ne5 27.Kg2 The queen on b6 is excellently placed and does not let too many black troops to join the attack- 27...Rf8 (27...d3 28.Qc7) 28.Qd6 Qf7 29.f4 Nd3 30.Rad1 with the idea Be5

31.Qxf8+ Qxf8 32.Rxd3 Bxf4 33.c6+-] 25...bxc5 26.Rac1 Qd6 27.Nd2?! [Better is 27.Qa3 Nb4 28.Nxb4 cxb4 29.Qd3 Rfe8 30.a5 with double-edged play] 27...Rb8 28.Qa3 Nb4! Now Black is on top. 29.Nc4 Qe6 30.Nxb4 Rxb4 31.Qd3 I decided to give the pawn immediately, in order to put the pawn on e5. 31...Rxa4 32.e5 Ra2 33.Rc2 Rxc2 34.Qxc2 Rb8 35.f4 Bf8 36.h3 [36.Rc1 is somewhat more stubborn.] 36...Rb4 37.Rc1 Bh6 38.Nd6 The only chance. In the time trouble I seek for maximum activity. And although Julian had enough time, he let the win slip away: 38...c4? [38...Bxf4 39.Qxc5 Rb8 (39...Bxc1 40.Qxb4 d3 41.Qd4 d2 42.Nc4 Kg7 (42...Qxc4? leads only to perpetual. 43.Qd8+ Kg7 44.Qf6+ Kg8 45.Qd8+ Kf7 46.Qd7+=) 43.Nxd2 Bxd2 44.Qxd2 Qxe5 45.Qd7+ Kh6 46.Qd2+ g5 47.Qd8 gives excellent drawish chances for White.) 40.Rf1
40...Rf8! Black's pieces look somewhat loose, but they also produce dangerous threats. (40...Bxe5? 41.Qxe5+ Qxe5 42.Nf7+) 41.Kh1 Better looks: (41.Qxd4!? Bh2+ 42.Kxh2 Rxf1 43.Ne4 White sacrifices an exchange, but creates unpleasant threats with the Q+N combination. For example- 43...Kg7 44.Nc5 Qe7 45.Qd5 Rc1 46.Ne6+ Kg8 47.Qa8+ Kf7

48.Qf3+! computer move, of course! 48...Kxe6 49.Qg4+ Kd5 50.Qf3+ Kc4 51.Qf4+ Kb5 52.Qxc1 Qxe5+ 53.g3 a5 54.Qb1+ Kc5 55.Qa2 and Black needs to show good technique.) 41...Kg8 42.Qxd4 Bxe5 43.Rxf8+ Kxf8 44.Qf2+ Kg8 45.Ne4 Qc6–+] 39.Qe4 With the centralized queen, I am out of danger. Now perpetual check looks inevitable. However Black still seeks the win: 39...c3 40.Rxc3!? And I also try my chance when I feel my opponent's frustration. To instant draw will bring: [40.Qa8+ Kg7 (40...Qg8 41.Nf7+ Kg7 42.Qxg8+ Kxg8 43.Nxh6+ Kg7 44.Ng4 Rb2 45.Nf2! deals with the pawns and leaves White with better prospects. 45...a5 46.Ne4 a4 47.Nxc3 dxc3 48.Rxc3±) 41.Ne8+ Kh8 (41...Kf7? does not seem very healthy after: 42.Nc7! Qe7 43.Nd5 (43.Qc6!?) 43...Qb7 44.Qd8 Rb1 45.Qf6+ Ke8 46.Qe6+ Kf8 (46...Kd8 47.Qd6+ Ke8 48.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 49.Kh2 Qb7 50.e6+-) 47.Qd6+ Kg8 48.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 49.Kh2 Qb7 50.e6+-) 42.Nf6+ Kg7 43.Ne8+=] 40...Bf8?? Terrible 40–th move, made on seconds. Black was not risking after: [40...dxc3 41.Qxb4 c2 (41...Kg8 is good enough too.) 42.Qb8+ Qg8 (42...Kg7 43.Qc7+ Kg8 44.Qxc2 Bxf4=) 43.Qb2

43...Qb3 44.Qxb3 c1Q+ 45.Kf2 Qxf4+ 46.Qf3 Qd2+ 47.Kg3 Qg5+=] Now I win this tense game. 41.Rc8 Kg8 42.Qa8 d3 43.Rxf8+ Kg7 44.Rf7+ Qxf7 45.Nxf7

And Black resigns because of the line-[45.Nxf7 d2 46.Qh8+ Kxf7 47.Qf6+ Ke8 48.Qe6+ Kf8 49.Qd6+] 1–0
A win versus the top seeded player what else can be a better start?!


73 Bulgarian Individual Championship

Bulgarian Individual Championship ended this Sunday in Blagoevgrad. Average rating of the event was 2435, category 8.
It was a very tense tournament. After 11 rounds both Boris Chatalbashev and me shared the lead with 9 points. However, I lost in the penultimate round against the bronze medalis Momchil Nikolov, while Chatalbashev won against Petkov. Everything looked over, but Fortuna had left our three-time champion in the last round. Boris lost his final game, I won mine, and won the title for the first time due to my better tie-break!
1. Bojkov, Dejan 10.0
2. Chatalbashev, Boris 10.0
3. Nikolov, Momchil 8.5
4. Arnaudov, G Petar 7.5
5. Radulski, Julian 7.0
6. Berbatov, Kiprian 7.0
7. Rusev, Krasimir 7.0
8. Vutov, M Mario 6.0
9. Filev, Georgi 5.5
10. Pantev, Veselin 5.0
11. Petkov, Vladimir 5.0
12. Lilov, Valeri 4.5
13. Kukov, Velislav 4.5
14. Enchev, Ivajlo 3.5
Petar Arnaudov accomplished his final IM norm. More information will follow soon!


Incredible Resourcefulness

Bojkov,D (2472) - Postojev,A (2364)
2 Bundesliga Sud Neuhausen (6.4), 01.02.2009
The following game was played this Sunday in the match Neuhausen- Heidelberg Handschuhsheim from 2 Bundesliga (South). My creative opponent taught me a good lesson that it is never too late to resign.

50.Nc2 The arising position is of course won for white. However, the clock situation was starting to tell, and the second time control (no additional time given) was approaching. I have spend a lot of time on this logical move. The main difficulty is that there are many winning ideas, and I did not take the practical decision to concentrate on one of them. For example: [50.Qd8 (the safest) 50...Qxa3+ 51.Kd2 Qf8 52.Nxg4 Qxd8 53.Rxd8 Ba4 54.Ra8 Rb7 55.Rxa6 (55.Nxf6! I blundered this computer shot.) 55...Rb2+ 56.Ke1 Rb1+ 57.Kf2 Rb2+ 58.Kg1 Rb1+ 59.Kg2 Rb2+ 60.Nf2 Bc2 objectively White must be winning, but there is still a lot of play left. All black's pieces became active, and this is especially dangerous in a time-trouble, with no additional time given. 50.Nxg4 I also considered this continuation. 50...Bxf5 (50...Qa1 51.Ne3 g4 52.Qd8 Qxa3+ 53.Kd2 Qf8 54.Nxg4 is leading to a much better version of the endgame from above.) 51.exf5 e4+ 52.Kd4 Qa1+ 53.Kc5 Qg1+ and decided that further calculation is not practical. However, white wins easily after: 54.Kc6 Qxg4 55.Qd8+-] The moved in the game 49.¤c2 is logical. White secures the king, protects the a3 pawn (excludes the black queen from defense) and in case threatens even Kd3-c3 followed by Rb8-b2. 50...g3 51.Qd8 Kh6 52.Qh8+ Rh7 53.Qxf6+ Kh5

54.Qg6+?? I decided to capture the rook without too much hesitation. I also took a brief look at: [54.Rg8 which Postojev also considered an immediate win- 54...Qb3+ 55.Kd2 but realized that the queen protects the g3 pawn, and abandoned the line. In vain- 55...Kh4 56.Qxg5+ Kh3 57.Qe3 exchanges the queens and the game is essentially over. 57...Qxe3+ 58.Nxe3+-] 54...Kg4 55.Qxh7 Ba4!
Oh, yes. This bishop inclusion should at least save the day for Black! 56.Ne3+ Kf4 57.Qe7? I saw that: [57.Qa7 leads to a draw at once after- 57...Qxa3+ (57...Kf3 Black can even try to play for a win without risking anything, since the perpetual has nowhere to go- 58.f6 g2 59.f7 Qe2+ 60.Kc3 Qe1+ …61.Kb2? (61.Kd3=) 61...g1Q 62.f8Q+ Ke2–+

) 58.Ke2 Qa2+ 59.Kd3=; 57.Qh1?? Qxa3+ 58.Ke2 Qxe3+ 59.Kf1 Qf2#] 57...Qf2? And only at home I realized that what I was feeling that might happen was there- [57...g2!

58.Nxg2+ Qxg2 59.Kc3 a5! and I need to part with my queen in order to postpone the mate after- 60.Rb2 Qf3+ 61.Kd2 Qe3#; 57...Kf3!? was another reasonable alternative, where Black has a sure draw. 58.Kc3 a winning attempt, since- (58.Qxg5 Qxa3+ 59.Kd2 Qa2+= is immediate perpetual. On the other hand-; 58.Qc5? g2 59.Nxg2 Qc2# does not seem particularly appealing.) 58...a5!? (58...Kxe3 59.Kb4 Qb3+ 60.Ka5 Qxb8 61.Kxa4 g2 62.Qxg5+ Kf2 63.Qh4+ Kf1 64.Qh3 Kf2 is a draw by repetition.) 59.Qc5 (59.Rb2 the inclusion of the rook does not safeguard the king. The point is that for good defense white needs the knight around the king! 59...Qa1 60.Nc2 Qc1 61.Qa7 g2 62.f6 Bxc2! Eliminating the best defender. 63.Qf2+!! only way to stay in the game, since- (63.Rxc2 g1Q 64.Rxc1 Qxa7 65.f7 Qe3+ 66.Kb2 Qf2+ 67.Rc2 Qb6+ 68.Kc1 Qc5–+) 63...Kxf2 64.Rxc2+ Qxc2+ 65.Kxc2 g1Q 66.f7 g4 67.f8Q+ Ke2і and it is only Black who can win this position.) 59...g2 60.Rb2 Qxb2+ 61.Kxb2 g1Q 62.Qxa5 Qf2+ 63.Kb1 not- (63.Kc3?? Qe1+) 63...Qg1+=] Now it is my term to attack! 58.Qxe5+!

[58.Qa7 Kf3! 59.Kc3 (59.f6 Qe2+ 60.Kc3 Qe1+ 61.Kd3 Qe2+=) 59...Qe1+ 60.Kb2 Qf2+=] 58...Kf3 [58...Kxe5 59.Ng4+ Kf4 60.Nxf2 gxf2 61.Ke2 Kg3 62.Rb1+- (or 62.Rb2 ) ] 59.Qd4 White managed to consolidate and converts the extra material. The rest was only a check if my remaining time will be enough. 59...g2 60.Rb1 Qe2+ 61.Kc3 Qa2 62.Nxg2 Qc2+ 63.Kb4 Qxb1+ 64.Kxa4 Kxg2 65.d6 Qb7 66.d7 Qc6+ 67.Kb3 Qb7+ 68.Ka2 and a few moves later- 1–0
Fortunately for me this lesson was for free!


Afek's Best (2)

Wijk an Zee is over, the champions are already known, and I shall continue to please you with Afek’s best studies:
Yochanan Afek
3rd Prize Chess Life 1997-2000, 2000
Annotations by:[Afek,Y]

White's material advantage should be sufficient if he only could trade knights safely (Not hastily by 1.gxf6?? though...). 1.Rf7! Pinning the knight and activating a strong battery with the king as the front firing piece.The routine alternative [1.Rc7? Ne4 leads the battle nowhere] 1...Qd2! A strong counter pin while [1...Qxc2 2.Rxf6 Qd2 3.Rf5+- is a 32 moves DGTB win] 2.Kg6+ Nh5! [To leave the white pawn on the fifth rank whereas 2...Kg4 3.gxf6 Qxc2+ 4.Kg7 Kg5 5.Rh6+- is a win in 18 moves] 3.Rxh5+ Kg4

4.Rh2!! Giving away a Rook (by no means for the last time!) is the only way since following [4.Kh6 Qxc2 5.Rf1 Qc5= white can hardly make any further progress] 4...Qd6+! A strong intermediate check as an immediate capture loses the queen: [4...Qxh2 5.Ne3++- with either a fork or a skewer next ] 5.Rf6 Qxh2 6.Ne3+ Kh4 7.Rf4+! Kh3 The Rook is obviously taboo: [7...Qxf4 8.Ng2+] 8.Rf3+ Kh4

Will white settle for a perpetual check? not quite! 9.Rg3!!+- A sudden mate threat wins the queen after either 9...Kxg3 10.Nf1+ or 9...Qxg3 10.Nf5+