The Advantages of the Isolated Pawn

Bojkov,D - Adamson,R [B10]
Los Angelis Los Angeles, 21.01.2011
I did not do well at L.A. as a whole, but the following game was my best achievement. Most of the beautiful lines though remained behind the curtains: 1.e4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nxd5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb5 e6 8.0–0 Be7 9.d4 0–0 10.Re1 Bd7 11.Bd3 Nf6 12.a3 Rc8 13.Bg5

13...Qa5?! Robby told me after the game that he had prepared this line at home, and that everyone plays here 14.Bc2. However, as I did not know that I found another move, that actually prevents his idea: 14.Ne5! And Black went into the thinking tank. 14...Qd8?! The point is that if Black continues with his normal development, he might be crushed due to the weakness of the f7 square: [14...Rfd8? 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Bxh7+! Kf8 The only move, that was concerning me for a while. Much weaker is: (16...Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Qxf7+ Kh7 19.Re3 when Black is getting mated.) 17.Qh5! Only when I saw this follow up I chose 14.Ne5! White's attack is unstoppable, for example: 17...g6 18.Bxg6 fxg6 Or: (18...Bxe5 19.dxe5 fxg6 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Qxg6+ Kf8 23.Qf6+ Ke8 24.Re4 followed by Re4-h4-h8 and mate.) 19.Qh6+ Bg7 20.Qf4+ Ke7 21.Qf7+ Kd6 22.Nc4+ and White wins.; After the game Robby suggested the defense: 14...Be8 I thought that this is also very bad for him, but I now believe that this might have been Black's best chance. Here are some possibilities: 15.Re3 h6 a) 15...g6 16.Bh6 will win at least an exchange for White.; b) 15...Nxe5 This was Robby's idea, as after: 16.dxe5 Nd5 17.Bxe7 Nxe7 18.Ne4± The sacrifice on h7 does not work:(18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Rh3+ Kg8 20.Qh5 f5) ; 16.Bxh6! This one of the lines that was keeping me calculating. Black is mated after: 16...gxh6 17.Rg3+ Kh8 18.Qd2 Ng8

19.Rxg8+ Kxg8 20.Qxh6 f5 21.Qxe6+ Bf7 22.Qxf5 Kg7 23.Qh7+ Kf6 24.Qh6+ Bg6 25.Qxg6#] 15.Qf3! Preventing the move 15...g7-g6, and transfering the queen on a vintage point. The rook lift does not bring anything substancial after: [15.Re3 g6] 15...Nxe5 Black sacrifices material to loose the grip. There is no time to grab the central pawn, as the opening of this highway is deadly for Black: [15...Nxd4 16.Qh3 h6 17.Bxh6! gxh6 18.Qxh6 Nf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.Qg5+ Kh8

21.Nxd7 (The simplest) 21...Qxd7 22.Rad1 Qc7 23.Rd3 with mate to follow.] 16.dxe5 Nd5 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 After: [17...Nxe7 White has a pleasant choice which pawn to take: 18.Rad1 (18.Qxb7 Bc6 19.Qa6) 18...Qc7 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qd3+] 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qxd5 Bc6 20.Qb3 Rfd8 Black is a pawn down without any compensation, and the active try in the game only speeds up the end. 21.Bf5!

Threatening both the rook and the e5-e6 advance. 21...Qg5 22.Qh3 Bxg2 23.Qxh7+ My initial idea was to win the exchange with: [23.Qg4 However, the move in the game gains more material.] 23...Kf8 24.h4 Qf4 25.Bxc8! The straightforward attack wins as well:[25.e6! fxe6 26.Bxe6 Rc6 27.Qg8+ Ke7 28.Qxg7+ Kd6 29.Rad1+; However, the gain of the bishop spoils the victory, as Robby pointed out: 25.Kxg2? Rd2 26.Rf1

26...Rcc2!! 27.Bxc2 Qg4+ 28.Kh2 Qf4+=; 25.Bxc8 Rd2 26.Qf5] 1–0

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