Al-Modiahki, M. (2502) - Baburin, A. (2590) [B03]
(9) 2000 [Alexander Baburin]
I think that such 'simple' development does not give White any advantage.
Now White's knight is pretty awkwardly placed on a3.
I felt that it was important to take away from White the possibility of d4-d5. Besides, Black does not have any other plan than to go ...d5 at some point.
White wants to play Nb1 and a2-a3, therefore Black must hurry up:
This is an interesting idea. I expected 15 cxb6, when I was going to play 15...Nxb6; 15...c6 is also possible.
After 15...bxc5 16 dxc5 c6 White would, of course, play 17 Nbd4.
I also considered 16...Bg4 here, but then decided that it would be better to get rid of the d6-knight.
This move and the following line is the only way to justify 16...Bxd6.
The line 19...Nxc5 20 Rxc5 Qxd6 21 Rfc1 is not what I played 16...Bxd6 for!
This is yet another interesting solution, although this sacrifice is not forced. The variation 20 Rxc2 Nxc2 21 Qxc2 Rc8 is better for Black, but the line 21 Qxd5! Rc8 22 Bd4 Nxd4 23 Qxd4 is OK for White. Probably it is objectively stronger than what he played in the game.
I guess White would be happy after 20...Nxa2 21 Qxc2 Nxc1 22 Rxc1 Rc8 23 Qf5.
23...Re8!? was interesting too, but I had a particular manoeuvre in mind:
Black is trying to employ his knight. White must not allow the knight to f4, but this leads to weakening of his king.
Here White offered a draw, but Black can and should play for a win.
Perhaps, better was 32 f4, but such a move is easier to suggest than to make! Black is still better after 32...Be4+ 33 Bf3! f6 34 Bxe4 dxe4 35 Rc7 e3 36 Rxg7+ Qxg7 37 Rg1 Qxg1+ 38 Kxg1 fxe5 39 Bxe5.
I saw 33...Re8!, but decided that 33...h5 was winning by force. I guess that subconsciously I was afraid that somewhere White would have d6-d7 with a tempo. 33...Re8! would have given Black a big, if not winning, advantage after 34 Bd1 h5 35 Bf2 Qg5 36 f4 Qxf4 37 Nh2. Now White comes up with a great shot:
I saw the line 34 Rh1? Qg5 35 Bf6 Qg6!. When I considered 31... Bf5!, I saw the idea of 34 Bf6!! too, but that was just a passing thought, which unfortunately did not quite register in my mind. Otherwise I would have played 33...Re8 without any thinking.
Black had to play 35...Qxh1+ 36 Kxh1 hxg4 37 fxg4 Be4+ 38 Kg1 Rd8, although the ending is very unpleasant.
This knight is a fantastic worker! Now Black is lost.
Now Black is lost.
After 40...Rxe2 41 Nxe2 Kxh5 42 d7 the d-pawn is unstoppable.