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Kozul,Z (2616) - Baburin,A (2590) [D27]
Chess Olympiad, Istanbul (11), 08.11.2000

Stellung nach:

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 a6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 Nf6 7.Bb3 b5 During my preparation I noticed that GM Kozul loves positions with the isolated d-pawn and thus I decided to deviate from 7...cxd4 8.exd4 Nc6. But objectively 7...b5 is not good. 8.a4 b4 9.a5! When I saw that move, I instantly disliked my position - White vacates the a4-square for his bishop and also takes control over the b6-square, which could be important after Nb1-d2-c4. [9.e4! is also dangerous for Black, but this is a different story.] 9...Nc6?! I did not want to allow Nf3-e5 and Ba4, but delaying the development of the kingside is very risky. Perhaps, the best try was 9...Be7, for example 10.Ba4+ Nbd7 11.Ne5 Qc7. Still, I believe that White is better there. [9...Bb7 10.Ne5 Nbd7 11.Ba4 Qc7 12.e4 Bxe4 13.Bg5 with dangerous attack, as in the game Bets-Maly, Kharkov 2000.] 10.Nbd2 cxd4? 11.Ba4 [Here I feared 11.Nc4! for example: 11...Bb7 12.exd4 and White's bishop could be useful on b3, for instance after Nc4-b6 and d4-d5!.] 11...Bb7 12.Nc4 Qc7 [After 12...dxe3?! 13.Bxe3 White would have terrific compensation for a pawn.] 13.Nb6 Perhaps White committs himself to concrete play too early. [After 13.exd4 White would have more options open.] 13...Rd8 14.exd4 Bc5! 15.Be3? [Better was 15.Qc2 although after 15...Bxb6 16.axb6 Qxb6 17.Be3 (or 17.Ne5 Rc8 18.Be3 b3) 17...b3 18.Bxb3 Nd5 Black is OK.] 15...0-0 16.Qc2 Bxb6 17.axb6 Qd6 18.Rfc1 Ne7 Now White has problems with the b6-pawn. Besides, his pieces are rather misplaced. 19.Qc7? Bxf3 20.gxf3 Nfd5 21.Qc5 Qxb6 22.Bb3 Qb7 23.Bg5 Rc8 24.Qa5 Nf5 [24...Nc6? 25.Bxd5] 25.Bxd5 exd5 26.Rxc8 Rxc8 27.Qxa6 Qxa6 28.Rxa6 The resulting ending is winning for Black, who has a much better minor piece. The main danger to avoid was losing the b4-pawn, as then Black's knight won't be such a useful piece fighting against White's b-pawn. 28...Nxd4? I felt that there was something wrong with this move, but played it rather quickly anyway. It was a case of "Let's take a pawn now and think later!", which is a completely faulty way of thinking. [Almost immediately after I took on d4 I saw that 28...h6! would be much better. From f5 the knight can also jump to h4, creating some mating threats. Now Black's rook is free to operate as he no longer has backrank problems. 29.Bd2 Rc2!? (is also very good for Black: 29...Nh4!? 30.Kf1 Rc2 31.Bxb4 Rxb2 32.Bc5 Nxf3; 29...Rc4!?) 30.Bxb4 Rxb2 31.Bc5 Nh4 32.h3 Nxf3+ 33.Kg2 Ng5 34.Rd6 Ne4 35.Rxd5 Rxf2+ 36.Kg1 Rc2-+ It is much easier for Black to deal with the d-pawn than with the b-pawn (as in the game).] 29.Kg2 h6 30.Bd2 Rc6 31.Ra8+ Kh7 32.Bxb4 Rg6+ 33.Kf1 Nxf3 34.Bc5 Nxh2+ 35.Ke2 Re6+ 36.Kd3 Ng4 37.Rd8 [Here both players were short of time. I much more feared the immediate advance of White's passer - 37.b4! Then I was going to play 37...Re4!? 38.b5 Ne5+ 39.Kd2 Rc4] 37...h5! Psychologically it was very pleasant to play this in a time trouble - now Black's pawn is also running. 38.Rxd5 Kg6 39.Bd4 h4 40.f3 Nf6 [Being short of time it was hard to choose between the text and the line 40...Nh2 41.f4 f5 42.Rd7 Nf3 43.Rxg7+ Kh5 I finally decided to hold on to my small material advantage.] 41.Ra5 h3 42.Ra1 Nd5 [Better was 42...Nh5! The point is that after 43.Be3 Black has 43...h2! and 44.Rh1 fails to 44...Ng3 45.Rxh2 Rxe3+ 46.Kxe3 Nf1+] 43.Kc4 Ne3+ 44.Kc5 Nf5 45.Rh1 Re8! 46.Bc3 [46.Rxh3?? loses the bishop: 46...Rc8+] 46...Rh8 47.Be5 f6 48.Bc7 Rh5 49.Kc4 Ne3+ 50.Kd4 Nd5 51.Bd6 Kf7 52.Bg3 Ne7 53.Kd3 Nc6 54.Ke3 Ke6 55.Be1 Ne5 56.b3 g5 57.Bc3 f5 Despite White's stubborn defence, Black is making progress. 58.Kf2 f4 59.Bxe5 [perhaps better was to try 59.Re1 h2 60.Kg2 h1Q+ 61.Rxh1 Rxh1 62.Kxh1 Nxf3 63.b4 Kd5 and although Black should win, White may have some chances.] 59...Kxe5 60.Rd1 60...Rh6? I had about 3 minutes to make the control move, but failed to find the best solution. [After 60...h2! 61.Rh1 (61.Kg2 g4!-+ 62.fxg4 h1Q+ 63.Rxh1 f3+) 61...Kd4 62.Kg2 Ke3 (For some strange reason I looked only at 62...Kc3?? 63.Rxh2 Rxh2+ 64.Kxh2 Kxb3 65.Kh3=) 63.b4 Rh4 64.b5 g4 65.fxg4 Rxg4+ 66.Kh3 Rg6-+; If Black did not want to make any commitments, it was better to play 60...Rh8! ] 61.Kg1 [61.b4 Ra6] 61...h2+ 62.Kg2?? [White misses the last chance to put resistance: 62.Kh1! A) 62...Rh3? 63.Kg2 Rg3+ (63...g4?? 64.fxg4 and Black's rook is hanging!) 64.Kf2! g4 65.fxg4 Rxb3 and Black may be no longer winning.; B) Yet, Black is winning after 62...Rh8! the point is that now after ...g4, fxg4 and g4-g5 White's pawn will not move with a tempo. So, White must push the b-pawn, which is quite slow. 63.b4 (63.Rd2 Rh3) 63...g4 64.fxg4 f3 65.b5 Kf4 66.b6 Kg3 67.b7 Re8 68.Rc1 f2 69.Rc3+ Kxg4 70.Rc4+ Kf3 71.Rc3+ Ke2 72.Rc2+ Ke3 73.Rc1 Kd2 74.Ra1 Re1+ 75.Kxh2 f1Q 76.Rxe1 (76.b8Q Re2+ 77.Kg3 Rg2+ 78.Kh3 Qf3+ 79.Kh4 Qg4#) 76...Qf4+] 62...g4! Now it is all over. 63.fxg4 h1Q+ (64.Rxh1 f3+ 65.Kg1 f2+ 66.Kg2 Rxh1) 0-1

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