V. Akobian (2570) – K. Spraggett (2585)
Continental Championship, Cali (5) July 14, 2007 [A80]

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 d5 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.e3 Be6 6.Qf3 Nc6 7.Bb5 Qd6 8.Nge2 0–0–0 9.a3 Kb8 10.Na4 Ne7 11.Nc5 Bc8 12.g3 h5 13.h4 g6 14.b4

White has a nice position because the black king is potentially in much greater danger than White’s.

14…Bh6 15.c3 Ka8 16.a4 a6 17.Bd3 Rhe8 18.Kd2

This is an exception to the rule that the king is safest away from the middle of the board.

18…Ka7 19.a5 c6 20.Nf4

Sadly for Black, there are difficulties breaking though with g6-g5 without losing the h5-pawn.

20…Rh8 21.Kc2 Rdg8 22.Qe2 Re8 23.Rab1 Rh7 24.Rb2 g5

A desperate move.

25.Nxh5 Reh8 26.Rhb1 Bf8

The critical moment of the game!

27.b5! cxb5

Black gets checkmated quickly after 27…Rxh5 28.bxa6 bxa6 29.Rb7+ Bxb7 30.Rxb7+ Ka8 31.Bxf5.

28.Bxb5 axb5

If 28…Rxh5 29.Be8.

29.Rxb5 Ng8

Defending the b7-pawn. 29…Rxh5 30.Rxb7+ Bxb7 31.Rxb7+ Ka8 32.Rb6.

30.Rb6 Qc7 31.Qb5 Bxc5 32.dxc5 f4 33.a6 Bf5+

Black is lost after 33…bxa6 34.Ra1.

34.Kc1 Bxb1 35.Rxb7+

35.axb7 Qxb7 36.Qxb1 was also good.

35…Qxb7 36.axb7 Rxb7 37.Qa5+ Kb8 38.Qd8+ Ka7 39.c6 Rb5 40.Qd7+ Kb6 41.c7 Ne7 42.Qxe7 Be4 43.exf4

White carefully avoids Black’s trap. The rest, as they say, was a matter of technique. It would be a blunder to be greedy and grab the rook by 43.Qxf6+ Kxc7 44.Qxh8, as Black is saved via perpetual checks with 44…Rb1+ 45.Kd2 Rb2+.

43…Rb1+ 44.Kd2 Ra8 45.c8N+ Rxc8 46.Qxf6+ Kb5 47.Qg7 Ka6 48.fxg5 Rb2+ 49.Ke3 Rc2 50.Nf6 R8xc3+ 51.Kd4 Rc4+ 52.Ke5 Rxf2 53.Qg8 Rf5+ 54.Kd6 Kb5 55.Qb8+ Ka4 56.Qb2 Rc2 57.Qb6 Rc4 58.g4 Rf3 59.h5 Rb4 60.Qa6+ Kb3 61.h6 Bd3 62.Qa8 Rb6+ 63.Ke5 Rf1 64.h7 Re1+ 65.Kf4 Rb4+ 66.Kg3 Re3+ 67.Kf2 Rh3 68.Qxd5+ Ka4 69.Kg2 Rxh7 1–0

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