Position after 17…Qa3

GM Radjabov (2729) – GM Karjakin (2672) [B97]
Cap d’Agde Finale, France, 11-02-2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Bh4 Qxa2 14.Rd1 Qb2 15.Qe3 Bc5 16.Be2 Nc6 17.c3 Qa3 (White sacrifices 2 pawns for development initiatives. If White does not succeed in launching an attack, Black will easily win the endgame.) 18.O-O (After scanning this position very quickly, I would have probably played 18.Nd6+. I think this would give White a better chance.) 18…O-O 19.Nf6+ (The attack is coming! Black’s only response is 19…Nxf6) 19…Nxf6 (Karjakin found the strongest reply. Now 20.exf6 is good.) 20.Bxf6!? (This is a very double edged move!) 20…Nxd4 21.Rxd4 Bxd4 22.Qxd4 gxf6?? (I believe 22…Bd7 or 22…Re8 would be better choices.) 23.exf6 Qa5? (Perhaps 23…e5 would be better.) 24.h4 (Now Karjakin is in trouble!) 24…Kh7 25.Bd3+ Qf5 (Now White is completely winning!) 26.Re1 Rg8 27.Kh2 a5 28.g4 Qxd3 29.Qxd3+ Kh8 30.Re5 Rxg4 31.Rh5 Rg6 32.Qd8+ Kh7 33.Qe7 (This is hopeless for Black. An incredible turn of event. But the problem is mistakes like this do happen in super sharp games in rapid.) 1-0 A very nice job by Radjabov!
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