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Summary

The whole game was influenced by White's strategically extremely risky decision on move 12. The exchange of the g5-bishop for a knight also considerably strengthened one of the basic tendencies of the Sicilian Defence - endgames with a solid central pawn-structure and semi-open c-file are usually quite pleasant for Black. Although 12 iLxf6?! furthers the advance of the kingside pawns, it's also counterproductive as far as the attack is concerned. The pawns are supposed to weaken the opponent's king and create space for one's own offensive pieces, but swapping an important bishop hardly furthers these goals. Another direct consequence of White's chosen plan was the necessity to isolate his knight on a4 to slow down the impending counterattack. This sharpened the do-or-die character of White's play; he eventually lost his a4-knight and had to rely solely on the power of his attack.

All this is general theory, which in practice works well for Black under one important condition - if he manages to beat off the offensive. And this is not so easy; especially in the first phase of the conflict Black has to choose from tempting alternatives, the consequences of which are difficult to foresee clearly. In this sense iLxf6 is an interesting concept, which greatly intensifies the tension of the game. I would like to point out two moments, which in my opinion were crucial from Black's point of view. Both 13...g6 and 21...e5?! were active defensive measures, involving a change of the pawn-structure. As closer scrutiny shows us, especially in the second case Black would have done better to trust the inherent strength of his set-up and pursue his own active intentions. In the attractive tactical shoot-out that followed, another important practical component of the game caused White's downfall - he was simply too short of time in the critical phase.

Game 3

Anatoly Karpov - Ivan Morovic

Match (game 1), Las Palmas 1994 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch Defence [D32]

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