D

To successfully organise a defence, it is very important to recognise in good time the impending danger; and to realise that your position is inferior and demands well thought-out defensive action. Carelessness and unjustified optimism have ruined many a game, when there was no reason at all to lose.

After the move made by my opponent I, fortunately, immediately sensed that I stood worse. Black is intending 24...£d6 (tying the rook to the defence of the f4 pawn) and only then 25...2c2. The activity of his rook will enable him either to win a pawn, or, after attacking the bishop at d4, to begin advancing his passed d-pawn. For the moment the white knight has no right to leave the g3 square, since it is unfavourable to allow the enemy knight to go to f5. And the latter, on the other hand, may in some cases also go to g4, as for example in the variations 24 Wb1 Sc2 25 flb2 Sc1+ 26 d?f2 £>g4+, or 24 d1 Sc2 25 i.e3?

At the board I did not find a reliable plan of defence, and, realising that 'approximate' play move by move might lead White to disaster, after twenty minutes' thought I decided on a rather risky pawn sacrifice.

Meanwhile, there was also a 'normal' plan (also, however, quite concrete). 24 Id1!? was possible, not fearing 24.. Ad6 25 £.e3 with the threats of 26 Ixd5 and 26 Ic1. I was concerned about 24...Sc2, but then there follows 25 <Sf1!! &f5 (25...Sxa2 26 £te3) 26 &xd4 27 £>xc2 (but not 27 lxd4? 5c3!) 27...<aXc2 28 Sxd5, and the rook is no weaker than the opponent's two minor pieces. After 24 fid1 the quiet move

24...sbf7!? is probably more unpleasant for White.

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