Kostenko, Petr - Isaev, Jamshed 2003.03.02

Round 9 Asia-ch 4th Doha

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.d3 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O?! Для чистоты эксперимента - от себя (П.К.) добавлю и текст на русском языке. Despite this move has already been played for many years I think that it's premature and Black has to wait for White's castle. Usually it leads to a free attack started with Qd2 and Bh6 and followed by h4. This is already at least the third unfortunate attempt of Isaev to revive this suspicious line. (7... Nc6)

8.Qd2! Re8 9.Bh6 Bh8 10.h4 c5 Probably Isaev is trying to improve his game against Lerner. You can find it below. It seems that after a crushing loss to Xu Yun Black doesn't want to repeat 10...c6 (10... c6 11.h5 Nd5 12.hxg6 hxg6 13.Nf3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Qa5 15.Rc1 Be6 16.Rc2 Rd8 17.Bg5! f6? Black misses a beautiful combination. ( However even after the best 17... Rd7 White has a clear positional advantage.) 18.Rxh8+!! Kxh8 19.Bxf6+! exf6 20.Qh6+ and White picks up all 6th rank. 20... Kg8 21.Qxg6+ Kf8 22.Qxf6+ Bf7 23.Ne5 White has a decisive advantage 1-0 Xu Jun-Isaev,J/Udaipur 2000/EXT 2001 (30). (29)) (10... N8d7 was tested in the origin-game: 11.h5 Nf6 12.Nf3 Ng4 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Bg5!? with a strong attack along the h-file. (14.Rh4 1-0 Ribli,Z-Adorjan,A/Budapest 1973/EXT 2000 (50). (49))) (10... Nc6 11.Bxc6!? Typical for Nb6- variation exchange. Giving up a strong bishop white creates weak pawns on the open c-file. 11... bxc6 12.h5 Nd5 13.hxg6 fxg6 (13... hxg6!?) 14.Nf3 Rb8 15.Rc1 White has a moderate advantage with a clear positional edge. 1-0 Macieja,B-Murawski,G/Zakopane 2000/CBM 78 ext (33). (32))

11.Nf3 White does n't want to check out Isaev's improvement over 11. Be3 and simply develops pieces. (11.Be3 Lerner- Isaev,2002 CBM88 [Postny])

11... Nc6 12.h5 c4 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.O-O-O! Beginning of the end. White's threats along the h-file are too strong.

14... cxd3 15.Bf8!! White has the attack Brilliant move. With Bf8 White opens the h-file for his rook and the d2-h6 diagonal for the Queen creating on the way a threat of mate in three.

15... Bf6 singular move Only defense which allows to prolong the fight. However it can't change the evaluation. (15... Rxf8 16.Qh6 leads to immediate mate.)

16.Qh6 Nc4? Mistake in a difficult position. It wasn't easy to find 16...Qc7! (16... Nb4? 17.Ng5! Bxg5+ 18.Qxg5) (16... Qc7!! This cool move could allow to continue the fight for a while. 17.Rxd3! Important resource. Removing the d-pawn White creates a fantastic threat Ne4 having in mind that a discovered check is met by Rc3. ( After direct 17.Ng5 Bxg5+ (17... Be6) 18.Qxg5 Qe5! Only defense again. 19.Qh4 dxe2 20.Rde1 Qh5! White still has to prove his superiority.) 17... Bf5! Against Ne4!. (17... Nb4? 18.Ng5! Qc4 (18... Bxg5+ 19.Qxg5 Nxd3+ 20.exd3 White has a decisive advantage) 19.Bxe7!! Nxd3+ 20.exd3 White has a decisive advantage) (17... Be6 18.Ne4!! ( After 18.Ng5 Black is able to keep the position for a while with 18... Qe5! (18... Bxa2? 19.Bd5!! (19.Rd5!?) 19... Bxd5 20.Rxd5! Nd8 21.Rxd8! Bxg5+ 22.Qxg5 White has a decisive advantage) (18... Bc4? 19.Bd5!! see 18...Bxa2) (18... Bxg5+ 19.Qxg5 Qe5 20.Qh6) 19.Nge4)) 18.Ng5! Ne5!? It's hard to believe, but Black is still fighting here. However it won't continue for long. Next smashing blow decides the game. (18... Bxg5+ Probably the best defense. Black exchanges the Queens here, but position remains hopeful. 19.Qxg5 Qe5 20.Re3 Qd4 21.Rh4! Finall the Queen has to return to f6. 21... Qf6 22.Bxe7! Small combination in Capablanca's style. White wins a pawn transposing to a winning endgame. 22... Qxg5 23.Bxg5 White has a decisive advantage) 19.f4!! White has a decisive advantage Removing defense from the f7-square. (19.Rf3) 19... Nxd3+ (19... Bxd3 20.fxe5 Bxg5+ 21.Qxg5) 20.exd3 e6 21.Bd6! with mate in three.)

17.exd3! White has a decisive advantage Removing the last hope. dc is threatening. If the knight moves Ne4 decides the game since Black can't avoid exchange of the dark-squared bishop. (17.Ng5? would throw the win. 17... d2+ 18.Kb1 Na3+! 19.Ka1 (19.bxa3?! Bf5+ 20.Be4 Qb6+ 21.Kc2 Nd4+ White has the attack) 19... Nc2+ equal chances, quiet position)

17... Qa5 (17... Nxb2 18.Ne4!!) (17... Qb6 18.dxc4)

18.dxc4! Bxc3 loses on the spot, but Black's already a piece down.

19.Nd4! Beautiful mov e again. Black's bishop can't control dark squares anymore. Time to resign.

19... Bxb2+ (19... Qe5 20.bxc3)

20.Kxb2 Qe5 21.Qh7+ Kxf8 22.Qh8+ Qxh8 23.Rxh8+ Brilliant game by Kostenko. (23.Rxh8+ Kg7 24.Rxe8 White has a decisive advantage) 1-0