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Traps

Part Four, Exercises II


This is the second part of a series of exercises to solve on your own. These are
more difficult than the ones in the previous articles. You will practice the art
of setting traps for your opponents, and then, I hope, you will be able to do
this in your own games.

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10 Gipslis Dvoretsky
Semifinal of the Soviet Championship, Odessa, 1972

The
Instructor
Mark Dvoretsky

Grandmaster Preparation:
Calculation
by Jacob Aagaard

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[FEN "3r4/p2qbp2/1k2p1p1/pP1pP2r/
3P1P2/P4NK1/7P/R3Q2R w - - 0 22"]

1.?

11 Potkin Bologan
Olginka, 2011

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[FEN "r2qrbk1/pb1n1ppp/1p1ppn2/8/
N1PP1B2/P2B1N2/1P3PPP/2RQR1K1 b - - 0 13"]

1...?

12 Kosikov Kogan
Lvov, 1974

Positional Chess Sacrifices


by Mihai Suba

Chess Evolution 2:
Beyond the Basics
by Artur Yusupov

[FEN "r4rk1/1bqn1ppp/pp2pn2/8/1bPN4/
1P1B1N2/PB2QPPP/R2R2K1 w - - 0 16"]

1.?

13 Ortega Fuchs
Berlin, 1968

[FEN "4R3/pBp2pkp/1b3qp1/8/1N3n2/
2P5/PP3PPP/3R3K b - - 0 25"]

1...?

14 Khasin Tal
Soviet Championship, Leningrad, 1956

[FEN "4rnk1/4qppp/p2p4/1p2r3/1R6/
2PB4/PP3QPP/5R1K b - - 0 29"]

1...?

15 Gulko Vasiukov
Moscow Championship, 1983

[FEN "r1b1r1k1/pp3ppp/n1p2nq1/8/4P3/
1NPQ2PP/P4PB1/R1B2RK1 w - - 0 15"]

1.?

16 Dolmatov Mamedyarov
Moscow, 2002

[FEN "r2qk2r/ppp1bppp/4b3/3pP2Q/8/
2PB4/P1P2PPP/R1B1K2R w KQkq - 0 10"]

1.?

17 Mochalov Yuferov
Semifinal of the Soviet Championship, Minsk, 1972

[FEN "2r3k1/pp1q1p1p/2nbp1p1/8/
3P4/4PNP1/PQ3PBP/2R3K1 w - - 0 20"]

1.? Evaluate 20.Ng5

18 Cooper Petrosian
Olympiad, Buenos Aires, 1978

[FEN "r1b1k1r1/pp3p2/1n1p1n2/2pP2p1/
q1P1p3/2P1P1B1/P2QBNPP/R3K2R w KQq - 0 17"]

1.?

Solutions
10 Gipslis Dvoretsky
The position of both kings is cause for some concern: White has to deal with
the undermining move g6-g5; Black with the maneuver Rc1-c6+ (on a retreat
to b7 the a5-pawn is lost).
White's best practical chance is to play for a trap.
22.Rc1!

[FEN "3r4/p2qbp2/1k2p1p1/pP1pP2r/
3P1P2/P4NK1/7P/2R1Q2R b - - 0 22"]

1...?
22...Bxa3?
It was precisely because of the capture of the pawn that Aivars Gipslis
rejected 22.Rc1, and in vain!
22...g5? 23.Rc6+ Kb7 (23...Kxb5 24.Qb1+) 24.Qxa5 gf+ 25.Kf2+- with a
subsequent 26.Rhc1 is also a mistake.
22...Rc8! is necessary, not fearing 23.Rc6+?! Rxc6 24.bc Qxc6 25.Qb1+ Qb5
26.Qa2 (26.Qc2 Bxa3) 26...Qd3! with the very unpleasant threat of 27...Rh3+!
White continues either 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.Qe3 and 25.Rc1, or 23.Qe3 Rxc1 24.
Rxc1, retaining slightly better chances, but no more when necessary Black
reinforces his queenside by means of Bd8.
23.Rc6+ Kxb5 (23...Kb7 24.Qxa5+-) 24.Qe2+!
Gipslis did not notice the rook sacrifice; I might not have noticed it either if
my opponent had gone into that variation.
24...Kxc6 25.Qa6+ Kc7 26.Qxa7+! (26.Rb1 Bb4 27.Qxa7+ Kc6! 28.Qa6+

Kc7 29.Rc1+ Kb8 30.Qb6+ Ka8 31.Rc7 Qxc7 32.Qxc7 Rf8+/= is


significantly weaker) 26...Kc8 27.Qa6+ Kc7 28.Qxa5+ Kc8 29.Qa8+ Kc7 30.
Qxa3+-, and White's attack is decisive.
All the other continuations pose far fewer problems for Black.
The prophylactic 22.h4?! Rc8= is inaccurate.
The move 22.Qe3!? (preventing g6-g5 and threatening 23.Rhc1) is objectively
OK. After 22...Rc8 23.Rhc1 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Rh8 the same position arose as
with 22.Rc1! Rc8!, but here there was nowhere for me to blunder along the
way.
Now let's take a look at what happened in the game.
22.a4?! g5!? (to maintain equality 22...Rc8 is enough, but I was already
thinking of more) 23.Rc1 (in the case of 23.fg Bxg5 the over-optimistic 24.
Kg4? is easily refuted by 24...f5+! or 24...Rg8! 25.Kxh5 f5 with unavoidable
mate) 23...gf+ 24.Kxf4 (24.Kf2!?) 24...f6 25.Rc6+ Kb7

[FEN "3r4/pk1qb3/2R1pp2/pP1pP2r/
P2P1K2/5N2/7P/4Q2R w - - 0 26"]

1.?
It is not easy to hit upon 26.Qxa5! fe+ 27.Ke3! (27.Nxe5? Rf8+ 28.Ke3 Bg5+
29.Ke2 Qh7 or 27.de? Rf5+ 28.Ke3 d4+ lose) 27...ed+ 28.Ke2, but this is
precisely the way the battle should be continued.
26.ef? Rf8 27.Ke3, and now the simple 27...Bxf6 secured me a decisive
advantage.

11 Potkin Bologan
The game has hardly got out of the opening yet, and there is a position on the
board that is typical of one of the variations of the Nimzo-Indian Defense. It
seems to me that Black could have got good play now by sacrificing a pawn:
13...e5!? 14.de de 15.Nxe5 Qc7 16.Nxd7 Qxf4 17.Nxf6+ (17.Nxf8?? Ng4-+)
17...Qxf6 with sufficient compensation thanks to his two strong bishops.
Viorel Bologan made a more cunning and ambitious decision.
13...g6!?

[FEN "r2qrbk1/pb1n1p1p/1p1ppnp1/8/
N1PP1B2/P2B1N2/1P3PPP/2RQR1K1 w - - 0 14"]

It appears that Black wants to drive the bishop off the h2-b8 diagonal with
14...Nh5, and then play 15...Bg7. That is probably what Vladimir Potkin also
thought he made the natural move 14.h3? (instead of the correct 14.Nc3+/
=), on which his inventive opponent had prepared a tactical refutation.
14...e5! 15.de de 16.Nxe5 (the fork 16...e4 was threatened) 16...Nh5
A bishop retreat loses by force: 17.Bh2? Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Qg5 19.Bg3 Nxg3 20.
fg Qxg3, and so on. White finds the best defense, but it does not rid him of
serious difficulties either.
17.Bf1! Nxf4 18.Qxd7 Qxd7 19.Nxd7 Rxe1 20.Rxe1 Bc6 21.Nxf8 Bxa4

[FEN "r4Nk1/p4p1p/1p4p1/8/b1P2n2/
P6P/1P3PP1/4RBK1 w - - 0 22"]

Black is left a piece up. And although his opponent gets three pawns in return,
he is facing a rather unpleasant battle for a draw.
22.g3 Nh5 23.Nxh7! Kxh7 24.Re7 Be8!? (so that the a7-pawn is taken
without a tempo) 25.Bg2 Rd8 (25...Rc8!?) 26.Bd5
In my view 26.Rxa7 immediately would be more stubborn, to prevent the
knight from returning to f6 with a tempo, attacking the bishop. Then again,
after 26...Rd1+ 27.Kh2 Rd2 28.Re7!? Ng7 (28...Nf6 29.Bc6! is weaker) 29.b4
Rxf2 you would not envy White's position here either.
26Kg7 27.Rxa7 Nf6 28.Ra8 Rd6-+ 29.Bf3 Rd3 30.Kg2 Rxf3 31.Rxe8 Rb3
32.Re2 Nd7 33.a4 Nc5 34.a5 ba 35.Re5 Nd3 36.Rxa5 Rxb2 37.Kf3 Nxf2 38.
h4 f5 39.h5 Ng4 40.Kf4 Kh6. White resigned.

12 Kosikov Kogan
Black has prepared e6-e5-e4. By defending against the threat, White loses
time and allows his opponent to consolidate his position. For example, 16.
Nc2?! Bd6 unclear or 16.Bc2?! Rfe8 17.Rac1 Rad8 18.Bb1 Bf8 19.Qc2 g6=.
16.Rac1!

Alexei Kosikov completes his development, prepares 17.Bb1, and


simultaneously sets a crafty trap. He said this about his decision:
Apparently a very simple move, included in White's plan. I did not think about
it for long about seven minutes. But my opponent considered his reply for
about 20 minutes. He was trying to figure out if this was a blunder or a
sacrifice.
16...e5?!
16...Rfe8 is more solid with a subsequent 17...Bf8, or 16...Bd6!?
17.Nf5 e4 18.Qe3!
Here is what White was counting on: the threat of 19.Qg5 is exceptionally
unpleasant.

[FEN "r4rk1/1bqn1ppp/pp3n2/5N2/1bP1p3/
1P1BQN2/PB3PPP/2RR2K1 b - - 0 18"]

1...?
His opponent chose his response by the process of elimination. After 18...ed?
decisive is 19.Qg5 g6 20.Nh6+ Kg7 21.Rxd3 with the deadly threat of 22.
Rxd7. No better is 18...ef? 19.Qg5 g6 20.Nh6+ Kg7 21.B2, and again there
is no defense against 22.Rxd7. Finally, as Alexander Baburin pointed out, in
the case of 18...h6? the knight sacrifice 19.Nxh6+! gh 20.Qxh6 Rfe8 21.Bxe4!
Bxe4 22.Rxd7!+- is very strong.
18...Rfe8!
The only move! Black hopes to return his bishop to f8 to defend the g7square. For example, in the variation 19.Qg5 Bf8 20.Nh6+ (Black's task is
more difficult with 20.Bf1!? or 20.Bc2!?, but even here he retains decent
chances of holding the position) 20...Kh8 21.Nxf7+ Kg8 the battle ends with
perpetual check.
In the case of 19.Bb1 ef 20.Qg5 Black is not obliged to go into the worse
endgame that arises after 20...Bf8 21.Rxd7! Qxd7 22.Nxg7! Qg4! 23.Nxe8+!
Qxg5 24.Nxf6+ Qxf6 25.Bxf6 the response 20...g6!? is more promising.
19.c5!!
An ingenious blow! Cutting the bishop off from the f8-square, White
significantly increases the threat of Qg5.
19...ef!
19...h6? 20.Nxh6+ gh 21.Qxh6 ed 22.Rxd3+- or 19...ed?! 20.Qg5 g6 21.Rxd3
+/- are worse (Baburin).
20.Qg5 g6 21.Qh6!? (21.Bxf6 Nxf6 22.Qxf6 gf 23.Qg5+ Kh8 does not
promise White an advantage) 21...gf (21...Nh5? 22.g4 Qf4 23.gh Qxh6 24.
Nxh6+ Kf8 25.c6 loses) 22.Bxf5

[FEN "r3r1k1/1bqn1p1p/pp3n1Q/2P2B2/
1b6/1P3p2/PB3PPP/2RR2K1 b - - 0 22"]

1...?
White has a multitude of threats: 23.Rxd7; 23.Bxd7; 23.Bxh7+. But still, as
Baburin demonstrated, the outcome of the battle remained unclear if Black
had found the beautiful defense 22...Re5!! 23.Rxd7 Rae8! After 24.gf there is
no point in him going into the very sharp variation 24...Re1+?! 25.Rxe1 Rxe1
+ 26.Kg2 Bxf3+! 27.Kxf3 (27.Kh3 Qxh2+! 28.Kxh2 Rh1+ 29.Kg3 Rxh6
unclear) 27...Qc6+ 28.Kg3 Ne4+ 29.Bxe4 Qxh6 30.Rd8+ Qf8 31.Bxh7+!
Kxh7 32.Rxf8, which leads to a difficult ending for him. Stronger is 24...Bxf3
25.Rf1 Qxd7 26.Qg5+ (26.Bxd7 Nxd7 27.Qf4 Bc6 unclear) 26...Kf8 27.Bxe5
Rxe5 28.Qh6+ Ke8 29.Bxd7+ Nxd7 30.Qf4 Bc6 31.cb Re6 unclear.
But in the game there followed 22...Ne5? 23.Qxf6 Bxc5 24.Rd7 Qxd7 (24...
Qc6 25.Bxh7+! Kxh7 26.Rxf7+) 25.Bxd7, and Black soon resigned.

13 Ortega Fuchs
25...c6!!
An extremely strong move that secures Black a big advantage. Before playing
it, of course, he had to prove to himself that any pawn capture was refuted by
force.
26.Bxc6?!
On 26.Nxc6? there follows not 26...Nxg2? 27.Ne7! Nf4 (otherwise 28.Bxg2)
28.Rg8+ Kh6 29.Rxg6+! hg 30.Ng8+, and White wins (Yusupov), but 26...
Nh3! 27.gh Qf3+ with the opposite result.
In reply to 26.f3 (counting on 26...Nh3? 27.Nd3!) very strong are both 26...
Qg5 27.g3 Ne6! 28.Bxc6 Qe3, and 26...Qh4 (intending 27...Qf2) 27.Re4 (the
only move) 27...Qg5 28.g3 (28.Rxf4 Qxf4 29.Bxc6 Bc7 30.g3 Qc4-+) 28...
Nh3 29.Nd3 (29.Re2 a5!) 29...Qf5 30.Rf1 Ng5! 31.Bxc6 Nxe4 32.Bxe4 Qb5!
with a decisive advantage.
So what is left for White? In the case of \26.Rf1!? Qd6!-/+ it is difficult for
him to battle the threats of 27...Qd2 and 27...a5. If 26.Nd3!?, then Black has a
pleasant choice between 26...Nxd3 27.Rxd3 Qxf2 28.Rd1 Qxb2 29.Bxc6
Qxa2-/+ and the more sophisticated 26...Qd6!? 27.Ba6 Bc7! 28.Kg1 (White's
actions are strictly forced) 28...c5!? 29.Bc4 Nxg2!-/+.
Since the refutation of the move in the game is far from obvious, it is possible
(with a generous share of reservations) to claim that Black has set a trap.
Although it is more correct here to talk about a tactical basis for the "c"-pawn
sacrifice.
26...a5 27.Nd5! Qxc6 28.Rg8+! Kh6! (28...Kxg8?? 29.Ne7+) 29.Nxf4

[FEN "6R1/5p1p/1bq3pk/p7/5N2/2P5/
PP3PPP/3R3K b - - 0 29"]

1...?
And here it became clear that Reinhart Fuchs in fact had not set a trap, but had
simply not thought enough about the superb 25th move that he made,
obviously not noticing the tactical retort from his partner's side. The primitive
29...Bxf2? 30.Nh3 Bc5?! (30...Bb6) 31.Rgd8 Qe6 32.R8d5 allowed the latter
to seize the initiative and ultimately even obtain victory.
And here is how Black's brilliant tactical operation should have ended.
29...Qa4! (a double attack on the knight and the rook) 30.Rd3! (now 30...
Qxf4? only leads to a draw: 31.Rh3+ Kg5 32.Rg3+) 29...Qc2!-+
It is impossible to fend off the two threats at the same time: mate on the first
rank and 29...Qxf2. Then again, 29...Qxa2! is no less strong.

14 Khasin Tal
We looked at a couple of similar examples of the work of Mikhail Tal at the
beginning of this topic. The grandmaster deliberately allowed his opponent to
carry out a combination, having foreseen a hidden refutation of his idea ahead
of time.
To be honest, this fragment does not competely achieve the quality of an
exercise. As the play in it is not forced, both partners had an almost equal
choice, so it is hard to assess where Black's practical chances are better. But I
think it will be interesting and rather useful for you to compare your approach
with the actions of a top player.
What can we say about the position that has been created? The advantage is
indisputably with Black, who is a pawn up and controls the central e-file.
Now it makes sense for him to activate his knight, transferring it, let's say, to
c5. The move 29...Ne6 is not bad, on which his opponent would most likely
reply 30.Qc2 g6 31.a4.
But could not he play 29...Nd7 with the same goal, not blocking the e-file and
preserving the additional possibility of Nf6 (let's say, on 30.Qc2)? The
drawback of the move is that it allows 30.Rf4. It would be nice to continue
30...Nc5, but then we have to deal with an attack on f7. Let's test it...
29...Nd7!? 30.Rf4 Nc5! 31.Rxf7
Realizing that with 31.Bb1 Re1 (or 31Re2 32.Qf3 Re1) his position was
joyless, master Khasin gladly exploits a chance to solve his problem in a
tactical way.
31...Nxd3 32.Qf3

[FEN "4r1k1/4qRpp/p2p4/1p2r3/8/
2Pn1Q2/PP4PP/5R1K b - - 0 32"]

1...?
In the case of 32Qd8? 33.Qxd3 White seizes back the initiative, and after
32...Ne1 33.Rxe7 Nxf3 34.Rxe8+ Rxe8 35.gf he preserves decent drawing
chances in a rook ending. But here comes an unforeseen surprise.
32...Re1!!
In the variation 33.Rxe7 Rxf1+ 34.Qxf1 Rxe7 with a subsequent 35...Re1
Black is left a piece up, and with 33.Qxd3 Qxf7 even a rook up.
33.Qd5 Qxf7!? (33...Qe6-+) 34.Qxf7+ Kh8 35.Kg1 Rxf1+ 36.Qxf1 (36.Kxf1
Re1#) 36...Re1. White resigned.

15 Gulko Vasiukov
The e4-pawn is under attack. He'd like to defend it with a rook, but the bishop
thrust to f5 impedes that. Thinking about the position it is possible to establish
that the impediment is in vain, and then the simple move 15.Re1! turns into a
clever trap.
15.Re1! Bf5? (15...Be6 16.Ba3+/= is better) 16.ef! Rxe1+ 17.Kh2 Qg4! (but,
of course, not 17...Qh5 18.Bf3, and the queen is caught).

[FEN "r5k1/pp3ppp/n1p2n2/5P2/6q1/
1NPQ2PP/P4PBK/R1B1r3 w - - 0 18"]

1.?
After calculating this variation Boris Gulko rejected the rook move to e1. And
indeed: the queen cannot be taken, and the complications 18.Qxa6?! ba 19.hg
Nxg4+ 20.Kh3 Nxf2+ 21.Kh4 Nd3 do not unfold in his favor.
But the unexpected blow 18.Bxc6!!, freeing the g2-square for the king and
creating the threat of 19.Bxb7, allows White to get the upper hand in a tense
tactical duel. After 18...Qe2 19.Qxe2 Rxe2 20.Bxb7 Rae8 (or 20...Rd8) 21.
Bxa6 Rxf2+ 22.Kg1 he will probably make the best of his material advantage.
In the game a more modest continuation was chosen: 15.Bd2!? Be6! (15...

Nxe4? cannot be played because of 16.Bxe4! Qxe4 17.Rae1+- or 17.Rfe1+-)


16.c4! (16...Bxb3 17.ab Nc5 or 17...Nxe4 were threatened) 16Rad8.

[FEN "3rr1k1/pp3ppp/n1p1bnq1/8/2P1P3/
1N1Q2PP/P2B1PB1/R4RK1 w - - 0 17"]

1.?
Where to retreat the queen to? White rejected the natural 17.Qc2!? in
connection with 17...b5?!, and in vain as in the variation 18.Na5! Bxc4 19.
Nxc4 bc 20.Be3! Nxe4 21.Qxc4 c5 22.Rad1 he seized the initiative.
The move that was made in the game, 17.Qe2, justified itself after an
extremely poor reply by his opponent: 17...b5? 18.cb cb 19.Qxb5 Nc7 (19...
Nxe4? 20.Ba5+-) 20.Qg5 Bxb3 21.ab Nxe4 22.Qxg6 hg 23.Ba5, and the two
bishops in an open position are significantly stronger than the pair of enemy
knights. White successfully exploited his advantage.
17...Bc8 did not solve all the problems either because of 18.e5; for example,
18...Nd7 19.f4! Qxg3 20.Be1 Qg6 21.Bh4. And 17...Nxe4! led to a
complicated and unclear position after 18.Qxe4 (or 18.Ba5, but just not 18.
Bxe4? Bxh3 19.Bxg6 Rxe2-/+) 18...Qxe4 19.Bxe4 Bxc4 20.Rfe1 Bxb3 21.
Ba5.

16 Dolmatov Mamedyarov
On the board there is a position that is typical for one of the variations of
Petrov's Defense. The first moves are: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5
5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nc3 Nxe5 7.de Nxc3 8.bc Be7 9.Qh5 Be6.
White was afraid of 10...Qd7 threatening 11...Bg4, so he played 10.f4. His
opponent replied 10...g6 (not allowing 11.f5) 11.Qf3 f5 (11...Qd7!?) 12.ef
Bxf6 13.0-0 0-0 with fully-fledged counterplay. The game ended in a draw.
As Sergey Dolmatov established later, it made sense for him to set a clever
trap.
10.Rb1! Qd7 11.h3 (of course, not 11.Rxb7?? Bg4)

[FEN "r3k2r/pppqbppp/4b3/3pP2Q/8/
2PB3P/P1P2PP1/1RB1K2R b Kkq - 0 11"]

1...?

11...0-0-0?
Precisely because of castling White considered an attack on the b7-pawn
useless, and he was wrong.
12.Bb5! c6 13.Ba6!! ba 14.Qe2+Black has to part with his queen.
After the comparatively better 11...c6 12.0-0 Black still cannot castle either
side (12...0-0-0? 13.Ba6!!). Necessary is 12...g6 or 12...h6, preparing 13...0-0.
The unclear position that arises is more convenient for White to play without
a pawn on f4, blocking the diagonal for the dark-squared bishop.

17 Mochalov Yuferov
With the move 20.Ng5!? White prevents an exchange of rooks for now (20...
N7 leads to the loss of a pawn), forces his opponent to deal with the threats
of d4-d5 and Ng5-e4, and, most importantly, lures him into a tempting chacne
to get a material advantage. The question is how the long and forced (if Black
so chooses) variation will end.
20...Qe7 (a double attack: threatening both 21...Qxg5 and 21...Ba3) 21.Qb5
a6 22.Qb6 Qxg5 23.Qxb7 Rc7 24.Qb6!
24.Qa8+? Qd8! is a mistake, and White is left a piece down, while now he
wins it back.
24...Nxd4!
In the variation 24...Qb5 25.Qxb5 ab 26.Bxc6 b4+/- Black had to defend in an
endgame a pawn down for a long time.
25.Rxc7 Ne2+
25...Bxc7 26.Qxc7 Ne2+ (otherwise 27.Qc8+ and 28.Qxa6) 27.Kf1 led to a
transposition of moves.
26.Kf1 Bxc7 27.Qxc7 Qb5 28.Ke1

[FEN "6k1/2Q2p1p/p3p1p1/1q6/8/
4P1P1/P3nPBP/4K3 b - - 0 28"]

1...?
The moment of truth! After 28...Qb2? 29.Qd8+ Kg7 30.Qd2 Black resigned.
White's trap worked and brought him victory, but his opponent could have
defended better.
28...Qd3! 29.Qb8+Kg7 30.Qe5+
On 30.Bf1, there follows 30...Qc3+! 30.Kxe2 Qc4+, forcing perpetual check

or a transfer to a drawn queen endgame.


And now 30...Kf8 31.Bf1 Qc3+ 32.Qxc3 Nxc3 33.a3 (or 33.Bc4) 33...a5 leads
to an almost equal minor piece ending. 30...f6!? 31.Qc7+ Kh6 32.Bf3 (32.
Qe7? Ng1!; 32.Bf1 Qb1+ 33.Kxe2 Qb5+) 32...Qc3+ (32...Nc3 33.Qe7! is
weaker) 33.Qxc3 Nxc3= is also good.
And so, even after falling into the trap Black had not lost, it was enough for
him to find one precise move, 28...Qd3!, at the very end. So despite the
success that Evgeny Mochalov achieved, I still doubt the expedience of his
choice. In my view the strong positional move 20.Nd2! deserved preference.

[FEN "2r3k1/pp1q1p1p/2nbp1p1/8/3P4/
4P1P1/PQ1N1PBP/2R3K1 b - - 0 20"]

By retreating White maintains the pressure on his opponent's position,


achieving the same goals as after 20.Ng5 (opening up the h1-a8 diagonal,
preparing Ne4), but without putting his knight on a vulnerable square in the
process.

18 Cooper Petrosian
17.Bxd6? Nxc4 18.Bxc4 Qxc4 is unfavorable, with better chances for Black.
To secure the c4-pawn, White exchanged queens. After 17.Qd1 Qxd1+ 18.
Rxd1 (18.Kxd1!? Ke7 19.Kd2) 18...Ke7 19.h4 Bf5! 20.0-0 Nbd7!, an
approximately equal ending arose.
It was not worth rushing with the exchange. 17.Nd1!? did not promise much
either, although his opponent would have had to find an accurate defense
here.

[FEN "r1b1k1r1/pp3p2/1n1p1n2/2pP2p1/
q1P1p3/2P1P1B1/P2QB1PP/R2NK2R b KQq - 0 17"]

1...?
17...Nxc4? is a mistake because of 18.Nb2! Nxb2 19.Qxb2+/- when play
opens up the multiple weaknesses in Black's position make themselves felt.
He is not too great either in the variations 17...Bg4? 18.0-0 Bxe2 19.Nb2!
with a subsequent 20.Rxf6+/-, 17...Ke7?! 18.0-0+/-.

The problem is solved with the consolidating maneuver 17...Qd7! 18.0-0 Qe7
unclear and then Nb6-d7-e5 the white knight is very poorly positioned here.
17.0-0!
An extremely strong move that contains a clever trap: at first glance it is not
obvious why his opponent should not devour the c4-pawn.
17...Nxc4?
Black is also clearly worse with 17...Ke7?! 18.Nd1! Rg6 19.Nb2 Qa3 20.Rf2
Bd7 21.Raf1+/-. Only the subtle 17...Rg6! maintains approximate equality
after defending the knight Black renews the threat of taking on c4.
18.Qd1!! Nb6
In the case of 18...Qxd1 19.Nxd1 both black knights find themselves under
attack!

[FEN "r1b1k1r1/pp3p2/1n1p1n2/2pP2p1/
q3p3/2P1P1B1/P3BNPP/R2Q1RK1 w q - 0 19"]

1.?
19.Qb1!
Threatening 20.Bb5+, and White is simultaneously aiming at the e4-square.
19...Bd7 20.Bd1! (stronger than 20.Bxd6 Nbxd5 21.Qxb7) 20...Qc4 (20...Qa5
21.Nxe4+-) 21.Bb3 Qe2 22.Re1 and 23.Nxe4+-.

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