(1) Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter - Radjabov,Teimour [B76]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM, 24.06.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5

This nice idea of a temporary piece sacrifice was discovered in 1993 by the Ukrainian Leonid Milov and it became very popular after that. For the moment White is a piece down, but Black is not able to take advantage of it and will have to return the knight.

11...Nf5 12.exf6 exf6
[In the more frequently played variation 12...Bxf6 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Qxd5 Nxe3 15.Qd2 Nxd1 16.Qxd1 basically only White can play for a win. The move made by Radjabov is less studied by the theory.]

Nisipeanu chooses the most principled continuation. [The main alternative is 13.Nxd5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Be6 ; 13.Qxd5 Qxd5 14.Nxd5 Nxe3 15.Nxe3 f5= ]

[No time for 13...Re8 because pawn d5 is hanging.]

14.Bxf8 Qxf8
Such exchange sacrifice is rather typical for Dragon, where the white dark-squared bishop is a very important piece.

15.Nb5 Ne3 16.Re1 f5

A very interesting novelty! The idea of the Romanian GM is to force soon his opponent to exchange the powerful knight. [In case of 17.Nxd4 f4 Black's strong minor pieces secure sufficient compensation for the exchange. Here is an example from practice: 18.g3 Qd8 19.Nb3 (19.c3 loses due to 19...Bxd4 followed by a check with the bishop on f5.) 19...Qf6 20.Qc1 Bf5 21.Bd3 Rc8 (Stronger is 21...Bxd3! 22.cxd3 Qf5 with a great play for Black) 22.Bxf5 Qxf5 23.Re2 a5 24.Rhe1 a4 25.gxf4 axb3 and in this unclear position a draw was agreed in Akshayraj,K (2400)-Ganguly,S (2603)/Mangalore 2008.]

The only move, otherwise Black is in trouble.

18.c3 Nxf1 19.Re8+
[19.Rhxf1?? Qxb5 ]

19...Bf8 20.Qxd4 Qxb5 21.Qd8 Nd2+ 22.Kc2
[22.Qxd2?? Qxe8 ; 22.Ka1? Qc5 23.Qxd2 b6 ]

[22...Qc5 doesn't work in view of 23.b4 ]

[23.Kxd2 looks very risky, although after 23...Qxf4+ 24.Kd1! Qh6 25.Rhe1! f4 26.R1e2! White defends against immediate threats.]

23...Qxe8 24.Qxe8 Ne4!

After more or less forced sequence of moves the players came to a very sharp position. Often the three pieces are stronger than the queen, but here Black has problems to complete development and therefore Radjabov's position looks dangerous. But if Black would succeed to play b6 and Bb7, he will have the advantage, that's why next few moves are actually forced as well.

Threatening 26.Rd8.

25...Nf6 26.Qe5 Nd7! 27.Qe8
If the queen goes elsewhere, Black would consolidate with Nc5-e6.

27...Nf6 28.Qd8 Ne4

The only attempt to play for a win. [29.Qe8 leads to a draw by repetition.]

29...Bxd7 30.Qxa8 Bc6 31.Qxa7 Nc5!
In the post-mortem analysis the players came to the conclusion that this move is very strong. Nisipeanu realized after it that White should better settle for a draw before Black creates counterplay.

32.g3 Nd3+ 33.Kb1
[After 33.Kc2 Black plays 33...Be4 anyway]

33...Be4 34.Ka1 Bc5 35.Qb8+ Kg7 36.Qd8 Bg1 37.h4 h5 38.a4 Bf2 39.a5 Bxg3
[In case of 39...Nc5 with the idea to put it on e6, after which Black can try to play for more than a draw, White can continue 40.Qb6 and Black will have nothing better than repetition anyway.]

[Black cannot escape perpetual check: 40.Qd4+ Kh7 41.Qd7 Kg7 42.Qd4+ Kf8 43.Qd8+ ] 1/2-1/2