(1) Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter - Radjabov,Teimour [B76]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM, 24.06.2009
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.
[In the more frequently played variation 12...Bxf6
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
[No time for 13...Re8
because pawn d5 is hanging.]
Such exchange sacrifice is rather typical for Dragon, where the white dark-squared bishop is a very important piece.
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
Black's strong minor pieces secure sufficient compensation for the exchange. Here is an example from practice: 18.g3
loses due to 19...Bxd4
followed by a check with the bishop on f5.) 19...Qf6
(Stronger is 21...Bxd3!
with a great play for Black) 22.Bxf5
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.
doesn't work in view of 23.b4
looks very risky, although after 23...Qxf4+
White defends against immediate threats.]
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.
If the queen goes elsewhere, Black would consolidate with Nc5-e6.
The only attempt to play for a win. [29.Qe8
leads to a draw by repetition.]
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.
Black plays 33...Be4
[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+