(3) Kosteniuk,Alexandra (2490) - Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2657) [D94]
Grandmaster tournament, group B, cat 13 Wijk aan Zee (Holland) (3), 17.01.2005
[Kosteniuk Alexandra]

This game is one of my disappointments in Wijk. Having a very good position and pressing very hard I didn't find winning continuations, made some inaccuracies, found myself in zeitnot and lost after a blunder in an already difficult position

Shakhriyar was shocked when he saw this first move. After the game he told he had prepared for 1. e4 and 1. d4 but didn't expect 1. Nf3 at all.

1...Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.d4 d5 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7
After some thinking Mamedyarov chose the opening he has never played before.

6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 a6
Already not a common move. Mamedyarov was not at all familiar with this kind of positions. Normally Black plays [7...Bg4 ]

8.a4 a5 9.Ne5
[9.Qb3 is also possible]

[9...Na6 was much better]

10.f4 Na6 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.e4 Nb6 13.b3!
not letting Black occupy the c4-square

After the game Mamedyarov was very unhappy about this move. Indeed it makes Black's position more difficult. Black needed to try to place their pieces on better squares. For example [13...Nb4 seems to be a logical move.]

Simply and strong. First I wanted to play [14.Bxa6?! Rxa6 15.Ba3 Qd8 16.f5? Bxb3 ]

is very commital move. After which my knight gets the perfect outpost on the e5-square. Maybe it was still better to try to get the a6-knight into the game, although Black's positon is very difficult to play especially to such a tactician player as Mamedyarov. So Shahriayr chose a very difficult and possibly losing continuation in order to complicate the game [14...Rad8? 15.d5! cxd5 16.Nb5 ]

15.Rc1 fxe4 16.Nxe4 Qb4 17.Ng5
As my coach said after the game: "In such kinds of positions there is no need for White to look after complications and to sacrifice material. It's only needed to find moves that, on the contrary, will give some material gains". [17.Bxa6! I was so fascinated in calculating the move that I played in the game that I even didn't notice this move, that in fact would lead me to win a pawn. 17...Bxe5 (17...bxa6 some interesting complicatons could be seen after this move 18.Nc5 (18.Nxc6 is also possible but not so strong 18...Qxb3 19.Qxb3 Bxb3 20.Rb1 (20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Rc7 Nc4 22.Bf2 Rxf4 with some counterchances) 20...Bc2 21.Nxe7+ Kf7 22.Rxb6 Bxe4 23.Nc6 ) 18...Nd5 19.Nxc6 Qb6 20.Nxe6 Nxe3 21.Qf3 Nxf1 22.Kxf1 Kh8 (22...Rfe8 23.Nxe7+! Kh8 24.Rc6! Qb8 (24...Qb7 25.Nxg6+ hxg6 26.Qh3+ Kg8 27.Rc7 Rab8 28.Rxb7 Rxb7 29.Qg4 Rbe7 30.d5 and with such a strong knight 2 rooks are helpless) 25.Rc7 ) 23.Nxf8 Rxf8 24.d5 white's better) 18.Bxb7 Nd5 19.Bf2 Qxb7 20.fxe5 White's better]

17...Bxb3 18.Qd3 Bxe5
[After 18...Qxa4 19.Nxh7 Kxh7 20.Nxg6 White's attack is very strong and it's impossible to defend such a position during a normal practical game. I give below some exciting variations that might be interesting to you. (20.Qxg6+ Kg8 21.Ng4 (21.Bd3 Rf6 22.Qh7+ Kf8 23.d5 cxd5 24.Bxb6 Rxb6 25.Qf5+ Rf6 26.Rc8+ Rxc8 27.Qxc8+ Qe8 28.Nd7+ Kf7 29.Ne5+= ) 21...Rf6 (21...Nd5 22.Nh6+ Kh8 23.Bd3 Nf6 24.Rf3 winning) 22.Nxf6+ exf6 23.f5 with attack) 20...Rf7 (20...Rf6? 21.Nxe7+ Kh8 22.Rf3 Qa3 (22...Rh6 23.f5 Nb4 24.Qe4 Bd5 25.Nxd5 cxd5 26.Qg4 Rh7 27.f6 winning; 22...Nb4 23.Rh3+ Bh6 24.Qe4 Re6 25.Qf5 Rxe7 26.Qf6+ winning) 23.Qe4 (23.Rh3+ Rh6 24.Rxh6+ Bxh6 25.Rc5 (25.Qe4 Nd7 (25...Qd6 26.Bd3 Bg8 27.Nxg8 Kxg8 28.d5 ) 26.d5 Bxd5 27.Nxd5 cxd5 28.Qe6 Bg7 ) 25...Qa1+ 26.Bf1 Nxc5 27.dxc5 Bg7 ) 23...Rh6 24.f5 ) 21.Ne5+ Kg8 22.Rf3 Bxe5 (22...Nb4 23.Qg6 Na2 (23...Rf6 24.Qg5 Rh6 25.Rg3 Rh7 26.Qxe7 with a decisive attack) 24.Rc5 (24.Ra1 Qb4 25.Rg3 Qd6 ) 24...Nb4 25.Rg3 Raf8 26.Ng4 winning) 23.fxe5 Nb4 24.Rg3+ Rg7 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Qf5 Bc2 27.Qe6 Kh8 28.Rf1 Qb3 29.Qh6+ Bh7 30.e6 N6d5 31.Rf8+ Rxf8 32.Qxf8+ Bg8 33.Qh6+= ]

19.fxe5 Rxf1+
[19...Qxa4 20.Qe4 Bd5 21.Qh4 h5 22.Bxh5 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 gxh5 24.Nf7 Bxf7 25.Qg5+ winning]

20.Rxf1 Qc4
[20...Bc4 21.Qe4 Bxe2 22.Qf4 that's was the variation that I in excitement saw before my 17th move 22...Qb3 23.e6 winning]

[21.Rb1! was the easiest way to assure myself that I won't lose and just get into a better endgame where only White has chances to win 21...Qxd3 22.Bxd3 Bc4 23.Rxb6 Bxd3 24.Rxb7 Nb4 25.Ne6 ]

[21...Qb4 22.Bd1 ]

[22.Bd1 Qa2 (22...Nc4? 23.Bxc2 Nxd2 24.Bxb3+ Nxb3 25.Rb1+- ) 23.Bxb3+ Qxb3 24.Qf2 Nd7 25.Qf7+ (25.e6 Nf6 26.Bf4 Rf8 27.Bd6 exd6 28.Kh1 Qd5 29.e7 Qxg5 30.exf8Q+ Kxf8 31.h4 ) 25...Qxf7 26.Rxf7 Nb6 27.Rxh7 Nd5 28.Bd2 Nac7 29.Rh6 Kg7 30.Rh7+= ]

22...Rf8 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.Nxh7+ Ke8
My position is still better but I was already in a strong zeitnot and very upset because as soon as I played 22. Qe1 I saw the variation after 22. ... Nc4 where I was able to win a piece, I lost concentration and paid for this loss

[The most clever solution might have been 25.Ng5 with the idea to bring my knight back into play]

25...Qe4 26.Bg5?!
I decided to give away a pawn in order to get some initiative for it, but after some inaccuracies the initiative disappeared and my opponent ended up with an extra pawn. But my position is already veryprecarious [26.Qf8+ Kd7 27.Qf2 Bc4 28.e6+ Kc7 29.Bxc4 (29.Qf4+ Qxf4 30.Bxf4+ Kd8 31.Bxc4 Nxc4 32.Nf8 b5 33.axb5 cxb5 34.Nxg6 b4 35.h4 b3 36.Bc1 a4 37.Ne5 Nxe5 38.dxe5 Nc5 Black is winning) 29...Nxc4 30.Qf4+ Qxf4 31.Bxf4+ Kd8 32.Nf8 b5 Black is first; 26.Bf2 Maybe I should have played like this, firmly and carefully. With the idea to play Ng5 after. Black still has some problems with the unstable position of his king]

26...Qxd4+ 27.Kh1 Nd7 28.Bd3 Nac5 29.Bxg6+ Kd8 30.Qe1 b6 31.h4
All my problems came after I placed my knight on h7 and even here my last chance was to try to get the knight back into the game even for the price of a second pawn [31.Be3 Qxe5 32.Ng5 here at least I have some counterchances connecting with my h-pawn. For example, 32...Nxa4 33.h4 Nac5 34.h5 a4 35.h6 a3 36.Nf3 and position is already unclear]

31...Bd5 32.e6 Nxe6 33.Be3??
[33.Bf5 Nxg5 34.Nxg5 still was better but Black of course is much better here]

33...Qg4 0-1