Great chess games

Mista, Aleksander(2582) – Najer, Evgeny(2641) [B90]

Najer is known as a very aggressive and fighting player. His results with White are great, but sometimes he is also just getting crushed, especially when he is Black. We will face a great attacking game by Mista, who evaluates the situation perfectly, sacrifices a rook for 2 pieces and simply mates the black king.

1.e4 c5 As for most fighting players, Najer’s main opening is the Najdorf.

2.Nf3 d63.d4 cxd44.Nxd4 Nf65.Nc3a6 6.Be3 So we are in the main line and now Black has to choose whether to play 6…e6 or 6…e5.

6…e6 When I was younger I had a discussion with one of my chess friends about whether the position after 6…e6 is still a Najdorf or a Sheveningen. I myself only played 6…e5 and always have been very stubborn in my opinion that in the Najdorf the pawn has to be placed on e5 and that the rest is Sheveningen! 🙂

7.g4!? One of the most aggressive lines. [7.f3 is the most played move here, with the idea of Qd2, g4 and 0-0-0 with many thousands of games being played here before.]

7…h6 is probably the most solid move, but it already gives White nice play. [7…e5 would lead to very forced lines. 8.Nf5 g6 (The other main line is 8…h5 9.g5 Nxe4 10.Nxg7+ Bxg7 11.Nxe4 d5 With an unclear position.) 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 Things are far from clear here, even after many years of computer analyses.]

8.Bg2 A tricky move. Usually White plays 8.h3, defending against Black’s e5 push.

8…g5?! A very typical and logical move with the idea of taking control over the dark squares, but now White sort of saved a tempo. [Black already had to go fo r8…e59. Nf5g6 Now White has quite a few moves and one of the main ones is 10.h4 gxf5 11.exf5 With a very complicated position.]

9.h4! This is exactly why g5 was a bit too early. White immedaitely launchs very dangerous play.

9…Rg8 Nothing else to do, Black needs to protect the g5 pawn.

10.hxg5 hxg5 11.Qe2 White is getting ready to castle queenside.

11…Nbd7 12.O-O-O Qc7 It is hard to blame Black for such a move. [But 12…Ne5 first would probably have been a better option.]

13.Nf3! An excellent move by Mista who tries to open the position as much as possible, using the fact that Black is still undeveloped.

13…Nxg4 14.Bxg5 Nge5 Black continues trying to keep the position on the dark squares. [Even if it looks very dangerous 14…Qc5 might have been a better try. 15.Bh4 b5 Black’s position is looking very shaky, but maybe things are still more or less OK. 16.a3 Bb7 17.Nd4 White is better, but the position is complicated.]

15.Nxe5!? Mista starts a very direct attack with a nice sacrifice, but there was actually no need for it. [The more simple 15.Rh7 would keep a big advantage and of course Black can’t play 15…Nxf3? since after 16.Qxf3 Rxg5 17.Qxf7+ Kd8 18.Bh3 White has a mating attack.]

15…Rxg5 16.f4 This was White’s idea. A sacrifice of 2 pieces for the rook and a try to overroll Black’s defence lines. 16…Rxg2 Black has to take… 17.Qxg2 dxe5

18.f5! Exactly! White is weakening Black’s pawn structure even more. Now all the white pieces will join the attack.

18…exf5 This move is losing, but it hard to find a better one… White’s attack is just too strong.

19.Nd5 Qc6 [There might be a tougher fight after 19…Qd6 but after the simple 20.Qg5 b5 21.Qxf5 White’s attack is still deadly.]

20.Rh8 b5 Too late Mr. Najer, too late…

21.Qg5 Threatening to mate on e7.

21…Qd6

22.Rxf8+! Mista is finishing the game with a nice final blow.

22…Kxf8[22…Qxf8 23.Nc7# would have been a prettier end of the game.]

23.Qd8+ Kg7 24.Rg1+ Followed by mate in a couple of moves. We saw a really great attacking game by White and another good example on how dangerous and how quickly it can be over after the smallest inaccuracy in the Sicilian! 1-0

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