Missed opportunities and brilliant wins

Well, this time Italy failed too many penalties. After winning the 2006 World Cup soccer final just on penalties, Italy lost to France in the 2007 Mitropa Cup, missing a very good opportunity to strengthen the leadership… and lots of winning moves! We can speak about a missed opportunity for many reasons: we should not consider the fact that Caruana had a very promising position against Marzolo, couldn’t find the best defence in the critical moment and lost… but Mogranzini! Roberto had a completely won endgame against Le Roux, he then missed many strong moves and even a mate by force and, when it was time for a draw, he made the wrong move and finally lost! I guess he was short of time and I’m sure he can play better than this, even if he looks to be not at his best in this moment. Italy finally lost 2.5-1.5, but is still leading half a point over France and one point and a half over Germany, next opponent in tomorrow’s round. Official site: www.sakkversenyek.hu. Updated news on my Italian site by clicking here.
Here is Mogranzini’s game. Go to move 61…

Le Roux, JP (2447)-Mogranzini,R (2421), Szeged 12.5.2007

Well, this is not a losing move, but White can still survive. After 61...Qf3+ 62.Ke1 e3 Le Roux would have been completely lost, e.g.: 63.Rg7+ Kf6 64.Qf8+ Ke5 65.Re7+ Kd4 66.Qh8+ Kd3 and White can’t avoid mate.
62.Kg2 Qf3+ 63.Kh2 Qh5+ 64.Kg2 Ke6
64...f4 was much stronger, e.g.: 65.Qg8 Kf6 66.Qf8+ Ke5 67.Qg8 Kd4 and White is going to lose very quickly.
65.Qg8+ Kf6 66.Kf2 Rh7 was losing anyway.
65...f4 was the best move again: 66.Qg8+ Kf6 67.Qf8+ Ke5 68.Qg8 Kd4–+
66.Kh1 Qh5+ 67.Kg2 f4
At least!
68.Qg8+ Ke7
Why? 68...Kf6 was the quickest way (see note at move 65).
69.Kf2 e3+ 70.Ke1 f3 71.Qg5+ Qxg5 72.Rxg5 Ke6 was without hope anyway.
69...f3+ 70.Kg1 f2+ 71.Kg2 Qxh1+ was much quicker!
70.Kh3 Qf3+ 71.Kh2 Qf2+ 72.Kh3 Qf3+ 73.Kh2 Qf2+ 74.Kh3 Qe3+?
After 74...Rd8 75.Qh7+ Ke6! 76.Qxe4+? (76.Qg6+ Kd7 77.Qg7+ Kc6 78.Rg1 Qf3+ 79.Kh4 e3–+) 76...Kf6 White can't avoid mate!
75.Kh4 f3??
75...Rd8 76.Qg7+ Ke6 77.Qg4+ Kf7 78.Qh5+ Ke7 79.Qh7+ Ke6 was still winning for Black! After the text move White has a draw at least!
76.Kg4 Kf6 77.Qf8+ Rf7 78.Qxd6+ Kg7 79.Qe5+ Kg6??
No! After 79...Rf6 the game was drawn: 80.Rd1 Qh6 81.Rd7+ Kh8 82.Rd8+ Kg7 83.Rd7+ Kh8 and so on.
80.Qh5+ Kg7 81.Qh8+ Kg6 82.Qh5+ Kg7 83.Qh7+
Now is White who has a won position!
83...Kf6 84.Qf5+ Ke7 85.Qe5+ Kd7 86.Rd1+ Qd3
86...Kc8 87.Qe8++-
87.Rxd3+ exd3 88.Qd5+ Ke8 89.Qxd3 1–0
Black has no chance to get a draw in this position, so he resigned. What a pity!

After three draws in the third round, the 2007 Mtel Masters saw only decisive games in the fourth. Home favourite Veselin Topalov lost in only 30 moves to Shakriyar Mamedyarov, who now leads with 2.5 points out of 3. Michael Adams won with an excellent sacrificial attack against Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, to move into joint second place with Krishnan Sasikiran, who beat Gata Kamsky. Official site: http://www.mtelmasters.com. Updated news in Italian, games and on-line viewer on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link to the Mtel section: http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/mtel07.html).
And now here is our “game of the day”.

Adams,Mi (2734) - Nisipeanu,LD (2693) [C07], Sofia 12.5.2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 11.Re1 Bd7 12.Bg5 Qc5?!
Provoking White to sacrifice his bishop on "e6". A more common continuation is 12...0–0–0 13.Bb3 (13.Re3!? looks good for White, e.g.: 13...Be7 14.Rd3 Qc5 15.Be3 Qc7 16.Bxa6 bxa6 17.Rc3 Bc5 18.Qf3 Nd5 19.Rc4 a5 20.Nb3+-) 13...Qc7 14.Qf3 Bd6 15.h3 Qc5 16.Be3 Qe5 17.g3 Qe4 18.Rad1 Bc6 19.Qxe4 Bxe4 20.Bg5 Bg6 21.c3 h6 22.Bxf6 gxf6= Rozentalis-L.B. Hansen, Malmo 1993.
13.Bxf6 was played in several games, but the text move is far more dangerous for Black.
13...fxe6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Nxe6 Bxe6 16.Rxe6+ Be7
16...Kf7 17.Qd7+ Be7 (17... Kg6 18.Rae1) 18.Rae1 16...Kf7 17.Qd7+ Be7 [17...Kg6 18.Rae1 is even stronger for White (the idea is R1a3 and Rg3+)] 18.Rae1 was quite unpleasant for Black, even if White had no forced win.
Now White's attack is really powerful.
17...Qxb4 18.Rb1 Qc5 19.Rxb7 Rd8 20.Qg4 Kf8 21.Rexe7 Qxe7 22.Rxe7 Kxe7 23.g3 is good for White.
In the computer game Hiarcs-Junior, Albertslund 1999, White played the less strong 18.Qh5+ and a draw was agreed after 18...Kf8 19.Rae1 Bxb4 20.Re8+ Rxe8 21.Rxe8+ Kg7 22.Qg4+ Kh6 23.Qh4+ Kg7 24.Qg4+.
18...Qc7 19.Qh5+ Kf8 20.Rae1
Adams has a very strong attack in return for the piece.
Now 20...Bxb4 loses after 21.Re8+ Kg7 22.Qg4+ Kf7 23.Rxh8 Rxh8 24.Qxb4; 20...Bd6 after 21.Rf3.
21.Rg3 was even stronger, e.g.: 21...Rd8 22.c4 Rd7 23.Qh6+ Ke8 24.Qg7 Rf8 25.Rge3 and White has good winning chances.
21...Kf7 22.Qh5+ Kf8 23.Qh6+
23.Rg3 was better again.
23...Kf7 24.c3
Adams doesn't want to take any risk and plays a positional continuation, preserving his better chances.
24...Rhg8 25.Qxh7+ Rg7 26.Qh5+ Kf8 27.g3
27.h4 was stronger, but Adams prefers to deprive Black's pieces of their mobility first of all.
27...Qd7 28.Re6 Rg5 29.Qh8+ Kf7?!
29...Rg8 was more accurate.
30.Qh7+ Rg7 31.Qh5+ Rg6?
Another mistake: 31...Kf8 was better, even if after 32.h4 White would have had very good winning chances.
I was watching the game live and I didn't understand why Michael hasn't played 32.f4 , which leads to a forced win: 32...Bc5+ 33.bxc5 Rxe6 34.Rxe6 Qxe6 35.f5 Qe1+ 36.Kg2+- with a won endgame for White.
32...Kg7 33.Qd5 Qc7 34.Qe4 Kf7 35.c5 Qd7 36.Qf5 Kg7 37.Qe4 Kf7 38.Qf5
White repeats moves just to reach the time control...
38...Kg7 39.Qh5! 1–0
It is almost zugzwang! Now White can play Kg2 and f4 without any hurry and Black will never have good moves! That's why Nisipeanu resigned. Great play by Adams!

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