Two really strong events are taking place in Moscow (Russia) and Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain). The Russian capital is the venue for the 2007 Tal Memorial (http://www.russiachess.org/), the Spanish town hosts the "Chess Champions League - Playing for a better world" (http://www.ajedrez-hotelakua.com/), a tournament that aims to get funds to build up or send equipment to a Hospital in Mbuji-Mayi, one of the poorest regions in Congo. Vladimir Kramnik plays the first, Veselin Topalov the latter: as usual, after their match in Elista last year and the so called "Toilet-gate", the two superGMs are happy if they do not have to play each other. Only one exception this year: the Wijk aan Zee supertourney last January. And next year? They are both awaited to play in Wijk aan Zee, again, but the first Fide Grand Prix will probably force them to meet more times. We'll see... Meanwhile, Kramnik shares the lead in Moscow with Mamedyarov and Carlsen after round 3 (they are all on 2 points); Topalov is placed second on 5/8 in Spain with two rounds to go: he will play Ponomariov, who leads the field on 5.5, right tomorrow.
And now let's come to the title of this post. In the past days I played some blitz (3 mins) games on Playchess server. On November 5, I found what I thought to be a really brilliant combination against a 14 years old boy from Uzbekistan. I hoped it could be remembered as "My immortal blitz game", but I was worng: I almost wasted a totally won position because of my craving for playing brilliant moves. So, here is the "pearl"...
Mione, D. (2254) - R. R. (2120) [C55], Playchess.com, 5.11.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.0–0 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.d4 exd4
6...Bb6 is more accurate.
7.cxd4 Bb6 8.h3 h6 9.Re1 0–0 10.Nc3 a6 11.Bf4
Now White has more space to manoeuvre his pieces.
A new move, and definitely not a good one, if the idea is Ne7-g6. 11...Ba5 is the main line here.
A losing move. 12...Be6 was the correct way to prepare Ne7-g6.
13...Be6 , again, had to be played.
14...d5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Ng5! Qxg5 17.Qxg5 Ndf4 18.Rad1 was simply decisive in White's favor.
15.e5 was probably even stronger: after 15...Nh7 16.Nd5 (intending Nf6+ and Black is hopeless) 16...Ng6 17.Nxb6 cxb6 18.Qxg6+ Kh8 19.Bxf7+- White wins easily.
15...Nh7 was a bit better, although after 16.Nh4 Qg5 17.Rg3 Qxg3 18.fxg3 Bxd4+ 19.Kh2 Bg7 20.Qd2 White is winning anyway.
Correct, but 16.Ne5!! was even more brilliant.
Awful! I thought the text move was brilliant, then I analyzed the position with a strong chess software... and I found that Black has an easy way to escape. 17.e5! was the best continuation: 17...dxe5 18.dxe5 Bd3 19.exf6 Qxf6 20.Qxf6 Bxe3 21.fxe3+- and White has a huge advantage.
17...Ng6 18.e5 dxe5 19.dxe5 Bxf2+?
The first mistake. After 19...Re8 has excellent winning (!) chances, e.g.: 20.Rd1 (20.Nxf7 Bxf7 (20...Bxf2+ is weaker: 21.Kh1 Bxf7 22.Rxg6+ Bxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.exf6 Qd7 25.f7 Re6 26.Qh5+ Kg7 27.Qg4+ Kxf7 28.Rf1 is unclear) 21.Rxg6+ Bxg6 22.Qxg6+ Kh8 23.exf6 Qd7–+) 20...Qe7 21.exf6 Qxf6 22.Nge4 Qg7 23.Qg5 Bd4 and White has not enough compensation for the piece.
And not 20.Kxf2 Qd4+ 21.Re3 Nxe5–+ followed by ...Neg4+.
That is the exact continuation I calculated when I played 17.Rg3??. I was lucky, because my young opponent saw it too :-) White has no more than a draw after 20...Re8 (20...Bxg3?? 21.exf6 and then mate) 21.exf6 Qxf6 22.Rf3 Qg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Rxf2=
21.Ne6+! Bxg3 22.Qg7# 1–0
The end. Nice mate, but unfortunately I can't consider this as "my immortal blitz game".