DDT3000 – pirulo, 2010, ICC, 3 minutes per game
This is a typical IQP position, with one pair of minor pieces gone off the board, but White (myself) still having enough resources for the attack. Books have been written about this structure, Winning Pawn Structures by Baburin being my favourite one. Black has pressure on b2, and White does not want to play b2-b4 as that would weaken the c3 square. Running down to the last minute on the clock, I realized that my main idea is to exploit the pressure on the a2-g8 diagonal, and that this was as good moment as it would ever be. So …
23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Nxe6! A typical idea, all of White’s pieces have lined up for this sacrifice, so if it does not work now, it is not likely to work later either. I already once blogged about a similar sacrifice on e6, where the placement of the White pieces was quite alike.
24 ... fxe6 25. Rxe6 Qd8?!
Here I messed up my little ‘creation’, and according to my previous idea (from 5 seconds ago), I continued to build up the pressure on the a2-g8 diagonal with 26. Qf3? That allowed Black to escape and the game later ended in a draw. However, there was a much better and simpler idea, that would have left White up two pawns, with a winning position. What was it? Hint – White uses the fact that Qh3 may later attack Rc8.
PS. I find that these IQP structures are really hard to hold for Black without allowing White his moment glory with a d4-d5 breakthrough or piece sacrifice around the weakened kingside structure like in this example. It is quite rare to see a game (at least in my experience) where a favourable opportunity would never present itself and Black would just exploit the weakness of the d4 pawn.