Iordachescu V.
Stojanovic M.

Valjevo 2007

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bd7 Rubinstein French has reputation of ultra-solid defence and it perfectly suits IM Stojanovic, who has lost only five games in the last 4 years (including the defeat in Gorenje 2007 first round). On the other side, GM Iordachescu is dangerous attacker, and it is important not to give him any weak spots to press against. 5. Nf3 Bc6 6. Bd3 Nd7 7. O-O Ngf6 Other possibility is giving away pair of Bishops 7... Bxe4 8. Bxe4 c6 for very flexible pawn structure. 8. Ned2 Viorel is avoiding exchanges, showing clear attention to attack on the board full of pieces. 8... Be7 9. a4 Interesting attempt to disturb opponent's queenside development. The most natural plan for Black is to push c5 sometime. In order to do that, he has to move Bc6 from the path. Viorel is correctly anticipating b6 and Bb7, and is ready to play a5. 9... O-O 10. Re1 b6 11. a5 b5 11... Bb7 12. a6 is paralysing Black's queenside. 12. Qe2 Rb8 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd7 Better than 14... Nd5 15. Ne4 which is covering Bc6 diagonal. White will use e4 as transit point for his pieces moving towards Black King 15. Qg4 Nc5 Having an eye on potentially dangerous attacker - Bd3 16. Be4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Kh8 Exchanging 2nd pair of light pieces would allow Rook lift too soon. Mihajlo is rather moving his King away from possible Bh6 or Nf6. 18. Rd1 Qe8 19. Be3 a6 20. Rd3 b4 Useful move. Black wants to clear b5 square for his pieces. 21. Bd4 Rb5 But Rb5 is not the happiest solution. It was good moment to eliminate the central Knight and activate the Queenwith 21... Bxe4 22. Qxe4 Qb5 23. Rh3 h6 22. Rh3 22. Rg3! would be more precise. Idea is to make Black Rook on g8 and weaken the f7 pawn. Also, various sacrifices on h7 or h6 would be on agenda. 22... Rg8 23. Rh3 Bxe4 (23... h6 24. Nf6! Bxf6 25. exf6) 24. Qxe4 h6 25. c4 bxc3 26. Bxc3 and White has the edge thanks to Black's pawn weaknesses. 22... Qd8? Now that Rook is already on h3, Black hasn't got a second to spare. It was last moment for either Be4 and h6 or more radical 22... f5 23. exf6 Bxf6 24. Nxf6 gxf6 25. Qh4 Qe7 where White keep the control, but Black has defendable position. 23. c4 It seems incredible that gifted tactician like Iordachescu missed opportunity to launch the final attack, both now and in next move (instead of taking a draw), with 23. Nf6! Bxf6 (23... gxf6 24. exf6 Bxf6 25. Qh4!) (23... h6 24. Rxh6+ gxh6 25. Qh4 Kg7 26. Be3 Bxf6 27. Qxh6+ Kg8 28. exf6) 24. exf6 g6 and White has wonderful attacking chances. 23... bxc3 Probably Viorel needed a break after the yesterday's unpleasant defeat in the game against Michael Roiz. Mihajlo has problem of different nature - he's been constantly surounded by his fans, it is very hard for him to concentrate on chess. 1/2-1/2 [ C.]