I played yesterday against the guy with whom I had a score 0.5:1.5, both games with White in my favorite Fantasy variation of Caro-Kann. I lost to him recently pretty equal game. So, the fact that I came a bit angry and tense (for non-chess related reason) helped me, I think. He had White, Vienna game, here it is. He went into the same variation (d3, f4) I played in simul against GM Bareev 1.5 year ago. After f4 Bareev played f5,  I got under strong attack on the kingside, couldn’t get counterplay and lost in 20+ moves. So, in this game I decided to take on f4 and just develop. Then I saw a possibility to get 2 bishops with Na5, he played a novelty – 9. exf6, a bad one. Fritz suggests that I could do better with 10… Qxf6, but I saw Bg5 with both pieces under attack and didn’t see that I can just take the bishop and then fork him.

Anyway I was feeling that I have initiative. He started to think a lot. Then after a few moves I got an idea of exchange sacrifice on e3 to get control over the white squares. I saw that I have compensation – I could get one or two pawns back + two bishops, so I did it. Fritz approved it, it was in his lines.

On move 26 he sacrificed the knight on h7. At all times I watched his threats and felt that my defense is good enough, so it was kind of unexpected. I saw his idea of Rxh7 with perpetual, then saw that after Qxd4 I take one of the “perpetual” squares under control. In his place I would resign after 28… Bxh7, having an absolutely hopeless endgame, but he continued to play.

He was also in a huge time trouble, having about 15 minutes vs 45. It was a matter of technique and with a hanging flag he resigned after 42 moves. I felt a great satisfaction with a win, not only getting revenge and breaking a “complex”, but also feeling that I played well, which I couldn’t say often recently.

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