My opponent this time was a long time foe and friend. I had White, so we got French, Tarrasch, he took on e4 on a 3rd move. I thought I will have a better perspectives castling queenside. Then he surprisingly played 12… Qh6 and after queens exchange I was +1. Another surprise was when he played 16… Bc6. It made his position even worse.

So I started to press positionally, but my pressure was not yielding any result. Computer recommends 27. b4. Finally I found 28. f5, it was a right idea, but I had to double the rooks and get the “f” pawn back. Computer gives a nice line – 29. Ref1 Nb6 30. Rxf5
Nd5 31. Nf4+ Kxf5 32. Nxd5+ Kg5 33. Nxe7 Rxe7 34. b4.

Computer thinks my opponent didn’t play the exact moves starting from 32… h4 and that after 35. Rxf5 I would have ~1.5 advantage. I still played Rxf5 on the next move and then on move 38 a critical moment came. 38. Rxa5 looked risky to me with inevitable losing of “h” pawn and his passed pawns on the kingside. But after 38. Rxa5 Rg2 39. Ra7 Ne5 40. Rxc7 h5 41. Nxe5 fxe5 42. Rxc6 Rxh2 43. b4 I was +2.00.

So the position became equal, but then after my 42. Ne4 and 43. Kf4 I got worse and he had a chance if he would play 43… f5!. Instead he decided to go for a rooks exchange. I quickly realized that I am fine in the knight endgame. We both played the exact moves, then he forced a draw.

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