Erdai-Levin, 1992 National Chess Congress

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. a4 a6 8. Na3 Be6

8...Be7 is more accurate, to meet 9. Bg5 (intending to exchange Black's knight in order to gain hold of the d5-square) by 9...Nxe4! 10. Nxe4 (10. Bxe7 Nxc3 wins a pawn) 10...Bxg5 11. Nxd6+ Ke7 with equality.

9. Bc4 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Be3 Rc8 12. Qe2

12...Nd4! 13. Qd3

13. Bxd4 would have been met by 13...Bxc4 14. Nxc4 exd4 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. exd5 Rc5 17. Qd3! Bf6! (17...Rxd5 18. Ne3! would win the d4-pawn) and White's d-pawn is in jeopardy.

13...d5! 14. Nxd5

14. exd5? Bf5 wins a piece after ...Bxa3 and ...Rxc4.

14...Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. exd5 Qxd5

Black's control of the c- and d-files, and White's poorly placed knight, give Black a great advantage. A key tactical point is that 17. c3 loses the queen to 17...Nf3+.

17. Kh1 Rfd8 18. Rfd1 Qc6 19. h3

Black could now have won a pawn in several ways, but none of them really satisfied me:

A. 19...Bxa3 20. Rxa3 Qxc2 (20...Nxc2? 21. Qxd8+) gains a pawn but solves White's problem of that dreadful knight.
B. 19...Nxc2 20. Qxc2 Qxc2 21. Rxd8+ Bxd8 22. Nxc2 Rxc2 23. Rd1 and again White can still struggle.
C. 19...Qxa4 20. Qe4 hits two pawns.

I felt the best course was to cash in only after building up the pressure as much as possible.


Kind of a waiting move, but also threatening to win at least the exchange by 20...Bxa3 and 21...Nxc2.

20. Rac1 g6!

Finally I conceive an effective plan: Exchange several pairs of pieces in order to reduce White's ability to control all of the entry points into his position.

21. Nb1 Nf5 22. Qe2 Rxd1+ 23. Qxd1 Nxe3 24. fxe3

Now White has been saddled with an isolated e-pawn.

24...Qc6 25. Nc3 Rd8

Essential to prevent 26. Nd5 and 27. e4.

26. Qe2 Qb6 27. b3 Qc6 28. Nd1 Bg5

Black's relentless probing of his opponent's weaknesses has left the White pieces in disarray. 29. Nf2 would be met by 29...Qc3 30. Rd1! (hoping for 30...Rxd1+ 31. Nxd1) 30...Rc8! winning a pawn.

29. c4 Qb6!

Back again.

30. Rc3 e4! 31. Qc2 Bf6 32. c5 Qb4 33. Kg1 Rxd1+! 34. Qxd1 Qxc3 and White soon resigned.