Combinations spell excitement on the board at the finish

Combinations spell excitement on the board at the finish

A victory garners only one point whether it is achieved with a positional grind or with fireworks but fetches more than a smile when it is a result of an explosive combination.
In the game which follows, Black blunders and the position is rife with numerous sacrificial combinations possible for White to wrap up the game with a flourish. White however misses an easier and faster route to victory but the ending is combinative nevertheless.

White: Svetozar Gligoric – Black: Gudbjartur Gudmundsson
Amsterdam,1950 Petroff Defence
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6
The Petroff Defence
3.d4 Nxe4
If 3...exd4 4.e5 Ne4 5.Qxd4 d5 6.exd6 Nxd6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Qf4 Be7 9.Nc3 with a more or less balanced position
4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Be7
If 5...Bd6 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qh4 8.0–0 0–0
6.0–0 0–0
Quick castling by both
7.c4 Nf6
If 7...c6 8.Nc3
8.Nc3 Nbd7
If 8...dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nc6 10.Be3
9.Bg5 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Bb3 Nfd5
Black is keen on a few exchanges. If 11...Be6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Qg4 Qe7 15.Rae1 Rad8
12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Qf3. Interesting move!
13. .. Be6

Virtually forcing another exchange
14.Bxe6 fxe6 15.Qxb7 Qxd4 16.Qxc7
Black has lost a pawn
16. ..Ned5 17.Qd6 Rf6 18.Rad1 Qh4
Swinging to the queen side
19.Nxd5 exd5
If 19...Nxd5 20.Rxd5 exd5 21.Qxd5+ with White in the driver’s seat
Invading the seventh rank
20. ..Qh5 21.Nd3 Raf8
Even 21..Rh6 does not work for Black. If 21...Rf7 22.Qe6
White can also have a good position after 22.Qxa7 Rg6. White however decides to play safe and invites the exchange of queens
Black cannot afford the exchange and instead tries to build up some threats. He can also look at the possibility  23... Rg6
23.h3 Qa4

Once again swinging to the queen side
24.a3 Re8 25.Qc7 Rc8 26.Qe7
If 26.Qb7 Rf7 and Black bounces back into the game
26...Re8 27.Qb4
With an extra pawn and a good position, White is interested in swapping queens
27. ..Qc2 28.Qd2 Qb3 29.Nc5 Qb5 30.Qd4 Re2 31.b4 a5 32.Rd3 axb4 33.Rg3 Rf7 34.axb4 Qc4 35.Qd1 Rc2 36.Rg4 Qa2 37.Qd4 Rd2 38.Qe3 Nc4
A blunder! This move does appear tempting but quickly ruins everything for Black. He could have tried 38...Re2

Diagram 1
Diagram 1
White could have wrapped up the game faster with  39.Rxg7+ Kxg7 40.Qg5+ Kh8 41.Qd8+ Kg7 42.Ne6+ Kg6 43.Qg5 checkmate.
And if 39...Kh8 39... Kf8 40.Rg8+ Kxg8 41.Qg5+ Rg7 (41...Kh8 42.Qd8+ Kg7 43.Ne6+ Kg6 44.Qg5 checkmate) 42.Qd8+ Kf7 43.Qd7+ Kg6. This is a position where the beginners can try out the various checkmate which are possible in different variations
39...Rf8 40.Qe6
If 40.Rxg7+ Kxg7 41.Qe7+ Rf7 (41...Kg6 42.Qxf8 and if 41...Kg8 42.Ne6 Rf7 43.Qe8+ Rf8 44.Qxf8 checkmate) 42.Ne6+ Kg8 (42...Kh8 43.Qd8+ Rf8 44.Qxf8 checkmate.) 42...Kg6 43.Qg5 checkmate. And if 42...Kh6 43.Qg5 checkmate) 43.Qd8+ Rf8 44.Qxf8 checkmate]
40...Kh8 41.Qe7 Rg8 and Black resigned as 42.Ne6 Qb2 43.Ng5! Ra8 (43...h6 44.Rh4 Qf6 45.Rxh6+ Qxh6 46.Nf7+ Kh7 47.Nxh6 Kxh6 48.Re1) 44.Nf7+ Kg8 45.Qe6 and he cannot escape the loss.

Diagram 2
Diagram 2
Black to play and win
1.  ..Rxa4  2.Rxa4 Rc1+  3.Bf1 Bh3 and Black wins
And if . 2.Rd1 Rxd4  3.Ra1 Rd2 and Black should win.

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