GM Nikolic (2621) - GM Van Foreest

Here´s an incredible example for never giving up in chess. Jorden van Foreest is one of the youngest grandmasters in dutch history and my teammate at JSV SISSA. He managed to aim for a winning vision in a bad position and he´s a perfect example for fighting chess. You just have to believe =)

[Event "Dutch League"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "?"] [White "Nikolic, Pedrag"] [Black "Van Foreest, Jorden"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D13"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 {When my opponent played this move I wasn't too happy, as I thought my chances of winning this game wouldn't be more than 5% now :)} cxd5 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 a6 7. Be2 {This move I didn't know anymore. It however didn't take me too long to figure out that the purpose of this move was to prevent ...Bg4 which is a very normal move in most lines in this system.} Bf5 {As 7...Bg4 is out of the question this seemed natural to me. } 8. Nf3 e6 9. Qb3 Bd6 {I thought about this move for a very long time. It is a pawn sacrifice but I hoped to get enough compensation in return in the form of piece activity. However as the game shows probably it was better just to protect the pawn as I didn't get enough compensation for the missing pawn.} ( 9... Ra7 {seems a bit odd but I don't see how white can take advantage of the misplacement of the black rook.}) 10. Bxd6 (10. Qxb7 Na5 {is of course no good for white although I looked for a little bit at the following line:} 11. Qxa8 Qxa8 12. Bxd6 {it however it didn't seem to me that white would have enough compensation.}) 10... Qxd6 11. Qxb7 O-O 12. Qb3 Rfb8 $6 {Probably not the most accurate move.} (12... Nb4 13. O-O Nc2 14. Rac1 Rfb8 15. Qa4 Rb4 16. Qa5 Rxb2 { is the computer recommendation, but I was afraid my knight on c2 would get trapped.}) 13. Qa3 Nb4 14. O-O Qb6 {Till this point my opponent had blitzed out all of his move, and it was obvious that he knew his theory very well. By now white is also already clearly better as I really don't have enough compensation for my missing pawn.} 15. Ne1 {This seems somewhat passive, but it prevents ...Nc2 and I have no way of doing something with my active pieces.} Ne4 16. Nxe4 Bxe4 17. Rc1 h6 18. Qa4 a5 19. Rc5 e5 $2 {I thought about this move for quite a while and decided to try and create some counterplay as passive defence will just result to having a pawn down and gradually losing the game. Objectively this move however this move is incorrect.} (19... Qd8 { would've been the best, still keeping a little bit of compensation, and 20.a3 isn't so bad yet for black.} 20. a3 Na6 {and 21.Rxa5 would be a big mistake because of 21...Nc5.}) 20. Nf3 $2 {An unbelievably big mistake by such a great player. This allows me to get back in the game completely.} (20. a3 {is the most natural move by far as my knight has to go to a2 which is not the best square.} Na2 {and white has several ways to maintain a huge and possible winning advantage.} (20... exd4 21. Rb5 $18)) 20... exd4 21. exd4 Nd3 $1 { Possibly my opponent missed this move. My knight gets back in the game and white is forced to take it. At the same time white's pawn on a2 is attacked.} 22. Bxd3 Bxd3 23. Re1 Be4 {This is maybe slightly inaccurate as 23...Qxb2 immediately would've been perfectly possible. It does not matter much though.} (23... Qxb2 24. Rxd5 Bb5 {and black is actually the one who is better!}) 24. Qa3 {An interesting way to try and keep the pawn, but I believe that 24.Nd2 is better, just aiming for an equal position.} (24. Nd2 Qxb2 25. Nxe4 dxe4 $11) 24... Qb4 (24... Qxb2 $4 25. Rc8+ $18 {is not something you should fall for.}) 25. Qc3 Qxc3 26. bxc3 a4 $1 {This ending looks pretty good for white as he has an extra pawn, but once you see that ...a3 followed by ...Bb1 and ...Rb2 you notice that white is actually the one who has to try and equalise.} 27. Ne5 $6 {A small step in the wrong direction...} (27. a3 {would've been better, not allowing the black pawn to get to a3.} Rb3 28. Ra1 Rab8 29. h4 {and white should hold.}) 27... a3 28. Nc6 Rb2 29. Nb4 $2 {This is actually the losing mistake. During the game I thought this is the only move, but white has a way to keep his a-pawn.} (29. Ra1 $1 Bb1 30. Nb4 {this of course looks incredibly ugly, but it's not so easy for black to break through. I do believe however that black still has excellent winning chances with such a bad rook on a1.}) 29... Bb1 {White now can not protect his a-pwan and black is simply winning.} 30. Rxd5 Bxa2 31. Nxa2 Rxa2 32. Rde5 Rb2 33. Ra1 a2 34. Ree1 Rab8 {White is still a pawn up, but the black pawn on a2 is too strong. ...Rb1 is always a threat and white can never free his forces.} 35. Rf1 Kf8 36. h3 Ke7 37. c4 Kd6 {Activating the king, the rest is simple.} 38. g3 R8b4 39. c5+ Kc6 40. Kg2 Rxd4 41. Rac1 Rdb4 42. Ra1 R4b3 43. h4 h5 44. Rh1 {This move shows how helpless white is.} Rd2 45. Rhf1 Kxc5 46. Rac1+ Kd4 47. Rc7 Rb1 0-1