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Td4 pinning the rook and renewing the threat of WgB mate. My main problem is that my queenside looks like an overfull wardrobe; most of my pieces are congested there. fxg6 ge7 Practically forced. Instead 1 5 . . 96! was a simpler win. liJd5! This knight jump was also part of the scenario of my game with Ree, except now it involves a sacrifice! Its main idea is to clear a path for the white queen. 16 ... gxh7! Threatening mate in one. a b e d e f g h Mter the game move, I kept fighting for a while, but without any success: 19 ...

He would have understood that I had already checked everything in detail, which could have had various consequences. He could either have become nervous or checked every move more carefully, or possibly both at the same time. dxc5 I do not know whether Vladimir intended this as a psychological trap, inviting me to keep material equality in an inferior static position with 14 . . dxc5 I could deviate with 1 5 ... d4!? a b e d e f g h To tell the truth, I planned to meet both move orders in the same way.

I achieved just a normal result (two wins and one loss - to Shirov) , but this win against Akopian gave me so much pleasure that during and after the game I kept telling myself that I would for sure include it in my book if I ever was to write one! Even though this happened quite a few years ago, I am happy to keep my inner promise and revisit the pleasant memories surrounding the game. I had first met Vladimir Akopian while he was playing at the Spring Festival in Budapest. He visited us a few times and we even had some training sessions together around 1 993.

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