I want to share with you my last game from Czech Open 2013 against Viktor Laznicka. Before the last round we were in totally different psychological states. I had 6.5 out of 8 winning 5 last games in a row and my opponent won his first 4 games and then played all the draws. So I was more than sure that he would play for a win, because 6.5 points do not promise much in this huge open. On the other hand I wouldn't mind against a draw though to be honest I wanted to take revenge for my loss against Viktor in European Championship, where he had beaten me quite badly with black.
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Grandmaster lost decisive game in 19 moves! What happened? Read here about plans of play with isolated pawn, psychology of decisive game, review of the tournament in Dresden in analysis game by Oleksienko.
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Being Mykhailo's coach for many years, I noticed that the tougher the situation is, the better he plays. Having black pieces against talented attacking player with 2670 ELO is not a picnic. Moreover, their head-to-head score was 0-4 prior to the game. I strongly recommend to go over Mykhailo's sincere and objective comments where he shed light on few nuances of psychological battle over the chessboard.
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Resistance of elite players is really high. It's really hard to force them to resign. Winning as Black over 2700+ player is harder task than notorious "pulling hippopotamus out of the marsh. The more pleasant is that Mikhailo Oleksienko got out of his eminent opponent's preparation swamp with honor. And after in the complicated play even managed to beat the participant of Linares 2010 Vugar Gashimov.
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Mikhailo Oleksienko never plays boring chess. And in this case, the opening also provoked him - Benoni defence. As a result there appeared this nice game. I also want to draw your attention at the final combination. Even the strongest computer cannot spot it. This is amazing, since calculation of variations is undoubted basic strength of our silicon friends. So we may be happy that a strong grandmaster can not only overplay computer but also overcalculate it!
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One of the best Russian chess commentators Maksim Notkin wrote: “In game Oleksienko-Grandelius, Ukrainian grandmaster, having got advantage in interesting positional game, chose a fabulous way of its realization”. Forcing line with exchange sacrifice led to a position where White had also to sacrifice one more piece to rescue himself from mate, as a result game arrived to endgame, where extra rook wasn’t able to stop white pawns from promoting”. The only thing I can add to this is thanks to Mikhaylo Oleksienko for his detailed comments which clarify what actually happened in this thriller-game.
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