Missed opportunity

Whilst spectating the excellent online coverage of the FIDE World Cup yesterday, my little German friend pointed out a very nice missed opportunity in the game Moiseenko – Navara:

A highly original Queen’s Indian has led to a complicated position, most untypical of the opening. White now continued with the powerful 21.Rc4! when the knight on e4 is in trouble. Play went on 21…Nxc5 22.Nxc5 d6, relying on the pin along the c-file. White then continued 23.e4 Nh6.

And now my little cyber dachshund took less than a millisecond to point out the spectacular blow 23.Be5!! 

The main point is that 23…dxc5 is prevented, and so Black must capture on e5. But after either capture, eg. 23…fxe5, there follows 24.Nd7!  The black queen and rook on b8 are both attacked, and 24…Qxc4 allows 25.N(either) x e5+, forking king and queen. Instead, Black must surrender the exchange.

Sadly, Moiseenko lacks the tactical gifts of a Sebastian Feller, so he missed this chance and ought to have gone on to lose.  However, he eventually managed half a point, when his ever-gentlemanly opponent gave him a draw in an ending with K+Q v K+R, following a dispute about an accidental touching of two pieces simultaneously!

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