Continuing the topic of exchange sacrifice, we will consider exchange sacrifice with the idea of the destruction of the enemy’s “pawn chain.” Here one can better see the dividends, unlike in cases of ephemeral “domination.”
I remind you that pawn structure can’t change very often. As a rule, it is a long-term concept.
Dydyshko, V (2518) – Kasparov, S (2452)
BLR-ch Minsk (1), 2001
The last move, 17. Rfd1, was unsuccessful. Excessive placidity saddles the Belarusian champion with unpleasant problems. He should have been careful, for example [17.Ng5; or 17.Nh4 Rh5 18.Nf3 Rf5 = But, of course, a quick draw with white pieces in the first round is not attractive.]
17 …Rxf3! For those whose favorite is ex-world champion Tigran Petrosian, it is not difficult to dare such moves.
18. gxf3 Ne5 The c4-bishop, f3- and h3-pawns are simultaneously under pressure.
19. Be2 Bxh3 [“Houdini” suggests passing forward a queen 19… Qd7!]
20. Ra4 As we know, rooks like open files and, if actions on the 1st and 8th ranks are habitual, maneuvers like this remain in the shadow. Qd7.
21. Rd2 The game’s key moment. Black’s fine play is obvious. He has a pawn for the exchange, and the opponent’s pawn structure hints at ruin (4 pawn islands). It is important that there are no open files, which are desirable for white rooks. Take a moment to think over how you would play here.
21…Nb5? Strangely enough, this natural maneuver is a mistake. Black could have beautifully won at least a pawn with 21…Bf5. Approximate lines are 22.Qd1 (22.Ne4 Rxb2 23.Qd1 (23.Qxb2 Nxf3+ 24.Bxf3 Bxb2–+ and the a4-rook is still hanging) 23…Rxd2 24.Bxd2 (24.Qxd2 Qxa4) 24…Nb5-/=) 22…Nxf3+! 23.Bxf3 Bxc3 24.bxc3 Rb1–+]
22. Nxb5 axb5 [22…Rxb5!? 23.Qd1 (23. Bxb5? axb5 24.Rf4 with threat Ne5:f3+ 24…g5 –+) 23…c4 24. Bxc4 Nxc4 25.Rxc4 Rxa5 unclear]
23. Ra2 Rf8
24. Qe4 Bf5
25. Qh4 Ra8
26. Bh6 unclear 1/2
As you can see, the good idea has no logical end. However, the problems White has after the destruction of its “phalanx” are clear.