Peng has a very classical chess style and I recommend the readers to play over this entire game, from start to finish. It is an excellent example of how to build up and execute an attack. In the position above, Peng cashes in on her excellent preparation and soon brings down the house.
Both sides have the attack, but Black has more pieces to attack with. Besides, the White Queen can do little damage by itself, especially given that Black always has the …Bg8 resource. Play proceeded energetically:
34…Nxa3-ch! (ofcourse!) 35.PxN Qxa3 (now Black just needs one move to mate White, and in the meantime can easily weather the White attack) 36.Qh7-ch Kf8 37.Qh8-ch Bg8!
And that is the end of it! White resigned as she has no good move.
Solid play like 18… Rae8 19. b4 Bd6 seems quite reasonable at first sight but after 20. Nxd6 Nxd6 21.b5!? Rxe2 22.Qc3 Nb8 23.Qd4!? White has creepy pressure and Black’s pieces don’t seem to coordinate very well.
So Sasikiran decided to take a more aggressive approach, even though it contains new risks:
An important quality that every modern player must master is the ability to change the course of the game by drastic means. Even if such means backfire from time to time, the majority of times they will work. Much as in poker with the bluff, it is a practical decision based on who you are playing and under what circumstances.
With this last move White has little choice but to enter the complications.
19. Be5! d4!? cutting of the retreat of the Bishop 20. f3 Rae8!
The fight is quickly reaching its critical stage. Black offers an exchange in return for the initiative. White has no choice but to accept it, though he does have the option of when and how.
21. fe Rxe5
There is a key idea in the position that White did not see, either here on this move or on the next move (Qd2!; attacking the g-pawn and setting up an X-ray against the Black Queen on the d-file) and as a result White actually gets the worse of it (!), fully justifying Sasikiran’s risky play.
After 22. Qd2! h6 (22… Qd8 23. Nxe5 Rxe5 24. e3!) now taking the exchange gives White the advantage after 23. Nxe5 Rxe5 24. e3 d3 25. Rc4! and soon a piece will go to d4. However, White also has this same option on the next move!
22. Nxe5 Rxe5
Even here 23. Qd2! would likely transpose into the above note, as 23… d3?! 24. Kh1 Bxe4 25. Bxe4 Rxe4 26. Qxg5 is just too strong for White. HOWEVER, White passively accepts that he must defend and so plays a logical ‘defensive’ move , removing his King from any discovered checks
This gives Black the tempo necessary to consolidate his position and for a slight material investment (an exchange for a Bishop and Pawn) Black achieves a dominating position in the centre that is difficult for the White pieces to challenge.
23… Bxe4 (stronger than the speculative …Rxe4) 24. Bxe4 Rxe4
It is clear that something is amiss in White’s position. The pressure on the e-file combined with an opportune Qd5 (or b7, depending on circumstances), and the chronic threat of …Nb4 to d5 to e3, does not paint a rosy future for White.. So White now decides to try to counter attack on the Kingside, but it is not as effective as before. The next moves need no commentary
25. Qd2 h6 26. Rf2 Nb4 27. Rcf1 Re7
Rather than wait around for Black to come up with a good idea, White mistakenly pushes forward:
28. Rf6? Qd5-ch!
White must have forseen that 29.Kg1 would be met by 29…d3-ch!, but he probably only saw now that the intended 29. e4 would lose to 29…Qxe4-ch 30.Qg2 (the whole idea) 30…QxQ-ch 31. KxQ a6! and White will lose material because of a coming …Nd5.
29. R1f3 g4! 30. R6f5
Hoping for the natural 30…Qb7?? when 31.Qxh6! turns the tables on Black. However, Sasikiran plays this final phase with great precision
As surprising as it is crushing! If now 31. Rxd5 fe! 32. Rd8-ch Kg7 33. Qe1 Nc2 Black wins back the Queen with a huge material advantage.