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GM Gserper's excellent article inspired my attacking ideas in this game.
What would have been black's best defense against the h-file pawn launch? I frequently face similar flank attacks, and the main reason I have survived most of them is because of poor preparation of the attack on my opponent's part. Surely h-bombs aren't unstoppable...?
Taking the bishop with the e-pawn and pushing h5?
Pardon my confusion, but I'm not quite sure what you meant. Would you mind rephrasing or elaborating for my muddled mind?
Black made a major blunder letting the h pawn go. 9...Bg7 looks to be able to create a pretty solid defencive formation, which strikes me as the best responce. Though black still needs to be careful defending.
Interesting idea. If 7. ...exf6, however, perhaps white could abandon flank attack plans and simply play 8. O-O, thus enjoying the advantage of having two center pawns, an idea center, as well as a lead in development.
7... exf6 actually looks to be a very strong move. However, I think it only works if it is followed up with 8... f5, after which white loses the pawn center and both black bishops have activity.
After a very quick glance i doubt white has much in the last diagram after something like Re8 followed by f6; if anything black is somewhat better with his bishop pair. ...Bxf6 looks also 100% playable as long as black remembers he has an hanging pawn (and king :)) on h6 and retreats to g7.
My personal impression is that white has no perticular reason to take on f6 at move 7; i would rather retreat with 7.Be3 or 7.Bf4, claiming h6 as a newborn weakness which can be targeted with 8.Qd2. A chess proverb says that "you can't mate the king as long as the fianchetto bishop is alive", obviously it's not always true, but as a rule of thumb if you plan an attack against a fianchetto you should first of all think about a way to kill the bishop; After 7.Bxf6 the main canditate for an exchange with the Bg7 is gone, and white's attack doesn't look tremendously danggerous to me.
Nachtwulf: Advancing the pawn doesn't work particularly well. 10 DxE5 gives black a material advantage. The E5 pawn is a target that white cannot adequately defend. 10... Nc6 and the pawn will fall.
On the other hand, 9 Nxe5 C5 and black, again, is doing excellently.
Sweet. Thanks for all the advice and quick feedback.
On a sidenote, talking about attacking motifs along the H file, the Greek Gift Exchange Sacrifice is a must know. Earlier today, I won a game in that fashion. 5/0 time controls.
The dear old greek gift never fails to impress! simple but very nice to see, well done :)