Sometimes there is little a player can do when facing a superior opponent.

A player facing a superior opponent is confronted with a choice: Try to play it safe and hope to survive, or go for broke and come out swinging hoping to land a knockout punch, which is a higher risk, higher reward strategy. In this game, White, to his credit, chooses the second option, but the result is disastrous. 

Ali Marandi, C. vs. Moiseenko, A1.
17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016 | Gjakova KOS | Round 10.42 | 22 May 2016 | ECO: E35 | 0-1
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8. dxc5 I commend White for bravely playing into a sharp mainline against a stronger opponent. He is not afraid of the coming complications.
8... O-O!?
8... g5 This is the old move, which I actually Prefer.
9. Bg3 Ne4  )
9. e3 Be6 This is the new trend.
10. a3 Bxc3+!
10... Bxc5 11. Rd1 And White should be better.  )
11. Qxc3 g5 12. Bg3 Ne4 13. Qc2 Nc6!? I like it. Moiseenko plays for the initiative and does not bother about winning the pawn back.
13... Nd7 This is a safer choice, and probably should be enough to equalize.  )
14. b4 f5 15. Ne2 Qf6 16. Rd1 The computer prefers White's position, but with some sacrifices to open up lines of attack to Whites king, Moiseenko quickly demonstrates how potent his position actually is.
16... f4!! The attack is coming! The pawn count is not important.
17. exf4 Bf5! 18. Qc1 Rae8 White can even take a third pawn on d5. But look at those fearsomely placed Black pieces. In practical terms, White should be close to lost
19. f3
19. Rxd5 The computer wants to take this one too, but it has now realized the gravity of White's situation
19... Qe6  )
19... Nc3 20. fxg5 hxg5 21. Rd2 d4 22. Kf2 d3! A very nice tactical blow that crushes White as his position caves in. Of course, the knight is immune to capture.
23. Bd6
23. Nxc3 Qd4#  )
23. Qxc3 Rxe2+! Wins the queen  )
23... Rf7 24. h4 gxh4! Simple and strong. Black keeps White bottled up. And he is now only down one pawn!
25. Qxc3 dxe2!
25... Rxe2+ Was simpler but the text is sexier  )
26. Qc1
26. Qxf6 e1=Q+!  )
26... e1=Q+ 27. Qxe1 Rxe1 The rest requires no comment.
28. Kxe1 h3 29. Re2 Qc3+ 30. Kf2 Bd7 31. Re3 Qd4 32. Be2 hxg2 33. Rd1 Rg7 34. Bh2 g1=Q+ 35. Rxg1 Rxg1 36. Bxg1 Qh4+ 37. Kg2 Bh3+ 38. Kh1 Bf1+


Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 7 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.