Often, the key to success is being able to navigate the tactics when a game becomes complicated. In the following game, White fails to do so and loses from a perfectly good position.

Arkadij Naiditsch and David Baramidze are both former German prodigies. Naiditsch, 31, who now plays for Azerbaijan, has had a better career so far than Baramidze, 28, with a peak rating of well over 2700 and a number of important tournament victories to his name. In the following game, which was played in the elite German Bundesliga, Naiditsch beats Baramidze after he creates complications and Baramidze is not able to keep up. 

Baramidze, D. vs. Naiditsch, A.
Bundesliga 2016-17 | Hockenheim GER | Round 5.3 | 03 Dec 2016 | ECO: B33 | 0-1
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 I never had the highest opinion of this move, thinking it is mainly an attempt to get lower-rated players out of their comfort zone. But Naiditsch clearly thinks differently.
5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Qe2
7. a3 I always liked this move as it prevents Black's main positional idea.  )
7... Bb4 8. Bd2 a5!?
8... O-O This looks far more natural to me.
9. a3 Bxc3 10. Bxc3 e5 11. O-O-O Qc7 Maybe White is better, maybe he isn't. It certainly is not clear.  )
9. a3
9. e5!? This move looks good to me.
9... Bxc3 10. bxc3 Nd5 11. c4  )
9... Bxc3 10. Bxc3 e5 11. O-O-O O-O 12. Kb1 Rd8! White will have trouble stopping d5.
13. f3 a4
13... d6 This move is probably fine, too. Black can follow up with Be6 when he will have active pieces and an easy position to play.  )
14. Nc1 d5 15. Qb5! Qc7 Black sacrifices a pawn for some activity, but it's not really enough.
15... Qxb5 16. Bxb5 d4 17. Be1 With White threatening Nd3, Bg3, and c3, the position is unpleasant for Black.  )
16. exd5 Bf5 17. Bc4 Nd4
17... Na7 18. Qb4  )
18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Rxd4 Ra5 20. Qb4?
20. d6! This was a really strong move.
20... Rxd6 21. Qxa5! The point of White's earlier play.
21... Qxa5 22. Rxd6 Bxc2+ 23. Kxc2 Qc7 24. Rd4 b5 25. Rhd1 White's rooks are very strong. He has a big edge and should win.  )
20... Raxd5! 21. Rxd5 Nxd5 22. Qxa4 Nb6! This does not win a piece after
23. Qa5 But Black has a nice shot:
23... Bxc2+! 24. Kxc2
24. Ka1 Ra8 And now Black really does win a piece.  )
24... Rd5! The point. Black is able to take on c4 with the knight, bringing more pieces into the attack.
25. Re1?
25. Qe1! Qxc4+ 26. Kb1 White is still better because he is up a pawn, though the activity of Black's offers some compensation.  )
25... h5 26. Re8+ Kh7 27. Qe1?
27. Qc3 White needed to play this move, and then after
27... Nxc4 28. Kb1 White would be fine.  )
27... Nxc4 28. Kb1 Nd2+! 29. Ka1 Qc2! And the threat of Qb1 mate brings the game to a quick end.
30. Ne2 Nb3+ 31. Ka2 Rd1!


Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 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 was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.