1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Possibly to avoid the Albin Counter-Gambit which Mieses played quite a few times in his very long chess career.
2...Nf6 3.e3 Keeping options open. Thus White may aim for a Colle-Koltanowksi with Bd3 and c3, or a Colle-Zukertort with Bd3 and b3/Bb2. In addition, the game may head for a Slav Defence, as actually occurs, by White playing a delayed c4.
3...Bf5 As Black has not yet played e6 he takes the opportunity to readily develop the often problematic queen's bishop to an active square. However, matters are not often so straightforward in Chess. The early development of this piece means there is no guard on b7 hence White now puts pressure on this pawn with c4 and Qb3.
4.c4 c6 Reaching the positional continuation Avrukh recommends for White, involving e3 on the 4th move in the Slav, in GM Repertoire 1. On the other hand he defends Black's case in the Classical Slav (GM Repertoire 17).
5.Qb3 Not the most frequently chosen move but one that scores a reasonable 52% according to Databases and gives White a clear plan. More popular are [5.Nc3 and; 5.cxd5 each scoring around 56% for White. Also often played is; 5.Bd3 but this scores less well with 49%.]
5...Qb6 [5...Qc7 is also playable according to Avrukh.]
6.Nc3 Continuing development and adding pressure on d5. Other continuations do not trouble Black unduly. For example, [6.cxd5 Qxb3 (6...Bxb1 7.Rxb1 Qxb3 8.axb3 cxd5 is given by Varnusz in his older book on the Slav but Black is OK here too.) 7.axb3 Nxd5 8.Bd2 (8.Nc3 Nb4 9.Kd2 and Black stands well as in Salov-Bareev, Biel 1993.) 8...e6= Avrukh; 6.c5 is too early and Black is fine after 6...Qc7 7.Nc3 (or 7.Bd3 e6 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 Be7 10.Re1 Ne4 11.Qc2 Ndf6= Rivas Pastor-Ree, Hastings 1981/82.) 7...Nbd7 8.Bd2 e5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7-/+ Varnusz.; Finally 6.Nh4 Qxb3 7.axb3 Bc2 8.b4 Bxb1 9.Rxb1 dxc4 10.Bxc4 e6= according to Sakaev in "The Complete Slav" book.]
6...e6 7.c5 [Alternatively 7.Qxb6 axb6 gives Black pressure on the a-file. One example went 8.Nh4 Be4 and Black was level as in Nikolic-Beliavsky, Sarajevo 1982. Black is even better after (8...Bc2 as suggested by Sakaev.) ; 7.cxd5 Qxb3 8.axb3 Nxd5 is no problem for Black either.]
7...Qc7 8.Ne5 This seems to be the first time this interesting idea was played. Previously the quiet Bd2 or Be2 were chosen. The knight may be supported by f4, with an attacking formation in mind and this idea has been played a number of times since. Although nowadays theoretical attention seems focussed on [8.Nh4 aiming to obtain the two bishops, and; 8.Qa4 with b4 in mind.]
8...Nbd7 [An immediate effort to take advantage of the early occupation of e5 with 8...Bxc5 fails to 9.dxc5 Qxe5 10.Qxb7 winning the Ra8 or the Rh8 after Qc8+. Instead Black went down even faster with 10...0-0 11.f4 Qxc3+ 12.bxc3 Nbd7 13.Qb4 Rfb8 14.Qd4+- Saiyn-Batukhtin, Izmailov Memorial Open, Tomsk 2004.; 8...Be7 is a solid response which may be met by the equally solid 9.Be2 transposing to Brethes-Houska, FRA-ChT N1 2005. (or the more dynamic 9.f4 b6 10.cxb6 axb6 11.Bd2 0-0 12.Rc1 Nfd7 Petakov-Matovic, Stari Banovci Vidovan 2014.) ; 8...Nfd7 is another way to challenge the Ne5 when one game went 9.f4 f6 10.Nf3 e5 11.fxe5 fxe5 12.Be2 e4 13.Nh4 with advantage in Krings-Steinwachs, Germany 2011.; Instead if Black tries to remove the pressure on b7 with 8...b5 then White gets queen-side play with 9.f4 Nbd7 10.a4 Slenes-Ismailova, Rallar Open, Narvik 2007.]
9.f4 Nxe5 10.fxe5 Ne4 11.Be2 Be7 12.0-0 f6 [12...b6 is also a valid attack on White's pawn centre, and is in fact, the preferred method recommended by Avrukh for this type of pawn structure.]
13.Nxe4 Bxe4 14.exf6 gxf6 Perfectly fine but is not followed up completely correctly. [A little stronger though was 14...Bxf6 15.Bd2 0-0 when Black can dissolve the weak e6 pawn by attacking White's centre with e5. In addition, Black has not slightly weakened his king-side with the bishop re-capture in contrast to the pawn recapture.]
15.Bd3 f5 [15...Bxd3 is best when Black eliminates any play from White on the f-file, whilst keeping the centre closed by controling e4, following 16.Qxd3 f5 ]
16.Bxe4 fxe4 17.Bd2 h5 This seems best in what is a surprisingly tricky position for Black. The move prevents the awkward Qd1 and Qh5+. Furthermore, the pawn move gives the option of h4-h3, in combination with a rook on the g-file, of initiating pressure on White's king-side. [Immediate castling with 17...0-0-0 may be met with 18.Qa4 when the obvious 18...Kb8 (as well as the move 18...a6 ) is met by 19.Ba5 which either wins material or starts the process of prizing open Black king's defences once b6 is forced.; Keeping Blacks king in the centre (which is closed) with 17...Kd7 is not to be dismissed lightly since although White is better after 18.Be1 Raf8 19.Bg3 Qc8 Black is solid with no weaknesses at present.; 17...Rg8 is another reasonable option for if White plays 18.Qd1 Rg6 gives Black a decent game.]
18.Qd1 Bg5 [A little too ambitious since, although the move attacks e3 hence limiting White's bishop, the move blocks the g-file so slows down Black's attack. The natural 18...0-0-0 , at first sight a little risky, is actually acceptable since if White starts his attack with 19.b4 then 19...Rh7 prevents Rf7 and after a subsequent Rg8 Black's attack is more advanced than that achieved in the game.]
19.b4 Qg7 20.Qe2 0-0-0 [Now a case of castling into it. Black could delay the placement of his king with 20...a6 as if White continues normally with 21.a4 h4 22.b5 then Black can escape the worst with a change of direction via 22...axb5 23.axb5 Rxa1 24.Rxa1 0-0 ]
21.b5 cxb5 22.a4 A nice follow up sacrificing a pawn to ensure lines are opened to the Black king. An immediate recapture of the pawn is fine for Black after [22.Qxb5 Rhg8 with potential threats, firstly on the g-file, but also with the centre attacking move e5 exploiting the unguarded Bd2.]
22...b4 [22...bxa4 is poor as White may generate a winning attack readily. For instance 23.Rxa4 Kb8 24.Rfa1 a6 25.Rb1 Ka7 26.Rb6 Rhg8 27.Qxa6+ bxa6 (27...Kb8 28.Qa8+ Kc7 29.Qxb7# ) 28.Raxa6# ]
23.Bxb4 Rdg8 24.Ra2 Another strong but also careful move. By adding a defence to g2 White frees up the queen whilst at the same time does not limit the rook from joining the attack.
24...Rh6?! Not good. Although threatening to triple on the g-file the move is too slow in a very dynamic situation. Even though White is still better some hope of defence was offered by Kb8 when the king may hide on a8 relatively securely.
25.c6 Very strong and well worked out.
25...bxc6 [If Black continues with the tripling on the g-file with 25...Rg6 then White crashes through via 26.Rc2 Bxe3+ 27.Kh1 (but not 27.Qxe3 Rxg2+ 28.Kh1 Rxc2 and Black wins.) 27...Rxg2 28.cxb7+ Kxb7 29.Qb5+ Ka8 30.Qc6+ Qb7 31.Rxg2+- ]
26.Rb2 Underlining the fact the Black king is more exposed than the White king.
26...Rg6 27.Bf8 Very fine-opening the b-file with gain of tempo by offering the bishop.
27...Qc7 [If the piece is accepted then White wins with 27...Rxf8 28.Qa6+ Kc7 (28...Kd8 29.Rxf8+ Qxf8 30.Rb8++- ) 29.Qxa7+ (White may win the queen with 29.Rb7+ but at too great a cost as Black holds and White must force a draw via 29...Kd6 30.Rxg7 Bxe3+ 31.Kh1 Rxf1+ 32.Qxf1 Rxg7 33.Qf8+ Re7 34.Qb8+ Rc7= ) 29...Kd6 30.Qc5+ Kc7 31.Rxf8+- ]
28.Rf7 A spectacular and difficult to meet move in a practical game. However, the rook move is not best! The quiet retreat [28.Bc5 followed by Rfb1 would leave black defenceless. For example, 28...R6g7 29.Rfb1 Bd8 30.Qa6+ Kd7 31.Kh1 and Rb7 soon follows. A disaster instead would be (31.Rb7 Rxg2+ 32.Kf1 Rg1+ 33.Ke2 and Black snatches a win with 33...R8g2# ) ]
28...Qa5 Black goes astray in what is a very complex position. In fact [28...Qxf7 is just playable although the lines are somewhat hair-raising. Examples include 29.Qa6+ Kd7 (29...Kd8 loses rapidly to 30.Rb8+ Kc7 31.Qxa7# ) 30.Rb7+ (30.Qxa7+ again wins the Black queen but at the expense of too much material 30...Ke8 31.Rb8+ Bd8 32.Rxd8+ Kxd8 33.Qb8+ (33.Qxf7 wins the queen but loses the game 33...Rxg2+ 34.Kf1 Rg1+ 35.Ke2 R8g2+ 36.Qf2 Kd7 37.Bc5 Rxf2+ 38.Kxf2 Ra1-+ ) 33...Kd7 34.Qb7+ Kd8 (Of course if 34...Ke8 35.Qc8# ) 35.Qb8+ and White has to force a draw.) 30...Ke8 just defends for if 31.Bc5 (But not 31.Rxf7 Bxe3+ 32.Kh1 and its Black who wins after 32...Kxf7-+ ) 31...Bxe3+ 32.Kh1 Qxb7 33.Qxb7 R6g7 34.Qxc6+ Kf7 and White has to force the draw yet again.]
29.Bd6 Be7 30.Rb8+ Accurate to clinch the win. Certainly not [30.Rxe7 though, as again Black wriggles out and wins with 30...Rxg2+ 31.Qxg2 (31.Kh1 Rg1# ; 31.Kf1 Rg1+ 32.Kf2 R8g2# ) 31...Qe1# ]
30...Kd7 31.Bb4 Winning the queen.
31...Rxb8 [Instead if the queen escapes 31...Qxa4 then 32.Rxe7# ]
32.Bxa5 Ke8 33.Rf1 An attack carried out by White with great imagination. The variations were extremely complex and it was Black who missed out on the one chance to hold the game when White continued in sacrificial mode rather than quietly retreating. 1-0