After a long semester at college it is nice to get back to some serious chess study. I was searching through my database the other day and I came across this gem from the 1983 Candidates Match (Smyslov-Huebner).
The opening is a variation in the English where black has pushed ...c5 and ...e5. Smyslov has conceded some time with his 8.Nd2 maneuver, but nevertheless, his position is solid by move 13. Huebner has achieved extraordinary space on the queenside, but he has overextended himself leaving the a2-g8 diagonal very weak.
By the end of move 15, Huebner has a significant lead in development, but the knight on d5 is a thorn in his side. He should attempt to seize the initiative with a well-prepared ...c4 pawn thrust. This will open the board and reveal the true advantage of his more mobilized pieces.
Smyslov recognizes the threat and squashes the possibility with an insightful 17.a4! This move leaves Huebner with no choice but to avoid confrontation and play 17...b4, ending his hopes for the initiative. Smyslov exhibits chess brilliance here by reading his opponent's threats and handling the problems before they arise. This is certainly an attribute for which to strive.
Huebner misses his chance in the middlegame to take over with 25...c3! With this conception of a black passed pawn, the focus of the game shifts from the black king to the queenside. The line might go like this: 25...c3, 26.bxc3 bxc3, 27.e5 fxe5, 28.dxe5 Bxe5, 29.Nd3 Rc4 and black has an extra pawn and the initiative.
The heat from Smyslov's attack became too much to handle for Huebner. He had one last saving grace but just narrowly missed it. Instead of 30...Qa8+?, 30...Qc6+! evens the game. The queen must protect the g6-square to stop the check from the knight (as in the game on move 33). I suggest a careful study of this game. There are many subtle tactical concepts beneath the surface.
Happy New Year!