J.A. Topfke: My guess is that 16…Kh8 is a waiting move. Perhaps he can try something like 16…Ne7 but the point is White’s pawn center doesn’t allow Black to place any of his pieces in the center of the board.
18.Kh1 doesn’t seem necessary. Maybe attacking with 18.g5 Nh7 (not 18…hxg5? 19.fxg5 because the knight is pinned in front of the f7-square) 19.Kh2 is more straightforward.
Another way to hit at the center would have been 18…c5!? 19.g5 Nh5 (threatening to fork the king and the rook) 20.Kh2.
After 19.e5 Black’s position is beginning to look hopeless but maybe he could sac a pawn and try for some form of counterplay with 19…Ne4 20.Ndxe4 dxe4 21.Qxe4 f5. And if Black has to rely on a move like 20…f6 then his position really is hopeless. 22.Bf4 is an important move to not allow Black’s only active piece, the dark-squared bishop, to move to a more active square and control the h2-b8 diagonal. Likewise, Black doesn’t want to trade off his only active piece with 24…Bxd2 because, to quote Bartashnikov, “after that the opponent has no way to protect the dark squares.”
22…Ng8 and 24…Qe7 is a long-winded attempt to allow the bishop to fall back to c7, but 25.Qg3 prevents this plan. After that probably Black’s best hope is 25…Bxd2 26.Bxd2 b6 (with the idea of …c5) 27.Bd3 Ng5 28.Bb4 Qb7 29.Bd6 Ne4! and the d-file is cleared after 30.Bxe4 dxe4 31.Nc3 Bxe6! 32.fxe6 Rxe6 33.Bf4 Rxd4.
Analyzing with the computer has its pluses and minuses. One of the things I have learned from watching the computer is how it will maintain the pressure in situations when it has a positional advantage as opposed to simply cashing in. Junior agrees with the move played in the game, 27.b4, and Fritz likes 27.Ndb3, but is it too soon to cash in? 27.Nd7 threatens to trap the queen with Bd6:
A) 27…Bxd7? 28.Bd6
A1) 28…Bc7 29.Bxc7 Bc8 (29…Rc8 30.Bd6 Qd8 31.exd7) 30.Bxd8 Qxd8
A2) 28…Qxd6 29.Qxd6 Bxe6 30.Qxc6 Bd7 31.Qxd5
B) 27…Rxd7 28.exd7 Qxd7 29.Rxe8 Qxe8 30.Re1
And 27…Nf8, played in the game, doesn’t stop it either. 28.Nd7 is still answered by 28…Rxd7 because 28…Nxd7? loses to 29.Bd6. However it is educational to see that White’s center pawn formation, which led to a kingside attack, later in the game allows him to switch over to a queenside attack to open lines for his rooks with 28.a4!? Black could try and keep the position closed with 28…Bxc5 29.dxc5 Ba6 30.a5 but with only one piece and one pawn off the board, what a bind! The game move, 29.Ndb3, is winning, as is 29.Nd7 and 29.axb5.
29…axb4 30.a5 Ba7 (30…Bxc5 31.Nxc5 with the idea of Bc7) 31.Bc7.
30…Bxa5 31.bxa5 Qa7 32.Bc7 Ba6 33.Nxa6 Qxa6 34.Bxd8
31.Nxc6! prompts Black to sacrifice the queen with 31…Bxd4 because 31…Qb7 32.Nxd8 Rxd8 33.bxc5 is losing anyway.
34.Rxe5! and if 34…fxe5 then 35.Bxd8.
The queen sacrifice 41.Qxb7!? makes things real simple because after 41…Bxb7 42.Rd8 the passed pawn can’t be stopped.