|KEG: Post II
The balance of the game is almost painful to watch.
21...d6 would have given Sterling reasonable chances to slow down Brody's steamroller pawns.
22. Be2 Kh8?
Sterling was hell-bent on an attack on the g-file. But he needed to counter White's pressure first. 22...d6 was best.
23. Raf1 g5?
Rightly called "a mistake" by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. Sterling's notion that he could blow the game open on the g-file was misguided. If this was his hope, he should have tried Rosenthal's 23...Rbg8. Better was to abandon his unfortunate idea and play 23...Rgg8 or 23...Qf7.
The position was now:
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From this point on, Sterling was lost. He apparently overlooked Brody's next move, which pretty much ends the game.
Sterling was kaput, so he attempted a wild do-or-die attack on the g-file, and sacrificed nearly all of his pieces in support of this wild idea.
Sterliong could have resigned here. But he decided to go down swinging.
Rosenthal recommends 25...f3 here, but that gets crushed after 26. Bxf3. If Sterling wanted to play on for a while, he might have tried 25...c5.
What followed was carnage.
26. hxN Rxg3
Did Sterling overlook this? He was now two pieces down, and his mating attack was going nowhere.
27...Rxg2!? would have allowed Brody a chance to blow the game (if 28. KxR Qg5+ 29. Kh1?? Qxh6+ actually loses for White, and 29. Kf2 runs into 29...Qg3 mate. But even here White can still win with 29. Bg4!) But 28. Bf3 would be crushing.
Sterling's actual move does not even have the merit of giving Brody a realistic chance to blunder away the game.
Game over. But Sterling plays on.
29. Rh2 Rg6
30. Ne2 Rh6
31. RxR would presumably have ended the game immediately. The text apparently allowed Sterling to retain his fantasy of a mating attack.
The last chance to let Brody walk into a self-mate was 31...fxN. Then, if 32. RxR??? Sterling would mate in two after 32...QxR+ But now, it is hard to see how Brody could have managed to lose--being up a Rook plus Bishop.
32. KxR Qh4+
33. Kg1 fxN
Oh well, at least Sterling gets to "threaten" mate in one. If Brody fell asleep, perhaps he would have missed it.
Unfortunately for Sterling, Brody was awake.
35. dxe6 BxB