Here is the crucial position from my most recent game. I have the black pieces, and white has just played 22.Nc5:
Now, white has maintained a slight advantage throughout the game. But despite his lead in development I felt sure I could equalize in this position, the symmetry and two bishop justifying this expectation in general terms. I started off by analyzing 22...Bxa2 23.b3 a4 but felt this still left my opponent an edge, and my intuition told me there was something better. Minutes went by and the something better remained elusive; with time-trouble looming I indeed ended up playing the obvious 22...Bxa2 23.b3 a4. White went on to exploit his enduring edge and claim the whole point.
But, my intuition was right: black can equalise in the above position. Can you spot how? With the clock ticking? Analysis and the game to play through after the jump.
Solution: 22...Bxa2 is correct, but after 23.b3 the key move is the sneaky 23...Rc8! The point is that now after 24.Rd2 the c5 knight is pinned, so 24...Ra6 is possible, winning the bishop trapped on b6. There are a couple of sub-variations to analyze but in short, mass exchanges and symmetry are the likely outcome.
Here's the whole game.
PS. In case you missed it, we had a bonus Tuesday post yesterday that you can find here.