easy chess

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dozer 78 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess problem Here's the game...

board #1001462

The exchange sac starting from move 21. was mostly intuitive, the position called for something drastic. the passed a-pawn could have proved to be dangerous! And Black were up material. So the 21. Rxa5 Nxa5 22. Bxe7 Re8 and now I thinks correct was instantly 23. Nf5 forcing 23.- Bxf5 24. Qxf5+ Qd7 25. Qxd7 Kxd7 and White has good counterplay for the exchange (or at least some counterplay). But there is a very surprising refutation to 21. Rxa5?! ( I evaluate it "?!" because I think the move has at least psychological value...), for it loses material for no gain! Try and find the solution! What is Black's best 21st move? (please give moves 22 and 23 too in your reply)

Kind Regards,
Dozer
bartlebie 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Nice idea: Rxh4 with the plan to play Ng6 after Dxh4. After Bxe7 there is Qxe7 Qxe7 Nxe7 Rxb5 and white is a Knight down.
After your line with Bf5 I prefer the white position. He will win at least two pawns (f7/d5 after Bb4 and Nc6) and with the pair of bishops and the bad black pawns, theres not too much in it for black.
dozer 106 ( +1 | -1 )
That's correct!!

It's almost funny, that the correct move is a symmetrical Rook move (of course the critical point is that this move takes a Knight instead of a pawn), on the other side of the board!! It's very difficult to see such a move, you tend to focus your concentration to where things are happening. But after 21. Rxa5?! Rxh4! 22. Qxh4 Black wins after the threatened Knight moves away with tempo to 22. - Ng6 and after 23. Qh7 then Black collects the Rook 23. - Nxa5. You gave the other line too.

I agree with your assesment of the position, bartlebie, thanks for the thoughts.

BTW, is there someone who could give some hints on how I could have improved my play in this game?? I like positional play, I'm just not sure how I should have played the early middlegame, my ideas weren't good enough... And perhaps there was some better plan for the endgame??

Kind Regards,
Dozer