When working out a possible attacking combination, for yourself or your opponent, checks, heavy threats and captures are not so difficult to take into account. It is the insidious moves in between that need looking for.

In today's game from the Russian championship, Black accepted a piece sacrifice with the intention of returning the material to secure a comfortable game. In the diagram position, he had just captured a pawn on f4 with his knight and must have been expecting either Qxf4 Qxg5 or Rh1 Qe5. White's reply threw a huge spanner in the works. Can you find it?

Here are the full moves of the game. White's idea of meeting ...h6 with h4, offering the bishop in order to open the h-file, is very old, though not often seen after White has moved his rook away from h1. Instead of taking the bait with 17...Nh5 and 18...hxg5, Black should have played 17...Kh8 - as he would surely have done if he had seen 21.Nd5! in time. By interfering with the black queen's path to e5, the move hugely increases the strength of the threat of Rh1. After 21...exd5 22.Rh1 Black had to give back one of his extra pieces, but his king was left so open that the white attack almost played itself. It just needed one more good move to expose how precarious Black's game really was.

After 26.Qf4! White had planned to meet 26...fxg6 with 27.Rhe1! when Rde8 loses to Rxe7+ and Qf6+. With 26...Kxg6 losing the bishop to Qe4+, he was left with the desperate-looking 26...f5, which gave White the time to get his queen and rook in the right order on the h-file. The final king hunt led to White regaining all his sacrificed material with interest.

White: S Dvoiris

Black: A Khalifman

1 e4 c5 20 g4 Nxf4

2 Nf3 d6 21 Nd5 exd5

3 d4 cxd4 22 Rh1 Nh5

4 Nxd4 Nf6 23 gxh5 Kg7

5 Nc3 Nc6 24 exd5 Bd7

6 Bg5 e6 25 hxg5 Rh8

7 Qd2 Be7 26 Qf4 f5

8 0-0-0 Nxd4 27 Rh6 Rde8

9 Qxd4 0-0 28 Qh2 Bxg5

10 f4 Qa5 29 Rh7+ Rxh7

11 Bc4 Bd7 30 Qxh7+ Kf6

12 Bb3 Bc6 31 Qf7+ Ke5

13 Rhe1 Rfe8 32 Qxd7 Re7

14 Kb1 Rad8 33 Re1+ Kf4

15 Qf2 h6 34 Rf1+ Kg3

16 h4 Qc5 35 Qxf5 Qe3

17 Qg3 Nh5 36 a3 Re5

18 Qh2 hxg5 37 Qf8 resigns

19 hxg5 g6