Puzzle of the week #110

Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #110"][Date "2010.03.25"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "r1q2r1k/pp2ppb1/2p2np1/3P4/3BP3/1QR5/PP2NP1P/4K1R1 b - - 0 21"]21...Nxe4

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for Anaheim. It is our first ever trip there. We will participate to a conference not far away from Disneyland and of course we will not miss the ocassion to visit it and have some fun over there. Since I am not a selfish person, I have decided to give you an opportunity to have some fun of your own in the comfort of your home!
See black's last move. The white King is condemned to stay in the center, while the black King has lost his servant on "h7". Which royal figure is more vulnerable? This is one of the enigmas you need to solve. Your tasks:
1. Analyse the position for both sides (10 points)
2. White to move. Propose the best line for both sides (10 points)
3. What is the most likely result? (5 points)

Total available points for this puzzle is 25. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #111.

Puzzle #109 solution:
This was the last game for the 2010 European Champion GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (White) against GM Akopian during the 11th European Individual Championship from Rijeka, Croatia. As promised I will present GM Kevin Spraggett detailed analysis, originally published at his online blog:

[Event "Puzzle #109"][Date "2010.03.19"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "r2r2k1/2p2pb1/p1n1q1pp/P3p3/QPp1P3/2P1BN2/5PPP/R3R1K1 b - - 3 22"]22...Rd3!? 23.Rec1 {Ian realizes that he will need his Rook on a1 to help support his a-pawn later! Such confidence... This is the critical point in the game. Black has willingly agreed to allow his pawns to be weakened on the Queenside in return for some activity. Fair enough. But here on this move, or on any of the next half dozen moves, Black must play "f7-f5" to help create threats against White's e-pawn and the White Bishop. Structural weaknesses can only be compensated by dynamic play!} 23...Bf8?! (23...f5!? 24.Ne1 (24.b5 fxe4 25.Nd2 (25.Ne1 axb5 26.Qxb5 Rdd8 27.a6) 25...Nd4 {This is very wild}) 24...Rdd8 25.b5?? axb5 26.Qxb5 f4 {and Black even wins. I think that with best play on both sides White will keep a slight edge, but Black would not be in any great danger of losing, or at least he would have still excellent fighting chances should the worse eventually happen. It is Akopian's lack of sense of urgence in this position (and for the next handful of moves) in delaying his natural counterplay (with "f7-f5") that leads to his downfall. Before he realizes it, he will be already lost}) 24.b5! axb5 25.Qxb5 {The a-pawn is much stronger than it first appears! It's advance will soon paralyze the Black Rook. Karpov, in his youth, was also very fond of creating and advancing his passed pawns} 25...Rb8 26.Qa4 Ra8 ({Why not} 26...f5!?) 27.a6! Rd6?! 28.Qb5 {Threatening a7 or Qb7} 28...Qc8 {There is nothing better} (28...Rb8? 29.Qxb8 Nxb8 30.a7 {and the pawn Queens}) 29.a7! {Black is completely paralyzed! Just look at the sorry figures that the Black Queen and Queen Rook make! Now White just cleans up, beginning with the c4-pawn Nepomniachtchi won easily and Akopian resigned on move 41. A remarkable victory for the young Russian; he fully exploited his opponent's small mistakes}

Complete game below. Please replay it and do your best to understand what each player did or tried to do.
[Event "European Individual Championship"][Site "Rijeka CRO"][Date "2010.03.17"][EventDate "2010.03.06"][Round "11"][Result "1-0"][White "Ian Nepomniachtchi"][Black "Vladimir Eduardovich Akopian"][ECO "C77"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 g6 7. Nbd2 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 h6 10. Nf1 b5 11. Bc2 d5 12. Bd2 Be6 13. a4 Qd6 14. b4 Nd7 15. Bb3 dxe4 16. dxe4 Nb6 17. a5 Nc4 18. Ne3 Rfd8 19. Nxc4 Bxc4 20. Bxc4 bxc4 21. Be3 Qe6 22. Qa4 Rd3 23. Rec1 Bf8 24. b5 axb5 25. Qxb5 Rb8 26. Qa4 Ra8 27. a6 Rd6 28. Qb5 Qc8 29. a7 Qd8 30. Qxc4 Qd7 31. Qb5 Rd3 32. Qb7 Qe8 33. Ra6 Rxe3 34. fxe3 Bc5 35. Rca1 Bxe3+ 36. Kh1 Bb6 37. h3 Kg7 38. Nd2 Nxa7 39. Rxb6 cxb6 40. Rxa7 Rc8 41. c4

Correct solutions:
Owen - 20 points
Karl - 12 points
James, Andy Y, Humphrey, Jeffrey - 10 points
Andy Q, Alex, Edwin - 8 points
Nathaniel - 5 points

Karl, Owen - 184 points
Andy Q - 183 points
Andy Y - 174 points
Edwin, Humphrey - 136 points
Alex - 134 points
Jeffrey - 118 points
Amir - 103 points
James - 102 points
Nathaniel - 61 points
Rick, Marko - 10 points


Kings exposed