I’m not a great believer in the value of preparation, at least for open tournaments. In most cases I think that it’s better to rest before games and take the view that if I don’t know what I’m going to play there’s no way my opponent will be able to figure it out!
The following game seems to be a remarkable example of preparation, the entire game following a Naumkin – Timoshenko encounter from four years earlier. White’s ‘innovation’ was to resign after 29.Kg2 rather than wait for 29…Rg6+ 30. Kh3 Re5, and Black’s victory contributed towards his victory in the Bulgarian Championship and a GM norm.
Does this prove me wrong about the value of preparation? I don’t think so, I just think that Black had an amazing piece of luck.