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LCB, Issue #043 --, Open the Door with a Queen Sac
December 01, 2018

Open the Door with a Queen Sac

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #043 -- GOTM #12

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Take a look at this beautiful Queen sacrifice from Lodz, Poland in 1907. This game was contested by two strong Polish masters. Rotlewi was a well known player from this period. He often competed in top class tournaments against the best players in the world.

His opponent Rubinstein, playing as Black here, was one of the best players in the world. He was on the brink of playing for the World Championship just a few years later, which he might well have won. Only a lack of funds prevented him from taking that step to immortality.

It is an even game after the opening with White deciding to push up and claim some space while Black positioned his pieces to control key files and diagonals. He needed some inspiration to break into White's camp with a successful invasion. A Queen sacrifice is chosen to fulfill this goal. It is the opening shot in a creative and ultimately deadly attack.

Open the Door with a Queen Sac

Rotlewi Georg A - Rubinstein, Akiba [D40]

GotM #12 - Lodz, 1907
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 c5 4.c4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Nf6


6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.a3 a6 8.b4 Bd6 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Qd2 Qe7 11.Bd3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 b5 13.Bd3 Rd8 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.0-0

Game position after 15.0-0

Both sides are fully developed. The position is open but whose Bishops will have the bigger say?

15...Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.f4

White wants to close the road to his Kingside but now he has a backward pawn on e3. He will fix this problem by advancing his e and f-pawns towards the enemy.

17...Bc7 18.e4 Rac8 19.e5

White claims a spatial advantage but how secure are his pawns and what about the security of his King? All the while as White's pawns marched forward Black's pieces have been busy claiming key files and diagonals as their counterparts doddled.


Game position after 19...Bb6+

White's aggression in the center does not come without a cost. He is more vulnerable defensively.

20.Kh1 Ng4 21.Be4

White tries to liquidate. He needs to get Black's ferocious Bishops off the board. This he hopes will take the venom out of Black's attack.


The threat must be parried.

(21...Nxh2 was another good way to continue: 22.Rfe1 (22.Kxh2 Qh4#; 22.Qh5 Bxe4 23.Qxh2 Bf5-+) 22...Rxc3!! 23.Qh5 g6 24.Qg5 Rh3 25.gxh3 Nf3 26.Qg4 Rd3 27.Re2 Bxe4 28.Rxe4 h5 29.Qg2 Nh4 30.Qf1 Rf3-+)


Forced and now the long diagonal has been opened up.


Game position after 22...Rxc3!!

The thunderbolt from the blue. A spectacular Queen sacrifice which sees Black with no less than three pieces en prise.

(22...Qe7 23.Rae1 Ne3 24.Bxb7 Qxb7+ 25.Qf3 Qa7 26.Rxe3 (26.Rg1 Nc2 27.Ne4 Nxe1 28.Rxe1-+) 26...Bxe3 27.Rd1 Bd4 28.Rc1 Qa8 29.Qxa8 Rxa8 30.Kg2 Bxe5 31.fxe5 Rd2+ 32.Kg1 Rxb2-+)


The wrong option but White was beaten anyway.

(23.Bxb7 Rxg3 24.Rac1 Rh3 25.Rc2 Be3 26.Bd4 Bxd4 27.Rd1 Nxh2 28.Qxh2 Rxh2+ 29.Rxh2 Qxf4 30.Rhd2 Qxe5 31.Bf3 Qg3 32.Bb7 Qh3+ 33.Rh2 Qg4 34.Rhd2 Rd7 35.Rxd4 Rxd4 36.Rxd4 Qxd4 37.Bxa6 Qd7-+; 23.Bxc3 Bxe4+ 24.Rf3 Bxf3+ 25.Qg2 Qxh2#)


Game position after 23...Rd2!!

Just when you think the game can't get more amazing. 4 of Black's 5 pieces are hanging but incredibly they're all poisoned. Somehow Black's back rank issues will never be a factor. The White Queen is over worked. She is protecting the e4-Bishop on the long diagonal and the pawn on h2. Black has generated multiple threats and they can't all be stopped.


(24.Qxg4 Bxe4+ 25.Rf3 Rxf3 26.Qxg7+ Kxg7 27.Rg1+ Rg3+ 28.Rg2 Bxg2#; 24.Bxc3 Bxe4+ 25.Rf3 (25.Qxe4 Rxh2#) 25...Bxf3+ 26.Qxf3 Rxh2#; 24.Bxb7 Rxe2 25.Bg2 (25.Bxc3 Rxh2#) 25...Rh3 26.Rf2 Rxf2 27.Bd4 Bxd4 28.Ra2 Rxa2 29.Bxh3 Rxh2#)


And now the Queen must be thrown on the fire.

25.Qg2 Rh3!

Game position after 25...Rh3!

The final encore. It's # on the next move.

(25...Rh3 26.Bd4 (26.Qxe4 Rxh2#; 26.Rf3 Bxf3 27.Bd4 Bxd4 28.Qxf3 Rxh2#) 26...Rxh2+ 27.Kg1 Rxg2+ 28.Kh1 Rh2+ 29.Kg1 Rh1#)


Rotlewi - Rubinstein (Lodz, 1907)

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