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LCB, Issue #034 --, Witness the Power of the Queen Sacrifice
March 01, 2018

Powerful Queen Sacrifice Wins Through

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #033 -- GOTM #3

learn and play online chess
This month's game brings us to Novgorod in Russia. The World Champion of the day, Garry Kasparov is facing one of the rising stars of the next generation, Vladimir Kramnik.

The game is a Sicilian and that always allows the possibility very sharp play. The two great players do not shirk from this when the game goes down a tactical road. They illustrate the exciting possibilities of the Sicilian in this classic.

Powerful Queen Sacrifice Wins Through

Kasparov,Garry (2805) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2725) [B33]

GotM #3 - Novgorod, 1994
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nge2 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4

And the game transposes to an Open Sicilian.


Black goes for the aggressive Sveshnikov/Boleslavsky type of pawn structure. He gets control of d4 but cedes d5 to White and accepts the weak d-pawn.

6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6

Game position after 10...Bxf6

The trade solidifies the d5-Knight for now although Black might challenge him later with the second Black Knight.

11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Rb8 13.h4

Sicilian games can be sharp at times.

13...Ne7 14.Nxf6+

Allowing the exchange of his proud Knight in order to expose the Black King somewhat.


Game position after 14...gxf6

15.Qd2 Bb7 16.Bd3 d5

Black wants to rid himself of the backward pawn once and for all.

17.exd5 Qxd5 18.0-0-0

White readies himself to attack on the Kingside.


Kicks the Bishop of that dangerous diagonal before taking on a2.

19.Be2 Qxa2 20.Qh6 Qe6 21.Nd4 Qb6

Game position after 21...Qb6

The Queen has lost a few moves picking up one pawn while White has improved two pieces.


And now a third increases his prospects.

22...Kh8 23.Bg4 Rg8 24.Ne6!

White's pieces are swarming and tactics are in the air.


(24...fxe6 sees Black's defenses compromised: 25.Qxf6+ Rg7 26.Rd7 Rbg8 27.Bxe6 (27.Rxe7 Qd8-+) 27...Qxe6 28.Qxe6 Bc8 29.h5 Bxd7 30.Qxd7 Rf8 31.h6 Rgf7 32.Qd4+ Rf6 33.Qxe4 Ng6 34.Qd4+- and White with a big advantage plays off the pins against the King.)

25.Qf4 Re8 26.Rd6

All of White's play is now based on indirect threats against f6.

26...Nd5 27.h5!!

White refutes the counter-attack on his Queen.

(27.Rxb6 allows Black to equalize: 27...Nxf4 28.Nxf4 Rxg4 29.Nh5 Bc8 30.Nxf6 Rxg2 31.Rg3 (31.Nxe8 Bxh3=) 31...Rxg3 32.Nxe8 Rh3 33.Nd6 Be6 34.Rxa6 Rxh4=)

27...Nxf4 28.hxg6!

White leaves Black's Queen on the board, judging his initiative against the King to be more lucrative.

(28.Rxb6 is a mistake as Black will reply with 28...Rxg4 29.Nxf4 Rxf4 30.Rxb7 Rxf2 31.h6 Rxg2 32.Rxf7 Rg6-+ and now Black is winning.)

28...Qxd6 29.Rxh7+ Kg8 30.gxf7+ Kxh7 31.fxe8Q

Material is balanced once more but the Black King is surrounded by enemies.


Will this diffuse the pressure?


Game position after 32.Bf5+!

No. White will win the f6-pawn before recovering the Knight.

(32.Bxe6 , regaining the piece straight away is not correct: 32...Qe5 33.g3 Kh6 34.Qe7 (34.Qh8+ Kg6) 34...Qg5+ 35.Kc2 Qg7 36.Qd6 e3 37.fxe3 Qg5+/- and White is better but Black is still fighting.)

32...Kg7 33.Qg6+ Kf8 34.Qxf6+ Ke8 35.Bxe6

Now White can simplify and win with the Kingside pawns.


Game position after 32.Bf5+!

is a move that represents Black giving up the ghost.


Kasparov - Kramnik (Novgorod, 1994)

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