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LCB, Issue #064 --, Sacrifice to Get to the Enemy King
October 01, 2020

Open Lines Against the Enemy King

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #064 -- GOTM #34

learn and play online chess
Sometimes sacrificing valuable pieces is folly that can cost you the game. You may find that you don't get enough compensation for your material. Your opponent finds a clever defensive resource and your attack fizzles out.

When is a sacrifice justified, what kind of compensation is a piece worth and what characteristics in a position sound the bugle for sacrifice?

This month's game is played in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden. Two strong masters answer some of the questions posed above with an interesting game.

Attacking a Central King Via Sacrifice

Sax, Gyula (2568) - Hermannson, Emil (2430) [B12]

GotM #34 - Stockholm, 2005
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 c6

Caro-Kann Defense

2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.c4 e6 6.Nc3 Ne7 7.Nge2 dxc4 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.Bg5 Qc7 10.Bxc4 Nd7 11.Rc1 Nf5 12.Nxf5 Bxf5 13.Bd3 Bxd3 14.Qxd3

Game position after 14.Qxd3

After a lively opening, White has play on the Kingside.


Often a mistake and is this time too.


King is caught in the middle now.

15...Ke7 16.exf6+ gxf6 17.0-0!

White gives up a piece in order to open up the center and get after the King.

(17.Be3? would have surrendered much of the initiative.)

17...fxg5 18.Nd5+!

Gives up a second piece. He better get his man.

(18.Qxg5+?? Kf7 19.Rfe1 Be7 20.Qe3-/+ and White's just a piece to the good.)

18...exd5 19.Rfe1+

Game position after 19.Rfe1+

Can the heavy White pieces finish the Black King before the Black pieces come into the game?


Shows that the Knight sacrifice a move or two ago wasn't really a sacrifice as Black is forced to give a piece back to avoid immediate defeat.

(19...Kd8?? 20.Re8#)

20.Rxe5+ Qxe5

And indeed Black must give a Queen for the fearsome Rook as his King would have problems on the back rank.

(20...Kd7 21.Qe6+ Kd8 22.Qe8#)


Black is happy that the e-file is now closed.

21...Kd7 22.e6+

But his new problem is an advancing pawn.

22...Kd6 23.e7+!

Game position after 23.e7+!

The pawn is sacrificed to open up attack lines against the King.


And the file is open again!


In comes the second Rook.

24...Kd7 25.Qf7+

Game position after 25.Qf7+

And Black resigns as the enemy closes in.

(25.Qf7+ would likely have been followed by: Kd6 26.b4 Rh6 27.hxg5 Rg6 28.Qxg6++-)

1- 0

Sax - Hermannson, Stockholm, 2005)

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