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LCB, Issue #037 --, Enjoy the Minor Piece Clear Out
June 01, 2018

The Minor Piece Clear Out

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #037 -- GOTM #6

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Welcome to the world of Warsaw in 1930. Two great chess masters sit down to do battle. Glucksberg against local hero Miguel Najdorf who would give his name to a major branch of the Sicilian Defense.

Najdorf chooses the Dutch Defense to answer 1.d4, later taking the game down the Stonewall Variation. White organizes quickly and looks secure.

Black quickly gets his pieces into attack mode as per the Stonewall Dutch and breaks through with a remarkable 13 move long sequence that includes the sacrifice of all four of his minor pieces.

The Minor Piece Clear Out

Glucksberg, B - Najdorf, Miguel [A85]

GotM #6 - Warsaw, 1930
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.d4 f5

Dutch Defense

2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6

(3...g6 The Leningrad is a popular way to play but you ought to know what you're doing, e.g. 4.h4 d6 5.h5 Nxh5 6.Rxh5 gxh5 7.e4 Be6 8.Be2 Bf7 9.Bxh5 Bxh5 10.Qxh5+ Kd7 11.Nf3 Qe8 12.Qh3 Bg7 13.exf5 Bf6 14.Bh6 Nc6 15.0-0-0 Qf7 16.b3 a5 17.a4 Rag8 18.g4 Kd8 19.Nd5 e6 20.fxe6 Qxe6 21.Re1 Qf7 22.Re4 Nb4 23.Nxb4 axb4 24.Bd2 Qg6 25.Rf4 Be7 26.g5 Rf8 27.Nh4 Qh5 28.Qg3 Rxf4 29.Bxf4 Rf8 30.Nf3 Qf7 31.g6 Qxf4+ 32.Qxf4 Rxf4 0-1 (32) Topalov,V (2786)-Polgar,J (2686) Mexico City 2010)

4.Nf3 d5

This is the Stonewall Variation.

(4...d6 will lead to a Classical Dutch Defense)


(5.Bf4 is most often reached for here, 5.Bg5 and 5.g3 are the other main candidates.)


Game position after 5...c6

The distinctive Stonewall Formation makes it difficult to break through. White must try and play on the dark squares.

6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0

(7.Qc2 is a worthy alternative.)


Game position after 7...0-0

Black is moving into position to activate some of the main ideas in this line of The Dutch Defense.


is a rare move, White wants to bring some troops to the Kingside to meet the coming attack.

(8.b3 is the usual continuation.)


(8...Ne4= gives Black much more.)


The mistake that marks the birth of his demise.

(9.Nf4 was better.)


Game position after 9...Bxh2+

Black punishes his opponent's sloppy play and puts in train an expertly executed winning attack over the next 13 moves.


(10.Kxh2 Ng4+ 11.Kg1 Qxg5)

10...Ng4 11.f4 Qe8 12.g3 Qh5 13.Kg2 Bg1!

Game position after 13...Bg1!

Black sacrifices the first of his four minor pieces.


(If 14.Nf3 then 14...Bxe3 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Rh1 Qg6 17.Qb3 b6 18.Rh4 Qe8 19.Ne5 Ndxe5 20.fxe5 g5 21.Rh1 h6 22.Bxe3 Nxe3+ 23.Kf2 Ng4+ 24.Kf1 c5 and Black has winning chances.; 14.Nh3? is embarrassed by 14...Bxe3 15.Bxe3 Nxe3)

14...Qh2+ 15.Kf3 e5 16.dxe5

The opportunity that Black had been playing to induce finally emerges. White cannot defend against the ingenious sacrifice that will break open the center and expose his King.


Game position after 16...Ndxe5+!

Black finds the appropriate way to continue is to sacrifice a second minor piece. Having sacrificed already a further material investment is essential to rip away the cover and keep the attack going as he must.

17.fxe5 Nxe5+

Forcing the King forward into enemy territory. This allows the Knight to maneuver into position as Black's plan moves through the phases.

18.Kf4 Ng6+ 19.Kf3 f4 20.exf4 Bg4+!

Game position after 20...Bg4!

A third minor piece is offered up for sacrifice, but this Bishop is dripping with poison. This sustained attack that began 11 moves earlier with the Bishop sacrifice on h2 now reaches it's zenith.


(White could have survived a little longer with 21.Ke3 but the game was over in any case: 21...Bxd1 22.Rxd1 Nxf4 23.Bxh7+ Kh8 24.a3 Qxg3+ 25.N1f3 Nh3 26.Kd3 Nxg5 27.Bxg5 Rxf3+ 28.Kc2 Kxh7)


makes a complete set. Black sacrifices his fourth and final minor piece.

22.fxe5 h5#

Game position after 21...Ne5+


Glucksberg - Najdorf (Warsaw, 1930)

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