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LCB, Issue #092 --, Destroy the Enemy Lynchpin
February 01, 2023

Destroy the Enemy Lynchpin

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #092 -- GOTM #62

learn and play online chess
You have the advantage, you're on top. You have the space, the time. Your pieces have the run of the board. Their counterparts are tangled up in a cramped situation, tied down to a grim defense of their stronghold. You should be able to overwhelm the enemy easily now right?

Well not always. Sometimes the defenders are able to keep everything covered and it's not possible to simply break in without conceding exchanges for no decisive strategic gain. So what to do now? It's time to sacrifice!

All very well but what piece do you give up and what enemy piece do you target? You can give up any piece or pieces if the resulting attack is good enough. As for the target, it's a great idea to identify the opposing piece holding the defense together. That piece is the lynchpin. If you destroy it, your opponent's position will swiftly collapse. Let's see this idea in action. We go to Ottawa, Canada for a game played in 2007 between Lawrence Day and Avinash Sundar.

Take Out the Enemy Lynchpin

Day, Lawrence A - Sundar, Avinash [B24]

GotM #62 - Ottawa, 2007
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 c5

Sicilian Defense


White chooses a Closed Sicilian

2...Nc6 3.g3

And the game goes into the 3.g3 complex within the Closed Sicilian

3...g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nh3 e6 6.d3 Nge7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Be3 Nd4

Game position after 8...Nd4

Black gets a nice Knight on d4, cramping the White position somewhat.

9.Qd2 d5 10.Bh6

A nice coup for White forcing the exchange of the dark square Bishops.

10...e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.f4

Game position after 12.f4

Opening the position.

12...dxe4 13.Nxe4 Qc7 14.fxe5 Qxe5 15.Rae1 Qc7

White has better pieces and seems to control the open files.


And the attack begins in earnest.


(16...Ng8; 16...Bxh3; 16...Nxc2? 17.Qf6+ Kg8 (17...Kh6 18.Rf4) 18.Qh4 Nf5 19.Nf6+ Kg7 20.Qxh7+ Kxf6+/-)

17.Qf6+ Kg8 18.Qc3

Retaining control of the long diagonal and making f6 available for the Knight.

18...Nd5 19.Qc4

Forced off it now but still maintaining a central presence.


Holds the Knight on d5 but leaves f7 vulnerable.


Black seems to be holding the position. He's under pressure but everything seems to be covered. From White's point of view, he has the initiative but it's not clear how to force the issue and make his advantage tell. A sacrifice at some point seems to be the way forward, however the sacrifice but must be chosen carefully. If material is given up and the resulting attack is not decisive, then there will be a price to pay later. Here White must identify the lynchpin in Black's defensive structure and take it out. Only that will justify the investment of a piece.

20...b5 21.Qh4 h5

Closing the road on the h-file but the pressure is still on down the e and f-files.


Game position after 22.Nxf7!!

And White now makes his move. f7 was holding everything. The attack moves to the next phase as White breaks through.


Offers to exchange Knights.

(22...Qxf7 23.Rxf7 Kxf7 24.Bxd5 Rxd5 25.Qe4+-)

23.Rxe6! Rxf7 24.Rxg6+

White is winning tempi during the exchanges. This is what maintains and actually intensifies the power in the attack.


(24...Rg7 25.Bxd5+ Be6 26.Bxe6+ Qf7 27.Rxg7+ Kxg7 28.Rxf7+ Kh8 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.Qg7#)

25.Rxf7+ Kxf7 26.Bxd5+ Kxg6 27.Nf4+

Game position after 27.Nf4

And Black gives up.

(27.Nf4+ Kg7 28.Nxh5+ Kf8 29.Qf6+ Ke8 30.Bc6+ Qxc6 31.Qxc6++-)


Day, Lawrence A - Sundar, Avinash

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