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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 8

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 A Pawn Sacrifice for the Initiative


 Material sacrifices aimed at gaining positional advantages may be regarded as a generally accepted method of struggle in the game of chess. Every chess player knows numerous examples of profound and briliant sacrifices changing the material relationships on the board. These are examples of the struggle between minor and active forces with superior but badly positioned enemy forces. In master's practice we often come across queen and rook sacrifices. Minor pieces are sacrificed more frequently and are regarded as ordinary tactical operations. However, practice shows that pawn sacrifices are the most difficult ones.


Really when the chess player sacrifices the Queen or the rook, he usually obtains a tremendous positional advantage, which permits him to win back the sacrificed material very quickly or even to mate the oppenent.


The positional gains as a result of pawn sacrifices are hardly not traceable Besides, if pieces are sacrificed for the sake of permanent positional dividends, a pawn sacrifice on the other hand, is accomplished in order to have some small temporary advantage which may easily disappear during the game, and then the pawn sacrifice cannot even be justified. 

Alekhine made a great contribution to the better understanding of this complex strategic problem. All the games in which Alekhine sacrificed a pawn, may be divided into three groups depending on the positional factors behind such sacrifices :


1. A pawn sacrifice for a superior development,
2.  A pawn sacrifice for improving the positions of the pieces,
3. A pawn sacrifice for an attack against the enemy King.


Sometimes to hinder the development of the enemy pieces, the chess player sacrifices a pawn. The opponent, tempted by the sacrifice or compelled to accept it, loses several tempi and lags behind in development. When the pawn sacrifice is sound, the enemy King is usually subjected to an irresistible attack.


Freiman       Alekhine        1913


1 d4  d5   2  Nf3  Nf6  3  c4  e6  4  Bg5  h6  5  Bh4  dc  6  Qa4  Nbd2   7  Qc4  c5  8  Nc3  a6
9  a4  b5  10 Qd3  c4  11  Qb1  Bb7  12  ab  ab  13  Nb5? 


Better is 13  Bf6  capturing the dangerous knight. 


13 ... Bb4  14  Nc3  g5  15  Bg3  Ne4  16  Qc1  Nb6  17  Ra8  Qa8  18 Nd2  Nd2  19  Kd2  Qa2
20  Kd1  Qb3  21  Qc2  Bc3  22  bc  Be4!  23  Qb3  cb  24  e3  b2  White resigned.

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