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Middlegame & Endgames Ideas - #1 = Exchange Sacs

  • NM HowToTameADragon
  • | Jan 6, 2014

Hi guys,

Today I'm going to start off my series of Middlegame ideas with the exchange sac.

This type of positional sacrifice (or occationally tactical blow) has become more poplarized due to the boost in the top rated games in the Najdorf variation of the sicilian 

This sacrifice works in many long term cases -and also pure calculation - and I will show some examples where it has been put to good use in both of these ways

To start off - a very famous position played by the legendary Tigran Petrosian

phpGibvzE.jpegphotos courtesy of Wikipedia

 Tigran Petrosian (world champion 1963-1969)

Here we see the beautiful tactical finish that occured due to the exhange sac (Rxf4!!) which helped Tigrans chances to retain his World Champion title against the challenger Boris Spassky (he won the match)
Boris Spassky (Champion: 1969 - 1972)
Another prime example - this time of a long term advantage - was a game of Alexander Alekhine - this time, however, you will have to win with the black pieces
Alexander Alekhine (WC from 1927-1935 & 1937-1946)
This game is a more modern opening as the sac occurs out of a sicilian (more theoritical as opposed to tactical) -
NOTE: After you reach 16...Nxc3 you can click the (?) in the bottom left hand side to see the whole game (Im not sure why it isnt doing this automaticallyFrown
In this game the power of the minor piece that Alekhine got in turn for the rook is shown as a long term advantage
So, an exchange sacrifice is normally played only when you win material (or mate) due to a tactical sequence or you are going to get a SUSTAINABLE long term advantage
In te comments section - please give the readers any additional exchange sacs that you found interesting that aren't mentioned & (most importantly) please comment the idea that you will want me to write my next article on (be it zugzwang, trades , forks, skewers, etc...)


  • 11 months ago


    Thanks johnb1024

  • 11 months ago




    30         .. Kxh8

    31 Nxf7+     Kg1 (or g2)

    32 Nxg5 and white is a clear Knight and pawn up with more active positions for his knights.  An easy win.

  • 11 months ago


    In Tigren vs Spassky match(1st puzzle) why can't the black king capture the white queen after move 30 at h8 ?

  • 12 months ago


  • 12 months ago


    I think the second puzzle didn't show the rest of the game after the solution 16...Nxc3 because 33...a3 was also a 'solution' which the software won't reveal. There was a puzzle within a puzzle.

    Minority attacks for the next article?

  • 12 months ago


    well, i would like an article on trades where you can explain as to which trades are favourable and which are not. how to judge them?

    i am sure many of the users here would appreciate such an article 

  • 12 months ago


    very interesting middle game knowledge

  • 12 months ago


    Really interesting article :) Plz post #2 ASAP with more classical chess games.

  • 12 months ago


    good article

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