Going Berserk In Chess!
This pawn is going crazy.

Going Berserk In Chess!

Gserper
GM Gserper
Jul 15, 2018, 12:13 AM |
18 | Tactics

Some 20 years ago I had a conversation with a grandmaster who grew up in a bad neighborhood.  He was recollecting his youth years when street fighting was pretty common.

I don't remember much from his stories, but one of his phrases has stuck in my mind:  "It is not the strongest who wins the fight but the craziest!" 

mad scientist

A game that was played almost 170 years ago by two of the best Russian players of that time clearly proves the point. Carl Jaenisch developed his Jaenisch Gambit and helped Alexander Petrov to analyze his famous Petrov's Defense.  Nevertheless, in this game, Jaenisch preferred the Sicilian Defense, which quickly brought him some material benefits. Find the best move for Black:

I bet it was a very simple puzzle for you, especially since we analyzed this exact pattern some time ago. With this simple fork, Black wins the knight on e5!

Here is a more difficult question that involves some psychology. What white move would tell his opponent, "I am crazy! Be afraid, be very afraid!?"

Truthfully speaking, I don't know what sign this move deserves. From the pure chess point of view the move is stupid and deserves "??", but it ultimately won the game, so maybe it should be "!!"

A few moves later, White took another opportunity to go berserk. Can you find it?

This time going berserk is more justified since at least Black's king gets more exposed. While Black collects all the gifts of his crazy opponent, White brings all his pieces into the attack. Now it is finally time for the real shot! Can you find it?

Something went very wrong for Black since he had a winning position after just four moves and yet lost miserably. So what was his mistake? There should be many ways to improve Black's play. At the very end, for example, he could try to bring his queen to protect the king:

What would Ilya Shumov do in this case? Why, he would go berserk of course!

I have no doubt that chess engines will laugh at the whole concept of White's attack, but remember, you don't go berserk against a computer!

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