She's a maniac, maniac…

She's a maniac, maniac…‎

GM Gserper
75 | Tactics

As soon as we learn the rules of chess, we realize that a Queen is the most powerful piece on the board.  We treasure her and  I noticed that many beginners prefer to get checkmated rather than give up a Queen.  As a result, the games where one of the players sacrifices his or her Queen attract many people and win brilliancy prizes.  So what do we expect to get in return when we sacrifice a Queen? We don’t consider the cases where a Queen was ‘sacrificed’ to get two Rooks or three minor pieces or something similar (in this case we would talk about a profitable trade).  When we talk about true Queen sacrifices, the ultimate reward is always the same: His Majesty the King!  In such cases we can see a Queen offering her life as if she is possessed!  In most of the cases such a sacrifice is the feature of middlegame combinations.  But what if a Queen gets sacrificed in the opening? This is not something you can watch every day.  Here is a collection of such sacrifices that can be used as a quiz.  The test positions are placed in order of increasing difficulty.  The first couple of positions shouldn't be too difficult to solve for almost any player, but the last test positions could be challenging even for advanced players.

                                        Test 1





Test 2





Test 3


Test 4

Test 5







Did you notice something similar in all the games? Try to remember what made such sacrifices possible (hint: the vulnerable position of the opponent’s King).  So, the next time you see that your opponent disregards all the opening principles: he gets behind in development, his King is still in the center, and to make things worse his own Queen is sent on a favorite mission of many beginners called ‘pawngrabbing’…. If you see any or all of these ‘deadly sins’ of chess, try to punish him.  And if you are lucky enough to employ a nasty Queen sacrifice (like one of those we analyzed today), don’t forget to hum softly:

“She's a maniac, maniac at your door
And she's dancing like she never danced before…”


More from GM Gserper
Play Chess Like Hockey Players!

Play Chess Like Hockey Players!

Fabiano Caruana And The Chess Revolution

Fabiano Caruana And The Chess Revolution