The Euphoria Of A Queen Sacrifice

The Euphoria Of A Queen Sacrifice

GM Ginger_GM
Sep 14, 2016, 12:00 AM |
22 | Amazing Games

“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.” 
― Peter S. BeagleThe Last Unicorn

Magic does happen on the chess board; that is one of the main reasons that this mystical game has kept me enthralled for as long as I can remember. Some people go to an art museum to experience beauty, but as chess players, we are lucky enough to be able to create our own piece of art over 64 squares. What captures our imagination as much as a queen sacrifice? A queen sacrifice means we have to bravely give up our most important piece in order to create some magic on the board.

Presto chango! I have transmogrified my queen into a checkmate!

In this article, I will be sharing some of the most vivid examples of this concept with you. These are both examples that I have seen and examples which I have been able to play.

To start, let's take a look at one of my favorite game of all time.

28...Rg6!! was one of the most pleasing ideas that I have ever seen. The intention is to play ...Qh1+!!, ...Nh2+!!, and ...Rg1++!! While enjoying the aesthetic beauty of such an idea, we can also learn from it. For example, twelve years later I was able to use a similar theme in one of my own games.


Both games have the same theme. This just goes to show us how we can learn form chess patterns. Once we see a certain theme on the board, there is a good chance we will remember that pattern and, hopefully, be able to use it ourselves. That is why one of the best ways to improve at chess is to solve puzzles. This will improve your vision and tactical foresight. Chess.com has one of the best  training programs. If you have not already tried it, then you should have a go at Tactics Trainer. Here is a video of me talking my way through some puzzle solving.

Before I offer you a selection of queen sacrifices to solve, I am just going to indulge myself a little bit more. I guess this is a typical grandmaster thing to do. Look at me and my big Elo/ego The excuse that I am going to give is that these games are personal to me, so I share my thoughts with you on the following queen sacrifices.

This was my first memory of being able to play a successful queen sacrifice. I played it more out of necessity than anything else!

The move 27.Qf6!! gave me just enough time to start my own attack. Now onto an interesting encounter against one of Iceland's best players.

The sacrifice in this game gave me enough time to open up lines against Black's king. This was quite a natural continuation considering that my king is safely tucked away on g1. Now lets move onto one of my most speculative sacrifices.

What made me play such a crazy idea as 16 Qxd4+?!?!?!?—the tournament situation. It was the last round, and I had had a terrible tournament. With no prize money to play for, my only chance was a shot at the £100 best game prize, enough money for a fair few consolation drinks... What is the best way to get the best game prize? Sacrifice the queen! And yes, I did win the £100...

It's all about those... Watt and Boultons?!

Now let me present two more games that have stuck in my imagination. I hope you enjoy these reckless queens as much as I did.


I have also done a video on this game, if you would like to see the game in more detail.

Next is the best game ever played in the Benko Gambit White's play throughout is unique, crazy, and inspiring.

To finish this article, I would like to offer you the chance to solve some queen sacrifice puzzles. The first several have a theme in mind; you get bonus points if you can spot the theme. It should become quite obvious.

The next puzzle is very similar...

The theme is twofold:

  1. The queen is offered to two pawns.
  2. The sacrifice only works because of the "rook swinger."

You should be able to find the solution in the next puzzle. Remember to calculate all checks and captures...

Can you find the winning move for White here?

We are back to the same theme as before, but we have no "rook swinger" this time! Next, we have a different theme, but the first move is a real beauty, can you spot it?

The queen bravely offered herself on another square there, but the checkmate pattern was as in the game GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. vs GM Thien Hai Dao. Again, this just shows that in order to get better at chess, you must try and become familiar with certain patterns. Then you will spot these ideas in your own games.

GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. may have the record for most games played on Chess.com.

To finish, take a look at one of the most sparkling queen sacrifices of all time. How can Black force checkmate below?

This is theme has occurred on a couple of occasions in the King's Indian Defense. I have covered it in a YouTube video.

Also check out this brand-new video featuring a queen sac in which I made 2600+ on Chess.com!

I hope you enjoyed those games as much as I did. Chess can be a game of a lot of things, but for me, the artistic beauty of certain ideas always shines through and sticks in mind. Cool

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