The Positional Queen Sacrifice

The Positional Queen Sacrifice

TheGadfly1897
GM TheGadfly1897
Jan 1, 2017, 6:08 PM |
2 | Strategy

In pursuit of a topic for my very first article on Chess.com, I decided to go over my recent games and see if anything interesting would come up. I got really excited when I touched down on my game against GM David Howell from the Winter Classic tournament earlier this year. Positional queen sacrifice! Wouldn't that be exciting for my first writing experience on Chess.com? Few recent examples involving positional queen sacrifice quickly popped up in my mind too - Caruana vs Nakamura, 2016 and Ider - Hou Yifan, 2017.  Then I googled up "positional queen sacrifice" and, to my surprise, realized that GM Danya Naroditsky had written several articles for Chess.com on this interesting and relatively unexplored topic! I am hopeful to believe that my game and selected examples will further contribute to the exploration of the subject. I encourage readers to read more on the queen sacrifice by using the links below :



What do these three examples have in common?

1. Queen is just one piece. It cannot win the battle alone. Napoleon didn't conquer Europe by himself, his soldiers did. 

2. Pieces at certain times can be worth more than their value. For example, Hou Yifan's light-squared bishop on f3 , Caruana's beautiful knights on d5 and f5, or black's knight on d4 in my game against Howell. 

3. Such factors as piece coordination and domination should not be underestimated.

4. King, king, king! Chess game is all about delivering mate to your opponent's king. One can have even five extra queens, but as long as his/her king is in mating net, none cares. The above-mentioned examples illustrate this point nicely. Example #1 : White had problems due to the weakness of the back-rank. Example #2 : Nakamura's king was stuck in the center, then ran into a direct attack on the kingside after castling short. Example #3 : The White king was not feeling comfortable on g1. 

5. Pawn structure. Beware of pawn moves, try not to give up squares. Otherwise your opponent might set up a long-term nest for his pieces. 

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