Momentum Don't Co$t a Thing
Momentum, initiative and aggressive attack are often characterised by daredevil sacrifices, and are eye candy for the adrenaline-pumped. When in our game though, our adrenal glands go on vacation, and we choose to play the obvious move rather than the not-so-mainstream pressure maintaining move, due to our natural sacrificeophobia (yes spell check, I just invented that word, stop annoying me!)
Today let me appease that misconception in you. Momentum doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg (and one sweet point). Sometimes, playing the most threatening, forward moving option greatly stresses the position in your favour.
Unless you consider ignoring a liability piece on the corner of the board in exchange for a deadly pin that wins back the piece 3 moves later a sacrifice, Jonny Hector has brilliantly managed to move pieces actively from move 10 till the end of the game in move 25, without making his pieces cannon fodder, playing with so much pressure that Black does not even get the time to castle.
White is close to finishing development, after swinging Ra1-e1. White can retreat the bishop and still maintain pressure, but senses that he can now strike or lose out on the precious moment. It is here Jonny decides to renounce petty threats and go for the jugular.
Note that the next move seems to be a sacrifice but hardly is. The Bishop under attack requires valuable tempo to save it from its peril and become useful again. Whereas, why forego the chance of a threat that reinforces the lethal attack?
By move 21, Black is practically hopeless. Just like the game above, White has a plethora of ways to emerge victorious. In case Black had played 21… Qb4, there was another beautiful victory. Want to try it?