Firouzja's Super Knight Sacrifice

Firouzja's Super Knight Sacrifice

Illingworth
GM Illingworth
|
6

Which move was the highlight of the 2019 FIDE World Cup thus far? 


There are quite a few candidates, but many are already saying that Firouzja's 37th move, in his Round 2 World Cup game against 2018 World Rapid Champion Dubov, is the move of the tournament.


I have set numerous puzzles from my analysis of this game, to test primarily your endgame skill, but also a few other thinking techniques  


Let's see if you can find the same concept alluded to above:



What if, in the final position above, Black plays 39...Rb3? That is the subject of our next puzzle.


As it happens, Black did have a last chance to save himself in this Rook and pawns vs. Rook and bishop endgame, after White played the wrong rook move. Can you see the opportunity?


This next position is one you might like to play out. It's a tablebase win, but can you beat the engine?


The main lesson in this endgame is to use the rook to cut off Black's king, steadily forcing Black's king further away from the passed pawn, and to avoid pushing the h-pawn - in fact, the immediate 63.h5? would already be a book draw. 

There are many other takeaways from the game, outside of this late endgame that we saw. For instance - in the game, Dubov set a clever trap, which Firouzja avoided. Can you see it too?


The next game fragment will test your ability to deal with the opponent's threats.


My final puzzle from this game is another critical moment - this time in the endgame - where you have the task of keeping control of the position


What is something you learned from this game? 

For the puzzles you didn't get right - what was the difference between your thought process, and the best moves? 

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