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Bishop Sacrifice

Bishop Sacrifice

Jun 1, 2016, 10:23 AM 0
Few things in chess are as exciting as sacrificing a piece, especially when that sacrifice leads to a mating attack. Two of my recent games featured a bishop sacrifice, one successful and one not. I happened to be playing both of these games simultaneously, so it was a interesting to contrast them.
The first game featured the Classic Bishop Sacrifice pattern, explained by IM Silman, in an article on chess.com from 2012.
I first noticed the pattern in this position:
But a few things were not quite right:
So I needed to sacrifice a pawn to begin the attack.
The most critical line is if he retreats:
However, my opponent chose to come forward instead. I was ecstatic, because this leads to a forced win, although it's complicated.
From here I analyzed five possible alternatives, depending upon how he defended. The first four were if he decided to retreat again. The first one, he attempts to remove the knight, but it's too slow:
The second one, he attempts to defend with the knight directly.
The third one he defends with the knight and the pawn:
For the fourth, he attempts to defend with a bigger pawn push:
In some other lines I had the possibility of castling long and bringing in the other rook, so delaying tactics by black do not work.
However, my opponent instead chose the most straightforward mate, by coming forward instead of retreating. I was also happy about this, as it's the most spectacular finish!
Here is the complete game.
Always a fun way to finish! Sacrificed two pawns and two pieces for a decisive attack. For the next post, I will analyze a game defending against the bishop sacrifice. 

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