What's White's best move?
Success road sign (Photo by Nick Youngson, CC BY-SA 3.0, Alpha Stock Images)

What's White's best move?


I wish I could say I found the right move in my 3/2 blitz game.

It's an elegant line.



19 Sept 2019 update — I couldn't help but notice the similarity between the pattern in my game above and the one that popped up in Giri—Xiong in the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix.

With a hat tip to @PeterDoggers and @dbojkov for their post and analysis in FIDE Chess World Cup: Xiong Sends Giri Home, here's a problem from Giri's game.

While the complexity of the challenge facing Giri in his rapid game was orders of magnitude more complex than that in my blitz game, the motif is the same in at least one key aspect, namely, the solution involves a rook sacrifice that sets up the opposing king so that it is on the same rank, file or diagonal as the opposing queen and then issuing check, allowing the capture of the opposing queen.

In my game the rook sac directly decoys the opposing king into position.

In Giri's game the opposing king and queen are already on the same rank. The problem for White is that there's a pawn in between Black's king and queen that defeats the skewer. The rook sac is the first domino to fall, setting up White's next two pawn take pawn moves that open the rank, thus allowing the skewer. It's the intermediate moves that make Giri's position immensely more complex. 

Still both tactics start with the same thought — what if I sacrificed my rook? 

In both cases, the only way to discover the winning line is to ask ourselves "what if," which at least gives us the chance to overcome our natural inhibition against throwing away material and re-imagine the world as it might be, rather than as it is.