Queen sacrifices and its psychology

Queen sacrifices and its psychology

Mar 15, 2014, 9:51 AM |

The queen is a powerful piece with lots of admirers. Many bow for her and handle her with respect.

The king is a loser, needs protection all the time, except in the endgame where the king can free himself and do all the crazy things.

Looking at beginning chess players one can see that these players like to play with the queen a lot. Early queen moves, many queen moves, often forgetting about the rest of their team of pieces and pawns.

Then there's lots of moves attacking the queen of the opponent, and when they lose their queen, they often think the game is finished and resign.

Quite a lot of chess players only sacrifice their beloved queen when there's a mate in 2 or 3, or when there is short term clear calculation of winning material in the end.

By not sacrificing your queen you can play safe, but you will not gain any experience how it is to play without that mightly queen piece.

Quite some time ago I invented a queen sacrifice in the Scandinavian Defense with black in various positions.

See example diagram below, Qa5xd2+ :

It is a queen sacrifice for only two minor pieces and sometimes one pawn added.

In the following games you can see that players who win the opponent queen often think that they have a won position, and you will see that they start to make mistakes or choose the wrong plan or continue to play for a win where a draw would be more justified.

It even worked against stronger players, as you can see in the next two games :

And some more examples :


Conclusion :

Playing in chess positions with unbalanced material can be a nice challenge.

And if you are like me, tempted to sac whenever you can, there's various options. Seek mental help or ... keep on sac-ing Laughing


A Queen's sacrifice, even when fairly obvious, always rejoices the heart of the chess-lover.  -  Savielly Tartakower


First, how to sac my queen, then rook, then bishop, then knight, then pawns. – Mikhail Tal (on what he thinks about after his opponent moves)