Two pawns for one minute

FM ddtru
Aug 28, 2015, 7:01 PM |
Long time ago, when I was learning to play chess in my hometown of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in Russia, we used to play quite a lot of blitz. We were mostly playing for the fun of it, so the mood was relaxed and talking during the game was not frowned upon. In fact, talking was a separate skill in blitz, as it provided a chance to distract your opponent, or to make him laugh and lose track of what was going on the board. Making fun of yourself was perfectly normal as well!

There was a phrase that was very common in those sessions: "Sacrificing a pawn for a minute!". Most often, it meant that you just blundered something, but the opponent could never be 100% sure if it wasn't indeed a proper sacrifice. He would spend time checking variations and - lo and behold! - he was indeed behind you on time! We all strongly believed that one minute was more important than a pawn in blitz. In fact, I still do Laughing 

Recently I was playing in a strong blitz tournament here in Singapore and in Round 5 I had to rely on this formula as early as early as 10th move. Actually, things were even worse than usual for me, as I followed a theoretical pawn sacrifice by blundering another pawn on the very next move. So there I was, two pawns down for a few extra seconds on the clock and a semblance of attack. In the end, it worked out very well and made for a fun and lively blitz game that I would like to share.