Time and Space- Sacrificing Material to Gain It!

May 19, 2017, 9:09 PM |
Hi! In this blog, I want to share some games that include tactical themes in common: In this case, how to sacrifice material to win space and time!
The first game is the most famous from the matches played in 1834 between Macdonnell and La Bourdonnais. They played 85 games in 6 matches in six months!
These games were the first collection of competittive games between two Masters to be published, and they are games that Morphy and Staunton studied. Other Masters, such as Chigorin, Steinitz and Capablanca, studied these games as well!
Charles de la Bourdonnais

The second game is the first game of the World Championship Match between Frank Marshall and Emanuel Lasker in 1907.

Frank Marshall

In this game, which is quite instructive,
Lasker sacrifices a piece, and Marshall is forced to return it. In the ensuing position, Marshall is also forced to exchange Queens, which leaves Lasker with an enduring positional advantage in the endgame, plus the initiative!

Emanuel Lasker



This is the term that David Bronstein used when a pawn is crossing the middle of the board. In the next game, Alexander Tolush makes an imperceptible mistake, which Bronstein exploits, showing its tactical weakness. No wonder they called Bronstein "cunning Devik"!

Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush


David Bronstein




Bronstein comments about the following game:

"When I prepared myself for this game I noticed that in his game with Semen Furman a few rounds earlier, Lev Polugaevsky had gone after the pawn on c5. Would he do it again? I found that this plan had a flaw-too many moves with one knight and it it just not worth a pawn. when he repeated this line in our game I was very surprised. I did not repeat Furman's mistake, who defended the pawn on c5, and by sacrificing it, I got several extra tempi and could chase the White pieces away from the centre of the chessboard."


Lev Polugaevsky



The following game is the one Polugaevsky refers to in his notes:


Paul Keres


This blog would be incomplete without Bronstein's win against Keres in the 1955 Gothenburg Interzonal Tournament. This game won the First Brilliancy Prize!


The next game is a beauty...Blackburne sparkles!



Which reminds me of a similar e5 pawn sacrifice, with a similar pawn structure, played by Lasker against Capablanca, in their encounter in St. Petersburg, 1914!