Brilliancies !

Mar 1, 2008, 7:47 PM |

Here are some member-submitted combinations that are not only instructive, but which also illustrate why chess is artful beauty.  In a recent blog, I asked members to submit games which they won through a deliberate sacrifice of material.  There were numerous submissions, and these are the best-of-the-best.  I thank all of you who sent a game for consideration.  In the games that follow, I have changed the name of the winners’ opponents to “Anon”.

In the first game we reach a position after 30 moves where both sides are equal in material and it is member Cleive, who is White, to move.  Cleive chose to sacrifice his rook, would you?  Watch how he forces capture of the Black queen, followed a few moves later by Black's resignation.

In the next game, rednblack as White first offers his knight up to the sacrificial altar, and then launches a crushing attack, aided in part by an error on Black's 25th move. 


Our third submission did not technically satisfy the original solicitation, since there is no sacrifice of material.  But it is such a nice example of a mating net that I felt compelled to include it as an example of the power of coordinated knights.  While many players would simply trade off queens after move 24, Rael as White sees something more.  That he was only rated 1231 at the time of the game makes this particularly pleasant to watch.

Oginschile as Black knows something that a lot of beginning players would do well to learn:  If you have sufficient firepower in the vicinity of the enemy’s king, you can sacrifice a minor piece in exchange for two of the three pawns defending that king.  When the emperor has no clothes, he flees in shame.  It should be noted, however, that his opponent made an error on his 18th move.  White apparently thought that the vacuous attack against the Black queen was better than NxN, which would have blunted Black’s attack, but he was mistaken and Black went on to win in a nice finish.

The next game is fairly complex, and is not as easy to follow as the others, but Raymond, as Black, demonstrates what a high-rated player is capable of accomplishing. White plays 23. Bf1, attacking Black’s rook, and Black proceeds to ignore the threat!  Then, after chasing the White king around for over ten moves, which includes another piece sacrifice by Black, he pushes White into a position where he is forced to resign.


I love watching strong players at work.

I also love the following game, which was my favorite submission.  Here, pindol_91 is Black and he ignores White’s taking his knight, preferring instead a perfectly beautiful ending with a Queen sacrifice!

I enjoyed these games, as well as all the submissions that readers sent in for consideration.  I hope the games I selected for inclusion here have helped convince you of the wisdom behind my blog’s general title:  Choose Your Move Carefully (in chess as in life)!