Rook Sacrifice - and strong Counter Play on the white-coloured Squares

Feb 20, 2012, 2:53 AM |

" If you are under a strong king side attack, counter in the center!" (Nimzowitsch)

Please look at the following position. It came up in the game Geller- Euwe (Zurich 1953)



It is obviously that White will have problems defending the c4-pawn. With Rc8, Ba6 and Nd6 Black can attack, and at last, win it. So, white decided here to go directly for a strong king side attack



You already can feel now, the game is driving directly to a high-noon point. Black could not  play here a "wait and see" strategy. He had to react immediately and opened the game in the center. Nevertheless, white pieces came very close to the black king ...



Now Black king was under immense pressure. Here Euwe decided to sacrifice a rook to bring the queen offside and out of control of the white-coloured squares, especially of the point c2. He played

22. ... Rh8!!?



Then he started a counter play exactly on these white-coloured squares that were now out of queen-control. He started with

23. ... Rc2!


And suddenly, White king came under pressure. Then one incorrect move, and the game was over



So, we have seen here how it can work, when we get in our games under a strong king attack. We have to hold the king position for a couple of moves and meanwhile to start a strong counter attack. Even if we have to sacrifice a rook for it!