Miniature: Poisoned Bishop

Mar 10, 2011, 3:57 AM |
Beginner tips: opening, tactics
This game illustrates a few common principles. First, there's a rule of thumb that says to move each piece once during opening development. While it's not a hard-and-fast rule, in this opening white moved his knight no less than four times before moving any other pieces, which led to a significant lag in development.
Tactically, it illustrates another principle: Don't grab. Taking a piece just because you can is often a ploy set to advance your opponent's plan, and furthermore can derail your own. If a piece is hanging, take the time to make sure that the cost of capture is something you're willing to pay. Free lunches are seldom free. Here, my opponent took the bait after 12... e5?!, which cleared the way for the final bishop move, skewering the queen behind a check.
After the loss of his queen, all the kingside pawns will fall and black will either seek a quick mating opportunity or exchange material to a won ending, so white resigned.