Thursday 2 May 2013

Queen sacrifice in practise

Even if professional players often can notice most of correct combinations with a queen sacrifice there are no so many chances in practise to demonstrate the symbiosis of skill and beauty.
I am not an exception.
In one of my games from Copenhagen Chess Challenge I found beautiful idea of a queen sacrifice but I never got a chance to do it on the board.
When I started to analyse my games from Danish tournaments, I did not have many doubts about a choice of the first game who I analysed.
Why? You can find it if you read the text.

This time I will not start from the position on the introduction diagram.
To understand better, complexity of the chess battle, I need to go show the position when my idea was born.

Hagen Andreas E2134 - Bejtovic Jasmin E2406

This is the position after nineteen moves.
I have to mention that this guy made IM norm, but I am not so impressed but the quality of his play.
He is not bad player, and he can definitely fight well, but he plays rather destructively.
He played for the very dull position in the opening, not trying to do anything and his idea was to make a draw somehow.
This position was reached when he tried to fight my idea of bringing the knight on h5 with Bf1-Be2.
Then, I moved my rook on e8, taking the control over e-file.
There are many subtlest in this variation, and I played it quite a few times.
One time I played it against top player GM Volokitin.
What weaker player don´t understand here is that the e-file is not so important if there are so many minor pieces on the board.
The importance of the e-file grows with every exchange.
That is why I fulfilled other tasks while my opponent occupied e-file. Now when I got some slight initiative, I started to fight for the e-file.
In the process my knight on f7 became bad (as he pushed his pawn on f4).
So, shortcoming plans for me is to keep my initiative going and to improve the position of knight on f7.
For my opponent the main thing can be just keeping the things under control.

20. Bf3?!

One more second rate move, that tries to keep control of e-file.
I started aggressively:

21. Be2, Nd7!?

So I improved my knight!
It seemed that he was not impressed and he just put his bishop back on f3.

22. Bf3, Qf6!?

Now he has to thing about the queens exchange on d4.
He decided to stop it immediately.

23. Bf2

We reached the following position.

I reacted good:


His play was objectively not so bad, as in this position he can still hold the balance.
But this is a trap of analysing the games with a computer.
You can get an impression that everything was fine, as the position is still in balance.
The main problem is which measures has White to take in order to keep the balance.
The right move is far from obvious.
He played:

24. g3?

Now I developed winning initiative.

25. gxf4, Ne5
26. Be2, Ng6! (this square is available after g6-g5)
27. Bg3, Qd4+

...and you can easily see that he will lose f4 pawn and later on everything is over.
I am not going to analyse the game further, as you can see that I blundered badly later on, and saved a draw by miracle.

There are two things which needs to be answered.
The first is, what should White play after 23...g5!.
The answer is:

24. Re6!!

Only this exchange sacrifice can keep the balance.
My opponent was far from playing it. He did not even considered it!
This means that his play in analysed sequence was bad, as his abilities were not good enough to keep the balance by drastic measures.

The second question is:
Where is that above mentioned queen sacrifice?

In the following lines you can find the answer.

We are now back to the position after 19 moves.
What could happened if he played with the real idea.
For example, he can hinder me of improving the position of my knight. He can do that by moving his queen from the diagonal c1-h6 so that his pawn on f4 is not pinned.

20. Qc2?!

I calculated this to be the most serious move, but now I can see that he actually need to play unnatural move 20. Qd3 after which the position is unclear (on the opposite that he wanted).
I can then try to take advantage of some of the weak squares on the e-file:


In this position he has more than one candidate move, and I analysed it in depth.
For the purpose of simplicity on this blog, I will show only my calculation in the game after the most natural:

21. Kh2?!

We are eventually there, the position from the introduction!
My calculation in the game was:

22. Kxg3

Now I seen two ideas:


This is the above mentioned queen sacrifice.
As the matter of fact, I seen even 22...Bxf4+ which leads to advantage for me as well.

23. Kxh4

This is almost forced as 23. Kh2, Bxf4+ 24. Kg1, Qg3  leads to a winning attack.


The stepping stone in my calculation.
To see everything up to this point was already good, as I would work harder with this variation if he actually made 20. Qc2!? and 21. Kh2.
However I did not stopped here.
The threat is obvious g6-g5# and I calculated only:

24. Qxf5!

This is indeed the best.


Here I stopped and estimated my position as at least equal.
In the matter of fact I am winning.

25. Kg4, Bg3

There is a mate threat h5+ and Ng5# so the next move is forced:

26. Bd3, Bxe1
27. Rxe1, Ne5+
28. Rxe5, Nh6+
29. Kf4, dxe5+
30. Kxe5, Nf7+ and Black should win this.

What I did not anticipated is that White has one more candidate move in the position on the diagram:

24. Ne4

This move also stops the mate.
What should Black do now?


Really beautiful! The threat is g5+, Nxg5 and Ng6#.
Is that all?
Not at all!

25. Bh5!!

White tries to control the g6 square as the mate is coming from there.
Now we can see that with a knight move on e5 we have one more advantage.
The square g4 is under control so we can just take on e4, or what?


White needs to try something.

26. Bxg6, Nxg6+
27. Kg4, h5#

This position deserves new diagram.
This variation is actually not the fantasy variation, as it was very very close in the game to be just like this.
It is pity that I did not get the chance to do it on the board.

Also, I think that this combination is much worth of publishing, so everyone who has a chance to publish it somewhere can do it without asking me.


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