An unexamined life is not worth living.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sacrifice on April Fool’s day

image Black to move
r4rk1/pbq2pp1/7p/1B6/3pP3/6b1/PPP1Q1P1/R1B2R1K b - - 0 22

This game was a decisive one in a BC CYCC (Canadian youth championship) qualifier of 2000, played on April 1st. Playing with the Black pieces, I missed a very nice way to wrap up this game. What strikes you about this position? Material is even, but White’s queenside is still undeveloped. White’s king is weak, and those dark squares will be really hard to cover up. If only I could transfer a heavy piece to the kingside, that would be decisive, but the e4 pawn is on the way, and Rae8-e4-h4 also seems not possible yet because e8 is covered. If …a6, then Bd3 and e4 is better protected.

22… Rae8!! I really wish it had occurred to me to play this move, since if White accepts the sacrifice, he really has no chance of defending.
23. Bxe8?! Rxe8 Arguably – the bishop was a more valuable piece than any one Black’s rooks.

image  White to  move. There is no defence: all Black pieces are in the game – he had no use for both rooks in this attack anyway.

23. Bd3 f5 is more resilient, but Black now Black is attacking for free, and also should win:

image  White to move. Black wins here as well.

The blog is really turning into the listing of my missed opportunities in 10 year old games. A real sign that my playing strength has not changed much since then (but computers got a hell lot stronger and now show me all these tricks that I did not realize at the time …)

Game in the viewer:

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