An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bishop Sacrifice in Panov Attack (Caro-Kann)

One of the main points of playing blitz on the internet is to go over finished games, and draw certain conclusions from them. I learned a fair bit from the game I played online today – something that can be useful in tournament games I play later, because the pawn structure and combination ideas are typical for the opening that I play.
This position occurred in this game
image White to move
Black just played 11… Nde7, instead of the more standard 11… Nce7. I continued with 12. Be3 and got a position with isolated Queen’s Pawn (IQP) that I like, but putting the bishop on e3 did feel a bit passive.
After the game, I looked up this position in Karpov and Podgaets’ book on the Panov attack since the move Black played took me a bit by surprise. Turns out White has a nice way to exploit the fact that Black reduced his control over g5 square, and play 12.Bg5!? The key point is that if 12…Bxg5, then White can strike with a typical sacrifice on h7 with 13. Bxh7+!?:
image White does not win on a spot, but the book shows that his position is better. This is the kind of guidance I would expect from an opening book, so I recommend it for its thoroughness! I took a longer way around, but in the end did create pressure against Black king and won (who said that analysing blitz games is a waste of time?!)
Replay the game in the viewer:

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