An unexamined life is not worth living.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two Knights defence – bishop sacrifice

Leonidov – Jiganchine, Moscow, 1997

image Black to move

Yet another silly nostalgic post: When I was a junior, I was spending a lot of time analyzing (without a computer!) positions with initiative for a pawn. My coach wisely set me up with an opening repertoire that was based on home-grown gambits. There was no books explaining how to play in these positions, just me, and the wooden board. This game was one of those kind of games where you feel that your homework paid off, and you have a good sense for positions that you get. I sacrificed the bishop on f2, won a nice game, and kept a good memory of it. But now computer puts doubts into my head – was the sacrifice really winning? Or was it just enough for a draw? Either way, in the game White got afraid to take the bishop and got mated very quickly:

12… Bxf2+! 12. Ke2 Nh5 13. Ne4 Qd4 14. d3 Ng3+ 15. Nxg3 Bxg3 16. Qg1 Rf2+ 17. Kd1

image Black to move
17… Bg4+ 18. hxg4 Qxg4+ 19. Ke1 Qe2#

Replay the game in the viewer:

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