30 March 2015

Assaulting the King

The Nature of Blitz

In a recent blitz game, I made an unsound sacrifice of a knight for two pawns to launch an attack on my opponent's king. Had he defended properly, my attack would have faltered. He failed. My attack, also, contained several inaccuracies. Such is the nature of blitz: blunders characterize the play of both sides.

White to move

Objectively best for White here is 15.Nc3 or 15.Qa5. In both cases, Black is somewhat better. However, I wanted to take the g5 pawn and create an open file in front of Black's king. I needed to decoy away one of the defenders of g5.


An assault on the king begins with an unsound sacrifice.

15...Qxd6 16.Nxg5 Bg7?

The first important error by my opponent.

16.h6 18.Nh3 Kh7 and Black's king remains secure. White has nothing for the sacrifice.


Positionally, this move seemed sensible, but it fails.


17...h6 18.Rg3 Kh8 19.Nf3-+ and Black should prevail.


18.h6 was best.


White to move


This second knight sacrifice is White's only chance.


19...fxe6 20.Qxh6 Ne8 21.Qg5=


Now, White's attack cannot be stopped.

20...Ne8 21.Qg5 f6 22.Qh4

22.Qg6 is better.

Black to move


22...Kf7 is objectively best, but still loses. 23.dxe6+ Qxe6 24.h6+-.

23.h6 Rf7 24.Bh5

24.hxg7 is better.

24.Re7 25.hxg7 Nxg7 26.Bg6

Black to move


Black ran out of time, but it is checkmate in three.

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