Lunes, Nobyembre 5, 2012
Lecture Theme: Sacrificing To Take Advantage of the
Hello to everyone! I am here to give all of you more
insights into 'sacrifices', which is on how to 'take advantage
of the opponent's king's vulnerability'. In this game against
Beliavski and Kasparov, we will see how Kasparov has
made a 'rook sacrifice' that allows his pieces to endanger
Beliavski's king and later on convert the game into a won
endgame. In this analysis, the sacrifice made did not create
an immediate win, but took longer to initiate the win. This is
to show that a successful sacrifice does not necessarily
an immediate mate or a won position, butit is often necessary
to follow up our attack to the point that the opponent loses
Let us follow Kasparov's game as black and learn from the
ideas he used behind the 'rook sacrifice'. Let's begin.
Beliavsky vs. Kasparov
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 e6
3. d4 cd4
4. Nd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 d6
6. Be2 Be7
7. 0-0 0-0
So far, the game is a usual sicilian defense setup. The
sicilian is considered the 'fighting defense' and players
should always be prepared for tactical battles when
playing the sicilian. Let's continue...
An ideal pawn structure for white called 'pawn island'
wherein white is able to control many central squares,
which is an essential opening principle and is in line with
Beliavsky tries to keep his king out of the g1-a7 diagonal
where black may be able to make use of later in the game.
This is called 'putting the king to safety'.
10. a4 Re8
11. Be3 Nc6
12. Qd2 Bd7
Beliavsky is planning to play a5 which can control the b6-
square and try to place one of his pieces there effectively.
For example, by playing Bb6 or Na4-Nb6. This can give
white a dominating hold on black's queenside which Kasparov
of course did not want to happen.
14. Bf3 Rab8
This pawn push is usually seen in the sicilian for white,
as often the case with the sicilian, white will usually go
for a full-scale kingside attack while black will try to
attack the queenside . With g4, Beliavsky has
initiated a strong attack on black's castled position but
this can also cause risks because the more forward his
pawns are, the more vulnerable and more exposed his
king can become. White can execute a successful
kingside attack, but if his attack fails to succeed,
his king can become so exposed due to the pushed
pawns that black will have a great chance to find
tactical ways to endanger white's king. We can see
Kasparov exploit that later on....Let's continue....
Kasparov gives space for his knight to d7
the moment white plays g5. This knight will be well-placed
at d7 as it looks on the e5-square, preventing white's e5-
move while it can transfer to other good squares like Nc5
16. g5 Nd7
White's queen wants to transfer to the kingside so that
he can use this queen to attack black's castled position
with full force. One idea now for white is to later on play
f5 wherein white's queen and rook on f1 is doubled on
that file and pressure black's f-pawn. Another option for
this queen is to place it to Qh4 or Qg3.
Giving leeway for black's rook at e8, so
that this rook can make use of the e-file if ever white
decides to 18. f5 ef5 19. ef5, and this rook will then be
looking at an open file and can find some use of this file
to try to create some tactics. Another purpose for black's
Bf8 is to place this bishop in a more useful diagonal via
g6-Bg7, as this bishop is ineffective at e7, facing a closed
Beliavsky is now initiating his full-force kingside attack
and Kasparov will try to find the best way to defend
against it and try to find an active counter-attack. Anyway,
we can see here that the more Beliavsky pushes his pawn,
the more vulnerable his king appears to be. This is what Kasparov
will take advantage of as we shall see in the next moves...
Realizing that his bishop is not effective on c8,
Kasparov places this bishop in a more useful diagonal at h1-a8.
It is always good advice to try to find the most active play for
all your pieces. Let's look at how Kasparov makes use his h1-a8
diagonal effectively for his bishop as the game progresses....
19. h5 Na5
Kasparov opens up the bishop diagonal on
b7 to immediately make use of the h1-a8 diagonal. At the
same time, black is anticipating white from playing 20. Na5
ba5, and another file, the b-file, is opened for the use of
black's rook on b8 to pressure white's b2-pawn. Opening
up files for the rook is another effective method of activating
Another effective method is opening up diagonals for your
bishops. The term mainly used for this is 'opening up lines of
attack'. Lines may mean files or diagonals.. Let's continue...
20. Rad1 Nc4
Besides opening up files or diagonals
for your pieces as the best ways of activating your pieces,
another important factor is finding good ways to post your
knights effectively to good squares, ideally inside the opponent's
position. These knights can create a paralyzing effect on
the opponent's position. Let us see how this is done in the next moves...
21. Bc1 Rbc8
Now Kasparov placed his rook in a more
active file as it has no more use on the b-file. This constant
transfering of one's pieces to more useful squares is very
important in finding the best activity for your own pieces. The
more active your pieces are, the more likely you are to find
good tactical moves.
22. Bg2 Nc5
23. Nd4 d5!
Kasparov plans to sacrifice his d-pawn for
the sake of opening up the h1-a8 diagonal. It is good to
be aware that one of Beliavski's best defensive piece is his
bishop on g2, so one way for Kasparov to weaken white's
defense is to try to open up the h1-a8 file and try to get
rid of Beliavski's bishop on g2 by exchanging it to one of
Kasparov's pieces. For example: If white now plays
24. ed5 ed5 25. Nd5 Bd5 26. Bd5 Ne4 white may then
need to take on this knight with his bishop via 27. Be4
Re4, and now black has successfully removed white's
bishop on g2. See how Beliavski's king is so much more
vulnerable without his bishop on g2. It would
be a lot easier now for Kasparov to initiate a successful
king hunt. Let's see how Beliavsky tried to avoid this.
This seems to have closed the position and makes it
impossible now for black to make use of the h1-a8
diagonal for his bishop. Kasparov has a. surprise
move coming which Beliavsky didn't expect...
Strongly posting his knight at e4
inside Beliavski's position. If this knight will not be
taken by white's bishop with Be4, this knight will
give a paralyzing effect on white's entire position.
25. Ne4 de4
Now black is one move away from
opening up the h1-a8 diagonal to exchange his
bishop at b7 to white's bishop at g2, which is to
play e3. As i said before, getting rid of white's
bishop at g2 would weaken white's defense as
the bishop at g2 is one of the best defensive
piece for white's king. Let us see how Kasparov
continues from this position...
26. b3 Na5
27. Be3 g6
Keeps white from playing f5 which
can effectively open up the f-file for his doubled queen
and rook on that file. Let's continue...
28. Rd2 Red8
29. hg6 hg6
30. Qh4 Nc6
Again, black constantly looks for
inactive pieces to place them in more active squares.
Kasparov's knight is ineffective at a5 so he places this
knight in a more useful square at c6, and it can effectively
transfer now to Ne7 and from there it can go either to
Nd5 or Nf5. Beliavski cannot take on the e4-pawn
with 31. Be4 because black will win a piece with
31......Nd4 32. Bb7 Qb7+ or 32. Rd4 Rd4 33. Bd4
Be4+, also winning a piece. If white tries to exchange knights
with 31. Nc6 Qc6 32. Rfd1 Rd2 33. Rd2 Bb4
34. Re2 Rd8, and black's rook took control of the
open d-file, threatening to penetrate the 8th rank with
Rd1. So Beliavski opted for another option...
31. c3 Ne7
Now two good options are open
for this knight....Nd5 or Nf5.
Beliavski eliminated the first option for Kasparov's
knight which is Nd5. So Kasparov looked on the
second option. To do that effectively, Kasparov
sacrificed his rook to get rid of Beliavski's knight
at d4 which looks on the f5-square. Let us see
now the sacrifice and the ideas behind it.
33. Bd4 Nf5
With this rook sacrifice, Kasparov
is able to place his knight strongly to f5 and at the
same time make it more possible to open up the
h1-a8 diagonal to weaken white's defenses even more
with a probable e3-move done at the right moment.
The factors that makes this sacrifce possible are the
vulnerability of white's king and the possibility of opening
up lines for the attack as white's king is very vulnerable.
34. Qh3 Kg7!
Now Kasparov tries to make use of
the open h-file for his rook by removing his bishop at f8
and then places his rook on Rh8 later on to pin Beliavski's
queen and continue to harass his king.
35. Qc3 a5
Plans to play the effective move Bb4!
36. c5 Nd4
37. Rd4 Bc5
Now if Kasparov will check at Rh8, white's king will not
find an escape to g1 due to Kasparov's bishop. Black is
now removing all means of escape for white's king.
39. Bh3 e3+
Now Kasparov found the best time to
open up the h1-a8 diagonal and make use of this line
to continue attacking white's king.
40. Kh2 Qc6!
We can see how Kasparov is using
all the diagonals and files for his pieces to initiate a
strong mating attack to Beliavski's king. Now the
threat for black is to play Qg2 checkmate!
41. Qc2 Ba6
After seeing that black cannot progress
on the h1-a8 diagonal with white's good defense, Kasparov
has opted for his 'reserved option' which is to get back
the lost exchange and end up with a better position with
more active pieces. Let us see how Kasparov accomplishes
a better position from here.
42. Kg3 Bc4
Kasparov has now successfully regained the exchange,
and at the same time Beliavski's king is more vulnerable
than Kasparov's king. This is one big reason why Kasparov's
position is better than Beliavski. Another factor is black's more
active pieces with his rook on the h-file and his queen using the
h1-a8 diagoanal as well as his bishop at c5.
Another factor is his passed pawn at e6 which is close to
queening and is strongly supported by
his bishop at c5. These are all the winning factors for black
in this position.
Kasparov is constantly looking for
the best ways to penetrate Beliavski's position. This
queen now plans to go effectively to Qd2.
44. Bg4 Qd2
45. Be2 Rd8
Seeing that this rook is not useful on
the h-file, Kasparov has found a better file for this rook
on the d-file. By placing this rook on this file, it can
now threaten to play Rd4, which is a strong position
for this rook. We have seen several times already in this
game how Kasparov reorganized his pieces to more active
squares for them to be more effective.
Let us see how black finishes out the game in great fashion.
46. Rc1 Rd4
47. Qc2 Qb4!
Kasparov now threatens to take on
the important f4-pawn that defends Beliavski's g5 and
e5 pawns. If Kasparov successfully removes this pawn,
it would be easier for him to take on the g5 and e5 pawns
because they would be more vulnerable to attacks.
48. Qc3 Rf4
49. Qb4 Rb4
Now we can see more clearly how
Beliavski's two pawns at e5 and g5 are more vulnerable
to attacks. Kasparov made use of his more aggressive
pieces to convert to an endgame favorable to him.
Now Kasparov's plan is to find ways to take on
Beliavski's e5 or g5 pawns to gain a majority of pawns
on the kingside as the winning theme for black.
This seems to have trapped Kasparov's rook but Kasparov
has seen to this move ahead of time and knows that black
has a way to get his rook out. We will see that in a few
White cannot play 51. Kf4 here as Kasparov would play
51.....e2 52. Re1 b5 53. ab5 a4 54. Re2 ab3 55. Re4 b2
for the win. This is how Kasparov can get his rook out
effectively, with b5 and a4 in mind. Let us continue...
So that Kasparov cannot play 52....b5 53. ab5 and now
53.....a4 is not possible for black. But Kasparov is still
ahead in his analysis.
53. Ra2 Ke7
Now it is obvious that Kasparov's plan is
to place his king in a more aggressive square towards d4
to take on Beliavski's e5-pawn. After that, Kasparov's
kingside pawn majority will ensure his win.
Beliavski cannot just stay on the a-file with Ra1
and Ra2 moves, so he tries a different move.
54. Rg2 e2!
Kasparov is reserving this move!
He gives up his e-pawn for the sake of getting his rook out.
This distracts white's rook and forces to stop it's attack on black's
bishop. Black can now break his rook free.
55. Re2 b5!
If Beliavski tries 56. ab5, then Kasparov will play 56....a4!
57. Rb2 ab3 58. Bb3 Rb5, and now white's e5-pawn
falls too, and it would be easy for black to win with so
many pawns left.
57. Kg4 Be3
58. Rc2 Bd4
Kasparov knows that the best way to win
now is to target Beliavski's last pawn at e5, and after
that the rest will be easy.
59. Kf4 Rh3
60. Rc8 Rh4+
61. Kg4 Rh8!
And white resigns. If Beliavski takes on this rook with
62. Rh8, Kasparov simply plays 62....Be5 and regains
the rook with Bh8 . If white plays 62. Rc7+ Kf8
63. Rc8+ Kg7 64. Rh8 Be5+ and then 65....Kh8,
and black also wins easily.
Let us now summarize the ideas learned in this Lecture:
1. Pushing pawns located in your castled position can
endanger the safety of your king, as we have seen with
Beliavski's game here.
2. Open up lines of attack, like files for your rooks and
diagonals for your bishops for you to create dangerous
attacks to the opponent's king.
3. Constantly look for the most active play for your
pieces nnd when any of your pieces are not effective in
any way, find a way to make it more active.
4. Having more active pieces than your opponent would
more likely leave you with an advantageous endgame by
being ahead in tempo.
5. And last but not the least, remember that sacrifices does
not always necessarily end in a mate or a winning position,
but you need to continuously take the little advantages to
find a way to win the game.
I hope you had gained additional insights and ideas into 'sacrifices'. Have a good day to everyone,
and start playing aggressive sacrificial chess!
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