Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Knight Sacrifice

In a game of speed chess, I sacrificed my knight to mate in fourteen moves.  My opponent, who played black, was Lonnavenue of the USA.  Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 c6

Black's move is a surprise.  The move Nc6 is very common here.  I suspect black plans d5 with the aim of a strong pawn centre, but the immediate d5 leaves e5 unprotected.

3. Bc4 Qe7

Black protects e5, but this locks in the king bishop.  The move d6 is better.

4. 0-0 Nf6
5. d4 d5
6. exd cxd
7. Bb3 e4

Black has a strong pawn centre, but his king is in the centre and my knight now has a nice square.

8. Ne5 Qd8

Black moves his queen so that he can free the king bishop and then castle.

9. Bg5 Be7
10. Nxf7 Kxf7

I sacrifice my knight.  This prevents black from castling and begins an attack on the kingside.

11. Bxf6 gxf6

I capture the knight because I want to check with my queen on h5.  Black makes a bad move.  The capture Bxf6 is better because it doesn't weaken the kingside.

12. Qh5+ Kf8
13. Bxd5 Qe8

I have control of the light squares.  Black wants to exchange queens, but I have mate in one.

14. Qh6#

Black's eleventh move, gxf6, weakens his kingside and allows me a quick victory.  Another mistake, but not as critical, is his third move, Qe7.  This move locks in the king bishop and prevents black from castling quickly.  My control of the light squares and ability to shatter the black kingside give me mate in fourteen.

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