Brilliant Queen Sacrifices

In chess nothing speaks more to the imagination than a brilliant queen sacrifice. It involves exchanging the queen for less material to gain a positional advantage that wins the game. Queen sacrifices are even more evocative when they stun the opponent early in the game.

In “The Game of the Century” 13-year old Bobby Fisher sacrificed his Queen on move 17 against Donald Byrne. Fisher playing the black pieces exchanged his queen for a bishop to enter a windmill attack in which he gained back some material. Fisher went on to dominate the game and checkmated his opponent on move 41.

Recently during the 2020 FIDE Online Chess Olympiad GM Alexei Shirov in his “Brilliancy Prize Game” had two queen sacrifices in one game. Playing the black pieces, Shirov first offered his queen on move 23. On move 27 it had to be accepted against a rook and bishop and white soon resigned on move 29.

In today’s Game Spotlight we will look at a queen sacrifice by our own Richard Polaczek. The game was played by correspondence in 1999 against Hector Kunzmann. It illustrates that the positional value of pieces is as important as their material value.

The moves in this 1999 game were transmitted by email, but before moves were sent by regular mail. Finishing a game of chess could take months or even years. The modern-day variant of correspondence chess is played online. Players are given 2 or 3 days to submit their moves online and games can go on for months.

That’s all we have time for today. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and keep playing stunning queen sacrifices online and offline to imbalance your opponent.

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