Friday’s 5-second tactics

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”The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.”

― Vince Lombardi

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im  Obregon, Andres C.

diag3FBD1FB42C23C403gm  Felgaer, Ruben

From the strong Argentina chess championship, 15-07-2014. Position after 14 moves of play. Black had just moved his Bishop from e7 to c5, trying to eliminate the dark-square Bishop, which turns out to be a serious mistake.

 

15.Bxh7+!

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The ‘Classic Bishop Sacrifce’ (or CBS) is one of chess’ oldest and dearest thematic sacrifices, occurring tens of thousands of times each year in games between amateurs (especially) and grandmasters (much rarely).  Books have been written on this theme, and even so, there is still much to investigate: each position is different and the details vary. Sometimes , when you think the sacrifice is nonsense, you can be surprised.  Even world champion-calibre players are sometimes caught…

In this game Black, no doubt, had forseen this possibility, but had failed to see as deeply as his opponent…

15…KxB  16.Qh5+ Kg8

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How should White proceed with his attack?  Black had only considered 17.Rf3?! Bxd4 18.Rh3 f6!  and the Black monarch escapes.

 

17.Ne4!!

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Threatening 18.Ng5, killing.   If now 17…Be7!? White has a winning attack by bringing in his Rooks: 18.Rf3! (Even stronger than 18.Nf6+, given by the tournament bulletin) f5 19.exf6 Nxf6 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Raf1!  Qd8 22.Qg6 and the end is not far off…

 

17…Bxd4 (there is nothing better) 18.Ng5  Qxc2

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Covering the h7-square, and threatening to bring back to Queen to g6.  Curiously, even though Black is up two pieces, he can not save himself! Felgaer deserves much credit for having seen deeply into this position before he embarqued on his original sacrifice.

 

19.Rxf7! Nxe5 (again, what else?)

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20.Qh8+!!

It is mate next move!

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