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A Classic Sacrifice

Sometimes tactical combinations are short and the outcome is fully foreseeable - for instance if it is a 2-3 move deep combo. Other times the outcome of the combo is far deeper, as in the following game. Here Surbiton player Angus James is White against a Norwegian player in the London Chess Classic FIDE Open 2013.

Black is about to break through on the queenside and wipe out White's pawns. After a lot of calculating I find the only way to effectively breakthrough on the kingside, and take the plunge with a piece sacrifice.

Game viewer by ChessTempo

What was particularly pleasing about this game is that it turned out the piece sacrifice 19.Nxf7 worked against any defence - although I didn't know that when I played it. I tried hard to make it work in all lines in my calculations, and in the end I stopped calculating and just played the move. I knew it was the move that was most natural in the position - sometimes that is enough. We have to make decisions based on incomplete information, and we only discover if we were right as the game is played out over the board.

Angus James