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70j_middlegames_SACS on d5
Compiled by whiteshark

Typical Sacrifices in Sicilian: <The Piece Sacrifice on d5>

The Sicilian Defence is known as one of the most aggressive openings. There are many forced lines that both sides usually need to know by heart and it’s not unusual to see black’s king left in the center. In most of the lines, both sides are eyeing the enemy king and tactical blows are very common.

We have already discussed the idea of sacrificing a piece on b5, when white usually gets three pawns back and a powerful attack, and today we are going to present you another thematic sacrifice for white – giving up the knight on d5.

In general, this idea could have one of the following outcomes:

If black accepts the sacrifice, he will be forced to give back the material a few moves later. In case he doesn’t, the knight on d5 will become very annoying and he will have troubles developing.

Also, capturing the bishop on e7 is always a good idea, as white will gain the bishop pair and eliminate the main defender of the d6 pawn;

Sometimes, white doesn’t regain the sacrifice material immediately. This case requires good calculation and precise play, as he strives for compensation in form of space and development advantage.

Also, black’s king is most of the times trapped in the center and becomes the main target of white’s attack.

Before moving on to the examples, let’s take a look at the factors that make this sacrifice possible:

Piece coordination. As always, this is the most important when it comes to launching at attack. All our pieces must be harmoniously developed and ready to join the action;

Lead in development. In such cases, white has a slight lead in development that translates into a castled king and developed pieces, while black’s king is usually still in the center or his pieces are misplaced;

Usually, when sacrificing on d5, white already has a major piece on the e file that will start the attack against the king once this file opens. Also, a rook or queen on this file makes it possible for white to get his piece back. If black accepts the sacrifice, capturing on d5 with the e4 pawn allows, most of the times, a double attack – the king, thank to the discovered check and the knight (or bishop) on c6; In some cases, such as the Hedgehog, when white already has a pawn on c4, the sacrifice is possible when his rook is placed on c1 and black’s queen is on c7. Accepting the sacrifice normally allows white a pin on the c file.

Next, we are going to show you a few examples where grandmasters have used this sacrifice in their practice.

The first game was F Vallejo Pons vs Nepomniachtchi, 2008. White gives up the knight early in the opening and immediately gets compensation thanks to the better development and piece activity. Black’s pieces are tied up and the defense is difficult, as he doesn’t have a good way of developing.

The next example is Jobava vs H H Hernandez, 2008. White uses this typical sacrifice in order to demolish black’s pawn structure in the center and open the E file for his major pieces. Thanks to the better piece coordination and kingside pawn expansion, white’s attack turns out to be very dangerous.

So far, we have seen games where white gets big compensation for the material. In the game Kamsky vs Svidler, 2006, we will see the other case, when white gets his piece right away. A nice game by the American Grandmaster, where we see the importance of black’s dark squares bishop in the position. ...


check also:

Geller vs Anikaev, 1979 
(B83) Sicilian, 27 moves, 1-0

12.Nd5 exd5 13. exd5+ Kd8 14.bxc4
V Spasov vs Khurtsidze, 2001 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 23 moves, 1-0

misssed line <17.Nd5! exd5 18.exd5 Kf8 19.dxc6 Bxc6>
Carlsen vs Wojtaszek, 2018 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 31 moves, 1-0

9.Nd5 exd5 10.exd5 Bc8 11.Re1+ Be7 12.c4 Kf8 13.a3 bxa3 14.Rxa3
F Vallejo Pons vs Nepomniachtchi, 2008 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 25 moves, 1-0

12.Nd5 exd5 13.exd5+ Be7 14.Re1 Nb8
Jobava vs H H Hernandez, 2008 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 35 moves, 1-0

16.Nd5 cxd5 17.exd5 Bg4 18.Qxe7 Bxf3 19.Rxf3
Kamsky vs Svidler, 2006 
(B83) Sicilian, 24 moves, 1-0

16.Nd5 exd5 17.Qh6 Ne5 18.fxe5 resac
A Ostapenko vs S Kurkin, 1970 
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 30 moves, 1-0

14.Nd5 exd5 15.g5 dxe4 16.gxf6 Bxf6 17.Bd5 resac
A Ostapenko vs Yartsev, 1969 
(B89) Sicilian, 40 moves, 1-0

13.Nd5 exd5 14.Nf5 Bf8 15.exd5 O-O-O
A Matanovic vs Tal, 1958 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 57 moves, 1-0

15.Bd5 b4 16.Bxb7+ Kxb7 17.Nd5 exd5 18.exd5 Rd7
Stein vs Tal, 1961 
(B94) Sicilian, Najdorf, 32 moves, 1-0

16.Nd5! exd5 17.exd5
Tal vs Larsen, 1965  
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 1-0

16.Nd5 exd5 17.exd5 Nb8 18.Bd4 g6
Kupreichik vs Tal, 1970 
(B57) Sicilian, 31 moves, 1-0

Tal vs M Mukhin, 1972 
(B87) Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5, 21 moves, 1-0

12.Bd5 exd5 13.exd5+ Kd7 14.b4
Fischer vs J A Rubinetti, 1970 
(B87) Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5, 24 moves, 1-0

I A Zaitsev vs Savon, 1969 
(B87) Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin with ...a6 and ...b5, 29 moves, 1-0

15. Nd5 exd5 16. exd5+ Kf8 17.Qf3 1-0
Tal vs Kasparov, 1992 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 17 moves, 1-0

19.Bxd5!! exd5 20.Nxd5
J Szmetan vs G Garcia Gonzalez, 1976 
(B89) Sicilian, 28 moves, 1-0

12.Nd5 (decl)
Miles vs Chandler, 1982 
(B40) Sicilian, 31 moves, 1-0

Ljubojevic vs G Gonda, 1972 
(B44) Sicilian, 34 moves, 1-0

Romanishin vs Petrosian, 1975 
(A17) English, 30 moves, 1-0

Tomashevsky vs G Meier, 2004 
(A14) English, 35 moves, 1-0

Velimirovic vs Ljubojevic, 1972 
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 27 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Stein vs Furman, 1969 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 44 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Shabalov vs Joel Benjamin, 1993
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 47 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Smirin vs Gelfand, 1987 
(B20) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Reti vs Tartakower, 1919 
(B40) Sicilian, 17 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Nunn vs R Johannes, 1970 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 32 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Gipslis vs A Vooremaa, 1981
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 34 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
A Karklins vs A Sandrin, 1990 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 15 moves, 1-0

Hector vs J Carstensen, 2003 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 75 moves, 1-0

Nakamura vs Van Wely, 2010 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 39 moves, 1-0

Attacking pattern: Re1+Nd5
Chiburdanidze vs Dvoirys, 1980 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 29 moves, 1-0

M Esserman vs J Sarkar, 2008 
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 16 moves, 1-0

B Bernard vs T Civin, 2003 
(B95) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6, 23 moves, 1-0

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