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David Navara vs Surya Shekhar Ganguly
"Navara a Dull Moment" (game of the day Jan-26-2011)
Tata Steel Group B (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-21
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: After 35...exf4 36.a6, the rook will have to sacrifice itself for the a-pawn. For an even more incredible example of what a bishop and a passed pawn can do, check out Eingorn vs Kupreichik, 1987

And a very good pun, describing the game perfectly. I feel comforted knowing that such improvisational madness still occurs in an age of computer analysis and deep preparation.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: That was bizarre. Highly entertaining, but bizarre.
Jan-26-11  pulsar: Fitting pun for such a wonderful game!
Jan-26-11  mrkangaroo: brilliant stuff - navara should be proud especially as ganguly's defense was stubborn
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A very enjoyable symphony on the theme of the value of pieces. In just 35 moves white sacrifices the exchange no fewer than three times:

21. Rf3/ 22. Rxg3 - neutralises black's queenside attack.

29. Ne6 - sacs a knight for two pawns in order to make his a pawn into a passed pawn.

35. Rxf4 Fittingly, the last move of the game is another exchange sac. White chops off the black bishop secure in the knowledge that his connected passed pawns and Bc6 will win the day.

It never ceases to amaze me how really strong players have a feel for the fluctuating value of pieces as the game progresses. We mortals plod along with "a pawn is worth 1 point, a bishop is worth three..." whilst the GMs revel in positions where a knight is worth more than a rook and (in the right circumstances) a pawn can humble just about any other piece on the board.

Jan-26-11  newzild: <once> Yes, I agree. However, technically an exchange sac refers to the exchange of a rook for a bishop or knight. 29.Ne6, sacking a knight for two pawns, was therefore not an exchange sacrifice.
Jan-26-11  SvetlanaBabe: A. Suetin in his book about the Ruy Lopez gives as best for White after 6...Bc5 as 7 Ne5:Ne5: 8 d4 Bd6 9 de: Be5: 10 f4 as being better for White.
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: A lively game!
Jan-26-11  belgradegambit: Another great pun today paired with a very exciting game.
Jan-26-11  mastermind7994: This game is fantastic. Wild tactics!
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I was wondering why the last move. It soon becomes clear that the a-pawn cannot be stopped except at the loss of the rook. The extra piece will win easily.
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <newzild> Maybe. I have seen some authors refer to exchange sacrifices as any unequal exchange - eg a queen for a rook or a rook for two bishops.

So perhaps an "exchange sacrifice" is any form of exchange of material where one side deliberately loses material in the process?

Jan-26-11  redorc19: why is this version of the morphy defense so popular in tata steel? or is it just me?
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <newzild: <once> Yes, I agree. However, technically an exchange sac refers to the exchange of a rook for a bishop or knight>

Gotta agree with <newzild> here. An exchange sac is trading a rook for knight or bishop.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Having read the pun I was interested in seeing if the game lived up to it; boy, did it ever. Move after move had my eyes popping out of their sockets. I had to go look at some Kramnik draws to get them back in. j/k
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Is there a name for exchanging saccing a queen for a rook?
Jan-26-11  rapidcitychess: <CIO> It is called a queen sacrifice.
Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This is the position with white to play after 28...Ke7


click for larger view

Now he plays 29. Ne6 forking c7 and the Rf8. In playing this move, he must surely have calculated the implications of 29...Qxc6 when white drops the Ne6 but gains in return the c7 pawn and the a6 pawn. In other words, he gives up a knight for two pawns.

Now in my book that is an exchange, but it is also an unequal exchange. In other words, an exchange sacrifice.

Or what else could we call it?

Okay, so we might argue that exchange sacs are more normally rook for minor piece. But if we accept that language evolves, then why not class this as another form of exchange sac?

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <Ugh.> I don't want to get drawn into anything tawdry here, <Once> (you are one of six users on my "favorites" list).

But "the exchange" in chess is defined as the difference between a rook and a minor piece. If you have a rook and your opponent only has a bishop for it, you are "up the exchange" and he is "down the exchange".

This is the exchange in "exchange sacrifice", giving up a rook for a knight or a bishop. Yeah, exchanging a knight for two pawns is a sacrifice, but not an "exchange" sacrifice.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There was a time when the term "Quality" was sometimes used for what we now call "The Exchange". I have a vague recollection of Capablanca using it in one of his books, but can't quote chapter and verse.

This probably follows the German word "Qualität", which was used for the concept at one time, and may still be as far as I know. Either word is only applied conventionally to the concept of rook for minor piece, since I don't think the meaning is intuitive in either case.

The concept is so deeply ingrained that I doubt it will be changed before knights are called horsies.

Jan-26-11  WhiteRook48: 35 Rxf4!
Jan-26-11  eaglewing: 19. ... Ne2 20. Rf3 Qh4 21. Na3 Bf4 22. Rxf4 Qxf4 23. Nc2 Ng3+/Ne2+ Remis
Jan-26-11  dark.horse: I've always seen this distinguished by capitalization:

The Exchange is R vs B or N.

An exchange is any swap of pieces (equal or unequal).

Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Not something worth fighting over, so I will graciously withdraw.

Instead os saying that white "sacrifices the exchange no fewer than three times", perhaps I should have said "on three occasions white willingly exchanges pieces in a way which sacrifices material, although only two of those were exchange sacrifices as the term is commonly used (ie a rook for a bishop or knight)"

Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <"on three occasions white willingly exchanges pieces in a way which sacrifices material, although only two of those were exchange sacrifices as the term is commonly used (ie a rook for a bishop or knight)">

These would have been my words exactly.

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