SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Everyone loves a sacrificial attack! It is chess’ version of a pretty woman’s smile…and what of a Queen sacrifice? Nothing less than the Mona Lisa herself! Witness the following massacre.
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 19th MOVE
This position arose in tournament in Germany in 1927. White is the famous attacking grandmaster Rudolf Spielmann and his victim is the relatively unknown master R.L’Hermet. Black seems to be OK, but White has the move and together with the 2-Bishops Spielmann succeeds to whip up a devasting attack.
20. g4 !
Threatening to rip open the Black King-side with g5. Now the logical 20…Nd5 (aiming to exchange Queens) fails to stop White after 21.g5! with play as in the game. After some thought Black decides to make a clever counter-stroke on the other side of the board…
Hoping for 21.Bxc4 (?) Rxd1ch 22.Rxd1 Qc5! taking the sting out of White’s attack
21. g5! Great! White ignores Black’s counter-threats and proceeds up the board
If now 21… Nh7 then 22. Bxh7 Kxh7 23. g6! wins the Black Queen. Black has no choice but to play…
21… Nd7 and pray!
HOW DOES WHITE PROCEED?
A beautiful sacrifice, much more effective than the pedestrian 22.Bxg7, which should also do the trick. Black has no choice now but to take the gift
22… gh 23. gh ch
The Black King-side has been ripped open
23… Kf8 the only reasonable move to continue the game
Here Black was mentally prepared to return the Queen after the pedestrian 24.h7 (?) Qh4! with good chances of surviving. But a nasty surprise awaits Black…do you see it?
24. Rg8!! Ouch!!
It is forced mate in 2 moves! Black resigns. A beautiful attack!