Today’s 5-second tactics
“You never know beforehand what people are capable of, you have to wait, give it time, it’s time that rules, time is our gambling partner on the other side of the table and it holds all the cards of the deck in its hand, we have to guess the winning cards of life, our lives.”
A tale of two rooks
Groningen, 1972. . The opening was a Dragon Sicilian and things have not gone well for Black…so he felt he had little to lose by playing fast and loose…
HERE it is entirely possible for White to capture the Rook and keep the upper hand (23. Kxc2 Bxb3+ 24. Kb1! Bxd1 25. Rxd1) but Sax decided to ignore Black’s little opera on the Queenside and push on relentlessly on the Kingside…
Threatening mate in two starting with Qd8+, and Black has no time for withdrawing his Rook as 24.h6 will be quickly mating…Black’s move is essentially forced
23… gxh5 24. Rxh5 (24.Qd8+! is precise)… Rc8
There is no defence to the mate along the h-file. Black can now throw in the towel, but he tried one more desperate Rook trap:
If now 26.Ka2?? Bxb3+ is mate next move!
26. Nxc1! [1:0]
Moral of the story:
It is better to have
loved sacrificed a rook and lost than to have never loved sacrificed a rook..