There are, quite naturally, similarities between the sacrifice of a white knight at QN5 and that of a bishop on the same square. In some positions the sacrifice involves the capture of the QNP and later the capture of the QP, producing the same heterogeneous material balance which was discussed in the previous chapter. But in practice this theme is extremely rare. When the BxQNP sacrifice nets three pawns for the piece, White still has his QN on QB3 from where it defends his QRP (an important factor since White will have casded Q-side). In addition, the removal of White's KB speeds up the completion of his development by uniting his rooks.
The sacrifice of a knight at QN5 is purely a tactical motif aimed at installing a minor piece on that square from where it can help in the attack against Black's king. The sacrifice itself is merely a means to remove Black's QRP so that the square QN5 becomes a safe one for White to occupy.
For the sacrifice to be successful Black's queen will invariably be on QB2 so that the move N xQNP (or N-QN5) attacks the queen and calls for some immediate response from Black. If Black captures the knight White usually recaptures with the remaining knight although recapture with the KB, the queen and even the QRP are not so very uncommon.
We shall divide our study of this sacrifice according to how White recaptures on QN5 (or how he would have recaptured had Black accepted the sacrifice).
White recaptures with the knight When White has a knight on QN5 the success of his attack normally depends on how well he can utilise Black's dark square weaknesses. An almost trivial example is Ivanovic-Nikolic, Yugoslav Ch 1969:
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