It seems that Black is protected against mate on f6. However, there is no defence against the new sacrificial fireworks.
16 QexDfrH! Axft
18 £ixf6 mate
Since a good pawn formation is particularly important for a successful defence, there are some typical attacking combinations wiping out the enemy king's defenders. Let us consider another characteristic example of the sacrificial destruction of the king's pawn cover.
- Em.Lasker-J.H.Bauer 1889
After the natural 1 Wh5 f5 it would be difficult to prove White's superiority. However, if White disposes of Black's pawns on g7 and h7 the rook's trip from fl to D will be disastrous for Black.
1 Axh7+!&xh7 • 2 Wh5+ &g8 3 Axg7! <&xg7
5 Sf3 e5
Black has to give up his queen.
6 Sh3+ Wh6
It seems that Black has sufficient compensation for the queen but
White had foreseen this manoeuvre before the bishop sacrifice. Lasker won back one of the Black bishops which ensured his quick victory.
In conclusion, let us consider a classical example of brilliant combinational play in which another tactical device — 'deflection' — was used. While carrying out an attack it is often necessary to dispose of one of the enemy pieces protecting one or several important squares. The most simple way, i.e., destruction or exchange, is not always possible, and then the question arises as to whether it is possible to deflect the enemy piece by means of a tactical blow. A hundred years ago Johannes Zukertort was famous*as a master ofbrilliant combinations. Here is his spectacular victory against J.H. Blackburne.
Black has just refused to take the pawn on f5 and by placing the rook on c8 he threatens to invade on c2. White, in his turn, has an attacking chance: 1 d5 Bc2 2 Wd4 practically forcing Black to capture on b2. However, White chose a more complex and beautiful way of resolving the conflict.
1 fg! 2c2 Black has no choice because after 1 ... hg his king becomes so weak that White does not have to resort to any forcing means in order to win.
2 gh+ &h8! Looks drastic, but very effective. The king hides behind the enemy pawn. White cannot capture his own pawn and must make Black do it, otherwise the attack will come to a standstill. 3 d5+ e5
This is essentially the beginning of the combination. What is White's idea? With the pawn on h7 disappearing, the two rooks and the bishop will mate the king. The e5-pawn, and its protector, the queen at e7, are vital to the defence. So, the queen must be deflected both from e5 and the king.
Now if Black accepts the lavish present, there is mate in six — 4 ... Wxb4 5 Axe5+ &xh7 6 2h3+ &g6 7 2g3+ &h7 8 2f7+ &h6 9 Af4+ &h5 10 2h7 mate. Having made himself aware of White's cunning plot Black protects the queen trying to hold his pawn on e5.
Exploiting the weakness of the eighth rank, White inflicts another deflecting blow:
5 218+!! This present cannot be accepted either — 5 ... Wxfig would be met by 6 ¿xe5+ 3>xh7 7 Wxe4+ with a forced mate to follow.
7 &xe5+!&xf8 Black still hopes to evacuate the king to the queenside. But now comes the last combinational blow:
If now 8 ... Wxg7? Black's queen blocks the king's retreat and allows mate on e8. So, Black resigned.
In our next lesson we shall complete our introduction to the principles of combinational play.
Lesson 16: The Endgame
Many lovers of chess look with disdain on the endgame, the final stage of the game, as a boring area which does not require any combinational imagination. Later on we shall examine playing the endgame, and you will see that this stage of the game is extremely complex and abundant in original ideas. However, we are now going to make an attempt at convincing the readers that combinational abilities and skills are quite essential for success in the endgame.
During a combination in the middlegame or in the opening most of the pawns and pieces are just passive observers. An endgame combination, however, requires the participation of practically all pieces, and the king is the most active piece. Let us see a very simple example:
see following diagram
White is to move, and the first impulse is to advance the h-pawn but after 1 h7 e4! there isn't any likelihood of promoting the White pawn since all the squares on the long diagonal are controlled by the Black bishop.
So, before advancing the pawn White should either drive away the Bishop from the long diagonal or block the advance of the e-pawn. Let's try the first variant.
A well-known combinational motif called 'deflection'. The bishop cannot be captured because of the h6-
pawn queening, and 1 ... <&g5 is met by 2 h7 when 2 ... e4 allows the White bishop to take on d4. There is only one reply left:
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