[Event "Elista ol (Men) 33rd"] [Site "Elista"] [Date "1998.10.04"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Lautier, Joel"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E42"] [WhiteElo "2625"] [BlackElo "2700"] [Annotator "Gopal"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "1998.09.29"] [EventType "team-swiss"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 068"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.02.01"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "1999.02.01"] [SourceQuality "1"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "Bulgaria"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "BUL"] {[%evp 0,86,19,31,14,-11,-14,0,-7,10,34,19,20,3,40,22,23,16,10,-6,34,34,20,26, 53,37,39,18,11,8,12,10,2,26,7,12,18,0,0,-45,-41,-98,-46,-56,-4,-32,-32,-32,-44, -44,64,-134,-153,-111,-163,-134,-138,-138,-146,-145,-145,-144,-147,-135,-168, -168,-164,-172,-197,-197,-109,-117,-104,-104,-119,-108,-111,-112,-112,-114, -114,-120,-123,-150,-173,-156,-156,-172,-156] Hello friends! I am Grandmaster Gopal. I had been the member of the Indian Team which won the Bronze medal in the Asian Games and World Team Championship. Today, I would be discussing a very important theme in chess middlegames i.e. the positional exchange sacrifice. Exchange Sacrifice in pure chess terms is a 'trade off' between a rook and a minor piece. The side which resorts to an exchange sacrifice may have the following objectives: 1) To weaken opponent's king 2) to seize more squares 3)to shatter opponent's pawn structure 4) to eliminate opponent's active piece Exchange sacrifice is typical to certain chess openings: For eg ...Rc3 is a typical exchange sacrifice in most of the opening systems of the Sicilian Defence. Similary ...Re3 is a typical exchange sacrifice in closed openings like Kings Indian Defence and the Modern Benoni The ''exchange sacrifice has also been a trademark of some world class players'' like Veselin Topalov. In this game we would be seeing an example of exchange sacrifice with ...Re3.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nge2 cxd4 6. exd4 O-O 7. a3 Be7 8. d5 exd5 9. cxd5 Bc5 10. Nd4 d6 11. Be2 a6 12. O-O Nbd7 13. Be3 Ne5 14. h3 Re8 {The position is round about equal. White probably overstimated his chances and chose a wrong plan.} 15. b4 $6 {[%csl Rc4] By this move White intends to expand on the queenside . But in this process white failed to foresee black's plan.} (15. Nc2 {would have been a more prudent choice.}) 15... Bb6 16. Qb3 {Choosing a square for the white queen a difficult task. The text is suitable for offering support to the weakened c4 square, and for promoting white's plan of pushing his queenside pawns. But the downside of this move is quite evident as after Qb3 as the white's minor pieces on d4 and e3 are deprived of support. With the Queen on d2 white's position would have been perfectly playable.} Bd7 {Black plays quite logically,he intends to bring the only inactive piece in the game i.e. the rook on a8 to the open c-file} 17. a4 Rc8 18. Rac1 Ng6 $1 {[%csl Gb6,Gd7,Rg1,Gg6][%CAl Gg6h4][%mdl 32768] I already prefer black as all of black's pieces are positioned ideally. The black's knight on g6 as well as the light squared bishop on d7 are perfectly positioned for organising an attack on the kingside.} 19. Rfd1 $2 { [#] White fails to foresee black's positional threat} (19. Rfe1 $142 {black can consider the positional sacrifice} Rxe3 $5 (19... Nh4 $40 {is quite promising for black}) 20. fxe3 Qe7 21. Bf1 Qe5 $5 {With great play on the dark squares. However Rfd1 is clearly a mistake after which black gets decisive tactical ideas.}) 19... Rxe3 $1 $17 {[%mdl 32768] A beautiful sacrifice by which black weakens/destabilizes the position of the white king as well as takes control of the dark squares.} 20. fxe3 Qe7 {Black has managed to achieve the following objectives: 1) weakened the position of the white king 2) created many 'weak spots' like the pawn on e3 in white's position} 21. Na2 {[#] } (21. Kh1 Qxe3 $19) (21. Rd3 Bxd4 22. exd4 Nf4 $19 23. Rf3 Rxc3 24. Rcxc3 Nxe2+ {and black wins on the spot}) 21... Rxc1 $6 (21... Re8 $1 {was by far the best move yielding black a decisive advantage} 22. a5 Ba7 23. Bf3 Nh4 $17 { [%CAl Ge7e5,Ge5g3,Gd7h3] black threatens to re-route the queen to g3 via e5}) 22. Nxc1 {[#]} Bxa4 {this move is a simple illustration of the tactical motives in the position} (22... Nh4 $1 $17 {[%CAl Ge7e5,Ge5g3,Gd7h3] would have been even stronger. Black intends to play Qe5 i.e to re-route the black queen to g3}) 23. Qxa4 Qxe3+ 24. Kh1 Ne4 $4 {This was a blunder} (24... Bxd4 $17 {was the simplest as well as the strongest move}) 25. Nf5 $2 {White returnes the favour} (25. Qe8+ $1 Nf8 26. Ne6 $1 fxe6 27. dxe6 Nf2+ 28. Kh2 Qxe6 29. Qxe6+ Nxe6 30. Re1 $18 {is far from clear.}) 25... Nf2+ 26. Kh2 Qe5+ 27. Ng3 Ne4 28. Qb3 Bf2 29. Rd3 {[#]} h5 $1 30. Bxh5 Nxg3 31. Rxg3 Qxh5 $19 ( 31... Bxg3+ $2 32. Qxg3 Qxh5 33. Qxd6 $15) 32. Rxg6 (32. Rf3 Qe5+ 33. g3 Qe1 $19) 32... Qxg6 {The rest is just a matter of technique} 33. Qf3 Bd4 34. Nd3 Qg5 35. Qe4 Qe3 36. Qxe3 Bxe3 37. Kg3 g6 38. Kf3 Bd4 39. Ke2 Kg7 40. Ne1 Kf6 41. Kd3 Bf2 42. Nf3 Kf5 43. Ke2 Ba7 {Barring the mistake on move 24, the game was neatly conducted by Topalov. Studying this game in detail would certainly enrich the players with the typical patterns of exchange sacrifice.} 0-1