4
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Ne1 Nd7 10. Be3 f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 g5 13. b4 Nf6 14. c5 Ng6 15. cxd6 cxd6 16. Rc1 Rf7 17. Nb5 a6 18. Nc3 Bf8 19. Na4 Bd7 20. Nb6 g4 21. Nxa8 g3 22. hxg3 fxg3 23. Bxg3 Nh5 24. Bf2 Ngf4 25. Nb6 Rg7 26. Nxd7 Qxd7 27. Kh2 Nxg2 28. Nxg2 Rxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Nf4+ 30. Kg1 Qh3 0-1

I won this game, but I think that I was lucky. I feel that allowing 21. Nxa8 was a blunder.

What if white captured 21. fxg4? Then I have to play 21. ... Nxe4 . White then captures my rook at a8. I don't see any compensation for black for the loss of material. I also don't see how to continue the attack through this variation.

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    Welcome to Chess.SE! I've added a diagram and edited your question slightly to improve clarity. Please don't hesitate to make further changes if my interpretation was incorrect. – konsolas Oct 6 at 13:11
  • Hi, this post seems to have received decent answers, if you have found one to be particularly satisfactory please consider accepting it, as it's important to give closure to well addressed posts. Thanks for considering it. – user929304 Oct 12 at 11:43
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First, it is highly unlikely that you will get a definitive answer here since computers are not great in these types of positions where the danger to white might be 10 moves down the road. It is also not uncommon for black to "lose" a rook in this opening, the Classical King's Indian, however, we often find that black's k-side attack is simply too strong in practice.

Computers are not yet strong enough to see this deeply, and even if they could, you are playing a human being. As a practical matter, positions like these, which are so complicated and dangerous, even if technically not correct, they are fine to play in practice...ask Tal. :) Still, you also missed some quicker wins too.

In the line 21.fg Ne4, you clearly have compensation since the eval is only +.7, and falls to about +.4 the move after taking on a8 and the recapture, however, the question is if you can ignore the immediate recapture, and just play something else. I do not think so since white's q-side attack comes too quickly. I think you have to take back immediately, and then bring the queen back to the k-side. If you have to do that, you are right that it is probably wrong.

All of this is a bit moot since the most popular move is 18...h5, which scores at only 33% for white compared to 83% after 18...Bf8. I like the idea of the pawn roller there since it is more flexible when you play g4.

 [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Ne1 Nd7 10. Be3 f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 g5 13. b4 Nf6 14. c5 Ng6 15. cxd6 cxd6 16. Rc1 Rf7 17. Nb5 (17. a4 {a4 is a more common move here.}) 17... a6 18. Nc3 Bf8 (18... h5 {h5 is a more common move here.}) 19. Na4 Bd7 20. Nb6 g4 21. Nxa8 (21.fxg4 Nxe4 22.Nxa8) 21... g3 22. hxg3 fxg3 23. Bxg3 Nh5 24. Bf2 Ngf4 25. Nb6 Rg7 26.Nxd7 Qxd7 (26... Rxg2+ 27. Nxg2 Qg5-+) 27. Kh2 Nxg2 (27... Rxg2+ 28. Nxg2 Qh3+ 29. Kg1 Qxg2#) 28. Nxg2 Rxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Nf4+ 30. Kg1 Qh3 0-1
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    By the way, is there a way to add comments, like after move 18, to say that h5 "is more common", etc.? Also, can you embed more than one line? – PhishMaster Oct 6 at 14:09
  • 2
    The board editor accepts standard PGN syntax. Comments won't appear inline, but when you click on the move, a box will appear below with a comment. – konsolas Oct 6 at 14:17
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    @ konsolas, Thank you. – PhishMaster Oct 6 at 14:21
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    "First, it is highly unlikely that you will get a definitive answer here since computers are not great in these types of positions" -> Luckily, there are still some humans to be found on Chess.SE ! – Evargalo Oct 7 at 9:10
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    True, my assumption may be wrong. Sorry! :) – PhishMaster Oct 8 at 17:16
1

21.fg4?! leads to complicated positions that should objectively favour White but that Black often ends up winning in practice. After 21...Nxe4 22.Nxa8 Qxa8, at the price of an exchange you have broken White's pawn chain and can expect active piece play.

The text 21.Nxa8! is much stronger and should have brought White a clear advantage if after 21...g3 he had not touched this pawn but continued 22.Nc7!

Then: 22...gf2 23.Rf2 gives a decisive material advantage for White, who can continue with Bf1, Rfc2 and Ne6 without being bothered by any counterplay by Black.

22...Nh5 is usually countered with 23.Kh1! Qh4 24.Bg1 gh2 25.Bf2, but here White even have the simpler 23.Ne6! Qh4 24.h3, when there is no ...Bxh3 sacrifice available and Black's attack is not at all in time.

22...gh2 yields nothing serious after either 23.Kh1 or 23.Kxh2.

Black's mistake came earlier, probably with 18...Bf8 which is just too slow.

0

I would be pretty happy with my position after 21. fxg4. At least, I think it's even more favourable than 21. Nxa8. The central pawns are just too strong and can become ddangerous if you manage to play ...e4 (your opponent had no good way of preventing it). You will also have several plans based on pressure on d5 and/or a kingside attack. Still, concrete analysis is required for a definite answer.

So the practical question is, in my opinion. Was it really necessary? Would your attack be slowed down too much by just playing ``20...Rb8? Sure, he can take yourd7```bishop, but that's also the case in the line you played! So, the soundness of the sacrifice probably depends upon the answer to that question. In a Blitz game, I'd definitely go for it!

  • Your second sentence seems to infer that Black would be fine after 21.Nxa8. He is actually lost. – Evargalo Oct 8 at 10:06
  • @Evargalo He's not. 22... g3 is not forced – David Oct 8 at 10:15
  • if you believe Black has a better 21st move (21...Qa8 ?) that would offer him some chances to survive, you should add that to your answer. – Evargalo Oct 11 at 10:43

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