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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Moscow 1935 – Lessons in Tactics (Part 3)

    This game from Euwe's book looks at another game featuring a compound combination, Spielmann vs. Pirc. The striking feature of this game is the prolonged K-hunt as black's King is driven from h8 to b8 that culminates in six checks while white's own King is in danger. King hunts are fun, but as GM Daniel Naroditsky observed, they “demand mental composure and ultra-precise calculation. The slightest misstep will nullify hours of hard work, leaving your opponent with a decisive material advantage.” These days with all the advances in opening theory, the higher level of play and defensive techniques, King hunts are rare. Had the King hunt disappeared from the modern game, Naroditsky observed, “Mikhail Tal would have never become world champion.”
     Writing in The Art of Sacrifice, the winner of this game wrote that object of a K-hunt sacrifice is to “chase the King out into the open on a full board. The problem composers speak of the sacrifice which draws the King into a mating net. If it did not sound so incongruous, the King-Hunt sacrifice might be termed the 'driving-out' sacrifice...To bring this about, it is permissible to offer big sacrifices of material...The attempt to bring the King into a dangerous situation can be made in two ways : either the forces protecting him are eliminated or decimated, or the King is compelled to leave his stronghold and to wander forth alone into the wilderness.”


  1. Enjoying this series. Nice work.
    Take a look at this scary announcement. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/ai-alphago-zero-started-from-scratch-to-become-best-at-chess-go-and-japanese-chess-within-hours.html#more-140051

  2. That is fascinating, scary and sad all at the same time!