Topic 21 (Advanced) – More on Sacrifices!


Good evening, noble reader!  I’m happy to see that a few of you have managed to get this far in my strategy guide.  At this point, I’ve covered just about every basic topic there is to cover in Kung Fu Chess, so all that’s left is to revisit previously covered material and delve deeper.  Therefore, welcome to Topic 21, More on Sacrifices!  Enjoy.


Sacrifice #6 (The Unsound Sacrifice)



This scenario is fairly common in the opening, and it offers an opportunity for white to try an interesting sacrifice.  I personally do not believe the sacrifice I am about to detail is sound Kung Fu Chess play.  However, when wielded properly it can result in a powerful attack that requires very precise play to defend.  Your mileage may vary.


At any rate, let’s take a look at the sacrifice and analyze the resulting game in depth.



This is rook positioning 101: positioning the rooks on open columns before they open up.  Reread Topic 8a for more.



White first captures the proffered pawn.  It’s useful to note that this move is only possible because of the white rook on h1.  Black cannot win the pawn back with a combination.



So, black’s plan is to only capture the knight.  When white recaptures with his pawn, he creates isolated h pawns.  Black can then capture the pawn at his leisure to obtain a positional advantage. 


Isolated pawns.  For more on isolated pawns and why they are bad, see Topic 9.



Equal material, but a positional advantage for black because of white’s isolated h pawn.



This is where the unsound sacrifice comes into play.  White can restore his pawn positioning and obtain some passed pawns with a rook sacrifice.




This capture gives white two passed pawns—his goal in making the rook sacrifice.




You could make a case for other moves here, but these are pretty good.


White should not trade this bishop for a knight.  If you do not remember why, take a moment to reread Topic 5—Piece Trading.



Okay.  Let’s stop here for a moment and evaluate the results of the sacrifice.  As you can see, white has parlayed his rook sacrifice into two passed pawns on the side of the board—very strong.  However, black’s position is also strong.  The passed pawns are blockaded, the knights control a large chunk of the board, and black enjoys an extra rook. I give the advantage to black.


White must remain on the offensive or black will pick him apart with his extra material.  I like this move for white:



This is another excellent example of how to use your pawns (see Topic 20).  What options does black have?  Can black capture it?




White responds by recapturing with his queen and taking the knight on f5.  This is fairly self-explanatorily bad for black but let’s see it through to the conclusion anyhow:


Forced recapture.




White pushes his pawn forward instead of capturing black’s pawn, earning a third passed pawn.  Black gets a passed pawn too but it’s all on its own—not too threatening.  Black must retreat his bishop and after he does, white can capture the black pawn on c6 with his queen, sealing the game with a fourth passed pawn.



So it’s probably not a good idea for black to capture that pawn, eh?



If black doesn’t capture the pawn, how does white proceed?  First off, he’s threatening an immediate combination attack:




And white wins a pawn and gains two passed pawns.



This looks pretty good for white.


Black can of course avoid this by moving his knight away before the combination.  What then?




Now white can do a feint on the left to win a pawn:



The feint, of course, is a sacrifice detailed in my original sacrifice Topic—Topic 6: Sacrifices!




Another passed pawn for white, on the left side this time.  White can spring another one too.





By now you may be scratching your head.  I gave the advantage to black only to then show that white can crush black with a single pawn move.  What gives?


Well, you’ll also recall I stated that this sacrifice, when wielded properly, can result in a powerful attack that requires very precise play to defend.  You’ve just seen the attack.  What’s the defense?


Devilant’s Strategy Guide: Topic 21 Official Strategy Puzzle!



Black to defend white’s attack and win!


Topic 20 Official Strategy Puzzle Solution!


Here is the solution to the Topic 20 Official Strategy Puzzle.