My opponent and I reached this unusual middlegame from the Classical Sicilian. Black's King is left all alone. And this usually signifies an attack. Black had just played Bb7 (see 1st diagram). So it is White to move.
Do you know what I was thinking?
1. Bxf7! was the sacrifice to open up the area around the Black King.
The question is: Do you think the sacrifice 1. Bxf7 works?
Calculate the lines after 1.... Kxf7.
Once you're ready, I'll go into the following thought processes that goes into my dysfunctional brain.
So please bear with me. :)
First of all, why 1. Bxf7? White has a positional advantage in that it has more active pieces and the pieces control a lot of squares on the board. True, I can play the slow way of squeezing my opponent to death with moves likes 1. a4, even h4 to break up the Black pawns and cramped Black further in.
Why sacrifice unnecessarily?
I believe that for a patzer player like myself, it is important to learn to see tactics and combinations where they occur. Rather than being afraid of playing bold moves, one should actively seek out good moves because that is the way a player can improve.
Anyway, back to the subject.
Does 1. Bxf7 work? Let's work it out.
What can Black reply with?
Looking at this, I calculated a few replies by Black. But I'll just explain one for the sake of brevity.
1..... Kxf7 is the natural response
2. Ng5+ (the natural followup, bringing another piece into the attack) Kg8 ( 2.... Kg7 or Kf8 runs into the horrible twin fork between King and Queen with Ne6+)
3. Ne6 (stifling the e7-pawn, effectively cutting off communication between Black Queen and King - see 2nd picture) Qd7 (forced)
4. Qd4 (Black is now forced to give up his Queen to prevent mate on g7)
I have actually calculated other lines as well including the replies
1 .... Rf8, 1.... Bxe4 but that discussion will take far too long for this post.
Instead, I'll leave you with a final puzzle after
2. Ng5 Bc8
3. Bd5 Nc6
4. Bxc6 (see 3rd diagram)
Now what happens if Black plays 4.... Qxc6?
Can you spot the mating pattern by White? Answers can be found by highlighting between the brackets. :)
[5. Rxe7+ leads to
..... 5. Kg8 leads to 6. Qc3 and mate on next move with 7. Qg7#
..... 5. Kh6 6. Rxh7#
..... 5. Kh8 6. Qd3+ Kg8 7. Qg7#
..... 5. Kf6 6. Rae1 and Black is going to be mated in the next few moves unable to stop mating threats with say Qd4+/Qf4+/Nh7+.]