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The death box

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  • The death box

    Sometimes when they castle early I find it attractive to sacrifice a bishop to open up their King, especially if they've boxed themselves in nicely. I call this situation "the death box"

    Here I'm black so Bh3. I think I'm being clever here (always a warning signal) because after

    12.gxh3 Qxh3

    I completely overlook 13.Nxd6!

    Plan foiled. Oh well, I manage to hold it together...

    Rxd6 14.Bf3 f5 15.Bg2 Rg6 0-1

    Got lucky.

    The death box backfires more often than it works for me, but I still try it when I can...
    ChessForums proprietor and webmeister
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  • #2
    thinking about it, the whole reason this tends to work (when it does) relies on either their knight (typically at f3 or c3) being out of position, or else you have a plan to take it out/exchange for it. Otherwise it makes it very difficult to get in there.
    ChessForums proprietor and webmeister
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    • #3
      Yea, when the N isn't there, sacs are in the air!
      Alexander Alekhine is my chess hero.

      An eerie chess short story: The Empty Chair

      My newest chess story: Gamble: A Supernatural Chess Tale


      • #4
        Can you find a better defense for white than 14. Bf3?

        One of the general rules that I hear Kasparov spout a lot (because for some reason he likes to pretend he doesn't calculate) is piece counting. After 13. Nxd6 Rxd6 you have two attackers, the Queen on h3 and the Rook on d6 (which isn't yet in play), and how many defenders does white have? He has the h/f pawn (sometimes they block the White King's escape though), the Bishop on e2, the Rook on f1 and the Queen on d1. White has more defenders than you have attackers, by a general principle he should be able to defend.


        • #5
          Well. I think that instead of the 'overlooked' 13.Nxd6+ the move 13.Bg4+! is even more overlooked netting the black queen on h3.

          Perhaps the death of this death-box, eh?
          There are only three kinds of chessplayers: Those who can count and those who cannot.


          • #6
            I removed that attachment as I'm not entirely sure what it was (sorry, slightly paraniod) - it was asking me to activate java.
            ChessForums proprietor and webmeister
            Read my blog at


            • #7
              Hi. Yesterday, I got back into Chess after taking a break for almost 4 months. Feeling like talking about it, I checked this site and saw this thread.

              Judging from the first post here, StuntPope is a far better Chess player than I am... but still, it IS the Beginner's Corner forum. And that post reminded me of a humbling experience I had once.

              I used to love to sacrifice a minor piece for the g-pawn, after my opponent castles kingside. It was the only way I would ever deliberately sacrifice material. But it seems like so long since I found myself in a position in which that was a good move.

              I remember playing a co-worker two years ago. He trounced me eight times out of eight. The seventh such time, I tried for the g-pawn, failing to see my opponent's far greater threat.

              EDIT: Okay, my PGN wasn't working for some reason, so I deleted my message (because I couldn't see a way to delete the attachment) and re-posted, this time with the game in simple plaintext:

              [Event "Black Dalek vs co-worker"]
              [Site "The workplace's cafeteria"]
              [Date "2014.01.14"]
              [Round "7"]
              [White "Black Dalek"]
              [Black "A co-worker"]
              [Result "0-1"]

              1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 Nf6 5. e5 dxe5 6. Nxe5 Be6 7. Bf4 Nh5 8. Nd3 O-O 9. Be2 Nxf4 10. Nxf4 Bf5 11. Bf3 c6 12. Nd2 e5 13. dxe5 Bxe5 14. Ne2 Nd7 15. O-O Re8 16. Nb3 Qc7 17. g3 Rad8 18. Re1 Nf6 19. Qc1 c5 20. Qg5 b6 21. Rad1 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Qc8 23. Nf4 Ne4 24. Bxe4 Bxe4 25. Re1 f6 26. Qh6 Bb7 27. Nxg6

              {That blunder cost me the game. I was expecting 27... hxg6 or maybe 27... Qg4.}


              {D'oh! I should have played a safer 27. Ng2.}

              28. Qf8+ Rxf8 29. Ne7+ Kf7 30. Nxc6 Bxc6 31. Nd2 Rd8 32. Nc4 Bc7 33. Ne3 Rd2 34. Nc4 Rc2 35. Rb1 Be4 36. Rd1 Kg6 37. a3 b5 0-1
              Last edited by Black Dalek; 02-17-2016, 04:40 PM.