Black to play
Panov - Simagin, Moscow 1943
Time to see if any of those chess books that I’ve acquired over the years can help me with my ISE quest. First up, Watson,’s Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy (Gambit, 1998).
I choose this one to say goodbye - for a while - to the fianchettoed bishop theme. An astonishing move coming up from Simagin. The exchange given up without getting a pawn in return or shattering White’s structure or anything else. Black just would rather have his bishop than the rook. Especially if he can get rid of White’s dark-squared bishop too.
The Soviet school set new boundaries for this kind of long-term exchange sacrifice, according to Watson. These days, he says, "even average players make such moves." Hmmm.