Monday, June 02, 2014

Rook for Bishop

Black to play
Todorovic - Plachetka, Zemun 1980

I do mean to move on from fianchettoed bishop exchange sacrifices, but it seems wherever I look I keep finding another one. Today’s ISE is an unusual variation on the theme.

Exchange sacrifices against a fianchetto frequently involve giving up a rook to get rid of the bishop. We’ve had loads of those already: the Original ISE; TISE V; Close but no ISE; Back in the USSR and most recently three posts - BORP? XXX, On Plans and Advice for Beginners, SMA #27 on the ISE that never happened in Reshevsky-Kotov, Zurich ’53.

When the side which has the fianchetto gives up an exchange, it’s often to enhance the power of his own bishop by get rid of the its opposite number.  Examples of this kind of ISE include TISE IVWhen Bishops are too Strong and Azmai Could Play.

In Todorovic - Plachetka, which I found in Mednis’ classic From the Opening Into The Endgame,  Black played the Grunfeld and sacrificed his rook for the other bishop. After ... Rxd5, the game continued exd5 Qxd5

White to play

at which point Mednis concludes that Black has "... more than enough compensation ...."  A familiar annotation, if not a massively helpful one for the amateur chesser.

When I first looked at this, I thought that White would play Qe2 here to save the material, after which Black could trade on f3 - twice if necessary - to leave White with five isolated pawns. It turns out this is not a very good idea at all, though. Plachetka, needless to say, had a much better plan in mind.

2014 ISE Count: 40
TISE Index

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did wonder if the exchange sacrifice line had been theory, but it's the only known example. White's move 10 Rd1 is the unusual idea with 10. Rc1 and 10. Rb1 being preferred. Even by 1980, there were only a handful of games that had been played. Exchange Gruenfelds with Nf3 had been considered incorrect because of the pressure on d4, so perhaps that was the motivation behind Rd1.