Chess Puzzle of the Week (256): Solution

This position came from another of my recent online games, this one against Jack.

I was Black here and correctly sacrificed: 22… Bxg4! 23. hxg4, when 23… Qd7! (Qc8!? is also strong) would have given me a decisive advantage, with three connected passed pawns in exchange for a piece and White’s king exposed.

There are many possible variations (thanks to Alastair for providing some of them) but a correct assessment of the position after Qd7 will suffice for full marks.

Instead, I foolishly played 23… Nxg4??, overlooking that Jack could now play 24. Rxf3. The game continue 24… Qd7 25. Nd4?! (very natural, but Rf5! was best) 25… Bxd4+ 26. cxd4 Rxf3 27. Qxf3 Rf8 when I had least had some swindling chances.

Perhaps I’ll tell you what happened next another time.

Do come and join us on lichess if you’re free on a Wednesday evening. It’s a lot of fun and, with nothing other than your online rating at stake, you’ll get the chance to play some enterprising moves and produce some exciting games like this one.