A Classic Sacrifice

Here is my game from R8 of the London Chess Classic FIDE Open. It was the game I was most satisfied with in the tournament. It involved a long tactical combination that I could not see the end of at the time, but it nevertheless worked.

Black is about to break through on the queenside and wipe out White’s pawns. I find the only way to effectively breakthrough on the kingside.

What was particularly pleasing about this game is that the piece sacrifice 19.Nxf7 worked against any defence. It was a natural move that had to work, or White would just be worse. I tried hard to make it work in my calculations, and in the end I stopped calculating and just played the move. I knew it was the move that was most natural in the position – sometimes that is enough. We have to make decisions based on incomplete information, and we only discover if we were right as the game is played out over the board.

Angus James