After castling short we tend to play the king’s rook to another open/half open file, abandoning protection of the f-pawn in front of it. Therefore it is quite useful to set your radar for the f7 (f2) square in order to seize any opportunity to launch an attack on castled king. Usually, we sacrifice the piece on that square in order to bring opponent’s monarch from his comfort zone.
Here are a few instructive examples of this theme:
Petrosian against Balashov in 1974
Q: Is it possible to play Bxf7 here?
Hint: This sacrifice will work only if you’re able to find a very calm follow-up on the next move.
22. Bxf7! Kxf7
Ideally Balashov should resign here because sacrifice was made by Petrosian!!
22…Ne5 won’t work because of 23.Qxe5+ Qxe5 24.Nxe5 Bxg5 25.Bxe8 when Black is the exchange and a pawn down.
Now g7 square has been taken away from Black’s king and there is no way to neutralise an attack from e6 or the a2-g8 diagonal (a very important lesson to remember) without losing decisive material.
If 23…Nd4 then 24.Qxd4 Bf8 25.Rxe8 Rxe8 and now Ng5 is just winning. But it was better than the text move.
24. Qc4+ and White went on win after couple of moves.
Blackburne against Collins in 1897
Q: In a given position Black’s last move was 19…Rd8 which is a grave mistake how would you punish it?
It was to better to play 19…Bxe5 followed by Nb6 and it’s still a game but text move leads to immediate loss with
Though other moves can’t change the outcome but this leads to mate in six. Help yourself please.
It is highly recommended to study below classics to enhance your knowledge of this theme: