You have to weigh these things up OTB very carefully.
An attacking player would offer that pawn without much thought.
They have a history of offering such pawns (who was White?...Infact who were the players?)
he knows the coming defence is difficult for Black.
He will get play for that pawn.
Black may have just rejected it because he saw the difficulties and
after 0-0-0 theatened to take it.
(The threat very often being stronger than the execution.)
He may not have picked his through the maze and decided it was not worth a pawn.
(Also, I don't know, it may be a theorectical pawn sac by White.)
However Lasker (and we will meet him again in a minute) writes
any centre pawn is always worth a bit of trouble.
All these maxims, quotes and rules of thumb.
Each one appears to have a counter rule of thumb.
Is it any wonder we are running around like headless chickens.
Winter writes that he once thought for ages (35 minutes if I recall)
before saccing a piece v Lasker. Lasker ignored it and replied within a
After the game Winter asked why did you not take the piece. Lasker replied.
"If a good player offers a piece sacrifice after 35 minutes thought it must
be good. You can keep the piece I'll keep the 35 minutes."
Or words to that effect, I cannot remember it word for word. Lasker won.
So let us have a quick look at what perhaps Black saw...
(though I think they just said "No Thank You." without much thought.)
This is the other line the Black player would have to look at.