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  1. 23 Sep '13 11:44 / 2 edits
    I reached this position as white in an otb game last night against my 1800/145ecf opponent.

    Black has just played e4.

    I could be safe with a roughly equal position and play Nd2 but as I tend to do, got bored instead choose c5!?

    Hitting rook and threatening to win the Queen with Bc4. I did think about playing Nd2 first then c5, but the tactical shot could disappear a move later.

    I calculated there would only be one decent move: exf3 to give black something, on top of that in practical terms its quite a brave move to give up your queen and play the position out - black would have to play very precisely with something like 19...exf3 20.Bc4 Rd5!

    He did not play exf3 and played Qb6 and got mated about 10 moves later.

    I win quite a few games OTB playing like this, its a tough habit to kick, the question is - is bluffing worth a shot 🙂
  2. 23 Sep '13 12:46 / 2 edits
    Assuming there is another rook on e1 (as in the second diagram) and that Black played Qg6 rather than Qb6 - it was this move which threw the game away for Black as after Nh4 he'd have two pieces en pris!

    After the obvious 1. ... exf3 2. Bc4 Rd5 3. Bxd5 (I can't see any way of winning the rook for nothing by applying more pressure) then Black just looks to have a much better position.

    I guess it all depends on whether you think you're going to win or draw the game without the gamble. If you think your opponent is less tired than you or is likely to grind you down from an equal middle game, then by all means throw the dice and hope that he misses the most accurate continuation in a double edged position. If, however, you think you're a better player than him then perhaps it's best to avoid the dodgy moves and rely on your opponent imploding later in the game.
  3. 23 Sep '13 13:02
    The first diagram threw me off as well.

    Hi Plopzilla,

    "I win quite a few games OTB playing like this, its a tough habit to kick."

    What habit do you want to kick.....winning?

    This style will win more than you lose, when you go up a level then the
    interesting and complicated (though not best) moves tend to get found out.

    The game in these situations is about setting critical problems for your
    opponent to solve.
    He in turn has to solve your problem and set you one.

    Timing is important, some players resort to such play when it's too late
    and the game is completely lost. (Though we have all seen them work...sometimes.)

    Some (I'm in here somewhere) resort to this method when there is no need to.

    In the game shown it looks as if Black just went to pieces and believed his opponent
    had just made a very good move. (Bluffing).
    It's does get nice and unclear after exf3...
    (providing of course we are looking at the right position.) 😉

    Show the whole game, I want to see how it ended.
  4. 23 Sep '13 16:16 / 2 edits
    Thanks for the input.

    Here's the game. First of the season, pretty dreadful, he played a strange opening (like a bad French) so I just played solidly - until I got bored... The Qxe4 thing hoped to provoke f5 because he's a really aggressive player and open the cheapo, so my plan worked but it was flawed..

  5. 24 Sep '13 01:20
    Hi Plopzilla.

    I though so, Black had a touch of the panics, if he had remained calm then....

    Also this is hiding in there just to give an idea of the potential buried in that game.

  6. 28 Sep '13 15:14
    Strong players make speculative sacrifices all the time, and they also offer objectively good options that they know their opponents will not like. It's also the case that sharpening the position is an important tool if you are stronger at tactics, have an advantage in time, a positional advantage that you want to convert, or are simply playing for a win against a passive opponent.