Welcome to Summer Chess School Lesson 25 (I apologize for calling last weeks problems "week" instead of "lesson."). Today, we start middle game lessons based on attacking the castled king with different pawn fronts. This week is the three pawns unmoved in front of the king. Black has protection, but White has all his forces lined up. In past summer schools, we have looked at the simpler forms of Bxh7+ with a queen going to h5. This position is more complicated. Every good chess player will look at the sacrifice on h7. That player will also notice that Bxh7+ right away is not so hot. What's wanted is Nxh7 followed by Bxh7+ with the classical attack learned in previous summers. But does it work? Make believe you're sitting at the board in a tournament and set a clock in motion. Give yourself 15 or 30 minutes--whatever you like and try and figure out whether you should sacrifice on h7 or not.
1.Nxh7 Nxh7 2.Bxh7+ Kxh7 3.Ng5+ Bxg5 [3...Kg8 4.Qh5 Bf6 5.Qxf7+ Kh8 6.Rh3 Qc6 7.Rf3 e5 8.Qh5+ Kg8 9.Qh7+ Kf8 10.Ne4 Bf5 11.Rxd8+ Rxd8 12.Qxf5 Nc5 13.Nxf6 gxf6 14.Qxe5 Rd6 15.Bh6+ Kf7 16.Qh5+ Ke7 17.Re3+ Re6 18.Qd5 Qxd5 19.cxd5 Rxe3 20.Bxe3 and White wins with the extra pawns that will in time become queens.] 4.hxg5+ Kg8 5.Qh5 Kf8 6.Qh8+ Ke7 7.Qxg7 Rg8 8.Qf6+ Ke8 9.Rh8 Rxh8 10.Qxh8+ Ke7 11.Qf6+ [11.Qxa8 wins, but White is more interested in the mating attack.] 11...Ke8 12.g6! [Takes a while longer with 12.Rh1 Bc6 13.Rh8+ Kd7 14.Qxf7+ Kd6 15.Bf4+ Kc5 16.Qxc7 Rxh8 17.Qe5+ Kb6 18.b4 Rh1+ 19.Kc2 Be4+ 20.Kb3 Rb1+ 21.Ka3 Nc3 22.Qc7+ Ka6 23.Qa5#]12...fxg6 13.Qxg6+ Ke7 14.Qg7+ Ke8 15.Qg8+ Ke7 16.Bg5# [You learned two important things today. 1. Breaking up those neatly arranged pawns can expose the king to all sorts of attacks, especially those initiated with an attack on h7. 2. You really have to sit down and think out concrete lines based on checks and forced moves to make sure the sacrifice works. If you couldn’t figure it all out, print out the solution and follow it in your mind as you look at the diagram. It’s a brain exercise!