What makes chess exciting?
This is a question that can be answered in many ways. Different chess-players value different things, depending on personal proclivities and tastes.
There is one thing, however, that never fails to impress:
Sacrifices in chess have many uses. Many of these are tactical: setting up a double attack or pin, gaining access to the opponent's king, luring the enemy king into a mating net, eliminating defences and ensuring the promotion of a passed pawn are but a few of the tactical objectives for which material can be offered up.
There are also positional considerations that may warrant the investment of one's own wood. This is most clearly seen in gambits: pawns are deliberately placed en pris to accelerate one's own development and forming of a pawn centre, or to disrupt the opponent's plans. These positional sacrifices usually come in the form of a pawn, minor piece, or Exchange. Much less common is the sacrifice of a full rook, and that is precisely what happened in the video of this blog post.
Dutch trainer and author IM Merijn van Delft has (co-)authored two books for New In Chess, Mastering Positional Sacrifices and Chess Buccaneer. In the presentation video below he guides us through the game that links these two books.
The presentation was hosted on Chessable, and the video was produced by yours truly.