Youtube chess legend, Kingscrusher, has created an inspiring series on the career highlights of the top sacrificial artists in chess history. The artistic side of chess is rarely displayed in such clear focus.
Who is next? Off the top of my head, these players are also famous for Sacrificial Artistry: Anderssen, Keres, Stein, Velimirovic, Hodgson, Hector, Topalov, Sutovsky, Jobava. Even within this league of sacrificial artists there are distinctions. Some approached chess with the subtlety of a chainsaw hacker, others played imaginative and fantastic conceptions (Nezh, Keres, Bronstein), still others conveyed a sense of epic/unrelenting power (Alekhine, Kasparov, Topalov). Viktor Korchoi, one of the greatest defenders, was quoted as saying that the greatest attackers in chess history through the 1970s were: Alekhine, Keres, and Spassky. I find this subject fascinating. I have made a detailed study of the Art of Sacrifice at my hobbyist level.
Here is my attempt to compile an enjoyable, practical, and fun 1.e4 repertoire based solely on high-quality(!) free videos hosted at YouTube. Most of the presenters are quite strong players/trainers! This is not an airtight or exhaustive repertoire but all the videos hit the big ideas and, for the most part, avoid drowning in minute details. I favored short and sweet videos, although the lengthy entry on the Scotch Game could not be omitted due to the charisma and practical strength of its presenters.
Here is how the YT repertoire breaks down:
Scotch Game presented by Kingscrusher (2200 FIDE) and Paul Gheorgiou (2300 FIDE)
Sicilian, Czerniak-Gelashvili variation (2.b3) (and Part 2) by IM Andrew Martin
French, Nunn-Korchnoi gambit by SuperChessGuru and siciliandragon28: Part 1, Part 2
Caro-Kann, Spassky gambit by GJ_Chess (or Two Knights by FM Charles Galofre: Part 1, Part 2)
Scandinavian, Nf3/d4/c4 systems (and Part 2) by GJ_Chess
Pirc, f3/g4 attack by Majnu2006
Alekhine, Balogh variation (4.Bc4) by IM Vojislav Milanovic
As the Sicilian coverage is the lightest, here is a PGN of games played by Gelashvili in his pet line. I think it helps to think of the opening as a reversed Queen's Indian.
Note: A full 1d4 YT repertoire has already been done by IM Christof Sielecki.
I have now completed a video series covering all 37 games in this book, totaling almost 9 hours. I made the first 14 videos in December 2008, while still officially a Class "B" player. The quality is up and down, but I would single out 19, 24, and 12 as a few of the better ones. A few that are not so good are 4, 18, and 27.
As a training idea, I can recommend going over the raw game score without annotations and without an engine. Try to figure out the game for yourself-- especially try to see where the loser could have (1) avoided problems in the first place and (2) defused Spielmann's initiative. After you have reached your own conclusions, you can consult the video (or the book or an engine) to compare your conclusions. For this purpose I am giving the PGN file below. Here is also a link to purchase the book.
Positional Sacrifice: leads to forced recovery of the sacrificed material with an improvement in position.
Game 1 8:44 Spielmann - Pirc, 1931
Game 2 10:10 Spielmann - Schlecter, 1906
Game 3 13:11 Pirc - Spielmann, 1931
Sacrifice for Gain: leads to an advantage in material, the sacrificed material being regained by force and with interest.
Game 4 12:31 Bogolyubov - Spielmann, 1927
Game 5 10:58 Spielmann - Muller, 1933
Mating Sacrifice: leads to checkmate or to a decisive gain of material.
Game 6 21:16 Spielmann - Honlinger, 1929
Game 7 12:19 Spielmann - Tartakower, 1925
Game 8 11:22 Spielmann - Grunfeld, 1929
Game 9 12:17 Spielmann - L'hermet, 1927
Sacrifice for Development: aims at an unnatural acceleration of one's development.
Game 10 16:26 Schories - Spielmann, 1905
Game 11 11:46 Bernstein - Spielmann, 1906
Obstructive Sacrifice: slows down the opponent's development.
Game 12 9:23 Spielmann - Landau, 1933
Game 13 16:16 Spielmann - Honlinger, 1933
Game 14 16:08 Spielmann - Bogolyubov, 1932
Game 15 13:05 Spielmann - Walter, 1928
Preventive (Anti-Castling) Sacrifice: intended to prevent the opponent from castling.
Game 16 16:28 Spielmann - Duras, 1905
Game 17 13:42 Spielmann - Mieses, 1910
Game 18 18:05 Mieses - Spielmann, 1910
Game 19 25:10 Gereben - Spielmann, 1934
Line-Clearance Sacrifice: aims at the early employment of rooks on open lines.
Game 20 10:06 Spielmann - Flamberg, 1914
Game 21 16:55 Spielmann - Eljaschoff, 1903
Game 22 12:56 Spielmann - Grunfeld, 1922
Vacating Sacrifice: procures access for a particular unit to a more favorable square.
Game 23 19:30 Spielmann - Janowski, 1907
Game 24 17:19 Spielmann - Reti, 1912
Deflecting or Decoy Sacrifice: lures or diverts enemy forces from the main field of battle.
Game 25 15:18 Spielmann - Forgacs, 1910
(Castled) King's Field Sacrifice: breaks up the hostile King's castled position.
Game 26 18:16 Spielmann - Dekker, 1934
Game 27 10:38 Leonhardt - Spielmann, 1906
Game 28 11:45 Spielmann - Duras, 1907
Game 29 13:16 Spielmann - Bogolyubov, 1932
Game 30 16:52 Becker - Spielmann, 1926
King-Hunt Sacrifice: drives the enemy King into the open, where it is exposed to danger.
Game 31 24:27 A. Rubinstein - Spielmann, 1912
Game 32 15:56 Spielmann - S. Rubinstein, 1933
The Exchange Sacrifice
Game 33 15:24 Treybal - Spielmann, 1922
Game 34 12:24 Spielmann - Tarrasch, 1923
Game 35 10:25 Spielmann - Tartakower, 1909
The Queen Sacrifice
Game 36 15:08 Spielmann - Maroczy, 1907
Game 37 10:32 Spielmann - Moeller, 1920
I donated toward this film's production about a year ago, and I truly enjoyed seeing it last weekend.
It even turned out to be a good "date movie," which may be the first time that term has ever been applied to a chess-themed documentary. But that is probably because Brooklyn Castle is not really about chess any more than the Batman movies are about flying rodents -- chess is just a prominent part of the scenery. On the most superficial level, it's a kids' competition movie that unconventionally has you rooting for the big bad favorites (I.S. 318, the Yankees of scholastic chess) rather than the plucky underdogs. Others may see it as a political advert for the funding of extracurricular programs. To me, though, the movie is about a handful of lovable (yes, lovable) Brooklyn kids who despite modest beginnings seem destined for greatness as if they are living out the early chapters of a Charles Dickens novel. Film critics may applaud the film for getting the audience to care about its characters, but that seems backwards to me, since these awesome kids are the ones responsible for making me care about the movie.
On a related note, I submitted an application last month to volunteer at the local Boys & Girls Club, but I was informed the club is not open on Saturday (my only free day). Seeing the movie reminded me that I should volunteer with kids somehow. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere and now practice law in Beverly Hills. Without getting too personal, it is fair to say my parents were not exactly bankers, doctors, or lawyers and our version of a summer vacation was to drive a hundred miles and stay at a Holiday Inn. Without a point of reference, it can be difficult to realize (both meanings) what is achievable. This movie can help kids and communities to reach and dream beyond their immediate surroundings.
Here is a video interview with the film creator including excerpts from the movie!
I have updated the playlists and links to endgame videos, which you can access through the "Endgame" link in the top ribbon.
Like most people, I have nary the patience sit down and devote time to watching this stuff, so I have set up a laptop in a kitchen cabinet to play YouTube videos while I am cooking and doing dishes. I have also watched these while doing a menial task like sorting laundry. Of course you will want to make the video fullscreen.
Those who are serious can keep a notebook log of videos watched with a little note for retention.
Just finished a club tournament with 5.0 / 7 against mostly experts, and picked up a few rating points to 2076. I made videos of my last four games from this tournament, which were also the most interesting. The videos are approximately 25 minutes each.
Topalov ventured against Kamsky the obscure Romanishin line with 7.Bf4 against the Grunfeld in their Candidates game today. I have mentioned this very same (rare) variation at this blog! Topalov deviated from Schiller's recommendation (feels surreal to type that, yes) by going 8.Qa3 instead of 8.Qc2. (See Schiller's e-book at the top of page 3.) Of course, Topalov's further experiment of 0-0-0 and h2-h4 amounted to either wishful thinking or disrespect against a lionhearted defender like Kamsky.
Also see GM Henrik Danielsen's video analysis of the game at chessdom.com
It's a bit pretentious for an amateur chess blog to promote an extremely popular chess engine, but the free engine HOUDINI is an ideal complement to the equally free resources SCID and MILLBASE. With SCID, MILLBASE, and HOUDINI, any chess hobbyist can have immediate access to professional-quality computer chess resources.
What's that-- you want to learn how to use SCID? Glad you asked, because yours truly produced detailed videos explaining exactly this.