Friday, June 01, 2012

Sacrifice (HTRYC 3rd)

Sacrifice - The voluntary offer of material for the purpose of gaining a more favorable advantage than the material investment.  Unlike a combination, a sacrifice is not a cut and dried affair, and there is usually an element of uncertainty associated with it.  Though a combination always has one or more sacrifices, a sacrifice need not be associated with a combination.

In his Material Loss and Sacrifice chapter, he notes a few moves from a few games
Selesniev-Alekhine, Triberg 1921, move 20...Rb4
Reshevsky-T.Petrosian, Zurich 1953, move 25...Re6
Taimanov-Karpov, Moscow 1973, beginning with move 17...Rc4


  1. "Though a combination always has one or more sacrifices, a sacrifice need not be associated with a combination."

    Hi Rocky,

    Is this right? Does he have a different definition of combination than my older one maybe?

    I'm thinking a combination that exchanges B's and R's may have a sacrifice involved or may not but a sac of a piece usually does involve some kind of combination.

  2. ChessClues - his definition of 'combination' is:

    A tactical move or series of moves based on the opponent's weakened King, hanging or undefended pieces, or inadequately guarded pieces. Usually involving a sacrifice, it is a calculable series of moves leading to material or positional gains. It is important to note that a combination cannot exist if at least one of the above factors is not present.

    Though several players have attempted to create a clear definition throughout the years, the following definition by Silman and Seirawan is the most accurate

    A combination is a sacrifice combined with a forced sequence of moves, which exploits specific peculiarities of the position in the hope of attaining a certain goal.

  3. Hi Rocky,

    Thanks for the info.

    It seems somewhat similar to Znosko-Borovsky's view in his old book "The Art of Chess Combination".

    ZB's take was that a combination was a series of moves which had to involve a surprise, often including a sacrifice, leading to a definite advantage.