The beauty of the queen sacrifice


A queen sacrifice in chess is the most electrifying concept in the cerebral game. Whenever we come across one, we exclaim “Aha”! out of befuddlement. Altogether, it is a rare concept. The sheer strength and beauty of the queen sacrifice is that it leads to a crushing checkmate.

In this week’s featured game, International Master Edward Lasker used this method to record a win against George Alan Thomas in London in 1912. Lasker, who was born in Germany, but emigrated to the US in 1914, was a five-time US Open champion and was a friend as well as distant relative of the great world champion Emanuel Lasker. 

Without the assistance of computer technology at the time, Edward Lasker had to see into the combination and actually feel it before he parted with his queen. The diagram demonstrates the position of the move before the queen is sacrificed for the h-pawn. It was White to move and win. 

Date: October 29, 1912

White: Edward Lasker

Black: George

Alan Thomas

1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. e4fxe4 7. Nxe4 b6 8. Ne5 O-O 9. Bd3 Bb7 10. Qh5 Qe7 11. Qxh7+Kxh7 12. Nxf6+Kh6 13. Neg4+Kg5 14. h4+ Kf4 15. g3+ Kf3 16. Be2+ Kg2 17. Rh2+ Kg1 18. Kd2# 1-0

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