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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows: Exchange Sacrifice in the Endgame - Part 2

Opening: D25, A57, D38:

Player(s): Vaganian, Kraut, Sadler, Adams, Stopa, Yermolinsky

Exchange sacrifice is a powerful tool that has many uses in different stages of the game. Pertaining to the endgame it's most often used to stifle the opponent's initiative and maybe viewed primarily as a defensive resource. However, in many cases it also allows to fight for an advantage. How can a less effective piece compete against a more powerful one? Obviously, some other factors need to be present. It begins with a pawn advantage, both quantitative and qualitative. Usually, at least one extra pawn is required to provide adequate compensation, and you'd probably need at least two extra pawns to play for a win. Your pawn structure is better be solid to withstand attacks from enemy rook(s). It is important to keep the base of your pawn chain safely protected. Another factor is the presence of other pieces. The advantage of Rook vs minor piece is most visible in its pure form, so when considering a sacrifice you need to make sure you'll be able to keep your last rook on the board. 

This material configuration has occurred in a number of games, and more examples are given in Videos #2 and #3. From the point of view of the defender a return exchange sac must be considered as a last-ditch attempt to save the game. The consequences of a transition into a rook endgame must be carefully analyzed.

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