#7 – The word is compensation: please, take my knight!
This game features by way of demonstration the powerful idea of compensation by way of initiative. Whenever considering a piece sacrifice, one must always consider what there is to be gained from it, if anything. In this game, which was played in rapid time controls (10 minutes to each player), the knight sacrifice was meant to open up the position and mobilize, coordinate, and use my pieces in an effective (and, as would happen, decisive) fashion. With my opponent’s queen’s knight and rook yet to move, and his king still in the center of the board, the key moves were, first of all, not just the knight sacrifice – but a move which Ben Finegold would never recommend – f6! This move allows for the final piece to get involved in the attack on the enemy king.
Within a short period of time, and despite better options being available that would have allowed my opponent to equalize with engine-like precision, every single piece was concentrated on the enemy position with a number of pins, deflections, and the lingering threat of pawn promotion which accumulated in an unstoppable mate. Though this sequence began with Bratya giving away his knight – it is informative to consider the opponent never moved his queen’s rook, and only moved his queen’s knight when it was his only – brief – reprieve from checkmate.