In Honor of Nezhmetdinov recently posted on what is arguably one of the best known sacrificial attacking ideas in chess: the classical bishop sac at h7/h2, also known as the Greek Gift. I have chosen to illustrate the Greek Gift with an animated move sequence from the Wikipedia article that features another hugely important idea: the zwischenzug. To play a zwischenzug during an attack basically means to move a piece without giving check. The more I study attacking chess, the more I realise that the art of attack is the art of knowing which zwischenzugs you can afford to make without jeopardising your attack. Such zwischenzugs, in my experience, are ten times harder to spot and consider in your calculation, at least for beginners, because you’re (a) so immersed in your desire to force things and overwhelm your opponent in one seamless chain and (b) because making a zwischenzug often means your opponent has several rather than just one potential responses. (Perhaps I ought to add c) because it takes patience and audacity — a peculiar combination.) To consider the zwischenzug is the antithesis to “patzer sees check, patzer gives check”, and while the following example may be blatantly obvious to advanced players, to me it illustrates very succinctly the idea of the zwischenzug in the attack. Timeo danaos et dona ferentes!
The Greek Gift and the Attacking Zwischenzug