Magnus Carlsen vs Hou Yifan – Brilliant Exchange Sacrifice!

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How great would it be to see a chess battle between the world’s best male player and the world’s best female player – this is one such game, the game between the world champion Magnus Carlsen and the former Women’s world champion Hou Yifan. It’s their game played at the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament in the year 2018.

Magnus Carlsen vs Hou Yifan


Carlsen was playing White and Yifan was playing Black. The queens were exchanged early in the game, and both players didn’t castle their kings. At one point, they had a pair of rooks and a pair of minor pieces, each. That’s when Carlsen sacrificed his rook for Yifan’s bishop – an exchange sacrifice! That sacrifice helped him get the initiative and a strong passed pawn.

You might have heard this quote from Carlsen – “Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it’s OK to lose. I don’t. You have to be merciless“; this game is one such example. It was about an equal position, and even after the exchange sacrifice, Yifan held the position really well, but Carlsen never settled for a draw.

Watch and enjoy this beautiful chess game!


Suggested: Learn more from the RCA chess course “How to find Positional Chess Sacrifices?

Did you like this video analysis? What comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘exchange sacrifice’, do you have any favorite games?

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