Is Greed Good?

M. Dougherty (2312) – M. Humphreys (2273), Canadian Closed Championship 2011

White is a pawn down on the board and will suffer a worse ending if he cannot compensate his inferior structure and coordination. It seems like White can win a pawn by means of 1. Nxf4 Re5 2. Nxh5, making use of the fact that Black’s rook is overloaded—does White achieve equality here or can Black still press for the win?

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A well known chess quote from John Nunn's Secrets of Practical Chess may guide your thinking here: "Loose pieces drop off."

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1. Nxf4 Re5 Seemingly seemingly defending both d5 and h5—but isn’t the rook tied down to the e3 knight? 2. Nxh5?? Rxh5. Here, White resigned, realizing his grave error. Upon 3. Kxe3, d4+ wins the loose rook! Of course, White cannot be criticized too harshly for this mistake as everyone has a moment of chess blindness from time to time.

 

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