By Chad Lieberman
Piece activity is paramount. Great chess players stop at nothing to achieve powerful pieces. In this week's featured game, the King's Gambit Accepted leads to a dynamic middlegame position.
Rowland recognizes that he can sacrifice the exchange to achieve dominating minor pieces in the center of the board. When a lot of pawns are traded in the opening, there are fewer to protect the center of the board. This allows more minor pieces to safely inhabit that area. With 19.Rxg7+, Rowland takes full control of the game.
This exchange sacrifice opens the board for white's knights. A tactical opportunity soon arises and white wins a black knight. Note that 22...Qd7 loses to 23.Qa3 forking the black rooks.
The result of strong piece activity is usually more tactical opportunities. This makes the game much more uncomfortable for your opponent. Next time you can sacrifice something as minor as the exchange to achieve great piece placement, go ahead and make the trade. You will achieve a dominating position.