Colle – O’Hanlon, Nice 1930

One of the most used examples of the classical bishop sacrifice is taken from the game Edgard Colle – John O’Hanlon, Nice 1930.

This is rather strange because in this game the normal preconditions before sacrificing the bishop aren’t even met. Some chess players and teachers even considered the sacrifice in this game as unsound. After looking at it more carefully I think that the sacrifice is sound, but that Black will probably be able to survive the attack.

Before going to the game I show two positions in which the classical bishop sacrifice enables White to win the game.

r1bq1rk1/pp1nnppp/4p3/2ppP3/1b1P2Q1/2NB1N2/PPP2PPP/R1B1K2R w KQ – 0 8

rnbq1rk1/pppn1ppp/4p3/3pP3/1b1P4/2NB1N2/PPP2PPP/R1BQK2R w KQ – 5 7

Now we will continue with the famous game from Edgard Colle.



Next lesson: The Rook and pawn vs Rook endgame.

Newest analysis – revised editions of Vukovic by Nunn in English (2003) and Treppner in German (2006) as well as issue 3 of Kassiber and Broznik’s Colle book – all show the sacrifice to be correct.

I also said that the sacrifice was sound, but with correct counterplay I still believe that Black will be able to survive the attack.

Das Colle-Koltanowski-System by Bronznik Valeri as well as the footnotes by John Nunn in Vuckovic’s book show the shortcomings in the original analysis of Vuckovic, who considered the sacrifice to be incorrect..

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