Chapter 9: Sacrificing 弃 01

Simple introduction from book:

Sacrificing material is the most widely used tactical combinations in the midgame phase. The tactic can be used to to fight for the initiative, gain the positional advantage, launch an attack, et cetera.
Sometimes, it is used to intensify the situation or relieve oneself from a siege by starting a process. This tactic has the effect of causing sharp changes to the situation and is often the critical factor deciding the game.
The predominant ideology behind this tactic is "to keep seeking alternatives or variations". After analyzing and weighing the various factors, the entire situation is considered to see if a sacrifice was viable or if the sacrifice were made for the greater good. A sacrifice is often made under the premise of destroying the enemy's strategical intentions.
In the case of "sacrificing (material) for the greater good", Often the player would adopt a style of "I fight my own battles while you fight yours", refusing to concede. It represents a proactive, non-conventional, versatile and easily adaptable style of play.
On the contrary, if a player kept 'following' the enemy, he would be led by the nose and will find himself busy dealing with the situation on all fronts. Obviously, such an approach will inevitably fail. "Sacrifice material to fight for the initiative" would be one way of getting out of similar situations where a player would try to maintain the initiative by being in a state of attack at all costs.
When caught in a predicament of losing material, instead of trying to preserve material and be on the losing end, sacrificing material to gain the positional advantage would be a better choice.
The tactic of sacrificing material is often linked to other tactics. There are many ways to use the tactic of sacrificing and it would be impossible to explain all. Indeed, there are so many ways that they are many as the hair of the ox. It wld be impossible to mention or give examples one by one. Books of all kinds have extensively recorded various ways and techniques.
In the other sections and chapters of this book, and also the next chapter on basic kills, the tactic of sacrificing material has been extensively used.
Therefore, in this chapter, only the more distinctive examples of warfare are enumerated. Special attention would be given to the tactical features and important points and they would be further analyzed and discussed.

In this chapter, the authors have divided the subject into eight sections for discussions. They are"

  • (1) Sacrificing material to mount attack
  • (2) Sacrificing material to kill
  • (3) Pseudo-sacrifice
  • (4) Virtual sacrifice ('虚’弃)
  • (5) Enticing Sacrifice material 诱弃
  • (6) Counter-sacrifice
  • (7) Sequential Sacrifice (序盘)
  • (8) Sacrificing material in complicated situations


Note: The examples have also been made into short videos with corresponding tags to offer a clearer explanation. The URL would be:

(1) Sacrificing material to mount attack

(1) Sacrificing material to mount attack
When sacrificing material to mount an attack, it is most important to do it at the correct timing, have courage, and dare to come up with bold ideas. Thorough and accurate calculations are also needed as the player tries to anticipate various possible counters by the opponent. Furthermore, it is often important to create a situation whereby the opponent if forced to respond to each and every move.
Adequate preparation must be present for the tactic to succeed. In this way, sacrificing material to mount an attack will have better chances of success.








李海鸣 和 林秦. 象棋战术初步. 北京 : 新华书店北京发行, 1986. 7015.2281.

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