An Attack From the Clear Blue Sky

Recently I found a copy of “Starting Out: Attacking Play” by James Plaskett for 2 dollars from a book dealer and decided to pick it up. Most of the stuff in here isn’t that impressive, such as “Rook’s Pawn Tin Openers” and “Pawn Rollers,” but the chapter titled “From a Clear Blue Sky” had some fantastic material.

In one game, the following position is reached.

Here, white had offered a draw, and black sank into deep thought for a long time before refusing the offer and playing the jaw dropping Rd1. After Rd1, my engine assesses the position as a dead draw after 25.Rxc8 Qe3 26.Kh3 Qh6 27.Kg2 Qe3…with a repetition.

However, it’s not surprising that in the game white grabbed the rook and pressed for a win, a mistake which proved fatal. Here is the game as it was played.

Overall the book is worth buying if you can get it cheap, but it’s probably not worth the sticker price because it is kind of skinny and is basically a game collection.