39 ( +1 | -1 ) philaretusThat is the main reason that sacrificing a wing pawn is frequently sound. Wing pawns are a bit less valuable than center pawns, say two to two and one half tempos, and your opponent nearly always loses at least two tempos to take them. If you are in a position where a few tempos are important this kind of sacrifice should be considered and frequently not accepted.
30 ( +1 | -1 ) wulegbrThat's fine in theory, but the point is that things don't in practice always work out that way. There's a temptation to believe that if you've won a piece -- and I mean genuinely won, not as a sacrifice -- that you're somehow invulnerable. This can be very disconcerting if your opponent gets an initiative, albeit a temporary one.
141 ( +1 | -1 ) Tarrasch provides the technical reason"Except for the mating move, there is no move that does not weaken some part of a position" (Siegbert Tarrasch). * Silman's studies of imbalances would seem to agree with Tarrasch's observation. Perhaps they are even based on his observation. According to Silman, a position should be analyzed in regards to the interplay between knights and bishops, pawn structure, space, material, files and squares, development, and initiative (he does not add king safety, which seems odd to me). In any case, an advantage gained in any one of these areas will invariably involve some sacrifice in at least one of the others, e.g., you gain a one-point advantage, but break up your bishop pair; you gain a piece, but demolish your pawn structure; you trade your knight for a rook, but lose the initiative... Your opponent's challenge, whenever you gain a material advatage, is to discover the way in which you have consequently become disadvantaged and use it against you, e.g., you damage your pawn structure taking a piece, so your opponent gains a 'pig on the seventh'; you have moved your strength away from the king, so your opponent attacks the pawn shield, etc. It's explained in depth in Silmamn's "Reassess Your Chess" and "The Amateur's Mind". In any case, winning a piece will frequently lead to your being under pressure if the opponent can see the imbalances and make them work in his favour.
22 ( +1 | -1 ) Material vs tempois typically always the tradeoff. Dr Hans Berliner addresses this quite a bit in his "The System" which is a book I highly recommend. Wing pawns are often more valuable than center pawns in the end game...
63 ( +1 | -1 ) psychological factorsFor many players when they win a piece or even the exchange, they stop thinking. They don't make a plan. They simply try to trade off pieces to reach an ending a piece up...not paying careful attention to pawn weakness, the best squares to put a piece, development, and all of a sudden their opponent is making threats. They are forced to give up 1 pawn 2 pawns 3 pawns...full compensation. Sometimes they wake up in time to keep an advantage and win, sometimes they draw, but often they lose. My advice:always pay attention to what is happening. Never stop making a plan.
28 ( +1 | -1 ) For a practical series of exampleslook at the Muzio Gambit, where White sacrifices one, and sometimes two pieces, getting an enduring initiative, and with best play shouldn't lose. Recently I've started two mini tournaments featuring Muzio, and there're still some free places.