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Basil
28-03-2008, 01:33 AM
Black to move. He's a pawn up and minus the bishop pair. What to do? Short term or long term. Tactical or positional. You decide.

No engines (just yet) please. Any dummy can do that. Pretend it's you in a game.

rnb2rk1/pp4pp/2p1pq2/2Pp1p2/1P6/3BPQ2/P4PPP/1RB1K2R b K - 2 13

Capablanca-Fan
28-03-2008, 11:20 AM
Black to move. He's a pawn up and minus the bishop pair. What to do? Short term or long term. Tactical or positional. You decide.

No engines (just yet) please. Any dummy can do that. Pretend it's you in a game.
I don't normally use engines for this sort of thing; I figure that the questioner could do that and wants positional judgement.

I think ... b6 looks good, undermining White's over-extended Q-side Ps, as well as preparing an outlet for the B on a6. That way, Black's worst minor can be exchanged or rake a useful diagonal. Black need not rush to use the extra P, so should exploit White's short term defects and get rid of his own long term ones.

Alexrules01
28-03-2008, 08:58 PM
well get rid of the backward pawn-e5! then e4
Then put the bishop on Bd6
And the knight will look good on e5
I think blacks postion would come alive after that

then you can continue either to undermine the queenside for play on the kingside, like f4, doubling the rooks. I think the king side would work much better

Kevin Bonham
28-03-2008, 10:44 PM
Jono's ...b6 may be best for those who know what they are doing, but I'm paranoid about creating long-term liabilities and I would worry that white may find a way to create an OPP, which might be bad news for me if I end up in the endgame with a knight. Not a big concern since I would have a lot of pressure down the a-file for a while, but I'd figure that with a perfectly good position a pawn up I do not want to create, risk or think about any compensating imbalance at all.

I'd build that strong pawn centre with ...e5. I'm expecting Bb2 so I don't think ...e4 will be happening anytime soon, but I don't mind that (and I don't really want ...e4 anyway as his DSB is strengthened). After that I rather like ...a5 ripping into white's queenside pawn structure. Maybe he will give up his LSB for my knight if I put pressure on b4 via ...Na6 (if he still has a pawn there); I don't care, because if he is good enough to get all the heavy pieces off and reach an OCB ending (and draw it) from a position that miserable then good luck to him.

I also like ...e5 because if White gives up his LSB for my knight then I might later play ...f4 with kingside pressure, perhaps with my queen moved to g6 first.

By the way once ...e5 is in I do not think Black's LSB is bad. But that is because I am a French Defence and Moscow Semi-Slav player so leaving a bishop parked on c8 for half the game then developing it on the kingside taking three moves to do so is second nature for me. :)

glossary for the newcomers:

OPP outside passed pawn
LSB light square bishop
DSB dark square bishop
OCB opposite coloured bishops

Kevin Bonham
28-03-2008, 11:07 PM
Oh, and despite white having the bishop pair my assessment of his real compensation for the pawn is nothing or less.

Basil
28-03-2008, 11:40 PM
Thanks Jono, Alex and Kevin. Anyone else?

Very interesting to see how players of differing (greater) strength assess the position. The game is mine from this week. I will post the full continuation at a later time along with my analysis (and mistakes).

I won the game (with black) but it wasn't at all pleasant.

Denis_Jessop
29-03-2008, 12:06 PM
I like the look of e5 as it has the classical feel of a powerful thrust in the centre but (my being a patzer;) ) how about just being a nuisance and playing Qc3+ preventing W from castling for starters?

DJ

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 12:39 PM
I like the look of e5 as it has the classical feel of a powerful thrust in the centre but (my being a patzer;) ) how about just being a nuisance and playing Qc3+ preventing W from castling for starters?
Not a bad thought, but after Ke2, Black has to worry about threats to his Q, e.g. Bb2 Qxb4, Bxg7; or ... e5, Rb3 forcing ...e4, Rxc3 exf3+, gxf3 regaining the P. Black would have to lose time with ...Qf6, and White will be able to castle artificially if necessary.

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 12:40 PM
well get rid of the backward pawn-e5! then e4
Then put the bishop on Bd6
And the knight will look good on e5
I think blacks postion would come alive after that

then you can continue either to undermine the queenside for play on the kingside, like f4, doubling the rooks. I think the king side would work much better
...e4 is a nice wedge, but doesn't seem to make full use of the extra P, since it will be harder to play d4 after that. It also cooperates poorly with the light-squared B.

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 12:41 PM
I won the game (with black) but it wasn't at all pleasant.
That's surprising, because Black has a clear advantage. A P up, and is not behind in development.

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 12:49 PM
Jono's ...b6 may be best for those who know what they are doing, but I'm paranoid about creating long-term liabilities and I would worry that white may find a way to create an OPP, which might be bad news for me if I end up in the endgame with a knight.
At the moment, cxb6 axb6 leaves White with a weak backward a-pawn. Also an OPP is often a disadvantage in the middlegame, since it become isolated from the action and weak. In this case, even if White managed a4-a5, this P would be cut off when Black's unopposed c and d Ps roll down abetted by the e pawn.


Not a big concern since I would have a lot of pressure down the a-file for a while, but I'd figure that with a perfectly good position a pawn up I do not want to create, risk or think about any compensating imbalance at all.
I was actually trying to remove the compensating imbalance that White has with the Q-side space and Black's bad B.

Aaron Guthrie
29-03-2008, 02:57 PM
b6 looks good. And if cb6 then Qc3+ looks nasty.

Basil
29-03-2008, 03:25 PM
All very interesting. On such small things do big things turn :wall: Game later on today. Anyone else?

I should also add that:
1. I managed to turn the position into a losing one before salvaging it.
2. My play wasn't that far removed from that subsequently 'passed' by an engine. I think there's something in that for all of us.

Kevin Bonham
29-03-2008, 03:26 PM
b6 looks good. And if cb6 then Qc3+ looks nasty.

Yes, an immediate ...cxb6 is out of the question.

Davidflude
29-03-2008, 03:32 PM
First use Jeremy Silman's idea of listing all the imbalances.

White has the two bishops.

Black has

- an extra pawn
- a lead in development
- a much better centre

In my opinion black has several objectives.

- to complete his development
- to maintain his centre
- to swap of one of whites bishops.
- to keep control.
- to sap off pieces rather than pawns
- not to open the position if it unleashes the white bishops

This leads to the candidate moves

-Qc3 Nd7 e5 b6 b5 a4

I would reject Qc3 because it is unthematic. Black is plunging into unclear tactics instead of consolidating the position.

Nd7 looks very good. The threat is Ne5. It is difficult for white to avoid a bishop swap. Furthermore black is furthering his development.

b6 b5 and a5 are all good looking moves but they can wait.

Aaron Guthrie
29-03-2008, 03:34 PM
Or maybe 1...Qc3+ 2.Ke2 e5! (intending Qxd3+)

edit- oh Rb3

Well anyway I suggest magically playing b6,Qc3+ and e5 all at the same time.

Basil
29-03-2008, 04:06 PM
Or maybe 1...Qc3+ 2.Ke2 e5! (intending Qxd3+)

edit- oh Rb3

Well anyway I suggest magically playing b6,Qc3+ and e5 all at the same time.
The move 12... Qf6 appeared on the board immediately prior to, and therefore creating, the diagrammed position.

The idea behind 12... Qf6 was exactly as you suggested - 13.Rb1 Qc3+ 14.Ke2 e5 15.Bb2 Qxd3+ 16.Kxd3 e5. winning a piece rnb2rk1/pp4pp/2p5/2Pp1p2/1P2p3/3KPQ2/PB3PPP/1R5R w - - 0 16

It was only after 12... Qf6 appeared on the board did I spot that white's best wasn't 15.Bb2 but as you suggest 15.Rb3. I saw that the queen could go to a1 and I subsequently spent over half an hour deciding my best course and sifting through what was (or me) a very complex visualisation and variations.

Aaron Guthrie
29-03-2008, 04:32 PM
It was only after 12... Qf6 appeared on the board did I spot that white's best wasn't 15.Bb2 but as you suggest 15.Rb3. I saw that the queen could go to a1 and I subsequently spent over half an hour deciding my best course and sifting through what was (or me) a very complex visualisation and variations.I don't like Qa1.

Anyway, there are a few different moves to play in the original position. I think Nd7 is probably objectively best, but that other moves keep the advantage (b6, e5, maybe even Qc3+). I also think choosing between the moves at this point is a bit of a matter of taste. (advantage plus type of position you know how to play well = good chance of win)

Basil
29-03-2008, 04:35 PM
I don't like Qa1.
Right. Nor did I. So I didn't play Qc3+. So then I became obsessed with ...e5 as well as beating up on myself for playing ...Qf6 in the first place. Tick tock ...

Basil
29-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Thanks for everyone's input. My reason for posting in the first place was not to entertain (but I hope you enjoyed flexing the grey matter regardless), but rather a genuine interest in my colleagues' assessments.

1. ...a5 was a theme (mentioned by you) that I didn't play until I was basically forced to - mistake.

2. I was so in love with the idea ...Qf6 because of
a) gaining time
b) having a follow up
c) having checks and disabling castling
I neglected to be objective and play the minor piece developing moves - again pointed out by many of you.

3. Underestimation. While white's DSB was always going to rake the long diagonal, I simply under-estimated its strength (again).

4. Timing. I seemed to have all the elements of the ideas
... a5
... e5
... Nd7
... f4 (which never appeared on the board but was considered)

and eventually confused the order, the timing and then got into an 'orrible mess both on the board and the clock - while the game played out looks simple enough (perhaps to some anyway), I chewed up a lot of mine. I finished with minutes while my opponent had an hour on the clock. His game rather played itself - lesson!

I have only supplied scant engine analysis. Thanks to everyone who participated.

[White "A. Nother"]
[Black "Howard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A80"]

1. d4 f5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Nbd2 Bd6 6. Ne5 O-O 7. c4 c6? {
(-0.27) +0.56 7... Bxe5 8. dxe5 Ng4 9. b3 Nxe5 10. Be2 dxc4 11. Nxc4 Qxd1 12.
Kxd1 } 8. c5 Bxe5 9. dxe5 Nfd7 10. b4 Nxe5 11. Nf3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Qf6 { The box
prefers the much talked about 12...a5 here } 13. Rb1 e5 14. Qg3 e4? { (+0.12)
Again, the box box wants ...a5 but this time it's screaming for it ... +0.96
14... a5 15. Bb2 Nd7 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra4 18. f4 b6 19. Bxe5 Nxe5 20. fxe5
} 15. Bb2 Qe7 16. Be2 Nd7 17. O-O Re8 18. Bh5 Rf8 19. Be2 a5 20. a3 axb4 21.
axb4 Nf6 22. Be5 Rf7 23. Bd4 Ra2 24. Rb2 Rxb2 25. Bxb2 b6 { (-0.58) -0.29 25...
Rf8 26. Ra1 Be6 27. Ra7 f4 28. exf4 Qd7 29. Bd4 Bg4 30. f3 Bh5 } 26. Bd4 bxc5
27. Bxc5 Qe6 { (-0.16) 0.00 27... Qc7 28. Bd6 Qa7 29. Bc5 Qc7 } 28. Ra1 Nd7 29.
Bd4 Nf8 30. Ra8 Bd7 { (-0.69) -0.32 30... Bb7 31. Ra7 f4 32. exf4 Ng6 33. Bh5
Qf5 34. Qg5 } 31. Rb8 Be8 32. Bc5 { Let off the hook. Black gets a chance to
escape the 'orrible self inflicted pressure. } Nd7 33. Rb7 Nxc5 34. Rxf7 Qxf7 {
(+1.08) +1.14 34... Kxf7 35. bxc5 Qe7 36. Qh3 Kf6 37. Qxh7 Qxc5 38. Qh4 Ke6 39.
Qh8 Qc1 40. Bf1 } 35. bxc5 Qb7 { (+0.71) +0.90 35... Qe7 36. Qb8 Kf7 37. Qb4 g5
38. Qc3 Ke6 39. Qb4 f4 40. Bg4 Kf6 41. Qd4 } 36. Qd6 g6 37. Qe6+ Bf7 38. Qf6
Qd7 39. h4 Qe6 40. Qxe6 Bxe6 41. Ba6 Kf7 42. Bb7 Bd7 43. Kh2 h6 { (+1.69) +2.04
43... Ke6 44. Kg3 d4 45. exd4 Kd5 46. Kf4 Kxd4 47. Kg5 Kxc5 48. Ba6 Kd4 49. Kf4
} 44. Kg3 g5 45. hxg5 hxg5 46. f4 exf3 47. Kxf3 Ke6 { (+1.57) +2.10 47... Kf6
48. Ba6 Ke5 49. g3 d4 50. Bc4 dxe3 51. Kxe3 Be6 52. Be2 Kd5 53. Bf3 } 48. g3
Ke5 49. Ba6 g4+? { (+1.17) +2.32 49... d4 50. Bc4 dxe3 51. Kxe3 Be6 52. Be2 Kd5
53. Bf3 Kxc5 } 50. Ke2 d4 51. Kd3 dxe3 52. Kxe3 Kd5 53. Bd3 Kxc5 54. Kf4 Kd4
55. Bxf5 Bxf5 56. Kxf5 c5 57. Kxg4 c4 58. Kf3 Kd3 59. g4 c3 60. g5 c2 61. g6
c1=Q 0-1

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 11:29 PM
First use Jeremy Silman's idea of listing all the imbalances.

White has the two bishops.
And an advanced P chain on the Q-side that could become an asset with development, but at the moment it is overextended.


b6 b5 and a5 are all good looking moves but they can wait.
But waiting allows White to coordinate his forces with the distant P chain. ... b6 strikes while White is still underdeveloped, and makes it easier to achieve one of the other objectives you mention—swapping off the light-squared B.

Davidflude
29-03-2008, 11:32 PM
We all make the mistake of trying to play something clever when simple moves are best. I have even done it in correspondence. The other problem is seeing what looks great and then trying to make it work when it wont.

Capablanca-Fan
29-03-2008, 11:39 PM
[White "A. Nother"]

[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A80"]

1. d4 f5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Nbd2 Bd6 6. Ne5 O-O 7. c4 c6? {
(-0.27) +0.56 7... Bxe5 8. dxe5 Ng4 9. b3 Nxe5 10. Be2 dxc4 11. Nxc4 Qxd1 12.
Kxd1 } 8. c5 {[B]'orribly overextending, and not only loses a P but hurts his position} 8... Bxe5 9. dxe5 Nfd7 10. b4 Nxe5 11. Nf3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Qf6 { The box prefers the much talked about 12...a5 here. Yes, because with the R still on a1, he can't defend with a3. And 13. b5 is met by ...Qf6 then Qc3+} 13. Rb1 e5 {this is reasonable, but the P should stay here where it keeps dark squares under control} 14. Qg3 e4? { (+0.12)
Again, the box box wants ...a5 but this time it's screaming for it ... +0.96
14... a5 15. Bb2 Nd7 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra4 18. f4 b6 19. Bxe5 Nxe5 20. fxe5. The problem with ...e4 is that it weakens the dark squares, and makes it hard to use the extra P} 15. Bb2 Qe7 16. Be2 Nd7 17. O-O Re8 18. Bh5 Rf8 19. Be2 a5 20. a3 axb4 21.
axb4 Nf6 22. Be5 Rf7 23. Bd4 Ra2 24. Rb2 Rxb2 25. Bxb2 b6 { (-0.58) -0.29 25...
Rf8 26. Ra1 Be6 27. Ra7 f4 28. exf4 Qd7 29. Bd4 Bg4 30. f3 Bh5 } 26. Bd4 {Now white has coordinated his pieces with the advanced Ps.} 26... bxc5
27. Bxc5 Qe6 { (-0.16) 0.00 27... Qc7 28. Bd6 Qa7 29. Bc5 Qc7 } 28. Ra1 Nd7 29.
Bd4 Nf8 30. Ra8 Bd7 { (-0.69) -0.32 30... Bb7 31. Ra7 f4 32. exf4 Ng6 33. Bh5
Qf5 34. Qg5 } 31. Rb8 Be8 32. Bc5 { Let off the hook. Black gets a chance to
escape the 'orrible self inflicted pressure. } Nd7 33. Rb7 Nxc5 34. Rxf7 Qxf7 {
(+1.08) +1.14 34... Kxf7 35. bxc5 Qe7 36. Qh3 Kf6 37. Qxh7 Qxc5 38. Qh4 Ke6 39.
Qh8 Qc1 40. Bf1 } 35. bxc5 Qb7 { (+0.71) +0.90 35... Qe7 36. Qb8 Kf7 37. Qb4 g5
38. Qc3 Ke6 39. Qb4 f4 40. Bg4 Kf6 41. Qd4 } 36. Qd6 g6 37. Qe6+ Bf7 38. Qf6
Qd7 39. h4 Qe6 40. Qxe6 Bxe6 41. Ba6 Kf7 42. Bb7 Bd7 43. Kh2 h6 { (+1.69) +2.04
43... Ke6 44. Kg3 d4 45. exd4 Kd5 46. Kf4 Kxd4 47. Kg5 Kxc5 48. Ba6 Kd4 49. Kf4
} 44. Kg3 g5 45. hxg5 hxg5 46. f4 exf3 47. Kxf3 Ke6 { (+1.57) +2.10 47... Kf6
48. Ba6 Ke5 49. g3 d4 50. Bc4 dxe3 51. Kxe3 Be6 52. Be2 Kd5 53. Bf3 } 48. g3
Ke5 49. Ba6 g4+? { (+1.17) +2.32 49... d4 50. Bc4 dxe3 51. Kxe3 Be6 52. Be2 Kd5
53. Bf3 Kxc5 } 50. Ke2 d4 51. Kd3 dxe3 52. Kxe3 Kd5 53. Bd3 Kxc5 54. Kf4 Kd4
55. Bxf5 Bxf5 56. Kxf5 c5 57. Kxg4 c4 58. Kf3 Kd3 59. g4 c3 60. g5 c2 61. g6
c1=Q 0-1

Basil
29-03-2008, 11:51 PM
Thanks Jon. Why can't 12... a5 be defended with 13. a3?

Capablanca-Fan
30-03-2008, 12:18 AM
Thanks Jon. Why can't 12... a5 be defended with 13. a3?
Because of 13... axb4, and if 14. axb4, then 14... Rxa1 gives Black the advantage.

Basil
30-03-2008, 12:24 AM
Because of 13... axb4, and if 14. axb4, then 14... Rxa1 gives Black the advantage.
:wall: Right.

Aaron Guthrie
30-03-2008, 01:59 PM
The problem with ...e4 is that it weakens the dark squares, and makes it hard to use the extra PI'll add that it just kills off the beautiful pawn center.

Sunshine
31-03-2008, 11:26 AM
I think the two options (already both discussed) is to either attack the queenside immediately or to build a strong centre and develop quickly.

I think either e5, Nd7, b6 or a5 are all good moves.

On balance I'd go for a5 just over b6. Both have the same idea but I think the opening of the "a" file is pretty strong.

I'll also back that Gunner played e5.