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View Full Version : Another Training Position (intermediate)



Kerry Stead
17-03-2004, 10:20 PM
r1b2rk1/ppp2p2/3b1q1p/2p1p1p1/4P3/3P1NB1/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 35

Black to Play

This position is a bit more complicated than the previous ones I have posted. As such, I'm looking for both an assessment of the position, a plan, as well as a concrete variation or two.

As with the previous position, I'll leave it up for a week before giving any answers, so that should give you some time to have a look at it.

To post your answers, write them up in a post, press submit and then when you are re-directed to your post as it appears in the thread, click the edit button (in the top right corner of the post) and then delete the post. The information remains on the server, and I'll re-instate all posts with answers after a week when I put the answer up.

Good Luck!

Alan Shore
05-04-2004, 09:26 PM
The most obvious move I can see for black is Bg4, pinning the knight. With this move, black can wreck white's pawn structure around the king, eg.

1... Bg4
2. h3 Bxf3
3. Qxf3 Qxf3
4. gxf3

Now black can play moves like f5 to gain space and try to block in white's bishop.

Alternatively,

1.... Bg4
2. h3 Bxf3
3. gxf3

If white doesn't play h3 to kick the pin, black has moves like Rad8, taking the half-open file, lining up rook and enemy queen, etc. while maintaining the pin.

Rincewind
19-04-2004, 07:21 PM
Just looked at it quickly.

The plan for black looks to be via a f-pawn advance. The following moves in roughly this order...

Bg4 ... Qe6 ... f5

Looking to open the f file and get some pressure on the f3 knight from the heavy pieces.

White probably wont be opening the f-file for Black and so will have to continue ... fxe4 ... Rf6 ... Raf8 ... etc

Am I close?

Alan Shore
21-04-2004, 01:54 AM
Kerry, can we have the answers to this one too?

A lot more people should be doing these instead of just me. Kevin? Barry? Bill? Have a go you mugs! ;)

Rincewind
21-04-2004, 12:07 PM
Kerry, can we have the answers to this one too?

A lot more people should be doing these instead of just me. Kevin? Barry? Bill? Have a go you mugs! ;)

I already have!

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2004, 02:22 PM
Kevin? Barry? Bill? Have a go you mugs! ;)

In the other thread I would have been cheating a bit because I'd seen at least one of the positions before and immediately recognised why it was a win.

I'll have a go at this one though.

Alan Shore
21-04-2004, 03:15 PM
OK Cool. It's just that Kerry's obviously gone to a lot of trouble to put this feature on the board and it's a real shame so few people are utilising it.

Bill Gletsos
21-04-2004, 03:20 PM
OK Cool. It's just that Kerry's obviously gone to a lot of trouble to put this feature on the board and it's a real shame so few people are utilising it.
Yes, but he also promised to answer them nearly 2 weeks ago.

Kerry Stead
21-04-2004, 07:01 PM
Yes, I said I would post answers a few weeks ago, but there have only been 2 people who have attempted to answer it: Bruce Dickinson on 5-4 and Barry Cox on 19-4. I'll give the stragglers a few more days and then post up the answer (which will be a lot more involved than the training series of 3 positions) probably on the weekend.
Needless to say that neither Bruce nor Barry have the right plan in the position ... :eek:

Rincewind
21-04-2004, 07:17 PM
Needless to say that neither Bruce nor Barry have the right plan in the position ... :eek:

I think it was needless to say, "needless to say" in that sentence. :)

I'm look forward to the revelation.

Kerry Stead
22-04-2004, 12:23 AM
I think it was needless to say, "needless to say" in that sentence. :)

I'm look forward to the revelation.

Not that I was doubting your abilities Barry ... just it would have made my job much easier to just say 'look at what Barry wrote ... he knows what he's talking about' ... alas I cannot ... :doh:

jay_vee
22-04-2004, 04:54 AM
1...Bg4 is an obvious candidate move for black. The idea is to exchange on f3 until white retakes with the pawn. That way, white's bishop will be permanently locked away, and unless he sacrifices a pawn to get it out, black will be playing with an extra piece on the queenside. How can white react? The idea 2.c3 followed by a later d4 fails to ...cxd4 cxd4 f6, where white has succeded only in removing black's doubled pawns but has done nothing to help his bishop. Another attempt is 2.h3 where after Bxf3 3.Qxf3 Qxf3 4.gxf3 white intends Bh2, followed by f4 (...exf4) and f3. This sacrifices a pawn, but in return the white bishop can escape its prison. However, this also doesn't work: 1...Bg4 2.h3 Bxf3 3.Qxf3 Qxf3 4.gxf3 c6 5.Bh2 Rad8 6.f4 exf4 7.f3 Be5 8.Rab1 Bd4+ etc. White's newly freed bishop will just be exchanged, leaving black with an extra pawn and likely win.

So after 1...Bg4 white cannot free his bishop and will likely lose, since black will eventually be able to activate his own bishop via a5 and open a file in the centre or on the queenside.

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2004, 08:28 PM
I must admit I'm a bit bamboozled by this one. There was a very promising line of enquiry (I'll post it and delete it) but the trail kept going cold after enough analysis to risk a loss on time at most time limits.

If I'm extremely lucky this is because the answer is actually wrong.

More probably I'm just too much of a goose to see something that will immediately make me go "of course!"

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2004, 09:08 PM
My suggested plan was to block the White Bishop out of the game permanently by means of first playing ...Bg4 then exchanging on f3 to give White doubled pawns, followed by ...Qe6 and then establishing pawns on f6 and h6, moving the king so that a black rook can guard the h-file if White plays h4 then hxg5 (recapture with h-pawn to keep the blockade). Only thing to watch for is keeping an eye on the d-file to stop c3-d4 breaks and Black should have a free hand on the Q side with an effective extra piece.

Only problem with this plan - I'm simply not convinced it works because I'm simply not satisfied that Black really can use the extra piece to acheive anything if White plays carefully.

Also tried to set up a crushing k-side pawn storm but couldn't get it to work. So if Black is anything more than slightly better here, I really wouldn't have a clue. :(

jay_vee
24-04-2004, 09:16 PM
It's about time for the solution to be posted anyway, and I'd like to hear what plans others came up with. I for one could not find a refutation for the line I considered to be most promising, but then I didn't spend all that much time analysing it...

Feldgrau
24-04-2004, 09:36 PM
Saw this position a week ago briefly, then I just had a look at it again and a plan Capa once used in a similar position sprung to mind. Is it THE Capa game I wonder? Too lazy to check.

Play Bg4, take the knight whenever and play the "brick wall" defense, pawn e5 and pawn f6 if need be. The bishop on g3 is buried and black has options of play on both sides of the board. I guess black would look at opening up a line on the queenside for preference.

I would make the point in this position that concrete calculation is of very little importance, Bg4 is just a move you play on short term positional considerations. Calculations might come a little bit later down the track I guess. So this is the sort of position an experienced player might only spend a minute thinking about.

Just my thoughts out loud :)

Garvinator
24-04-2004, 09:37 PM
It's about time for the solution to be posted anyway, and I'd like to hear what plans others came up with. I for one could not find a refutation for the line I considered to be most promising, but then I didn't spend all that much time analysing it...

i have looked at this position a few times and came up with nothing special. I gave up and gave fritz a go and it didnt find anything special either. So im lost.

Feldgrau
24-04-2004, 10:00 PM
This is the sort of position Fritz might conceivably evaluate whites position as fine well after the horse has bolted. They still can't conceive long term strategic plans thankfully.

Garvinator
24-04-2004, 10:06 PM
This is the sort of position Fritz might conceivably evaluate whites position as fine well after the horse has bolted. They still can't conceive long term strategic plans thankfully.
Kerry, are we allowed to discuss plans/thoughts with each other on here?

jay_vee
24-04-2004, 11:13 PM
Saw this position a week ago briefly, then I just had a look at it again and a plan Capa once used in a similar position sprung to mind. Is it THE Capa game I wonder? Too lazy to check.

Play Bg4, take the knight whenever and play the "brick wall" defense, pawn e5 and pawn f6 if need be. The bishop on g3 is buried and black has options of play on both sides of the board. I guess black would look at opening up a line on the queenside for preference.

I would make the point in this position that concrete calculation is of very little importance, Bg4 is just a move you play on short term positional considerations. Calculations might come a little bit later down the track I guess. So this is the sort of position an experienced player might only spend a minute thinking about.

Just my thoughts out loud :)

Yes, that was the plan I had in mind, though I wasn't aware that this plan had been known. I, too, would have played this for short term positional reasons, but I am not sure if this is sufficient for black to win. So, everybody, what defensive resources for black are there, I might have missed?

Kerry Stead
03-05-2004, 01:55 PM
OK, some of you had the right idea, some had some idea, others had no idea.
The tough thing about this position is that the way to play the position goes against some of the basic 'rules' that we all know ...

The position comes from the game Winter-Capablanca Hastings 1919
I'll include the entire game in a subsequent post.

Firstly, some general observations about the position:
Material is notionally equal, although black has the bishop pair against a knight and bishop. Generally speaking, bishops prefer open positions, whereas knights prefer more closed positions where their manouvring capabilities can be used best.
Black also has doubled pawns on the c file, but has a semi-open d file in return. Structurally, white has the more solid pawn structure, however black has a space advantage. Black's king may be a little more insecure than white's because the g and h pawns have been pushed forward.
If the potential of the minor pieces are compared, it can be seen that white has the better minor pieces. Black's d6 bishop is nothing more than a pawn at the moment, and the pawns at c5, e5 and g5 hinder its scope greatly. The c8 bishop does not have these problems, and has a number of potentially useful squares it can go to - e6 and g4 being the obvious ones. White's bishop on g3 is currently hemmed in by black's pawns, but it is not a 'bad' bishop in the way that the d6 bishop is - white's pawns are on white squares, so in theory its ability to move is not hindered. The knight on f3 is the best minor piece on the board by a long way. there are a number of squares that the knight could use to great effect - d5 and f5 being the most obvious. These squares are good for the knight, in particular f5, because the knight can not be moved from this square by a pawn - it is an outpost. In addition to this, once the knight is moved, white can try something like f3 and Bf2 (or Be1) to try and activate the g3 bishop.

It is this difference in the minor pieces that is the key to the position. With black to move, reducing the potential of the f3 knight is more important than making the c8 bishop good. Therefore the best move in the position (as played by Capablanca) is ... Bg4!
The point of this move is simple - to take on f3 (twice if need be) to leave white with doubled f pawns, and to leave the g3 bishop trapped on the kingside. Once this plan is carried out siccessfully, black then uses the rooks (and potentially bishop) to break through on the queenside, which is much easier now that he is effectively a piece ahead.

Other plans that were either suggested, or may have seemed sensible do not work. These plans included:

Same kind of initial idea (Bg4) with the plan of a king-side hack based on playing f5 at some stage
Although this looks logical, or at least some way of justifying pawns of g5 and h6, it doesn't give proper consideration to the demands of the position. 12...Bg4 13.h3 could then be followed by 13...Be6, with h3 being a weakness to attack (by a later pawn push g4), however the problem with this (as with plans involving f5 by black) is that the centre is not fixed. This makes a big difference, as although the black king may seem to be reasonably safe for the time being, if the position is opened up, the king would be far from safe. White has the simple idea of trying to play d4 (c3 and other moves to prepare d4 first) to open up the position which would make black's idea of attacking on the kingside at the expense of king safety a bad idea.

Make use of the bishop pair by opening the position with c4
Again this plan suffers from the problem of opening up the position when the king is weak, and is therefore not a good plan. The obvious counter to black playing c4 is for white to be able to respond with d4, so after something like 12...Be6 13.Re1 Rad8 14.c3 c4 15.d4 it is white who has the better position rather than black.

If black comes up with some other plan, white has ideas of playing Nd2-c4-e3 (or at least part of that manouvre) , as well as the c3 & d4 idea of attacking in the centre, the f3 Bf2 idea to activate the bishop, as well as possibly even attacking the kingside weaknesses with h4.

The game continued 12...Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Qxf3 15.gxf3 f6! leaving

the following position:
r4rk1/ppp5/3b1p1p/2p1p1p1/4P3/3P1PB1/PPP2P1P/R4RK1 w - - 0 35

This is positionally won for black, as the g3 bishop is useless.
See the following post for the conclusion of the game (a good example of carrying out a plan) and the need to be patient in some positions.

The position is taken from 'Test Your Positional Play' by Robert Bellin & Pietro Ponzetto - a very good book. The comments are my paraphrasing of their comments, with the odd extra comment thrown in.

I'll go and un-delete the previous posts and then post the entire game in a subsequent post.

Can you also let me know what you think of the position, analysis, etc, as well as what you think of the idea of the Coaching Clinic generally.

Thanks

Kerry Stead
03-05-2004, 02:09 PM
Winter,W - Capablanca,J [C49]
Hastings Victory Congress Hastings (5), 1919

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.0-0 0-0 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Bd6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 c5 10.Nd5 g5 11.Nxf6+ Qxf6 12.Bg3 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Qxf3 15.gxf3 f6 16.Kg2 a5 17.a4 Kf7 18.Rh1 Ke6 19.h4 Rfb8 20.hxg5 hxg5 21.b3 c6 22.Ra2 b5 23.Rha1 c4 24.axb5 cxb3 25.cxb3 Rxb5 26.Ra4 Rxb3 27.d4 Rb5 28.Rc4 Rb4 29.Rxc6 Rxd4 0-1

Kevin Bonham
03-05-2004, 11:51 PM
Very probably I've seen this game before and forgotten it - how could I, one of my favourite players with Black in a system that I play with White? :rolleyes:

My thought on seeing the game is that, while it all looks so easy as normal with Capa on the winning side, nonetheless White made Black's task a lot easier by swapping queens. Don't simplify when behind - surely the same thing applies when a piece is shut out of the game - especially when the Q might have helped the bishop to escape.

Looking through my books I found the game in Chernev's "Capablanca's Best Chess Endings", but Chernev passes over the issue of whether Qs should be exchanged without comment.

Rincewind
04-05-2004, 12:09 AM
Very probably I've seen this game before and forgotten it - how could I, one of my favourite players with Black in a system that I play with White? :rolleyes:

You're rolling your eyes?!? I've got a copy of Bellin and Ponzetto sitting on my shelf less than 2m from where I now sit! :rolleyes:

Kevin Bonham
04-05-2004, 12:24 AM
Barry, you can't roll your eyes if they're squared. :p

Kerry Stead
04-05-2004, 12:40 AM
My thought on seeing the game is that, while it all looks so easy as normal with Capa on the winning side, nonetheless White made Black's task a lot easier by swapping queens. Don't simplify when behind - surely the same thing applies when a piece is shut out of the game - especially when the Q might have helped the bishop to escape.

I'd have to agree with you there Kevin, although unless you are thinking about it, it is not at all obvious how little role the g3 bishop will play in the game. If 14.gxf3 (rather than 14.Qxf3), then 14...Qe6, with the same idea (f6 to shut out bishop and then play on the queenside) seems good, although its always tougher when your opponent has a queen on the board. The thing about the ending that surprised me most when I saw it was that Capa, with a dark squared bishop and with pawns already on c5, e5 & g5 played a5, which seemingly blocks his own bishop in. However obviously white can do little about the b5 advance, so it does not prove to be too problematic. I was also impressed with 23...c4! and 24...cxb3! which were good tactical shots, showing that Capa wasn't simply the technical robot that he seems to be made out to be some of the time.

You guys think its worthwhile continuing with this type of thing??

Kevin Bonham
04-05-2004, 01:04 AM
If 14.gxf3 (rather than 14.Qxf3), then 14...Qe6, with the same idea (f6 to shut out bishop and then play on the queenside) seems good, although its always tougher when your opponent has a queen on the board.

Yes, and the specific way I found it was tougher in analysing it was that White keeps threatening to break with c3 and d4 supported by the Q. The Black Q gets tied down a lot keeping that threat under control.


You guys think its worthwhile continuing with this type of thing??

Yes although it obviously takes a lot of prodding to get people to post answers, especially slack ones like me.

Rincewind
04-05-2004, 02:16 AM
Barry, you can't roll your eyes if they're squared. :p

Actually you can. Provided you are rolling them on inverted catenaries of the right shape. This is true of any regular polygon. The trivial case is the limit as the number of sides of the polygon approaches infinity. :p

Check out http://radio.weblogs.com/0105910/2004/04/05.html for more info.

Alan Shore
05-05-2004, 06:14 PM
Clever positional idea, yes.

And yes Kerry, it'd be cool if you kept doing the series. Have fun on your 'trup' :)

skip to my lou
06-05-2004, 03:37 PM
I think its a good idea Kerry. I think getting some of your juniors to contribute would really help.

Feldgrau
06-05-2004, 08:20 PM
Yes now thats where I saw the game, Chernev's book.

Chernev worshipped Capa like a chess god and was never one to subject a game to much critical analysis anyway.