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White 15

Black's 14th suggests 15 ... a4, 16 ... Na5, 17 ... Nb3.

Is it time for 15 d4 ? 15 ... cxd4 16 Nxd4 or 16 cxd4
If 15 ... c4 16 what?
But 15 ... a4 16 dxc5 d5 17 exd5 Nxd5 not good

Or 15 R/a moves

Or 15 a4 b4 16 what?

Or 15 g4 ?

Or 15 what?

 LaurV 2013-11-16 17:08

You can cut off[COLOR=Red][B] g4[/B][/COLOR] from the list. I went deeper into it, as a preparing move to move e5, and it is very bad for us:

[B][COLOR=Red]15. g4[/COLOR][/B] They are not obliged to play our game, they have a "shut up" replay: 15... f5, from which all following moves are forced (if any player don't play the sequence, is very bad for him!): 16. gxf5 gxf5 (taking with e pawn is much worse) 17. e5 dxe5 18. fxe5 - an here is the trick, I was thinking they will save the pawn in c, but again, they may sacrifice it: Rg8 (!) very strong move! Because if we now capture: 19. Bxc5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Bxe5 21. Rf2 Again, everything forced, otherwise they lose bad, or we lose a bishop for free. They have now the sente, and after 21.f4 they have unstopable free pawn, and we have a linked bishop (which they may capture in few moves, if we don't waste few moves to get the king out of the link).

So,[COLOR=Red][B] g4[/B] [/COLOR]is a BAD! move. I am not so convinced that e4 alone (i.e. without g4) is good now, because of their Nf5. In fact, everything depend if they can penetrate on b-c columns. To attack c5, our [B][COLOR=Lime]15.d4[/COLOR] [/B]seems to be a good move, but need more thinking. In fact, if they brought sustainance to the b-c pawns, they may try to penetrate there. The question is "can they penetrate"? or make a free pawn there? or take some of our heavy pieces to the grave with those pawns? If so, then either Nd2/Rf2/d4 should be the way to go, bring more artillery to b-c area or try to hit the support behind enemy lines (c5). But if they can not go through (which is my impression: they can't do anything on a-b-c, they don't have not enough "equipment", support from the back, they would need a queen there!), so if not, then we can ignore the queen side and get a nice sente in attacking the king side. For that, e5 should be a very good start. Here we need more thinking, if e5 is "viable" with f5 uncovered. They may not do dxe5, but try to hit us in the back. Can we fulfill the attach without bishop? Otherwise the game is plain draw... This in case they don't transform the pawn in c :razz: which we have now no bishop to take it...

I didn't look deeper to a4/b4/etc moves. Tomorrow, if Mrs. [STRIKE]Columbo[/STRIKE] LaurV doesn't have different plans...

edit: [COLOR=Purple][B]15. a4[/B][/COLOR] (?!?) is dubious: they can refuse capturing and push b4, [U]we can't capture[/U], because after 15. a4 b4 16.cxb4 Nxb4 we will be forced to defend d3, with 17. Ne1, and we lose the influence in center, block both horses, and can't get rid of the black horse in b3 anymore (really bad for us), therefore, after 15...b4 we must do 16. c4, Nd4 and we either lose or starting exchange material in d4, sure way to a draw, but it may be a loss because their king is better protected and their abc pawns are stronger and more advanced. Or maybe not... Here is why I say 15. a4 is dubious.

edit2: [COLOR=Red][B]15.b3[/B][/COLOR] is bad! it lets them to push b4, we have to exchange because no support for pawns in a3 and c3, they make a free pawn (I know, nobody proposed b3, but just to make sure nobody else wastes time with it!). And so it is [COLOR=Red][B]15. c4[/B][/COLOR], bad. After bxc4,we helped them to get a free column (b) and they still can do Nd4, but now after exchanges, they will have a free pawn in d4!

edit3: [COLOR=Red][B]b4[/B][/COLOR] - even worse! grrrr! axb4, axb4, cxb4, we can't capture as we lose the rook, Bxa1. We can cover with e5, but then he exchange all there, get the pawn in c3, and have [U]two [/U]free pawns (in b, and either d or e). They can also do 16..Nxb4, and we still can't capture, because need to get off link.

edit4: indeed, in all those pawn-mini-wars, they get free pawns. I think we better let the pawns undisturbed, and play somewhere else...

Nighty-night for now...

[QUOTE=LaurV;359529]You can cut off[COLOR=Red][B] g4[/B][/COLOR] from the list. I went deeper into it, as a preparing move to move e5, and it is very bad for us: [/QUOTE]Have you overlooked the possibility of our 16 Ng5 response to their 15 ... f5? I don't see you mention it:

[quote]15 g4 They are not obliged to play our game,[/quote]... and we are not obliged to play theirs ...[quote]15... f5, from which all following moves are forced (if any player don't play the sequence, is very bad for him!):[/quote]16 gxf5 is not forced. 16 Ng5 is possible.

How is 16 Ng5 after 15 ... f5 bad for us?

16 ... fxe4 17 Nxe6 Rg8 18 dxe4 or 18 Bxe4

16 ... fxg4 17 Nxe6 Rg8 18 Nf2 Kd7 19 Nxg7 Rxg7 20 Nxg4

16 ... Kd7 (may be best for Black) 17 gxf5 gxf5 18 exf5 exf5 19 Bh3 may be dangerous, but fun. :-)

 LaurV 2013-11-17 15:35

I didn't overlook Ng5, but I just don't like it... 15.g4 f5 16.Ng5 Kd7 17.gxf5 gxf5 18. exf5 [B]Nxf5(!)[/B] We have to retreat the bishop, or defend it, we may continue like: 19. Bf2 h6 20. Ne4 Rhg8 21.Ne3 Nxe3 22. Bxe3, we play most of the sequence in gote, and yet, the last moves are to force the exchange so we could get the king out of the two links, and we are still in gote, not way to get the sente.

Ng5 might be a better move if we do it without g4 (I mean, we can do 15.Ng5,h6 16 Nf3 :smile: and confuse his pawns, then do d4 or e5, at the end, the goal is to attack the king) but I am not so convinced... If we do that, we give them the sente for free, as they could chose the move after we retreat the horse.

On the positive side, I looked again to the a4 (when it is not midnight and you are half sleeping, i.e. and your eyes see from between your teeth, as we use to say), it may be a good move. I was fixed on the "we either beat cxb4, or push c4", but in fact, we can do neither, just let them beat c3 first! This alternative looks better for us that it looked last night: 15. a4 b4 16.e5 Nd5 17. exd6 bxc3 18 bxc3 Bxc3 19. Rc1 Nd4 20.Nxd4 Bxd4 21.Bxd5 Bxd5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23. Rc7 f5. We block the center, exchange every material we can exchange, we get an advanced pawn which we can sustain (well, partially...), and we have horse against bishop on the final (where his bishop is not so effective, because all our pawns are on the other color). Here we have [U][B]at least[/B][/U] a clear draw, without effort. If we can get the horse out from there (which is not easy, but is possible! Nf2, etc, horse on this final positions is usually more effective and valuable than a bishop) then we won this game. Else, we have a draw. At least!

So, let's keep in mind that we can actually force a draw with a4. The comfortable (no risk) way. Now, let's see how we risk and win :smile: Any better idea?

The moves still on my list: (arbitrary order:) a4, d4, e5, any passive move with the rook, as a2, b1, c1, f2, e1. In fact, Rc1 and Re1 look good if we want to start exchanging and get the columns. Rf2 defends b2, and created space in f1 for the king to leave the links (in case black rook in g8, and bishop in b7).

But the position is bloody complex. The other game was simpler...

 WMHalsdorf 2013-11-17 16:03

In the analysis of 15. a4 b4 did either of you consider 16. Nd2 with the posiblity of the knight moving to c4.

[QUOTE=LaurV;359620]I didn't overlook Ng5, but I just don't like it... 15.g4 f5 16.Ng5 Kd7[/QUOTE]
16 ... Kd7 puts the K on a dangerous spot !!

[quote]17.gxf5 gxf5 18. exf5 [B]Nxf5(!)[/B] We have to retreat the bishop, or defend it,[/quote]No, we don't. [I]We have a powerful K-side configuration.[/I] Our B/e3 is already defended because our N/d1 isn't tied to pawn-guard duty anymore, leaving us free to respond to ... Nf5 with a counterthreat.

If 18 ... Nxf5 (no !), just swing out our other bishop: 19 Bh3

Then 19 ... Nxe3 just helps us develop:

20 Bxe6+ K moves 21 Nxe3 (reconnecting our rooks)
with threat of 22 B/e6 moves and 23 Ne6+

or we can choose to sac the Exchange for the e-pawn and more threats on the black king:
20 Nxe6!? Nxf1 21 Nxg7+ Kd8 22 Ne6+ Ke8 23 Nc7+ and if Black doesn't want a draw by repetition his K has to move to the f-file, then 24 Kxf1.
or 21 ... Kc7 22 Ne6+ Kb6 (Here, pause to enjoy the position ...) 23 Kxf1.

The result from that sac could be either:
the Black king moves into his Q-side setup,
or our knight moves into Black's Q-side setup.
but of course there's probably some deviation I haven't explored.

 LaurV 2013-11-18 03:05

[QUOTE=cheesehead;359634]16 ... Kd7 puts the K on a dangerous spot !!
[/QUOTE]
Not very convincing :razz:
Their other moves in that position are MUCH worse (as you personally said, on the end of post #3, Kd7 [B][U]is[/U][/B] their best move!).

For the rest, I will comment tonight, I can't do it from the memory, I need the board (which obviously I don't have with me at job). I did some more combinations Sunday night, before going to bed, but it was late to post.

Mainly on the column e, which seems to be black's weak spot now. I think that our chance is to go with either Re1, or e5.

 LaurV 2013-11-18 14:36

[QUOTE=cheesehead;359634]just swing out our other bishop: 19 Bh3

[STRIKE] Then 19 ... Nxe3 just helps us develop:[/STRIKE]
[/QUOTE]
Then 19...h6 (followed by Rhg8) just helps us die... :smile: (well, not really, but we have to move Kf2, the d1 horse is completely blocked, what we do if they push c4 then?) (The rest of your analysis is based on the (wrong) black 19 reply).

@WMH: 15. a4 b4 16. Nd2, what we reply to 16...Ba6?(c4 is bad, because 17...Nd4, with attack on c2 or e2), we need to move the rook, then black Nec6 is how they maybe could win the game...)

I may be wrong... but I don't like any of those... I think I said already before, about playing directly 15 Nd2, would be required in case they could break the pawns on the queen side. But they can not, or at least I couldn't find how, so my suggestion is to forget the queen side for now. Let them move there first.

We have now to see how we attack the king side, which, as you said, we are preparing since the dark age...

I am digging on Ra2, Rc1, Re1, Rf2, and e5 right now. Those seems to be the most promising moves. Rf2 is triple-target, as it is also defending b2, and makes the space for the king to get out from the links, without putting it in the middle of the board, and e5 and Re1 is where the breach would be (column e). But we have to be sure this is good, before choosing a "safer" version like a4.

 WMHalsdorf 2013-11-18 22:02

As best as I can figure things out on the queenside is that who ever attempts to open up a column loses which would make Re1 one of the better moves with placement of the R on a1 to be determined by what Black does.

 LaurV 2013-11-20 16:23

[QUOTE=WMHalsdorf;359751]As best as I can figure things out on the queenside is that who ever attempts to open up a column loses which would make Re1 one of the better moves with placement of the R on a1 to be determined by what Black does.[/QUOTE]
Indeed. With 15.Re1 followed by 16.Nf2, our king position is impenetrable. Black has to waste at least 5-6 moves to try anything there, and it is very risky for him. We still get rook and pawns to play. So, his only chance is to push hard on the queen side. I could not find anything 'shocking' they could do there. This is a very tough position, maybe better than the one derived from 15.a4, discussed before, but it is also more complex. Where they can't get in, we can't get out...

Therefore I would go for something that simplifies the position, and in the same time is also more aggressive.

I think 15.e5 is the move by which we win the game! If you are still undecided what to move, have a look to it, and maybe we can decide together. I didn't find any downside of e5. They can beat the pawn, defend d6, push d5, move something else.

From the end to the beginning, to move something else is bad. They have no immediate threat, and assuming they don't move c4, we beat exd6, beat Bxc5 the next move and our pawn is as good as a queen. They may move Nd5, which is actually not a bad move, and I will come to it later, see below the move Nf5. Anything else results in immediate loss of wood for them.

They can push d5. Bad. Bxc5 and they have totally no move. Nf5, g4, need to go back; a4, b4, queen side is dead for them.

They can defend the pawn in d6, by either Rd8 (exd6, Rxd6, Nf2, they have no move again, and they must defend c6, which we may take next), or Nc8 (we still beat the pawn, and beat c6 after), or Kd7 (this will be stupid, we still beat and black king is in the center, undefended), or Nf5, which in fact is not a bad move (see above, Nd5), but we still beat the pawn. If he moved Nf5, he can't beat Nxd6, because Bxc5.

That is why I put Nf5 together with Nd5, because in both cases, if we beat the pawn, his best move would be to beat the bishop first, Nxe3. This continues with (I think is 17.)Nxe3, white, to be clear, and again they have no move, we can do Re1 (prepare for Nd5, he can't capture because the link), or Ng5, Ng4, we control the board, and play a horse and a pawn against a bishop and no pawn for the final stage of the game. This would be a clear win for us.

In all cases, we end with wood advantage (at least a pawn) or a much better position.

So, the only left alternative: they beat e5. Of course, they won't beat with a figure, (B/Nxe5), because fxe5 and we have a heavy piece in advantage. They must beat dxe5, clearly. From here, is simplifying, they have to play in center, if not, we win. So, no risk for us! Same safe as 15.a4 or 15.Re1, or 15.Rf2, etc, but more aggressive.

Are you still with me? :razz:

If so, then there is no alternative to this play: (i.e. black can't play otherwise, without losing)

(moment, let me regain my breath, and save the post, because I wrote a lot, and god forbid a power break now... hehe)

so, edit:

15.e5 dxe5 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17 Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Bxc5 (black moves something) 19. d4 (or b4, depending on their move), and after we push a4 later, to trick b5 out of the way, one of the two pawns (either c or d) is as good as a queen, or it will die taking a black figure with him. If they walk out of this line, we get enough advantage to win. If they walk the line, we can't lose.

Therefore my vote (provisional, but I don't think it can change anymore):

15. e5 - 5 points
15. a4 or Re1 - 2 points
15. other mentioned moves (Rxx etc) - 1 point

Nighty night!

 WMHalsdorf 2013-11-21 14:38

After looking at the unforced line in 15. e5 I believe that it is a better move than 15. Re1 so with that said.

15. e5 5 pts.
15 Re1 3 pts.
15. Ra1 any 2 pt
15. any others moves 1 pt.

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