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  #51  
Old 02-17-2020, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
It seems to me that
SPOILER:
17...f5 18. exf6 e.p. Bxf6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
is reasonable for Black, or have I overlooked something?
Sorry - you have missed that I win at least a pawn with
SPOILER:
19. Nxc5
  #52  
Old 02-17-2020, 06:41 PM
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After 20...Qe8.

Behold the power of the center. White's knights strike the kingside decisively while still delivering threats as far as the c file. Will glee cash in his chips and take the decisive material advantage or try to maintain the central squeeze for a few more moves? We shall see...
  #53  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
After 20...Qe8.

Behold the power of the center. White's knights strike the kingside decisively while still delivering threats as far as the c file. Will glee cash in his chips and take the decisive material advantage or try to maintain the central squeeze for a few more moves? We shall see...
Sorry, which variation led to 20. ...Qe8?

I do like a decisive material advantage!
(Also whilst keeping on the pressure is fun, there's always a chance of a mistake or a surprise defence...)
  #54  
Old 02-18-2020, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post

Sorry - you have missed that I win at least a pawn with
SPOILER:
19. Nxc5
No need to apologise - thanks! Maybe Black could play
SPOILER:
...Na6
first, then?
  #55  
Old 02-18-2020, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Sorry, which variation led to 20. ...Qe8?

I do like a decisive material advantage!
(Also whilst keeping on the pressure is fun, there's always a chance of a mistake or a surprise defence...)
I was wondering the same thing?!
  #56  
Old 02-18-2020, 01:28 PM
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Whelp I spotted a counting error on my part. I should have placed my rook on g8 rather than f8 I think (move 16)

But, on the other hand, I think I figured out what glee is up to.
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Last edited by NAF1138; 02-18-2020 at 01:29 PM.
  #57  
Old 02-18-2020, 04:38 PM
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Whelp I spotted a counting error on my part. I should have placed my rook on g8 rather than f8 I think (move 16)

But, on the other hand, I think I figured out what glee is up to.
I don't think it will make much difference where your rook went (if it had been a blunder, I would have let you take the move back.)

My plan was to get my pieces onto good squares* (especially my Knights) and I've achieved that.
To improve my position, I intend to play
SPOILER:
a3, followed by b4. This opens lines to Black's King (the usual plan when Kings have castled on opposite sides.)


*the pawn structure is the main clue to which squares these are.
Here the Knight on d3 blockades the black d-pawn, attacks the Black c-pawn and cannot be driven away by a Black pawn (this is known as an outpost.)
The Knight on e4 attacks the Black c-pawn, could jump into d6 and can only driven away by f5 (which 'commits' Black.)
  #58  
Old 02-19-2020, 04:26 AM
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I still think I'd play
SPOILER:
18...f5 19. exf6 gxf6 with either e5 (to shut the White bishop out) or f5 (to attack the e4 knight) to follow. And hope that the massive hole on g6 doesn't come back to bite me later.
  #59  
Old 02-19-2020, 07:37 AM
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I still think I'd play
SPOILER:
18...f5 19. exf6 gxf6 with either e5 (to shut the White bishop out) or f5 (to attack the e4 knight) to follow. And hope that the massive hole on g6 doesn't come back to bite me later.


Ah yes - but I would play instead
SPOILER:
18. ...f5 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. exd6, when I control both e5 and g6.
  #60  
Old 02-19-2020, 11:33 AM
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I see. In that position Black would like to play
SPOILER:
...Na5, to attack the c4 pawn and prepare for ...Nb7 (challenging the d6 pawn), but that loses to Ne5.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 02-19-2020 at 11:33 AM.
  #61  
Old 02-19-2020, 01:27 PM
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It is typical of middle game positions where the players have castled on opposite sides that both sides try to open up the enemy King by advancing their pawns on that side.

I am confident here because:

- White's pawns on e5 and h5, plus my centralised minor pieces (i.e. knights and bishops) slow Black's advance on the Kingside
- a future b4 by White rapidly opens the Queenside
  #62  
Old 02-19-2020, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
Sorry, which variation led to 20. ...Qe8?

I do like a decisive material advantage!
(Also whilst keeping on the pressure is fun, there's always a chance of a mistake or a surprise defence...)
The one in the link you posted in post 29 of the game thread. Looks like the link had extraneous moves that weren't actually part of the game.

That link went 17. Ne4 f6 18. Nd3 fxe5 19. Bxe5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Qe8 and had Ng6, forking the rooks, available.
But the game went 17. Ne4 Na6 18. Nd3 Rhg8 19. a3.

Not sure how the extra moves got in the link.
  #63  
Old 02-19-2020, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
I still think I'd play
SPOILER:
18...f5 19. exf6 gxf6 with either e5 (to shut the White bishop out) or f5 (to attack the e4 knight) to follow. And hope that the massive hole on g6 doesn't come back to bite me later.
Myself, I'd reject exf6 outright just based on the fact that it opens kingside lines. I invite Black to bypass pawn exchanges, keeping that side closed and my king safe.
  #64  
Old 02-19-2020, 10:09 PM
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Myself, I'd reject exf6 outright just based on the fact that it opens kingside lines. I invite Black to bypass pawn exchanges, keeping that side closed and my king safe.
Well, while I appreciate the sentiment, and I can use all the advice I can get, do you have an alternative suggestion because building up a king side attack has pretty much been my whole plan to this point. Also, I castled long already.
  #65  
Old 02-19-2020, 10:30 PM
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And, before you answer that, I am figuring I have basically two choices right now. Take the attack to white before he can finish establishing his attack on black (I'm thinking f5 though I had been thinking g6 up until I realized my error with my rook, not sure how good an idea that would have been anyway, but I gave that up with my last move so it's sort of moot) or play defense with Qb7 which... I'm not even sure how effective a defense that is.

I think I'm going for the pawn exchange though. Feels like playing defense is against the spirit of this game.
  #66  
Old 02-19-2020, 10:39 PM
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So, tell me if this thought process makes sense. My feeling is that my biggest problem long term is the pawn on e5. I need to handle that now because if I wait any longer I have that problem plus the attack on the flank that white is building and I can't fight on two fronts and lose rapidly. I feel like I am about as well supported for an attack on the king side flank as I'm going to be and am out of time since the queen side attack is starting.

I do feel like I managed to be much further behind than I intended to be and it happened sort of suddenly. I'm not sure where I went wrong to this point though. Should I have dealt with the e5 pawn sooner? If so, how? Castled sooner maybe?

I almost always castle long with the French and while it gave me pause when glee went king side, I didn't feel like it was a bad idea even still. But maybe that was an error?

I am absolutely feeling the squeeze though. Maybe you guys can help me break down the story so far?

(this is all in reference to the game up to move 19 for those reading not in real time.)

Last edited by NAF1138; 02-19-2020 at 10:43 PM.
  #67  
Old 02-20-2020, 04:10 AM
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... because building up a king side attack has pretty much been my whole plan to this point. Also, I castled long already.
We are both committed now to our attacks on opposite sides of the board.
Even a single move (called a 'tempo') can make a difference in such situations.

It was tricky for you to decide where to put your rooks (this is an underestimated part of the game!)
Maybe spending two moves putting rooks on f8 + g8 was a luxury - we shall see...

I'm hopeful that my rooks 'belong' on a1 and d1 in this position - again the next few moves will show if that's true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
My feeling is that my biggest problem long term is the pawn on e5.
Well that is White's strength in the Advanced French!
Nimzowitsch said that it was better to undermine the e5 pawn in this variation (e.g. by playing c5 to attack d4), rather than play f6 to attack it directly.

I think a key moment in this game for me was deciding to play 11. dxc5. This left the e5 pawn with less support, but:

- with the White-square bishops exchanged, I didn't want my pawns fixed on d4 + e5 (blocking my bishop)
- suspecting that Black intended to castle Queendside (especially after I played h4 + h5), I was already opening lines through to his King
  #68  
Old 02-20-2020, 12:43 PM
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Myself, I'd reject exf6 outright just based on the fact that it opens kingside lines. I invite Black to bypass pawn exchanges, keeping that side closed and my king safe.
Well observed!
I preferred Nd6+ to exf6 (en passant) both for the reason you give, plus the fact that after exf6 gxf6 Black will be able to force a later ...e5.
  #69  
Old 02-20-2020, 12:44 PM
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I must warn NAF1138 that I can see some losing moves for him (after Nd6+) - so be careful!
  #70  
Old 02-20-2020, 12:51 PM
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never mind (duplicate)

Last edited by glee; 02-20-2020 at 12:54 PM.
  #71  
Old 02-20-2020, 01:29 PM
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Trading off my bishop for your knight seems pretty reasonable. I don't think it is putting me in specific danger and, while it does advance your pawn, simplifies things and at the moment the knight seems the more valuable piece with the clogged center.

That will likely change but I only have so many options and this seems like the best one.
  #72  
Old 02-20-2020, 03:54 PM
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I think 20. ...Bxd6 was the only move!

a. If
20. ...Kb8
21. b4* cxb4 *threatening b5
22. axb4** Naxb4 **threatening Rxa6
23. Nxb4 Nxb4
24. Rdb1

and the Knight on b4 is soon captured due to the pin against the King.

b. If
20. ...Kb8
21. b4* cxb4 *threatening b5
22. axb4** Naxb4 **threatening Rxa6
23. Nxb4 Nxb4
24. Rxa7+

wins the Queen.

c. If
If 20. ...Kd8
21. b4* cxb4 *threatening b5
22. axb4** Naxb4 **threatening Rxa6
23. Nxb4 Nxb4
24. Rxd4

with serious threats against both the King and Queen down the d-file.
  #73  
Old 02-20-2020, 04:11 PM
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Well, I didn't see that far ahead on any of those king moves but I'm glad my instinct to stay active and simplify the position didn't lead me astray!
  #74  
Old 02-20-2020, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
and the Knight on b4 is soon captured due to the pin against the King.

b. If
20. ...Kb8
21. b4* cxb4 *threatening b5
22. axb4** Naxb4 **threatening Rxa6
23. Nxb4 Nxb4
24. Rxa7+

wins the Queen.
I couldn't follow your analysis, but then I realized you meant Kc7 in the bolded part.
  #75  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:08 PM
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Trading off my bishop for your knight seems pretty reasonable. I don't think it is putting me in specific danger and, while it does advance your pawn, simplifies things and at the moment the knight seems the more valuable piece with the clogged center.

That will likely change but I only have so many options and this seems like the best one.
BxN is by far the best move, and one that should be anticipated before even playing f5. If you weren't going to play BxN, you shouldn't play f5. You made the right decision.


I'd say this game is going to come down to the classic mistake of not completing the opening before playing the middlegame. I always tell my students that a beginner develops one piece or two, then starts attacking. An intermediate player, having been punished for this in the past, develops three or four pieces, but then for some reason starts attacking. You need to get all your pieces off the back rank and your rooks connected before undertaking operations in the center. After Ba6, you're developing all of White's pieces for him while spending three moves to get a knight to c7. That left you no time to counter dxc5, c4, and the subsequent.

My advice to you now would be 1) don't panic, 2) expecting the opening of queenside files, position your pieces where they can attack the kingside and defend the queenside simultaneously. If you're to weather the storm and turn the tide, your pieces need to be red-lining their engines. No slouches! 3) He can't mate you without pieces, and you're winning the endgame. Trades are good for you, bad for glee. 4) a material deficiency can lead to a draw, but a checkmated king cannot. You're in exchange-sac-mode from here on out.
  #76  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:28 PM
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...

Last edited by Chessic Sense; 02-20-2020 at 07:29 PM. Reason: duplicate
  #77  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:31 PM
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My advice to you now would be 1) don't panic, 2) expecting the opening of queenside files, position your pieces where they can attack the kingside and defend the queenside simultaneously. If you're to weather the storm and turn the tide, your pieces need to be red-lining their engines. No slouches! 3) He can't mate you without pieces, and you're winning the endgame. Trades are good for you, bad for glee. 4) a material deficiency can lead to a draw, but a checkmated king cannot. You're in exchange-sac-mode from here on out.
Thanks! This is extremely helpful if not necessarily easy.
  #78  
Old 02-21-2020, 02:57 AM
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I couldn't follow your analysis, but then I realized you meant Kc7 in the bolded part.
Thanks - that was a 'cut + paste' error!
  #79  
Old 02-21-2020, 03:16 AM
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BxN is by far the best move, and one that should be anticipated before even playing f5. If you weren't going to play BxN, you shouldn't play f5. You made the right decision.
All true - but this shows how deep (and difficult) chess is.
You can only say Bxd6 is the best move if you see the three lines of analysis I posted (i.e. if Black moved his King instead.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
I'd say this game is going to come down to the classic mistake of not completing the opening before playing the middlegame. I always tell my students that a beginner develops one piece or two, then starts attacking. An intermediate player, having been punished for this in the past, develops three or four pieces, but then for some reason starts attacking. You need to get all your pieces off the back rank and your rooks connected before undertaking operations in the center.
In general, that's good advice.
But it's different e.g. when the centre is blocked.
Note that I played 5. h4 and 6. h5 instead of developing pieces.
I understood that in the Advanced French:

- I had time to advance on the wing
- the pawn on h5 would be useful alongside the pawn on e5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
After Ba6, you're developing all of White's pieces for him while spending three moves to get a knight to c7. That left you no time to counter dxc5, c4, and the subsequent.
No, sorry - Ba6 is a respectable idea against the Advanced French. The pawn structure (Black pawns fixed on e6 + d5) means the bishop on c8 is likely to have no future.
It's well worthwhile taking time to exchange it (for one of White's best pieces.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
My advice to you now would be 1) don't panic, 2) expecting the opening of queenside files, position your pieces where they can attack the kingside and defend the queenside simultaneously. If you're to weather the storm and turn the tide, your pieces need to be red-lining their engines. No slouches! 3) He can't mate you without pieces, and you're winning the endgame. Trades are good for you, bad for glee. 4) a material deficiency can lead to a draw, but a checkmated king cannot. You're in exchange-sac-mode from here on out.
This is all true (especially not panicking. )
However it's not easy to get Black pieces working on both wings. (The knight on a6 needs to defend the pawn on c5; the rooks can't reach the Queenside for several moves etc.)
It's true that the passed pawn on d4 gives Black and endgame advantage - but I knew the risk when I played 11. dxc5.
It's also very hard for Black to exchange pieces.
  #80  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:50 AM
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I can not see any move that I can make right now that doesn't result in me going down at least a pawn within a few moves.

This is why it's taking me so long to move.
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  #81  
Old 02-22-2020, 04:31 PM
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I can not see any move that I can make right now that doesn't result in me going down at least a pawn within a few moves.

This is why it's taking me so long to move.
I think this is a key moment and you are right to spend time here.
White is preparing b4, which will break open the Queenside and endanger Black's king.

Here's one plausible continuation:
SPOILER:
21. ...g5 22. hxg6 e.p. Rxg6 23 Qf3 Rfg8 24. g3

and White strongly threatens 25. b4, when after
SPOILER:
25. b4 cxb4 26. axb4 Naxb4 27. Nxb4 Nxb4 28. Qa8 mate!


I haven't seen a defence to this yet e.g.
SPOILER:
21. ...g5 22. hxg6 e.p. Rxg6 23 Qf3 Rfg8 24. g3 Qb7 25. b4 cxb4 26. axb4 Naxb4 27. Nxb4 Nxb4 28. d7+, when Black loses his Queen or is mated.
  #82  
Old 02-23-2020, 02:03 PM
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Moving my g pawn seems to be losing no matter how I look at it, so I'm moving my rook... Again. Rather like rearaning deck chairs on the Titanic.

Oh well, nothing to do now.
  #83  
Old 02-24-2020, 12:54 PM
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Actually I think 21. ...Re8 is a good effort.
There are possibilities of a pin on the e-file if Black can play ...e5, and the rook is slightly less vulnerable on e8 than f8.

I agree you are heading for an iceberg*, but at least you're steering the ship!

*Just a small one, but a pawn ahead is still important.
  #84  
Old 02-24-2020, 03:37 PM
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Actually I think 21. ...Re8 is a good effort.
There are possibilities of a pin on the e-file if Black can play ...e5, and the rook is slightly less vulnerable on e8 than f8.

I agree you are heading for an iceberg*, but at least you're steering the ship!

*Just a small one, but a pawn ahead is still important.
I feel strongly if I got my rooks set up correctly the first time I would be in pretty good shape though.

This game is hard.

I did finally get your bishop moved though!
  #85  
Old 02-26-2020, 04:28 AM
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I feel strongly if I got my rooks set up correctly the first time I would be in pretty good shape though.

This game is hard.

I did finally get your bishop moved though!
As I said earlier in the thread, positioning your rooks is an underestimated skill.

I'm pleased you're finding it hard, because:

- you learn more from that sort of game
- I'm doing my job as a coach

The current position is a fine example of a tense middlegame.
With the Kings on opposite sides and most pieces still on the board, both players need to attack.
White needs to get b4 going, while Black is looking at ...g6.
Black also has the option of playing ...Nxe5.

However those general principles, whilst sound, will not take you very far.

This is a position that demands calculation!

Here's one plausible variation:

SPOILER:
22. ...g6 23. hxg6* Rxg6 24. g3** Nxe5 25. Qxe5 Qc6 26. b4 Qe4 27. bxc5 Qxe5 28. Nxe5 with the threats of Nxg6, d7+ and c6 wins.

* although this lets Black double rooks on the g-file quickly, the Rook on g6 may get exposed (to a White Knight on e5)
**trying to save time against Black playing ...Nxe5 and ...Qc6 - if 24. Rab1 Nxe5 25. Qxe5 Qc6 forces g3 anyway.
  #86  
Old 02-26-2020, 10:59 PM
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This is a position that demands calculation!

Here's a correction to the 'one plausible variation' in my last post:

SPOILER:
22. ...g6 23. hxg6* Rxg6 24. g3** Nxe5 25. Nxe5 wins.

* although this lets Black double rooks on the g-file quickly, the Rook on g6 may get exposed (to a White Knight on e5)
**trying to save time against Black playing ...Nxe5 and ...Qc6 - if 24. Rab1 Nxe5 25. Qxe5 Qc6 forces g3 anyway.


I was muddling up two variations - 0ne where I play
SPOILER:
hxg6
and one where I don't.
  #87  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:08 PM
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Move 22.... Qb7

Does anyone have a better suggestion? All the moves I looked at with my pawns seem to lose faster, and moving my rooks seems pointless. But this seems to be losing also.

I took a week and got nowhere. Does anyone have a better idea?
  #88  
Old 03-01-2020, 05:27 PM
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Move 22.... Qb7

Does anyone have a better suggestion? All the moves I looked at with my pawns seem to lose faster, and moving my rooks seems pointless. But this seems to be losing also.

I took a week and got nowhere. Does anyone have a better idea?
I thought your only likely moves were 22. ...g6, 22. ...Qb7 and 22. ...Nxe5.

I felt confident I was better after any of them (though it is a tactical position where timing matters enormously.)

When the game is over, we can set a computer loose on this position.

N.B. You were correct to take a long time over this critical move. In a face-to-face game, it would be even harder to defend through a combination of time and emotional pressure!
  #89  
Old 03-01-2020, 07:23 PM
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I thought your only likely moves were 22. ...g6, 22. ...Qb7 and 22. ...Nxe5.

I felt confident I was better after any of them (though it is a tactical position where timing matters enormously.)

When the game is over, we can set a computer loose on this position.

N.B. You were correct to take a long time over this critical move. In a face-to-face game, it would be even harder to defend through a combination of time and emotional pressure!
I think I may have taken too much time and ended up over thinking. But taking with the Knight seemed to end in disaster and... g6 seemed to open more trouble than not.

Last edited by NAF1138; 03-01-2020 at 07:26 PM.
  #90  
Old 03-04-2020, 02:50 AM
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I can see why NAF is taking time over his recent moves.

White threatens 24. b5, winning a piece with a fork.

If 23. ...Nd8, 24. b5 Nb8 25. Nxc5 wins.

If 23. ...Nxe5 24. Qxe5 cxb4 (else c5 falls) 25. axb4 Nxb4 26. Nc5 threatens both Nxb7 and d7+.

If 23. ...cxb4 24. axb4 Ncxb4 (not 24. ...Naxb4 25. Nc5) 25. Rdb1 threatens Rxa6 (winning both Black Knights for a Rook, leaving the Black King practically undefended.

So the game could go:

23. ...cxb4
24. axb4 Ncxb4
25. Rdb1 g6
26. Rxa6 gxh5 (threatening Qxg2 mate)
27. g3 Qxa6
28. Nxb4 Qb6
29. c5! Qxc5
30. Qa6+ and soon checkmates.
  #91  
Old 03-04-2020, 06:45 AM
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Right, but if cxb4 does not happen I leave my knights open to a pawn fork.

I'm in trouble. I'm not entirely sure there is a way out.
  #92  
Old 03-06-2020, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Right, but if cxb4 does not happen I leave my knights open to a pawn fork.

I'm in trouble. I'm not entirely sure there is a way out.
I'm not sure either - but it's not worth resigning when there are still some choices.
By playing on until the result is clear, you can see if your current evaluation is correct.
  #93  
Old 03-07-2020, 06:06 PM
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Ok, I moved. Naxb4 I think the least bad move.
  #94  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Ok, I moved. Naxb4 I think the least bad move.
Sadly this loses to 24. Nc5, threatening both Nxb7 and d7+ (forking King and Rook.)

Feel free to take it back!
  #95  
Old 03-08-2020, 06:44 AM
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Sadly this loses to 24. Nc5, threatening both Nxb7 and d7+ (forking King and Rook.)

Feel free to take it back!
Dang it!

Yeah, I will. Um... I'll come up with something else.
  #96  
Old 03-10-2020, 07:45 AM
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Ok, I can't see an alternative to taking that pawn. Maybe I have tunnel vision. So I'm taking with the other Knight, which also doesn't seem great but maybe is better.
  #97  
Old 03-10-2020, 09:51 AM
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So we are now following my analysis in post 90 above.

I don't think NAF had anything better - and it's a very difficult position for him, since (apart from the analysis above) White also threatens:

26. Rxb4 Nxb4
27. Nc5 Q moves
28. d7+ forking King and Rook, coming out a piece ahead (for a couple of pawns), with an attack against the Black King.
  #98  
Old 03-10-2020, 10:03 AM
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Ok, with 25...Rd8 at least I think I am back to having a single clear option. That d pawn is going to cause me a lot of problems unless I get some of my pieces out of its line of fire.

Last edited by NAF1138; 03-10-2020 at 10:04 AM.
  #99  
Old 03-10-2020, 12:46 PM
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I'm now confident I'm winning.

Materially (after 26. ... Qxa6 27. Nxb4) Black is roughly level with Rook and pawn for Bishop and Knight.

However all the White pieces are active (whereas Black's Rooks are passive) and White has a mighty pair of passed pawns on the c+d files.
Black's King is in the path of all this (whereas White's King is in no danger at all.)
  #100  
Old 03-10-2020, 01:06 PM
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I just looked at the position and independently came up with the same line as post #90 - after 27...Qb6 28. c5 Black cannot take the pawn, but doesn't really have any other attractive options. With the White passed pawns connected, there seems little more Black can do other than delay the inevitable.
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