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-   -   White 18 (

cheesehead 2014-01-10 22:16

White 18
So, the Geckos have deterred our Ng5 adventures with 17 ... h6, which I seem not to have explored yet.

Our deadline is Saturday, January 18 (04:14 GMT according to richs's post).

I suspect that ... Nf5 or ... Nd5 might be in their near-future plans. 18 g4 would deter the former, but just leave us awkward after ... Nd5.

Some candidate moves for us:

18 Nd2 (intending Ne4)
18 Nf2 (intending Ne4)
18 Bd2 (intending Ne3)

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-11 20:49

The upside of Nd2 is that Black may think we are going to play b3 to which the only reply is a4 which then allows Ne4 followed by Nf6.

LaurV 2014-01-12 06:25

[QUOTE=cheesehead;364352]So, the Geckos have deterred our Ng5 adventures with 17 ... h6, which I seem not to have explored yet.[/QUOTE]
It seems they were quite afraid of us putting that horse on g5, but I think this reply h6 was a weak move [edit: i.e. it wasn;t really a "miss" from the former analysis, it is just not so strong a move!). Indeed Nd2-Ne4-[B]Nc5[/B] is a very strong path for white now, and black can not do too much right now to forbid this. I am going to study few different variants this afternoon (is Sunday noon here). For example, Rb1 seems a very interesting variant (can we make a free pawn there? or two? hehe), and also pushing a4 is not totally out of the books. With Rb1 we counter their a4 (after Rb1, a4, Nd2, Na5, Ne4, their side looks not so good anymore), and with Rc1 we counter Nd5. They still can push a4/b4 which is weaker now. And how about g4? (this cuts out Nf5, but makes our king side weaker if thy continue to push the pawns, we have to exchange).

LaurV 2014-01-13 18:23

So, 18.Nd2 is a very good move. Much better (in my opinion) than the two other mentioned in the first post. Practically, in this case their defense can only come with 18..0-0 or 18..a4. Any other move is kinda bad, they lose at least a pawn. For example, 18..Nd5 19.a4, they may take or push b4, 20.Nsc4 and they can't link the horse-rook because of the check and we can save both.

Now, if 18.Nd2 0-0 19.a4 b4, 20Rf2 and we exit the link and force Ba6, otherwise he will lose the pawn for free. We stay very good, after 21.Ne4, he can't hush the horse off from c5 or d6, or even more aggressive check in f6, and we also already prepared doubling the rooks on the column f, targeting f7. We are very good here.

So, only "reasonable" response from them to 18.Nd2 would be 18..a4. With this one, the pawns are blocked, so after 19.Ne4, their only reasonable move is 19..0-0. Moving any horse is bad, if (a) Nf5, we do g4 and he goes back and after check, loses the pawn in f7 (and the game). Alternative is to give the horse for a pawn in d4 (beating the bishop in e3 is worse). If (b) Nd5 (??? this would be really stupid!), (c) Na5 etc the bishop in b7 is under fire, and they can't save the pawn in f7 either. We are very good here again. In fact, if we arrive here, their response will better be to sacrifice a rook, with Rd8, Nd6 check, Rxd6, exd6, and they get better control of the table now, got rid of the dangerous white horse, but they will have to play the rest of the game with a knight against the rook.

So, the only path which is a bit better for black is 18 Nd2 a4, 19 Ne4, 0-0.

How do we go from here? Nf6 check? Nc5? g4? this version is questionable, and that is because we allowed them to block the pawns on the a-b-c columns. My feeling is that we should try to dizzy those pawns, if they stay blocked, black has advantage. This is because their king is better protected after the castling, we still have to fight on the queen's side to get to the black king, and his blocked pawns are more advanced, in case they get free (black still has two horses, to reach behind the white pawns). In a word, I don't like those pawns blocked. Due to our pawn in d4, it is easier for black to attack the pawn n b2 than it is for us to attack the pawn in b5. He also has more space to defense. After 18 Nd2 a4, 19 Ne4, 0-0, the game gets very complicate. What I would do now, I would try to break those pawns.

So, what can they reply to 18.a4?

There are 3 possibilities for black: bxa4, b4, or Ba6. If he puts the bishop somewhere else (to defend the pawn with the rook) for example Ba8, 19.axb5 Rxb5, 20.Nd2 - we play exactly the same game, but they can't defend the second pawn. The horse? 18..Na7 19.axb5 Nxb5 20. Nd2 has the same fate.

Now, after one of the 3 mentioned possibilities, we still can play 19.Nd2 directly. And we still may play Ne4 after, etc. But now, depending on their move, we still may beat the second pawn in c4 (if no 0-0, otherwise we link the horse, so we need to move the rook first to f2, same as above, but now the pawns are not blocked, and we get a slightly advantage there too. The key here is not to let them to push a4.

So, my vote (I am still studying the position, but I don't think I will change something, unless I may find some better versions with that rook) is:

18. a4 - 5p
18. Nd2 - 4p
18. Nf2, g4 - 2p
18. Rb1, Rc1 - 1p
18. Bd2 - 0p (??! this is extremely defensive, brings nothing good, they will not push to get in the trap)

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-14 01:55

18 Nd2 a4, 19 Ne4 O-O? 20. Nf6 Bxf6 (forced else allowing Nd7) 21. ef thus Black would need a better reply than 19...O-O which would mean that Nc5 would most likly be available which results in the exchage of the bishop for the knight

LaurV 2014-01-14 14:55

Yes, 20.Nf6 is "some possible" continuation for us, if they play the castling. I don't understand the question mark, however, because they have nothing else to play after 18.Nd2 a4 19 Ne4. The castling is not their best move, is their only move. :razz: We are targeting Nd6 check, then f7 (under attack from the rook too). If Nc8, then Nc5 and they must play the horse back. If Rd8, we still play Nd6 and they must give the rook, otherwise we clear all the king's flank with the rook and the horse.

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-14 19:41

That should have been !? meaning the the move is questionable as being eithr good or bad. It would appear that after Nd2 Black would have to find a better move than a4.

cheesehead 2014-01-16 04:47

(The following was composed two days ago. So, some may be out-of-date.
I've had trouble making connections, on my end, in order to post this.
So, my votes are at bottom in case I don't connect again by our
deadline on Saturday.)

Considering LaurV's seven move candidates in vote order:

[B]18 a4[/B]

[QUOTE=LaurV;364504]There are 3 possibilities for black: bxa4, b4, or Ba6.[/QUOTE]

18 ... bxa4
19 Rxa4 Ba6 20 Nd2 wins the c-pawn.

18 ... b4
19 Nd2 Ba6 20 Rf2 and 21 Bf1 wins the c-pawn.

18 ... Ba6 19 Nd2 and 20 Ne4 is threatening.

[quote]The horse? 18..Na7 19.axb5 Nxb5 20. Nd2 has the same fate.
[/quote]20 Rxa5 may be stronger here. :-)

[B]18 Nd2[/B]
18 ... Nf5 19 Ne4 Nxe3 20 Nxe3 O-O 21 Nc5

[B]18 Nf2[/B] doesn't look good:
A possibility: 18 ... Nf5 19 Bd2 Nce7 and now 20 Ne4 is not feasible.

[B]18 g4[/B] Best left at g3 for now.

[B]18 Rb1[/B] [QUOTE=LaurV;364437]With Rb1 we counter their a4 (after Rb1, a4, Nd2, Na5, Ne4, their side looks not so good anymore)[/QUOTE]

Does it look better after 18 ... a4 19 Nd2 Na5 20 Ne4 O-O ?

21 Nf6+ may not be all that good: ... Bxf6 (not ... Kh8 22 Nd7 rook-fork) 22 exf6 Nf5 (defends the h-pawn and attacks its attacker) then what for White? (If 23 Bf4 Bxg2 24 Kxg2 (not 24 Bxb8 losing a piece)

If 21 Nc5 Rfd8 22 Nf2 (intending Ne4)

[B]18 Rc1[/B] [quote]with Rc1 we counter Nd5[/quote]Well, then wait for Nd5 to reposition this rook.

[B]18 Bd2[/B] [quote](??! this is extremely defensive, brings nothing good, they will not push to get in the trap)[/quote]LaurV, you forgot my note: [quote](intending Ne3)[/quote] Bd2 is simply making way for the offensive redeployment Nf3, not trying to set some trap.

But I agree that 18 a4 looks best.

My current vote:

18 a4 - 5
18 Nd2 - 4
18 Rb1 - 2
18 Rc1 - 1
18 Bd2 - 1

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-16 23:53

After looking at a4 in greater depth I agree that it is the best move especially when it can be followed up with Nd2. So my scores.

18 a4 - 5
18 Nd2 - 4
18 Nf2 - 2
18 Rb1 - 2
18 Rc1 - 1
18 Bd2 - 1

LaurV 2014-01-17 02:16

So, that is very good, we all agreed to approximately the same moves. Thanks to both of you. I had a look again to g4 and Nf2 (intending Ne4 :D), after your comments, and I would keep my vote, but that is without any importance now, as a4 is the move we will play.

When should I post it? 18th of Jan?
Of course, any of you can post it before the deadline, if I am "blackout" at that time.

And by the way, thanks again Richard (did I get your name right?) for the effort with arranging the things during my absence. I may propose on the public forum that you be the captain of the team, if you have nothing against it, you have better knowledge than I have, and more experience, about organizing chess events, and even about chess itself, additionally you are on the right time zone - for me the day/night is reversed, and sometime either I have to post the moves like 10-12 hours before, or we miss the deadlines, usually I was posting as soon as we had the move, but now if we need to wait for the deadline, I am a bit confused. [edit: it is nothing wrong with it, only that I am getting older and forgetting things...]

Batalov 2014-01-18 05:17

I might be away tomorrow. But I will check in the morning (which is about the right time to post) so if you guys have a move, let's "move it, move it"?

cheesehead 2014-01-22 07:43

I've looked at [B]18 a4 bxa4[/B] a bit more.

[B]18 a4[/B]

18 ... bxa4
19 Rxa4 Ba6 20 Nd2 wins the c-pawn.[/QUOTE] 20 ... Bb5 says, "Not so fast", but after 21 Ra2 (perhaps 21 Bxc6+ Nxc6 could be interpolated before 22 Ra2 -- does this have some advantage for us?) we can pile pressure on c4 (N-e4-d6, Bd2 and Ne3, then Rfa1 doubles our rooks) and we might hope to make Black regret having pushed his Q-side pawns so far. Of course, this does give Black plenty of time to castle or otherwise bring his R/h8 into play.

cheesehead 2014-01-23 02:14

[QUOTE=cheesehead;365123]we can pile pressure on c4 (N-e4-d6, Bd2 and Ne3[/quote]One tempo faster, after Ra2 protects the b-pawn, is N-f2-e4-d6 with no B move required. (The N/d2 already attacks c4, so doesn't need to move for that purpose.)

That doesn't mean we don't have to carefully consider our Q-side pawn situation all through future deliberations. But Nf2 makes Rfb1 a reasonable one-tempo alternative to consider.

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-23 04:32

If 18 ... bxa4 then 19. Nd2 Ba6 20. Rxa4 Bb5 21. Ra2 followed by Ne4

cheesehead 2014-01-23 11:12

[QUOTE=WMHalsdorf;365205]If 18 ... bxa4 then 19. Nd2 Ba6 20. Rxa4 Bb5 21. Ra2 followed by Ne4[/QUOTE]Yummy.

Could Black at some point decide to sac a piece for our two advanced pawns?

From the position after 21 Ra2 above:

21 ... Bxe5 22 dxe5 Nxe5 23 Bf4 N7c6 24 Bxc6+ Bxc6 25 Bxe5
or 23 ... f6 24 Re1 N7c6 25 Bxc6+ Bxc6 26 Bxe5 fxe5 27 Rxe5

21 ... Nxe5 22 dxe5 Bxe5 23 Rxa5 B/e5 retreats somewhere (not 23 ... Nc6 24 Bxc6+ Bxc6 25 Rxe5) because of threats like 24 Re1 and 25 Bxh6 to win a pawn or 24 Nxc4 Bxc4 25 Rxe5 Bxf1 26 Kxf1 and White has two bishops for the rook (and 2 connected passers vs. only 1 passer for B).

(Now I'll go back to analyze possible Black sacs of piece for our d- and e-pawns earlier.)

WMHalsdorf 2014-01-23 14:35

The sac 21 ... Bxe5 22 dxe5 Nxe5 would be netter answered with Bd4 rendering f6 unplayable. We could also skip move 20. Rxa4 and go straight to 20. Ne4

cheesehead 2014-01-24 22:11

[QUOTE=WMHalsdorf;365222]The sac 21 ... Bxe5 22 dxe5 Nxe5 would be netter answered with Bd4 rendering f6 unplayable.[/quote]Thanks!

Arggh! I did look at 23 Bd4, and initially wrote down my analysis as 23 Bf4(or Bd4) N7c6 24 Bxc6+ Bxc6 25 Bxe5, but then noticed the "or 23 ... f6" line after Bf4, so I erased the "(or Bd4)" ... intending to write out the 23 Bd4 analysis separately from Bf4 ... but I forgot!

[quote]We could also skip move 20. Rxa4 and go straight to 20. Ne4[/QUOTE]... and of course I forgot to write down that line, too after I'd looked at it!

18 ... bxa4 19 Nd2 Ba6 20 Ne4
Now if 20 ... O-O 21 Nc5 (threatens Nd7 rook-fork) Bc8 22 Rxa4
or 21 ... Ra8 22 Nxa6 Rxa6 23 Rxa4 (threatening 24 Rxc4)

I have to leave now, before analyzing 23 ... Bxe5 24 Bxh6

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