Thread: White 21
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Old 2014-02-24, 14:49   #24
Romulan Interpreter
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Jun 2011

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Very interesting variants, and very good posts. I saw them today, but I was at job. Went through them right now.

Well, as you all said/agreed, bxc3 is out of discussion, we take the bishop, black is gone. If cxb2, then Rb1, nothing black can do to save the pawn or the game (they have to move the rook and b3 is the only place where they don't lose so big). So, bxc3 is suicide.

There are only 4 moves available which tempt to save the bishop:

For 21..Ra8 - the weakest from the four, 22.Bd2, and black has no move. Their (most probably) best: 22..Nd5 23.Ne3, we get a second pawn (either the one in c4, or in d5 after exchanging the horses), so he is forced now to play the horse back, or better to guard it with Nc6e7. Then we can safely do 24.cxb4, ad his horse is linked with the rook. This is win for us, with material advantage and two free pawns.

21...Rb6, a bit better, as now the rook is not linked. Yet, after 22 Bd2 Nd5, with 23 Bxd5, exd5 black can't defend the pawn in d5, 24 Ne3, gone. Better would be 22...Nf5, but then 23.cxb4 axb4 24 Nxa5 Rxa5 Bxb4, attack on f8 rock, we are very good positional and get a small material advantage, we still can exchange the bishop in g2 for the horse in c5, or they can beat with the horse on b4, or push c3, but this changes nothing. We rule there.

I consider 21...Bc8 weaker than Bb7, because this links (indirectly) the horse in e7. This can't be moved now to f5 without losing the one in c6. An interesting (but risky, and a bit stupid) play for black would be to beat Nxd4, somewhere down on this tree, then push c3, and we may be forced to give back the figure, otherwise they transform (or take our rook from a1).

The 21...Bb7 is not totally excluded. Even with WMH's variant (which is very good move for white by the way, nice find!), after 24 Ne3, Rd7, 25 Nxc4 Ke7, and black is well guarded, they can bring the second rook to the game very easy (in one move!), and they have 3 pieces beating on the b4 pawn. I would say that this is the most difficult variant for us. After cxb4, they do Nxd4 and recover the pawn. If we now take Nxa5 to keep the score, then Rf8d8, black is strong, we have a pawn more, but our e5 is not guarded and they can take it. Also, Nxb4 instead of Nxd4 is good for them. Indeed this variant is most difficult to penetrate, for us.

So, we have to think for both of the[B] Bb7[/B] [B][U]AND[/U][/B] [B]Bc8[/B] replies, if we want to think in advance. All other moves are loss for black, most probably.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2014-02-24 at 14:59
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