Thread: White 20
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Old 2014-02-06, 12:13   #7
cheesehead
 
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"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

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[QUOTE=cheesehead;366180][B]20 Ne4[/B]

[B]20 ... bxc3 21 bxc3[/B]

Now, suppose [B]21 ... Rb3[/B].
[/QUOTE]... and that's the only reasonable move for that rook on that move.
21 ... Rb7 just loses the Exchange after 22 Nd6+.
21 ... Rb6 would protect the N/c6 so that after ... O-O, Nf6+, ... Bxf6 and exf6, ... Nf5 doesn't lose a piece -- but then we'd play Nd6+ before Black castles, so that line wouldn't ever happen.
Any other R/b8 move subjects it to immediate capture or takes it off the just-opened b-file.

- - -

What's else to consider?

[QUOTE=cheesehead;366110]
[B]20 Rf2[/B][/QUOTE]This would make sense if we're actually trying to win the pawn/c4 with [B]21 Bf1[/B]. Black could defend that pawn with 20 ... Rc8 and 21 ... N/c6 moves (to a7,b8 or d8), but then that knight seems at least as much out of the action as our N/d1.

But lets look further:
[B]20 ... Rc8 21 Bf1[/B]
If 21 ... Nd8 22 Ne4 O-O 23 Nc5 Bb7 24 Bxc4 and we've won the c-pawn.
If 21 ... Na7 22 Ne4 O-O 23 Nc5 Rc6 24 Nxa6 Rxa6 25 Bxc4 and again we've won the c-pawn.

But [B]21 ... Nb8 22 Ne4 O-O 23 Nc5 Nd5 24 Nxa6 Nxa6 25 Nb2 Nb6[/B] and the c-pawn is still defended because Black has just enough time to configure his knights to do so. (A black knight on the back rank can defend almost as well as a white knight on the back rank. :-))

So, I don't see enough merit for [B]20 Rf2[/B].

- - -

I think the last loose end is that pesky question about what else Black might do on move 21 (besides what we've already considered) after [B]20 Ne4[/B][B] bxc3 21 bxc3[/B]. I don't yet see anything else that could be useful for Black there.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2014-02-06 at 12:30
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