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Old 2014-01-22, 07:43   #12
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I've looked at [B]18 a4 bxa4[/B] a bit more.

[QUOTE=cheesehead;364663]
[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.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2014-01-22 at 07:57
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Old 2014-01-23, 02:14   #13
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[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.
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Old 2014-01-23, 04:32   #14
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If 18 ... bxa4 then 19. Nd2 Ba6 20. Rxa4 Bb5 21. Ra2 followed by Ne4
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Old 2014-01-23, 11:12   #15
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[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.)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2014-01-23 at 11:20
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Old 2014-01-23, 14:35   #16
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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
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Old 2014-01-24, 22:11   #17
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[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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