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What to do? Quiz for 3/18/07

Black to move.
This was from a game I played yesterday evening against the Ukrainian Marvel. Am I lost?


  1. I am trying to think without setting up the board and it is more prone to blunders. I shall try neverthless.

    White threatens Knight on b4. Both 1...Na6 and the combinative 1...Nc2+ look ok at first.

    1...Na6 2.Bxa6 and blacks remain pawn down and either 2...bxa6 or 2...Qxa6 3.Qxa6 bxa6, does not look too promising as now black also weak pawn structure.

    with 1...Nc2+ 2.Qxc2 Qxb5 3.Nxb5 Rxc2, black is still pawn down, but pawn structure in intact. so may be this is better line.

  2. Harish, take the second variation and look at it after 4.Bb3 I was surprised at the outcome. Or am I wrong.

  3. Do you mean 4.Bc3 , because after
    1...Nc2+ 2.Qxc2 Qxb5 3.Nxb5 Rxc2

    if 4.Bc3 may be 4...a6 forcing 5.Nc7+ Kd8 6.d6 (forced, since if Na8 knight is trapped, but not sure since so is blacks rook-complex) Bxd6 7.Nd5 and yes black has got back his pawn, but the black rook looks trapped. White is threatening Rf1 (protecting the f2 pawn) and Kd1 attacking rook.

    if black tries 7...Nc5, then 8.Nb5 looks strong. What is your variation?

  4. 1...Nc2 2.Q:c2 Q:b5 3.N:b5 R:c2
    Now 2 variations:
    I. 4.Bb3 a7 5.Nc7+ Kd8 6.d6 Bxd6 7.Nd5 Nf6 8.N:f6 g:f6 9.Rf1 and Kd1
    II. 4.N:a7 R:b2 5.a4 Bb4 6.B:b4 R:b4 7.Nb5 Nc5 needs more explorations
    Wonder what good old fritz would show us.

  5. According to Fritz X the best played line would be:
    2.Qxc2 Qxb5
    3.Nxc5 Rxc2
    4.b4 Nb6 5.Kd1 Rc4 6.Nxa7 Nxd5 (+1.13) or
    4.Rb1 Nb6 5. Nxa7 Nxd5 6. Ke2 Kd7 (+1.10)

    4. Bc3 yields a value of equal with the continuation 4...a6
    5. Nc7+ Ke7 6. Rd1 Kd6

    4. Nxa7 is only slightly better for white with a value of +.09 with 4...Rxb2 5. Rc1 Nc5 6. Ke2 Nb3

    4. Ra2, Rc1, b3, according to Fritz, are all better than the Bc3 or Nxa7 choices

  6. Thanks, Mark. It shows that we should look at all candidates moves, and to do so much more time is reqiered. I think if I played that game with the time limit as in Niagara Falls I would see b4 as best rather than Bc3, and so I would not think that previous move a3 was wrong. -m