An interesting moment. Bc4 was played to put pressure over d5 point, and now that knight is evacuated White's bishop have two retreats: b3 or d3. What's your choice?
Apparently the second one is more logical, playing for an open diagonal, but take a permanent look to d5 is also nice...
a) Black pieces have less space and is not easy to put the pieces in good positions Moves as Be7, 0-0 and Nc6 are logical, but what must we make with Bc8 and Ra8, for example?
b) Really the extra-space is proportionated by e5 pawn Most advanced white pawn is at fifth row; however that one on black side is at third row.
c) In a lack-of-space situation is very important to change any minor pieces. In that way occurs that --> same space + less pieces = all that people is a bit more happy
So, this is not a question about the bishop, is a question ABOUT THE CHANGES In moves:
1) 8.Bb3 allows 8...dxe5 (changing the most advanced pawn) and play 9.dxe5 Qxd1+ only favours black, compared with present situation: queens have been changed, but nothing is get in change.
9.Nxe5 puts the knight in a nice centralised situation, ok, but black side is free now to take out their effectives with, for example, 9...Nc6!
The idea is to change the more active knight and transfer Bc8 to a6-f1 diagonal if change is produced in c6. White have an isolated pawn on d4, and because of it, both pawns - c6 and d4 - are "compensated".
2) 8.Bd3! allows to maintain e5 pawn (= space's advantage) and no matters 8...dxe5 9.dxe5.
White's development is very good. Active pieces, control of the center and, more important, a nice spatial advantage.
And more than it... e5 pawn is "marking" a kingside attack because queenside black's pieces could'nt cross the board to guard the king This is the "e5 strong effect" - not f6 for a knight, b1-h7 diagonal open, etc.
Next moves to create and attack could be Qe2 (don't changing the queens after dxe5 for both sides), Bc2 and Qe4. After the weaking move g7-g6 for black, Bc1 will be sent to h6 (if a plan based in Ne4 and Bg5 is not possible) and h2-h4-h5 is moving... Black will have serious problems, or more.
I think is for that reason that black changes now on the center. But space advantage continues and a change of queens is not a minor piece's change: Bc8 is damnified in the process
So, an interesting opportunity is offered by 10...Bd7!? and 11...Bc6,
a) trying Bxf3 and Nc6 or
b) sometimes Nd7, dxe5 and Nc5.
Anyway, simply moving Qd3, Bc2, Bh6 (as a reply to g7-g6 move) and Rad1 white is better.
Someone can feel that white's advantage is there All the pieces are there out and 'dark side' have any problems: Nb8 + Ra8.
Ok, but what about our next move? Please, be patient... and so we will see that:
1) If Nb8 jumps to a6 or d7 we can make a change (Nd4 x Bc6) and, theoretically, we will have a good pair of bishops. If now Nd5 is not good in view of changes and a breaking Nf5!, the candidate move is 15.a4!?, trying a4-a5, with more space yet. Obviously black could'n play 15...a5?? 16.Nxc6 and Nb6 is threaten.
Ok, let me a moment... Really we will have the bishop pair, but we have to... a better position than now? Pawn c6 strenghts d5 square and bishop needs long diagonals to make damages... which could be made with any pawn's breaks, being f4-f5 the principal one. But without pressure on e6 (with Nd4) and the arrival to d5 of Nb6, this plan is no so terrible.
15.a4 Na6! 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Rxd8+ (taking the opportunity that a4-a5 will leave a7 pawn taken by Be3) 17...Bxd8 18.Ne4. Ok, this seems to be a "+= position" but is not a crash, no?
2) First point tells to us an important thing: Bb3 is there - with the bishop pair or without them - and it wants to play chess! It wants a break, making X-rays to the far king. The answer: f4-f5!
If black's plans are set a "wall" with g6, dark squares are weaken, and f6 could be dangerous with a Ne4-f6 manoeuver. Following with g2-g4 is possible too. And how an extra benefit white's king could be set quickly in the center with Kf2. For example:
1) Anyway 16.g4 and 17.f5 is very interesting, while a Na6-c5 plan is not convincing.
2) A relaxing play with Rac1, a2-a3 and Kf2 is good too.
3) I think a third plan could be even strong, but I'm not a "supermaster" like you and to prove to me it is difficult. It consist on:
- change of Bc6
- fast jump with Ne4
- play versus Nd5 the continuation Bxd5, and after Nf6+, carrying a pawn to f6.
a) Black's king is isolated,
b) knight is not very active (is not possible a Na6-c7-e8-d6-e4 run),
c) white's bishop is transfered to d4-e5,
d) rooks are doubled on c-column (Rc6, etc) and
e) kingside could be fixed with the advance g2-g4, before black plays h7-h5 (even thinking it is not a problem with h2-h3 and g2-g4).
Would you see any lines? Here are those ones:
I need a break and a coffee , so... this entry continues on Practical doubts (part 2) I will see you there!