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This is an interesting, non-book position, which (rather obviously) has emerged from a Steinitz French.
It's black's turn to move. The questions are two:
1. How do you evaluate this position? Plans for both sides are welcome.
2. What should be Black's best move?
Feel free to use any sort of aid available, including GM advice, engines, strategy books, whatever.
I will wait for as many answers as possible before replying back/ expressing my own opinion.
to be honest i cant come up with anything better then exchange sacrifice on c4, i know its more of a strategic idea you ask for, but thats all i can come up with to free blacks position, even though i have the feeling its totally incorrect.
i would evaluate it as winnning for white, unless the exchange sacrifice works.
I think white can decide between a kingside attack and a winning endgame against a bad piece, unless black can free himself with the exchange sacrifice.
I'm a leery of white attack. My candidates would be something like f5 (close lines), b4 (open lines), and Rfe8 (room for king or maybe even a knight on f8).
Oh, also Rfe8 defends e6 so the queen is free to move and f5 can still be played.
My first, blitz instinct is that White is much better due to the huge dark-square weaknesses on the K-side. I would be looking at g4 and f5 ideas for white. I don't quite see the point of Tetsuo's exchange sac yet.
I will study it later and see what I can come up with.
to free the bishop after d x c, it bears down on whites king. But thats probably totally incorrect.
...Nc5 with ideas of playing Ne4 or trading it off. The knight isn't doing much sitting on d7.
i think you are right the rooks infiltrate probably, yes i guess that was a bad idea
Queen on h4, knight on g5, mate on h7, just a shame black gets to play too...
yes i had the same idea to maybe free the bishop that way, but because i couldnt calculate a line were i was sure it would free the bishop, i thought it would be bad because its a so much better piece then blacks bishop, even though it probably needs to many tempos to ever get developed.
To answer the second question, as Black my blitz response would be f5 but I'd be worried about g4. I'll come back later with a better answer.
Since black to move, I would move the knight to c5 and threaten the bishop. Other than that, everything is very crammed in.
but doesnt increase the chance of an endgame were the bishop will be bad and decide the game for white?
our bishop must be opened up so i believe that a good plan is f6 followed by e5 somehow as they are obliged(?) i think to play exf6 then after Rxf6 white's queen isn't in a good position as ...e5 is coming next move so she has to move.
after that we can double rooks on f file and choose to play for e5 or maybe for b4 , but i believe central thrusts will be beneficial for black.
i had thought about the same and thought it was an option, but then i i thought it was bad because it would lead to exchanges and get the game into a lost endgame for black. Wich probably is wrong
Just a hint: If using an engine, let it "think" for quite some time, say half an hour or more. Engines have issues to decide on the correct plan in blocked and semi-blocked positions.
no engines... they don't help in long planning like black needs here
White has black crammed in slow play here could result in slow death. F6 seems to me a very strong attacking move for black. Any respose weekens White signfcatly and puts the white quuen under massive pressure.
Only problem (maybe) is that if f6 was made, could it be possible white my sack a bishop on g6 to further weaken black kings defenses?
that was worrying me too, plus that maybe rooks somehow gets exchanged and then it looks even worse for black in my opinion
Position seems fairly equal, if black manages to swap minor pieces though he could perhaps get an advantage.
The lsb sucks so maybe playing b4, a5 and Ba6 trying to swap it off could be a good idea. The main problem is that it lets a knight in at d6 via b5, but Qxf2, rook move, Nb6, Nc8, swap it off, and I think black then has a surprisingly good position. Bb5 may also be possible after a5, but a random knight move followed by the same plan of Ba6 again seems fine for black.
Black does NOT want to play Nc5 and Nxd3 though as its a bad bishop vs good knight. Also worth noting that if black doesnt play b4 this move, then white may play it instead and the bishop truly is trapped.
Black is better,pf6 attack f. file w/ double up rooks and center pawns.
White to move, mate in 8
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