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I was playing a game 25 rapid match with another member of my chess team when the position above was reached. I decided after some thought that the position was an easy advantage for white, black's pieces are uncoordinated (especially the bishop on d7), and f4 is easily covered making the Nh4 look dumb, and the Nb8 can hardly move. My engine (houdini 1.5 x64 a) agrees with this evaluation. However, one of my friends (an 1800 USCF) said that black is obviously better because the pawn on c5 prevents any queenside play for white, and engines are historically bad at evaluating closed positions. Do any strong chess players have thoughts on the above position? It's white to move.
If your wondering, it was reached through:
12. Qd2 probably doesn't deserve an exclam because it's so obvious. However I did fail to play it, and got in some trouble in the game . I did end up winning though.
Well if black is sufficiently unorganized, c5 makes no difference, you can play b4 as a sac just to open lines and black will simply be worse. Same with his kingside attack. It's going to be hard to survive any kind of realistic exchange (e.g. kingside vs queenside) if your pieces aren't developed.
That's what your (small) plus is about, you're just a few moves ahead because that Bd7 thing slows his development for 2, maybe 3 moves. I don't think pawn structure or anything else figures into it. As far as pawns go it looks normal.
Nh5 isn't so bad (at least it looks like a KID move so I think it can't be that bad here).
i would have to agree with your friend because traditionally in the KID black has advantages on the kingside so he attacks on the kings side and white has advantages on the queenside so he creates counterplay on the queenside but since black has c5 in it hinders whites plans for pawnbreaks that would create counterplay on the queenside. now from this we can conclude blacks plans will be faster and will take priority giving black the advantage. you also note that you think blacks pieces are uncoordinated but because the position is closed it is difficult if not impossible to take advantage of thatand the knight to h5 is a common theme in the KID preparing the f5 pawn break.
Thanks for the input. As I was saying I feel like I had a small plus (my engine says +0.5 but I feel it might have been slightly less), but within my next few moves I quickly ended up with a worse position as black managed to coordinate his pieces and I accomplished practically nothing. I later ended up winning with just a few seconds on my clock (I had spent quite a while to reach this position, and spent longer in the positions that followed). The play isn't great (or even good), but that's what you expect in 25 5 game OTB. For those interested, here is the complete game:
Note that the last few moves might not be the exact game moves, we did not take notation, but moves through 32...fxg6 are exact. I don't remember the exact checkmating sequence with queen and pawns vs king bishop, so I didn't post it.
wafflemaster - thanks for all your posts, every game of mine you provide valuable insights
p-wnattack - the only thing that puzzles me is that you say white is worse because:
A) White's plans are slowed by c5
B) Although black's plans are slowed by his uncoordinated pieces (mainly Bd7 and Nb8), this doesn't matter because the position is closed.
Also, why is 6... c5 less played (although still quite common, over 4,000 games compared to 60,000 with 6...e5) if having a pawn on c5 is so great? Does anyone know this? Playing dxe6 is possible for white but doesn't look all that promising compared to the mainline.
Because usually you play either ..e5 or ..c5 but not both.
...e5 gives more support on the kingside for Black's play to push ...f7-f5, while ...c5 does not obstruct the bishop on g7.
The delaying of White's queenside play generated by ...c5 is delusional, because it creates another target to open the a or b file : after a3 (threatening b4) ...a5 is practically impossible because 1-it hands over the nice b5 square to white 2- White will eventually push b4 anyways and the black pawn on b4 will be easily recaptured.
Your USCF 1800 friend is totally clueless- sorry to say that.
White has easy play by natural means in the queenside (preparing the b4 break, while Black's only hope is hacking at some point with the Nh5-f4 pawn sac, which at least will allow him to generate some play on the dark squares).
How many people did you say were "totally clueless" again? Sorry, I lost count.
It's harsh, but it seems justified, isn't it ?
Saying someone is 'obviously better' in a position were he has some advantage isn't really clever. That's why if I'm not sure I often use "I would prefer Black/White".
9/17/2014 - GM Abhijeet Gupta - IM Roeland Pruijssers, Corus C
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