Pogonina vs Chess.com Move 19. ...

Jan 27, 2010, 1:13 AM |

As soon as Chess.com replies today (around noon UTC+01:00), I will post some analysis within an hour or two.


Nd7 will most probably be Chess.com's answer. Although I was in favour of the pawn sac d5 initially, the fun factor for that move being higher, I came to my senses and began seeing potential in the knight move.

What are White's choices after 18. ... Nd7? Moves that looks natural are a5, Be3, c3 and Bg4 has been proposed. There might be others, we'll see. All moves revolve around development (Be3), White's queen side is lagging behind, defence of the weak square c2 (c3), fixation of Black's weak square b6 and obstruction of Black's development(a5/Be3) or rerouting (Bg4). d5 is firmly in White's grip so it needs not to be considered now. Black also have no counter play to ripost.

19.Be3 is the only move that is bithematical or even multithematical, so I hold it for the strongest. Is 19. ...Qxc2 possible? 20. Qxb7 obviously, creating a free pawn on the a/b-line. So not a good option. 19. ... b6 makes 20.Bg4 a good move, 20. ... Rb8 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.c4 Qc6 (22. ... b5 23.cxb axb 24.a5) which looks a bit one sided. Easy play for White even if it is playable.
What about 19. ... Nc5 ( Moving that damn knight yet again.)? 20.Bxc5? and Black has space, initiative ... . so the queen must move. It's not only the black knight that moves around, the best square for the queen should be 20.Qd5 Then I don't know, it looks hard to get anywhere and White being better able to strenghten her position. Probably 20. ... Qc6.
19. ...Rfd8 looks natural. 20.g3 h6 (Giving the kings some air. I believe c2 is ontouchable, trading a6/b7 for b2/c2 gives White a dangerous free pawn and Black's light pieces are somewhat stuck in the center.)
19. ... Rcb8 isnt really giving anything. Would have been nice having Rf8 on a8
19. ... Qc6 looks like an interesting move. If Nc5 Qd5 QxQ is the idea. Actually, I like this move the most. It can also prepare for Rc7 and it puts pressure on the e-pawn.
19. ... h6 is also interesting, trying to exchange Black's bad bishop.
19.Bg4 looks a bit counterproductive. Why is the bishop going there? To swop it for the knight? 19. ... Qc6 (Rfd8 might be better) 20.Qh3!? Rfd8 (at last the rook gets into play) 21. Ra3 (Pogonina style!) Rc7 22.Rc3 Qb6 23.Rxc7 Qxc7 and White has not really anything to show. Material is reduced so the space advantage and the weakness d6 counts for less.