white to move


NM PhasmicChess
Mar 3, 2018, 8:43 AM |

It comes from a German word, meaning "intermediate move." In chess, it refers to a move that interrupts, challenges, or otherwise alters, a planned sequence of moves. In the above position, for example, I had just played Bxg2, expecting the automatic reply Nxg2 (Kxg2 is bad for a number of reasons). Undoubtedly, white is much better here. However, my opponent sat at the board for a couple of minutes, looking at another move. Before long, he played Rcb1.

As an intermediary move, Rcb1 has several points. One of white's rooks belongs on the semi-open b-file. His move gets the rook there with tempo. After white recaptures on g2, c6 and b7 may come under fire. Finally, the black queen was getting rather pesky on b2, portending ideas of Rd2.

How, then, should we evaluate Rcb1? As with any forced sequence of moves, concrete calculation is necessary for an evaluation. Take a moment poring over black's options. When you're ready, scroll down below for the answer.