How would you recapture, and why?

IMBacon

Black just played 13...Bc3.  White has 2 choices:

14.bc3

14.Qc3

Daniel1115

bc3.

 

After 15. 0-0, white can get the rook to b1, forcing Qc7. After bh6 the knight on a6 is doing nothing and has no easy way to improve, white can pile up on the b file, forcing black into passivity. Any c5 move can be met with knight into b5, which means that black has to contend with the knight exerting all sorts of pressure on his position.

 

If black does not castle, white has similar ideas, except that he can prevent castling with bh3, where black is in big trouble (getting in c5 becomes neccessary).

ArtNJ

Never shatter your pawn structure for short term activity unless it is going to lead somewhere.  Given 2 or 3 minutes, Stockfish 9 rates qc3 at +.51 and bxc3 at -.05.  But forget stockfish, I don't see the follow-up to Daniel's plan, its just a long term weakness, whereas its fairly easy to come up with repositioning plans to strengthen white's position after qc3 and white has the two bishops -- white can activate his dark square bishop with b3, or bd2 & c3 after the queen moves, black's knight will not be allowed a permanent home in the d3 hole, and black's bishop will be inactive after being forced to g6.  

Daniel1115
ArtNJ wrote:

Never shatter your pawn structure for short term activity unless it is going to lead somewhere.  Given 2 or 3 minutes, Stockfish 9 rates qc3 at +.51 and bxc3 at -.05.  But forget stockfish, I don't see the follow-up to Daniel's plan, its just a long term weakness, whereas its fairly easy to come up with repositioning plans to strengthen white's position after qc3 and white has the two bishops -- white can activate his dark square bishop with b3, or bd2 & c3 after the queen moves, black's knight will not be allowed a permanent home in the d3 hole, and black's bishop will be inactive after being forced to g6.  

I did recognize that qc3 was a lot better long term due to b6 idea and such. I just thought that the short term activity would yield something long term, mainly due to black being castled.

IMBacon

Thanks for the responses guys.  I don't want to say how i recaptured until i get more responses. 

Bossinater43

I would say that 14. bxc3 is the better of the two moves. I must stress that I am not great at chess and am relatively new to it, so if there is a flaw in my logic, don't be afraid to correct me. 14. bxc3 opens up the b-file for the a rook, so Rb1 could be potentially more effective in that case. Furthermore, it transforms the b-file from a closed file to a half-open file for White. This could potentially lead to problems for Black later if he opts to castle queenside. 14. bxc3 is just as good as 14. Qxc3 when it comes to White being able to defend his material; if Black responds with 14... Qc5 to threaten the c4 pawn, then White can respond with 15. Qb3 to defend it, and if Black doesn't move the queen on his 15th move, then 16. Ba3 could absolutely wreck him. Castling kingside could also be met with Ba3 to cause problems with where Black's f rook could move. I am not sure how a plan could be made efficiently no matter which way White decides to recapture, but this may be because I am not good at seeing chess games on the long term yet. If this was a speedy game where I did not have time to think long-term, I would have definitely responded with 14. bxc3.

JamesColeman

At blitz I'd play queen takes, no question about it. Keep it simple, stupid, and all that jazz. I suppose the argument in favour of bxc3 if there is one, is that e4 is threatened and Ba3/Rb1 could be a factor with some temporary initiative. 

 

So I think both are playable but I'd probably opt for Qxc3 at any time control since it does ensure at least a small edge (Qxc3 0-0 Nf5 threatening Bxe4 is tasty) without there being any onus to 'prove something'. Probbaly nothing too wrong with bxc3, though. 

varelse1

I haven't read any of the comments yet as I type, so this will all be my own thoughts.

First thing I notice is bxc3 will leave white with doubled isolanti's, and black with a juicy outposts for his knights on c5. So on this note, Qxc3 seems superior.

Also, Qxc3 prepares a future Queen/bishop battery on the long diagonal.

So if there isn't a tactical reason to choose bxc3, I would play Qxc3

But why would anybody put such a question in a puzzle, when any 1100 player would find this answer obvious? There must be something more. So now I look deeper.

After 1.bxc3, white has pressure on e4. Blacks two choice to defend it would be ….Nc5 or ….Bg6. The knight move seems more natural, so lets look at that first.

1.bxc3 Nc5 2.Ba3 Bg6 3.Rab1 wins b7

So that variation white is fine. What about the other?

1.bxc3 Bg6 2.Rab1 Qc7 looks less convincing. But white is still equal at minimum.

As 1.bxc3 has to be correct, that means there must be something wrong with 1.Qxc3. So lets look.

1.Qxc3 Nc5 (not forced) 2.b4 Nd3 3,a3. Now I sit back and evaluate that position. God, that black knight looks powerful on d3. I don't like it there.

Is there any way I can stop it from getting there? Not that I see.

So, counter-intuitive as it may be, I think I am forced to choose 1.bxc3

myratingisreally1523

Qxc3, I see nothing after bxc3 and whites pawn structure is horrendous

drmrboss

It is a question to decide between candidate move( intution) vs policy move( calculated move).

If I get 2 secs for that position in bullet , I will consider, Qxc3.( Candidate move straight away)

If I get 2 mins (OTB), I will do tactical check, whether bxc3 is better than candidate move.

 

Above post, I think about 20s, dont see tactics, so Qxb3.

 

Dale

I feel like someone is trying to talk me into recapturing since I would play Nf5.

IMBacon
Dale wrote:

I feel like someone is trying to talk me into recapturing since I would play Nf5.

 

I offered 2 choices, but if you found a better/alternate choice, then that works too.  Its something else to discuss/learn from.

Farm_Hand

I somewhat recently had a tournament game where my opponent got unexpectedly nice compensation with the bishop pair + doubled c pawns on an open board, so I'm a little bias towards the doubled c pawns because it made me want to try out more of those positions myself so I could get a better feel for it.

 

But in my game the e and d files were open too, so his bishops were really active. In this position... I mean after bxc the c4 pawn looks safe at least for now, that's of course something you have to check. And sure Qxc3 is slower, but the question is if you're willing to argue the static defect / endgame liability is made up for by dynamic play / middlegame play.

Is that argument true? I don't know. It's interesting, but I'm not sure. I'm imagining something like Ba3 Nd6 Rb1 which seems fun but that's probably the blitz talking because that's not even a calculation just a fantasy configuration tongue.png

In blitz I'd take with the c pawn, in a tournament game I probably would take with the queen.

Nf5 is really interesting. That wouldn't even be on my radar honestly. I can see there's some compensation, but I'd have no idea how to evaluate it so I probably wouldn't play it in a real game. But it's an interesting suggestion.

Farm_Hand

So yeah, I'd ask questions like "what are my specific targets" and "how much play am I getting" and then evaluate that against what is almost universally an endgame liability (damaged structure).

And you know... maybe my play for both bxc and Qxc3 is the same... and in that case it becomes a question of how fast do I need to go for my play? In other words how fast is black's position? If black isn't putting white on a clock (so to speak), then white should feel free to take his time.

Rat1960

Since you end up with two bishops, I always consider the role in the game of the bishop I have that the other side does not have. With bxBc3 I guess that is Ba3. With QxBc3 the bishop could sit on b2 and pester g7.  No doubt black will put his knight on d3, something I would rather face without doubled c-pawns.
#5 I can barely cope with the wait. I hope you also provide the next half a dozen moves.

IMBacon
Rat1960 wrote:

Since you end up with two bishops, I always consider the role in the game of the bishop I have that the other side does not have. With bxBc3 I guess that is Ba3. With QxBc3 the bishop could sit on b2 and pester g7.  No doubt black will put his knight on d3, something I would rather face without doubled c-pawns.
#5 I can barely cope with the wait. I hope you also provide the next half a dozen moves.

 

Fair enough...Here is what i played and my notes.

14.bc3 Ugly yes, but I felt that the dark squares open up now, and the a3-f8 diagonal is mine.  I have the bishop pair, can do some damage on the dark squares, have the b-file making black think twice about castling queenside.  I also had visions of b7-c6 being targets at some point too.

I would have been perfectly happy playing 14.Qc3, but just thought that the positives outweighed the negatives of the pawn structure.,

IMBacon

 

 

Farm_Hand

I haven't looked at it to know, but re: your saying "the a3 f8 diagonal is mine now" that's what I mean about speed. I think that diagonal was yours anyway right? After something like Qxc3 followed by b3 Ba3.

zeitnotakrobat

@ IMBacon, as you played bxc3 you probably had a plan after 17. Qb3 c5?

AnthonyAtanasov
YoungGirlNiceRack wrote:
IMBacon wrote:

Black just played 13...Bc3.  White has 2 choices:

14.bc3

14.Qc3

Why not just bishop f3 to win the black bishop next turn?

good point! I didn't see that.