Computer repeatedly suggests the move a4

GMinerva-ess

So, this is a game I played. During my post game analysis, the computer repeatedly suggests the move a4 from around the 12th turn. Truth is during play (it was a 10 minute blitz game) I considered the move but chose to play a3 instead at some point cos I was unsure about how the pawn exchanges would go down or what to do if black pushed the b pawn cos I wanted to keep my c pawn on the c file to support my d pawn in the center. How do I deal with such a thing next time? Like know when to support the center and how to deal with flank pawns. Also, any trick for quick calculations during blitz (I have a blitz rating target in mind) ? An overall analysis and helpful tips on this game would also be appreciated. Thank you.

 

IMBacon

After 12...Na5 you say: "Got to keep my LSB."  But you do not explain "why"? 

13.Bc2 moves your bishop to an passive square, where it isn't doing anything.  So this goes against your comment how you need to keep your LSB.

 

GMinerva-ess
IMBacon wrote:

After 12...Na5 you say: "Got to keep my LSB."  But you do not explain "why"? 

13.Bc2 moves your bishop to an passive square, where it isn't doing anything.  So this goes against your comment how you need to keep your LSB.

 

To be honest I kept the LSB because I generally don't like to exchange bishop's for my opponent's knight. You're right, it is criminally passive. How would you suggest I react to Na5?

I guess I was just avoiding the cxb4 doubled pawns, I'm not yet experienced enough to know when having one is okay. With the queenside space advantage though, which ideas/moves do you suggest I consider? Do I maneuver pieces to the queenside or not? Your input is appreciated. Thank you. 

IMBacon
GMinerva-ess wrote:
IMBacon wrote:

After 12...Na5 you say: "Got to keep my LSB."  But you do not explain "why"? 

13.Bc2 moves your bishop to an passive square, where it isn't doing anything.  So this goes against your comment how you need to keep your LSB.

 

To be honest I kept the LSB because I generally don't like to exchange bishop's for my opponent's knight. You're right, it is criminally passive. How would you suggest I react to Na5?

I guess I was just avoiding the cxb4 doubled pawns, I'm not yet experienced enough to know when having one is okay. With the queenside space advantage though, which ideas/moves do you suggest I consider? Do I maneuver pieces to the queenside or not? Your input is appreciated. Thank you. 

Let me answer each of your question as best as i can :-)

"I generally don't like to exchange bishop's for my opponent's knight."

The answer to this question will depend on the position.  Bishops are long range minor pieces, while knights are short range minor pieces. 

 

"I guess I was just avoiding the cxb4 doubled pawns..."

A weakness is only a weakness IF it can be attacked.

 

"With the queenside space advantage though, which ideas/moves do you suggest I consider? Do I maneuver pieces to the queenside or not?"

Middlegame Planning

 

  1. Expand your position:
  2. Gain more space.
  3. Improve the position of your pieces.

 

Decide on what side of the board to play.

1. Queenside: a-c files.

2. Center: d-e files.

3. Kingside: f-h files.

Compare, space, material, and weaknesses.

 

  1. DO NOT HURRY. Regroup your pieces, and be patient.
Strangemover

These subtleties are not easy to understand. Personally I might have done the same and retreated the bishop to c2. I don't like a3 though. After c6 by black (which also looks dubious to me) I would probably have gone b4 here, driving the knight back to b7 and then considered a4. This would also have allowed your Bc2 to return to the more active square b3 at some point and it looks to me that black is the one who has weakened his position by Na5, allowing the knight to be chased back whilst at the same time allowing white to expand in the direction of the king. 

gingerninja2003

 

GMinerva-ess
IMBacon wrote:
GMinerva-ess wrote:
IMBacon wrote:

After 12...Na5 you say: "Got to keep my LSB."  But you do not explain "why"? 

13.Bc2 moves your bishop to an passive square, where it isn't doing anything.  So this goes against your comment how you need to keep your LSB.

 

To be honest I kept the LSB because I generally don't like to exchange bishop's for my opponent's knight. You're right, it is criminally passive. How would you suggest I react to Na5?

I guess I was just avoiding the cxb4 doubled pawns, I'm not yet experienced enough to know when having one is okay. With the queenside space advantage though, which ideas/moves do you suggest I consider? Do I maneuver pieces to the queenside or not? Your input is appreciated. Thank you. 

Let me answer each of your question as best as i can :-)

"I generally don't like to exchange bishop's for my opponent's knight."

The answer to this question will depend on the position.  Bishops are long range minor pieces, while knights are short range minor pieces. 

 

"I guess I was just avoiding the cxb4 doubled pawns..."

A weakness is only a weakness IF it can be attacked.

 

"With the queenside space advantage though, which ideas/moves do you suggest I consider? Do I maneuver pieces to the queenside or not?"

Middlegame Planning

 

  1. Expand your position:
  2. Gain more space.
  3. Improve the position of your pieces.

 

  1. Decide on what side of the board to play.
  2. Queenside: a-c files.
  3. Center: d-e files.
  4. Kingside: f-h files.

      Compare, space, material, and weaknesses.

 

  1. DO NOT HURRY. Regroup your pieces, and be patient.

Thank you for taking the time and being detailed. This is really helpful. 

GMinerva-ess
gingerninja2003 wrote:

 

You're right in that I just continued to play the Ruy without really looking at my position. Gonna have to work on that. Thanks for your annotation.