How would you evaluate this position?



Since I'm a beginner, one of my weaknesses is positional understanding. I'm not exactly a tactical juggernaut either, but my positional understanding is next to nothing. I'm left without a clue when there's no immediate tactic springing to mind. I have a few questions about this position:

1) Who has the advantage here and why?

2) How large is the advantage?

3)If it's White to move, what move would you make?

4)If it's Black to move, what would you do?

I'm sure this will help me grow as an amateur.

Thanks in advance!



Black is better because white's lost control of the center.  But in more general terms black has more space and a harmonious development.  White would like to claim some center and coordinate his pieces, but this isn't practical because it would take many moves.

But we can ignore the strategic pluses because they already give black tactical punches i.e. the center does contain immediate threats.  Black to move would threaten to push e5 and win a piece with either d4 (if bishop retreats to e3) or a6 (if bishop retreats to c3).

So white to move has to do something about his d4 bishop or b5 knight, which are not ideally placed even if these tactics did not exist.  A move like Bxf6 or Bc3 is forced to meet the threat.

Hope that helps :)


I imagine black has the edge in this position. His e and d pawns made the biggest impression on me. I imagine an engine would give black and edge of .5-2.5 pawns - depending on whose move it is.

For white's move, my first thought would be Qe3 to stop e5 from black with a possible Ne5 to follow.

For black's move, e5 seems to win a piece. If Be3, d4 traps the bishop, if Bf3, a6 traps the knight


This has been helpful :) Thanks.