An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pawn Structure Chess – when your Opponent Surprises you

DDT3000 – sgilroy, ICC 2011, 20 minutes per game
image Black to move.
Here I expected 25…b5-b4, fighting for ‘d4’ square in the typical fashion for the Spanish game. But my opponent surprised me with a different pawn move, as he instead chose to fight for ‘d3’.
25…c4 I thought “Oh no, I’d better stop Ne6-c5-d3”, so I played
26. Bxe6
image Black to move. Which recapture is best? My opponent surprised me again, and I must admit, I was so shocked that I blundered immediately and resigned within a couple of moves. Several positional considerations need to be considered:

  • Black is eyeing f3 with his queen and knight, but for now it is well guarded
  • White may later transfer his knight to ‘d5’ via ‘e3’ so ‘d5’ needs to be covered
  • Black’s rooks currently don’t control any open or semi-open files, but they obviously would like to!

How would you recapture on e6?

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