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  1. 27 Dec '08 14:18
    I'm curious as to what both higher and lower rated players see in various positions. I would like every here to examine the position and post their evaluations and how they would continue as both white and black without reading other forum members thoughts first.



    black to move.


    =======my thoughts========

    Both sides have all pieces and pawns (material even).
    Position is highly complex with space contested in center and queenside.

    b7 and a3 bishops appear "most active" but I think this is an illusion with regards to the a3 bishop since white cannot satisfactorily increase the pressure against e5 (f4 would be main key to this and Nf3 interferes and if Rf1 then black plays exd4 with pressure on e4).


    Neither side can advantageously resolve the queenside conflict.

    The knights are very restricted by the central pawns.

    Te pawns suggest both sides should be playing on the kingside (pieces and pawns "pointing" that way). But I see no clear way to do this.

    This position yields no suggestions for me that I can easily turn into moves.

    As white I would play Nd2-f1-e3 to "improve my pieces"

    As black I would play c5 as the pawn structures after dxc, dxc or dxe, dxe both "look better" than what I'm seeing now. I think this is due to move space behind my pawns so my pieces would gain some maneuverability.


    ****Disclaimer: Except in rare cases I never play games like this. I glance at the position and react blitz-style. My 10 second thinks are usually looking for "weak pieces" that are insufficiently protected.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    27 Dec '08 14:45
    Originally posted by zebano
    I'm curious as to what both higher and lower rated players see in various positions. I would like every here to examine the position and post their evaluations and how they would continue as both white and black without reading other forum members thoughts first.


    [fen]r2qrbk1/1bpn1p1p/p2p1np1/1p2p3/P2PP3/BPP2N1P/2BN1PP1/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 15[/fen]
    black to ...[text shortened]... cond thinks are usually looking for "weak pieces" that are insufficiently protected.
    I cheated and read yours first, but I do have a method. Unfortunately I never actually use it which is why my rating has plummetted.

    All pieces, all Pawns present. Pawn tension on Queenside. White has more central space slightly. Pawn tension in center.

    Both Kings have advances Pawns. White is fully developed (minor pieces and Castling that is), Black still has Bishop on back rank.

    White has 13 tempos on the board. Black has either 10 or 12 if you count his Bishop, which must have moved up to allow castling and then moved back. Actually that Bishop's location on the back Rank isn't as bad as it would be normally since the Rook is not trapped behind it.

    Space on queenside contested, space in center contested but slight White advantage, space on Kingside equal.

    Ns on d-file aren't ideally placed.

    White with slight space and time advantages should press forward, but Black has a strong central attack.

    How about d5? Yes, e4 will become a target, but not by the White Bishop. This forces a permanent space advantage and relieves some of the central tension. The Black Bishop can take the black N if it moves to c5, if necessary (this would be a closed game anyway). The e-pawn can be supported by the f pawn and the Black black squared Bishop will have a tough time getting to that diagonal to do anything about it by checking the King.
  3. 27 Dec '08 15:00
    My thoughts, primitive as they may be:

    Looks like Ruy Lopez Breyer with neither the Queenside nor the center resolved. Black has some pressure against the e-pawn but it’s holding for now. With white to move, axb5 axb5 Bd3 targets the b-pawn. The f7-pawn could be weak later on – too bad the Bishop isn’t already on that diagonal. Perhaps White can allow bxa4 bxa4, then Bb3.

    From Black’s perspective, the setup looks pretty solid.
  4. 27 Dec '08 15:13
    Known position from Ruy Lopez, Breyer variation. Black to move, most likely 15. ... c5 to gain some counter-space. White can keep it closed with 16.d5 and aim for a small, but long-term initiative, typical for a Spanish closed game
  5. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    27 Dec '08 15:31 / 3 edits
    I'm not gonna even try because I don't play ruy and haven't slept, but one of the most striking differences between the users so far, seems to be the brevity of analysis which seems to be inversely proportional to strength.

    which sort of correlates with the results of studies on how many candidates players examine relative to strength, as with the tendency of low rated players trying to calculate into excessive depths without good reason. so all kidding aside, maybe there really is some point in the difference in brevity?
  6. 27 Dec '08 15:50 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wormwood
    I'm not gonna even try because I don't play ruy and haven't slept, but one of the most striking differences between the users so far, seems to be the brevity of analysis which seems to be inversely proportional to strength.

    which sort of correlates with the results of studies on how many candidates players examine relative to strength, as with the ten ...[text shortened]... reason. so all kidding aside, maybe there really is some point in the difference in brevity?
    yes but part of the brevity is due to it being a known position in the Breyer variation of the Spanish .

    Lets try another position from the same game...



    black to move.

    I think black is better here (slightly). Quite simply space and material are about equal and while white is defending ably (see the bishops on a2 & a3) he has no attacking prospects. Black on the other hand has pressure on c4, e4 and down the b-file.

    White should attempt to exchange rooks via Rb1 I have no idea what black should do.
  7. 27 Dec '08 17:02
    Originally posted by zebano
    White should attempt to exchange rooks via Rb1 I have no idea what black should do.
    Black should keep the pressure on and wait for a mistake. Maybe Nb6 for the time being - keeps a4 and c4 under pressure and prevents a general rook exchange (which would help White I think). Black can shuffle comfortably, White's shuffling isn't so comfortable.

    I should reveal that after the second diagram I recognized the game, but not the exact continuation.
  8. 27 Dec '08 17:17
    let's see.

    my guess is that this position has arisen from a closed ruy lopez opening.
    - material is equal and both players have no really clear weaknesses to focus on as of yet.
    - white has more space because of the 2 abreast pawns in the centre.
    - there are several tense spots on the board: black might take on a4 or white on b5 anytime, and black might take on d4 or white on e5 anytime. All of these options are not so good as of yet. white taking on b5 only opens up the a-file which black can use to trade off rooks and queens, and black won't take on a4 because his pawn on b5 keeps control over the c4-square. White taking on e5 would give up his nice pawn centre, black taking on d4 would give white a nice pawn centre 2 vs 1 majority.
    - both player's pieces are relatively well-placed, but not really active. nothing that really can be taken advantage of.
    black has some pressure on the white centre and as white isn't really threatening anything, the first thing that jumps out to me to do is to increase this pressure.
    white might want to use his space advantage to initiate an attack on the kingside, for example by means of Nh2-g4.

    there are no tactics in the position at the moment.

    Candidate moves:
    1. ..c5
    This one jumped out at me first; it grabs more space on the queenside and puts more pressure on d4, more or less prodding white to close the center with d5 or exchange on e5. The situation in the center has then cleared up and more detailed plans can be made.
    1. ..h6
    This is not really to stop white from playing Ng5, but to be able to retreat the f6-knight to h7 and then maybe play it to g5.
    1. ..h5
    Same thing as last move, but prevents white from playing g4 for the time being and weakens the g5-square.
    1. ..Bh6
    Activates the 'bad' bishop. in reply to 2. g4 I can play Bf4 with a strong bishop. I would rather wait with this idea till the center is closed though.
    1. ..Nh5
    To move the knight to f4 where it can be a pest for white, but I think white can easily stop this by playing g3.

    As black I would play ..c5 which puts more pressure on white's center and ties up alot of his pieces (both knights, Bc2 and Re1 are all needed to guard the center pawns). I don't think white can do anything feasible with his other pieces so I am inclined to think that he indeed will close the center with d5, after which play will continue on the queenside and kingside.

    As white I am not quite sure what I'd play at first sight. I am not so familiar with closed ruy lopez positions, so please bear with me My first idea is g4, which is a common attacking move but usually only after the center is closed. However I assume that black's best is still ..c5 and then after closing the center with d5 I have already started an offensive on the king's wing.
    My second idea is h4 to attack the fianchetto position with h5, but it will probably take a while for this advance to work (at the moment this simply loses a pawn; white doesn't have any compensation at all after Nxh5).

    So, as black I would play ..c5, and with white to move I'd play g4.
  9. 27 Dec '08 17:37
    Originally posted by zebano
    I'm curious as to what both higher and lower rated players see in various positions. I would like every here to examine the position and post their evaluations and how they would continue as both white and black without reading other forum members thoughts first.


    [fen]r2qrbk1/1bpn1p1p/p2p1np1/1p2p3/P2PP3/BPP2N1P/2BN1PP1/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 15[/fen]
    black to ...[text shortened]... cond thinks are usually looking for "weak pieces" that are insufficiently protected.
    without cheating, my assessement was like this:
    white's f4 is weak.
    black has nice pressure against e4.
    black's queenside LOOKS better, but white threatens axb4 axb4 Bd3, leaving black with problems of defending b4, because c3 would block the bishop.

    So would go 1...bxa4 2.bxa4 Nh5 (going for f4), and then my most general plan would be rb8, Ba8, Bg7, Nf8-Nd6, Qd7.
  10. Standard member Yuga
    Renaissance
    27 Dec '08 20:40
    Originally posted by zebano
    I'm curious as to what both higher and lower rated players see in various positions. I would like every here to examine the position and post their evaluations and how they would continue as both white and black without reading other forum members thoughts first.


    [fen]r2qrbk1/1bpn1p1p/p2p1np1/1p2p3/P2PP3/BPP2N1P/2BN1PP1/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 15[/fen]
    black to ...[text shortened]... cond thinks are usually looking for "weak pieces" that are insufficiently protected.
    White perspective, position 1
    Position is equal.

    Pawn structure integrity on kingside is sound.

    Pawn structure integrity in center is sound; e4 is a target but sufficiently protected.
    Center situation somewhat unclear to me:
    Black possibilities:
    c7-c5 [most likely but after response d5 I think white may have a symbolic positional advantage]
    exd4 [unlikely, it is not clear to me what Black gains from this liquidation]
    d6-d5 [unlikely]

    Pawn structure integrity in queenside is in question; Black can take on a4 after which position is more sterile.

    White possibilities:
    Bb2 [bxa Rxa leaves Black a-pawn as a target]

    I cannot see how to make central progress so I prefer to leave the queenside tension so I would not play axb5.
    Pawn structure integrity trumps any other considerations for white so Bb2.
    I do not like this position much for either side.
    I cannot see really any progressive long-term plans for white.