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  1. 12 Mar '10 23:10


    Hello All

    In this rapid game I played recently I played the move 18.Bf4 in order to develop a piece and attack the weak pawn on d6. During the game the other main move I was considering was Nc6 which would allow me to win the bishop pair.

    I ran a blunder check with Fritz after the game (missed a neat tactic winning a piece later in the game, can anyone spot it?) and on this cursory examination Fritz seems to agree with my bishop move, perhaps considering the centralised knight to be a more valuable piece than Black's 'bad' bishop.

    I'd really appreciate people's views on this. Who would have chosen winning the bishop pair and only then attacking the d6 weakness?

    After making my decision I got pushed back somewhat but managed to win the endgame. Really enjoyed the game.
  2. 13 Mar '10 00:06
    why not 29. Qxe5 or 29. Bxe5? it just seems like you really didn't need to give that bishop up like that over the f pawn. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, I didn't really look that hard but that's the one thing I noticed.
  3. 13 Mar '10 00:10
    I would say that Black's black bishop is quite bad, and a knight on c6 is good (although black can exchange it with his white bishop. So it would be a bad thing to do the exchange, I would say. so yes, I would prefer Bf4 I guess.

    That said, I find Ba4 interesting, to sustain a future Nc6 or Bc6 before Black's white bishop moves to d7.
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Mar '10 04:39
    I much prefer Bf4, simply because it develops a piece to an active square with a threat, but also because it frees up the c1 square for the Queen's rook. Playing Nc6 at that point seems extravagant, with so few pieces active.

    Paul
  5. 13 Mar '10 10:33
    Thanks for your posts everyone. I chose Qxf6 as I liked the resulting position, bringing me to a pawn up endgame. I feared losing control a little if I just took the e-pawn. There was actually a better follow up but I was too focussed on getting to this endgame that I didn't even consider it, tut tut.

    Ba4 was a third choice I considered for move 18 but liked the bishop protecting e4 and hitting h7 so decided against it in favour of others.

    One more question as I really think I can learn something from this, although Macpo and Paul, you agree with Bf4, attacking the d6 weakness - is that weakness not much weaker after Nx dark-squared bishop which I lose the chance to do after 19... Bd7? Playing devil's advocate a bit here as I played Bf4 but would like to solidify in my mind why that move is really better.
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Mar '10 13:32
    Originally posted by Knightlore
    Thanks for your posts everyone. I chose Qxf6 as I liked the resulting position, bringing me to a pawn up endgame. I feared losing control a little if I just took the e-pawn. There was actually a better follow up but I was too focussed on getting to this endgame that I didn't even consider it, tut tut.

    Ba4 was a third choice I considered for move 18 ...[text shortened]... bit here as I played Bf4 but would like to solidify in my mind why that move is really better.
    I see Nx dark squared bishop as a trade of a good knight for a bad bishop. I personally only tend to make those kinds of trades if I actually plan to take the weak pawn immediately after the exchange, as part of the combination (taking the pawn also has the effect of making the bishop "good", so the combo is logically consistent).

    The weak d6 pawn isn't going away, and there are dynamic tactical opportunities with getting a rook to the c-file opposite the black queen, which is almost development with tempo, as black will have to deal with the threat. I don't think Nc6 has to be played immediately, which means you have time to look at other quality moves without fear of passing up an opportunity.

    Paul
  7. 15 Mar '10 05:45
    Nc6 intending to obtain the bishop pair hurts whites position via neglecting development.
    Its worse than not moving almost since you end up less developed.

    Bf4 is accomplishing something for free without giving something away for it.
  8. 15 Mar '10 05:50 / 1 edit
  9. 15 Mar '10 05:50 / 2 edits
    But development becomes less important with every piece that leaves the board. I think its not taste or accuracy, its just whatever you enjoy more. If you can create a symphony with that bishop pair then do it, it will bring more enjoyment than playing "the best" move. edit: after looking at the position First thought is that e5 square is important more important than the weak d pawn. Nc6 then take that bishop which can end up challenging your control of e5 later then Bf4 because the bishop can go there anytime in the forseeable(like that word?) future but the chance to get that bishop won't be there in the next few moves.