Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chess960: Opening Puzzle No. 10

Whoa, more than a year since I posted the last Chess960 puzzle! Well to celebrate the tenth chess960 puzzle, here is a real beauty. This puzzle has some important theoretical significance once you understand it:

SP486: What is the most important reason why
 1.d4 is not a very good opening move by white?

The answer is surprisingly simple!
Enjoy the solution given below

The answer is (drumroll)...:
1. Because the long diagonal a8-h1 is weak!
If you thought the answer was:
2. Because the king is exposed along a5/e1, 
white can easily defend against that and 
continue development with moves like Bd2/Nc3.

1. d4   ... b6!(b5)
2. Nf3  ... Bb7 
And now white's f1 bishop is thematically trapped, 
since moving either e or g pawn results in:
3. g3?  ... Bxf3 followed by ...Qxf3
if instead:
2. e3?! ... Ba6!
3. Ne2  ... Bxe2
and 4.Kxe2 is essential because if:
4. Bxe2 ... Qxg2 -/+


  1. Somehow I have to disagree a little.I don't say that I would choose the move 1.d4,because I also don't believe that this is white's best option,but I believe the main reason for it is the fact that 1.d4 doesn't do anything for the developement of white's queen.I judge the position after 1.d4b6 to be approximately equal to slightly better for white.It is very much like Queen's indian defence,but with main difference that white's queen is out of play.

    So,firstly,in case of 1.d4b6 2.e3(?!)Ba6 3.Ne2Be2(?!) 4.Ke2-I am reluctant to say that black stands better here,because white has the pair of bishops,he already has one pawn in the center,while black is also quiet undeveloped,with the exception of his queen.(However,queen's travel also doesn't achieve much,since white has only one unprotected square,the pawn c2-4...Qe4 5.c3Qc2 6.Bd2,followed by Rc1.Actually,it only strenghtens white's position.) So,let's say,that after 4.Ke2 white will most probably continue with f3,Kf2,and so on,with very sharp and unclear play-if black doesn't achieve something quickly,white will be better due to bishop pair/weakened light squares in black's position on the queenside.

    And secondly,what about 1.d4b6 2.c4? Here are some very short analysis: 1.d4b6 2.c4Bb7 (2...Ba6 3.b3d5?! 3.cd5!?...(3.Ne3!?)3...Qd5 4.Nf3,followed by Nc3-white has the center here and the same goes for 2...d5?! 3.cd5Qd5 4.Nf3.) 3.d5e6 (Or 3...Nf6 4.Nc3e6 5.e4Bb4 5.Bd3,which transposes to 3...e6.) 4.e4Bb4 5.Nc3Nf6 6.Bd30-0 7.Ne2 and-since white has the center and black's queen is now also out of play,black may try piece sacrifice-7...ed5 8.cd5Bd5 9.ed5Qd5 and now 10.Nf4...(Also interesting is 10.Bc2Qg2 11.Rg1Qf3(11...Qh2? 12.Bf4,followed by 0-0-0.)12.Rg3!?...(12.Bh6?!Ng4) 12...Qh1 13.Rg1Qf3 draw?) 10...Qe5 (10...Re8? 11.Be3) 11.Ne2!?...(In case of 11.Be3?!Ng4 is annoying,for example 12.0-0g5!?) 11...Qd5 12.Nf4 with possible repetition of moves and a draw.

  2. Nice analysis marljivi enjoyed it! I like your idea of white's potential king safety via Kf1-e2-f2. Also enjoyed the discovery of black's piece sacrifice 8..Bxd5!?