Monday, March 20, 2017

A tough nut to crack

Just looking at "Long Bogo" Bogoljubow position with my new Stockfish 8 toy boy 👰  : 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf4 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 Bf5 (diagram)

I always believed 9.h3 was the key move here, but now I am not so sure anymore since white cannot avoid black swapping some pieces ; 9.h3 Ne4!! 10.Nxe4 Bxe5

Stockfish 8 now gives 11.Ng5 (diagram) as best and follows up 11...Bd5 (diagram)

I think everyone will agree with me that this is not a good position for the attacker - white has nothing for the pawn, maybe some distant development advantage, but certainly not worth a pawn. Stockfish suggests 12.Be3 as best now, which is certainly not a killer move 😞

Going back one move, at depth 26/46, my silicon assistant finds nothing better. Also at move 10, there is nothing better, so any improvement must come at move 9, when white played 9.h3.

The alternative is 9.Bh6 (diagram) which has the benefit of not exchanging any pieces needlessly as 9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Ng4 11.Qd2 is equal.

What did we learn today ? 8...Bf5 9.Bh6 is to be preferred over 8...Bf5 9.h3 in the Long Bogo. We will look at possible black moves in my next post.

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