And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?
1.Qd2! Putting pressure on the d6 pawn. Plan white: Rfd1 increasing the pressure on d6, b3 protecting c4, f3 protecting e4 if necessary. Look out for the appropriate moment to play Nd5 or exchange the dark bishop on h6.Plan black: black’s counter play is on the Q-side with a6, b5 and the bishop looking down the long diagonal and on the long run the breaking move f7-f5. But the rook belongs than behind the lever pawn. For now if he plays 1…Rd8? 2.Rfd1 Ne5 3. b3 and black is in trouble cause f4! is in the air.1…Nd4! 2.b3 (2.Bxd4? cxd4 3.Nd5 d3!) f5!
Indeed this is a miserable example. He doesn't explain the exchange sacrifice well in his book so you have little chance to guess the move in this position. From time to time all chess authors seem to demonstrate such braindamage, Aagaard is no exception. I only look for characteristics that are there but that I do not see. Even when I don't grasp the solution, hidden characteristics are often revealed. You must just move on quickly. I assume no book is quite free of such questionable stuff.
My thought process went like this:a. The key to the position is to note that Black's 2 most active pieces are his g7 bishop and e6 Knight. The Queen is strangely offside at b8. b. Black has a Knight that is likely to come to e5.c. Black's other Knight is also coming to d4 soon so I need to find a way to counteract it.If I allow these 2 Knights a chance to come into the center, White's position would be difficult.d. On the White side, the b2 pawn is weak.e. Black is very unlikely to trade the strong Bishop on g7 for the Knight on c3 else it just opens up the dark squares around his King and that is suicidal.I first thought about the move f4 then f5. to pry the position on Black's kingside open.But then I run into the problem of Black responding with Nd4. This is a monstrous Knight and needs to be removed.How do I do it?I cannot shuffle my Rook nor move my Queen to attack the d4 square once Black put his Knight there.With this in mind, it seems tempi is critical here. How about Rc2? I now protect the b-pawn.The move looks good. I'm also threatening to play Nb5 next attacking the d pawn so it looks like Black is forced to play a6 on the next move to stop to defend this crucial pawn.Afterwhich Black will surely play Nd4 on the next move and Rd2Black's Knight is now threatening to overwhelm the position with Ne5 and those 2 Knights will be a handful to deal with.So afterRd2 Nd4f4 (to stop Ne5)This is probably what I would play.
Hippo: I'm not overly afraid of the knight coming into d4 though it does stop the idea of piling on the d6 pawn. Perhaps Bg4 pinning the knight on e6. It might provoke f5, though I think that's a lousy move for black.It's funny looking position with the knight on e6. It looks like a Maroczy bind type position, though as Black I would not have been so eager to get rid of my e pawn. I can't even imagine the move sequence that had black capturing on e6. Having played the Black side of the Maroczy I know that one needs a lot of patience to get a break for Black. I've laso reached the White side by transposing against players of play c5 against my English.I like Qd2 because it not only gives White a chance to put a rook on d1, but also gives the possibility of Bh6 trying to trade Black's dark squared bishop.Nd5 also looks appealing just out of general principle
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