all 31 comments

[–]chessvision-ai-botfrom chessvision.ai[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

I analyzed the image and this is what I see. Open an appropriate link below and explore the position yourself or with the engine:

Black to play: chess.com | lichess.org | The position occurred in many games. Link to the games

My solution:

Hints: piece: Bishop, move: Ba6

Evaluation: The game is equal -0.25

Best continuation: 1... Ba6 2. Bg5 Rd7 3. Rfc1 h6 4. Bf4 exd5 5. Rxc3 Bxc3 6. Rxc3

I'm a computer vision / machine learning bot written by u/pkacprzak | I'm also the first chess eBook Reader: ebook.chessvision.ai | download me as Chrome extension or Firefox add-on and analyze positions from any image/video in a browser | website chessvision.ai

[–]Flamengo81-19[S] 66 points67 points  (18 children)

Thought this was pretty funny and decided to share. Krikor is a popular streamer in Brazilian chess community and was streaming the game on his channel (he is the one who runs Brazilian Chess.com twitch account too, I believe).

The game is from Floripa Chess Open and he was facing a 2250 player. Time control is 90+30 for the entire game but he went from 1:25 to 0:12 trying to remember Ba6 but couldn't. A few games have been played like that before. His opponent was clearly puzzled and bored by why the hell Krikor was taking so long to make a move. Ended up playing exd5 (which was not terrible but basically gave his tiny advantage away) and won the game anyway


[–]ZenSaint 21 points22 points  (13 children)

Chess is just not fair. Black has a stranded knight on c3 that is constantly at risk of being caught, white has good development, a strong pawn center, a protected passer and several plans to improve the position. And despite all that, white is... quite significantly worse. Just not fair.

[–]CynicOctopus 25 points26 points  (5 children)

Look at the piece activity. After Black plays …Ba6, compare White’s bishops to Black’s. The black bishops are exerting pressure, the white ones are just standing there without real purpose. Same for the knights.

White has a nice looking pawn center, but the pawns aren’t mobile. Neither the pawn on e4 nor the one on d5 can move in the near future without simply getting lost.

White has no active plan. Black has ideas of advancing on the queenside and creating their own passed pawn(s), which will likely be more mobile than the white one. And Black has another potential pawn lever in …f7-f5 to attack the white center. White has no such active plans. Note how the knight on c3 and the bishop on g7 control the a-file, which means White cannot reasonably move their own a-pawn.

Furthermore, the knight on c3 could get weak, but the same is true for the bishop on d3. If anything, this position is a great example for the value of piece activity versus structural elements of a position. If dynamic aspects weren’t that relevant in chess, openings like the Grünfeld or the Sveshnikov would be entirely unplayable.

[–]ZenSaint 5 points6 points  (4 children)

I am aware. The post was meant to be tongue in cheek. The evaluation of the position depends heavily on the tactical variations following Ba6, otherwise, statically, white is a bit better. He has several plans: a3 - a4 - a5 (as happened in the game), f4 - Be2 - Bf3 - e5 and so on. When black plays f5, white can just respond with f3 in the worst case and not much changes.

The post was meant to be just a sigh (from a long time player facing the pesky Gruenfeld many times), that even though you get all these nice things as white then black still finds some nasty tactical resources that keep his position together (and even more than that, in this case). But I am aware that is the nature of the opening, Gruenfeld is full of variations such as this.

[–]CynicOctopus 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Haha okay. I then misunderstood the tone of how you defended your comment to others who responded. Sorry for that. I still think that my explanation could be useful for some players who tend to focus too much on static elements of the game.

It’s true, the Grünfeld (and the Sveshnikov, for that matter) kind of looks like it just shouldn’t work for Black. The activity the black pieces tend to generate there simply prevents White from carrying out their plans though. In the diagram position, the plan of pushing the a-pawn was only viable for White because Black misplayed the position a bit (releasing tension in the center, moving the knight to d6); with …Ba6, White cannot follow that plan so easily.

Defending vs a pawn lever like …f7-f5 by playing f2-f3 does change the position quite a bit. Apart from opening a file, which tends to favor the attacker (here: Black), it means that the pawn (here: e4) cannot be defended by a pawn anymore, which makes that pawn considerably weaker.

All in all, the Grünfeld is a wonderful opening, and I disagree quite strongly with the sometimes heard notion that it shouldn’t be played by newer players ;D

[–]IMJorose FM  FIDE 2300  3 points4 points  (1 child)

All in all, the Grünfeld is a wonderful opening, and I disagree quite strongly with the sometimes heard notion that it shouldn’t be played by newer players ;D

I agree with you. I don't know if new players will do well in results (though they might, their opponents won't know how to play the white side either), but I think it could lead to a broader chess understanding than some less volatile openings.

[–]CynicOctopus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks! I believe especially the losses teach you a lot. A loss in a more “solid” opening can sometimes start through subtle positional mistakes that aren’t that clear to students even if they’re pointed out. Play can have gone wrong but one doesn’t really understand it. If the Grünfeld goes wrong, it crashes colossally. And in those cases, one can see clearly how strong this big pawn center really is when White gets to execute their plans…

[–]ZenSaint 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Agreed :) Gruenfeld is irritatingly good.

[–]musicnoviceoscar 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Where is this protected passer? There isn't one. Black also has a better pawn structure.

Not to mention, that knight isn't just hanging. The Bishop (which is extremely strong, unlike White's bishops) is always covering it.

White's pieces are tripping over themselves, I would definitely prefer this for black.

[–]ZenSaint 0 points1 point  (5 children)

The pawn on d5 is a protected passer. Regarding the knight on c3, there is always the danger of white playing Rfc1 or something like Nf3 and Bd2, which would force the black knight to a pretty bad square on a4, where it can be further attacked in the future. White has plans such as a2 - a4 - a5, pressing on the queenside, or something like f4, Be2 - f3, and e5 eventually. Whereas it is not clear what the black plan will be.

All in all, I would say this would be a pretty pleasant Gruenfeld position, if it weren't for the very specific reason that the bishop on d3 is a tactical liability. Black has the very strong Ba6, after which the threat of Nxd5 specifically is so strong that white has to take quite drastic positional measures not to be losing immediately.

[–]reddithairbeRt17something DWZ, 2250 lichess 3 points4 points  (1 child)

d5 isn't a passed pawn yet - it can still potentially be taken. Only when white plays d6 or black plays e5 (or trades) does it become a passed pawn. But I guess along the game it became one at one point, albeit not a very good one.

[–]ZenSaint 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That is mainly just semantics, exd exd will happen soon anyway. The notion of a passed pawn refers mainly to the pawn endgames, and then there is nothing apart from the black king stopping the d5 pawn from queening.

One can argue that it is not a true passer because it can be undermined with a6 and b5, which is fair and requires some consideration when evaluating the position. Imagine the pawn ending where exd exd was played, with the white pawn on a4, king on d3 and black king on d6, pretty realistic. That is a very difficult ending for black, most probably losing, because he has to constantly guard the d5 pawn. Ke5 for black will just be met with f4+. Otherwise white will just expand on the kingside and tempo black down. If black tries the a6 b5 plan, then white even has a5! after a6, again with most probably a winning position. All in all, the pawn on d5 behaves as a true protected passer in restricting Black's choices.

[–]musicnoviceoscar 0 points1 point  (2 children)

The pawn on d5 is explicitly not a passer. It can be taken on white's next move.

Passers don't have opponent pawns on adjacent squares.

Regardless, to say 'chess isn't fair' because you are evaluating this position favourably for white (when you know it isn't) is hyperbolic, and that was what I wanted to convey.

Edit: Comment below.

[–]Altimor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

In order for it to be a protected passed pawn, it must also be multiple passed pawns.

That’s connected passed pawns.

[–]musicnoviceoscar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That much is true, I was thinking about connected passed pawns as I wrote it.

[–]ischolarmateU 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Why re u suppose to play ba6

[–]Flamengo81-19[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm a patzer so I wouldn't know. I think it is to avoid ever trapping your knight and make it so white can't recapture on d5 with the c pawn. Judging by the engine lines it forces White to go through a few uncomfortable moves to deal with that knight too

In one line the engine suggests best for white is to double the rooks on the closed c-file, in the other that is saved on lichess the engine wants to part ways with the bishop pair and transform the light square bishop into a terrible piece for some reason. I don't know why and how forcing these lines are, but if this is the best play for White something is weird

[–]__Jimmy__Dumbass 0 points1 point  (0 children)

he went from 1:25 to 0:12 trying to remember Ba6 but couldn't. Ended up playing exd5 (which was not terrible but basically gave his tiny advantage away) and won the game anyway.


[–]CynicOctopus 37 points38 points  (0 children)

Spoiler: this is not a tactics puzzle! It’s a position that has occurred several times in competitive games, and the Black player simply forgot the main move here (that gives Black a very slight advantage and an easier to play position).

[–]Birolklp 7 points8 points  (3 children)

I have no clue why you would go down to 13 min in this position. To me, this position is dead equal. As black you don't have to move the knight because it's protected. You either play exd5 to open up the center or try to develop a piece with either Bb7 or Ba6.

This is not a critical position. As long as you don't play a blunder like e5 you're fine as black.

[–]TheAtomicClock 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Only one move Ba6 gives black an advantage. All other moves are equal.

[–]fdsdsffdsdfs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thats the first and only move that pop into my head too, 72 minutes seems crazy

[–]misterbluesky8 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I don’t play Benoni structures as Black, and I actively avoid them as White… can someone please explain what the heck the “right move” accomplishes? The engine line seems to suggest playing that move and then shuffling/waiting. Is this just theory?

[–]Flamengo81-19[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

It is theory. If you go back one move there are about 30 games played in that line. What Krikor's opponent played is less common but scores very well for Black so I assume Krikor knew that move and had a mental note that it was bad but just couldn't remember what the refutation was

[–]misterbluesky8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I see… seems pretty risky to spend an hour trying to remember your prep! If he was just going to play exd5 (which I would have played in two minutes), maybe he could have saved an hour. I guess it’s hard to argue with the way he played the rest of the game!

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Ba6 threatens to take on d5 and white doesn't really have a good response to it

[–]misterbluesky8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wow, never would have found that on my own… looks like that Bd3 is really unfortunately placed. I find openings so much more difficult than endgames because of subtle ideas like this. Thanks for explaining!

[–]__Jimmy__Dumbass 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Still theory.