Puzzle of the week #377

Submitted by Eugen on Sun, 11/17/2019 - 17:15

French defence, Advance variation

Chess Diagram
[Event "Puzzle #377"][Date "2019.11.17"][Result "0-1"]1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Nc3 Nf5 9.Kf1 Bd7 10.Na4 Qd8 11.Bf4 Be7 12.g4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Nc5 Bc8 15.Qd2 f6 16.Kg2 O-O 17.Bg3 fxe5 18.dxe5 d4 19.Bxh4 Qxh4 20.Nd3 b6 21.f4 Bb7 22.Bf3 Na5 23.h3 Nc4 24.Qe2 Ne3+ 25.Kh2 Rac8 26.Rac1 Ba6 27.Be4
Replay the opening moves available for this game. Black has a central passed pawn and Ne3 in an advanced outpost. In the same time white has a nice pawn majority on the King side. Your tasks:
a) Name the opening
b) Who stands better and why?
c) Black to move and win

Total available points for this puzzle is 25. The answers will be published next time together with puzzle #378.

Puzzle #376 solution:
Game Svoboda – Cech, TCh-CZE 1 Liga Zapad 2017. This week's best answers are by the top scorers; however the analysis could have been a bit deeper, extending beyond simply winning white's Queen:
a) The opening is French Defence, Winawer variation
b) Black has the advantage because:
- Black's King is safe, while the white one is not
- Black dominates the center and has one passed pawn there
- Black is attacking white's King
- Three white pieces (Bc1, Bf1 and Rh1) have not moved and do little to nothing; practically white is playing down three pieces
c) Solution:
[Event "Puzzle #376"][Date "2019.11.03"][Result "0-1"]1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 dxc3 12.h4 Bd7 13.h5 O-O-O 14.Qd3 Nf5 15.Rb1 f6 16.exf6 e5 17.f7 Rgf8 18.g4 Nfd4 19.f5 e4 20.Qxc3 Nf3+ 21.Kf2 d4 22.Qc5 {Solution} e3+ 23.Kg2 {In the game} (23.Kxf3 Ne5+ 24.Qxe5 Qxe5 {Black wins}) (23.Bxe3 {This would have been the best answer. That Bishop is doing nothing anyway} dxe3+ 24.Qxe3 Nce5 25.Qxa7 Bc6 26.Rb4 Qxf7 {Black is winning}) 23...Rxf7 24.Ng3 Rg7 25.Qd5 Rxg4 26.Qxf3 Rf4 27.Qd1 Rf2+ 28.Kh3 Rg8 {Black wins}

Correct solutions:
Zhengyu - 20 points
Harry, Walter, Aiden, Glyn, Joey, Lucas, Matthew, Eric - 15 points
Zach - 10 points
Steven - 5 points

Matthew - 87 points
Eric, Zhengyu - 85 points
Aiden - 78 points
Harry - 73 points
Joey - 72 points
Walter - 66 points
Lucas - 43 points
Glyn - 39 points
Zach - 37 points
Lyvia - 11 points
Steven - 5 points