Puzzle of the week #210

Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #210"][Date "2012.11.24"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2r2r1k/6pp/6b1/1p2P3/3q1P2/BQP1p3/7P/2R2RK1 b - - 0 34"]

Each one of us plays differently according with our style and preferences. Some play sharp and attacking, others prefer close positions with long maneuvers. You have to be ready for any style and you can get better at that by practicing regularly. This is a position played between 2 young and promising players. Black is better and is facing now an interesting decision: how to respond to White's last move 34.c3 ... attacking his Queen? Your tasks:
a) Explain why Black is better
b) Choose the best line for Black you can think of

Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #211.

Puzzle #209 solution:
Game: Irene Nicolas Zapata - K Cemhan, U18 Girls WYCC 2012 Maribor, Slovenia. This time around it is Danny's answer leading the way. I took the liberty of re-arranging some of it in a clearer order as he was going back and forth between White and Black.
a) Black's up a pawn. White's King is probably safer because Black's King is attacked by Ng5 and White Queen, while both light-squared Bishops are scissoring each others kings. The c-file is open and occupied by Black. It seems that Black is defending OK.
The center is open, Black has a piece in it that is attacked and white controls the rest of the center.
White is attacking and has a pin down the open d-file. It also has 2 isolated pawns; the f6 knight is hanging.
Conclusion: White has obtained an attack, a good position and a pin. Black has obtained an extra pawn, an open file and a decent defense.

[Event "Puzzle #209"][Date "2012.11.19"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2rqr1k1/4np2/p3pnp1/1p1b2N1/7Q/1BN1R3/PP3P1P/3R2K1 w - - 0 1"]1.Nxe6! fxe6 (1...Qd7 2.Nxd5 Nfxd5 3.Rh3 fxe6 4.Qh8+ Kf7 5.Rh7#) 2.Qxf6 Rf8 (2...Nf5 3.Qxg6+ Kf8 4.Rh3 Ke7 5.Rh7+ Kd6 6.Rxd5+ {White wins}) 3.Nxd5! Rxf6 (3...Nxd5 4.Qxg6+ {White wins}) (3...exd5 4.Bxd5+ Nxd5 5.Qxg6+ {White wins}) 4.Nxf6+ Kf7 5.Rxd8 Rxd8 6.Rxe6 {White is up a piece}

Correct solutions:
Danny - 19 points
Daniel - 15 points
Derrick, Justin - 10 points
James - 8 points

James - 98 points
Danny - 82 points
Daniel - 74 points
Derrick - 69 points
Justin - 46 points
Ziyao, Leo - 15 points
Richard - 10 points
Aditya - 8 points
Raymond - 5 points


Storming the castle (9)