I found myself in a game with this position. Last Black's move was a Queenside castle, which let him a little bit uncovered. My first spontaneous move idea (which I finally played, because of time trouble and having no really other interesting idea) was to play Rc1, to put pressure on the king on the C column added to the fact that my bishop on f4 makes the move Kb8 impossible (and then c4 etc).

enter image description here

However, this can be easily countered just by playing Bd6.

So, we all know the importance of a threat (which is, like Nimzowistch said, stronger than the execution), but do you think it's a good move in this position ? or, knowing that it can be countered, do I had to choose another "more effective" move ? (like I don't know : a4 ?)

Would you have played Rc1 ? If not, what would have been the best move ?

  • 1
    Maybe you could switch up the move order, and play c4 first. That way Bd6 is impossible, due to c5. And one more note: it's never very interesting to know the "the best move for you". A move is either good, ok or bad, and that NEVER depends on the player. It ONLY depends on the current position on the board.
    – Scounged
    Sep 10, 2016 at 18:26
  • Corrected. But yeah, I tought about c4 first without seeing the c5 possibility ... !
    – Koblenz
    Sep 10, 2016 at 19:53
  • c4 looks good. Also, Rc1, instead of Bd6, Ba3 then Bd6 should be considered for your opponent. Sep 10, 2016 at 21:47
  • Interesting position. I agree that long castle seems dubious. Sep 11, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    If Rc1 then Ba3 (noted by CognisMantis) actually traps the Rook (Ra1 Bb2). Since you're going to lose the Exchange, you might as well continue with c4, but it seems a rather speculative sacrifice. Sep 11, 2016 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


Stockfish thinks 1. Rc1 leads to a even game or maybe a draw. It's undone immediately by 1. ... Ba3.

Stockfish preferred 1. Nh4 with a 60 centi-pawn advantage to White.

[FEN "2kr1b1r/pp3p1p/1q2pp2/3p1b2/3P1B2/1PP2N2/P4PPP/R2QR1K1 w - - 0 1"]

1.Nh4 Bg6 2.Qf3 Be4 3.Qh5 Rd7 4.Rad1 Rg8 5.c4 Bb4 6.Re3 Qc6 7.Qe2 Bd6 8.Bxd6 Qxd6 9.f3 Bg6 10.c5 Qf4 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.b4 Qc7 13.b5 Kb8 14.Rb3 b6 15.Qe3 g5 16.Rc1 Qf4

The 1. c4 move fares ok at about 40 centi-pawns but by the end any winning chances look like an illusion.

[FEN "2kr1b1r/pp3p1p/1q2pp2/3p1b2/3P1B2/1PP2N2/P4PPP/R2QR1K1 w - - 0 1"]

1.c4 dxc4 2.Rc1 Bd6 3.Bxd6 Qxd6 4.bxc4 Rhg8 5.d5 Qf4 6.g3 h5 7.Nd4 h4 8.Nxf5 Qxf5 9.Rc3 exd5 10.cxd5+ Kb8 11.d6 Qd7 12.Rc7 Qxd6 13.Qxd6 Rxd6 14.Rxf7 a6 15.Ree7 b5 16.Kg2 hxg3 17.hxg3 Rgd8 18.Kf3 Rd3+ 19.Kf4 Rd2 20.Rb7+ Ka8 21.Ra7+ Kb8 22.Rxa6 Rxf2+ 23.Ke3 Rg2 24.Rb6+ Kc8 25.Rxb5 Rxa2  (964.21)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.