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Between 18. Na2 and 18. Rac1, which is more favorable for white?


I think Na2 is the best though it takes the Knight away from the Centre of the board hindering basic Chess Principles but if you take a note then Black is ok on Centre and K-side and his weakness resides in the Queenside .

So Na2 removes the Knight from b4 and the Bishop can dominate on light Squares like c6 where it can attack the d5 Square . Also the a6 Pawn will become weak once the Knight is lost .


IM Silman gives this position as problem 3 in The reassess your chess workbook. He recommends 18. Na2:

Short played the surprising and strong 18. Na2!!. This idea ... shows that White considers the b4-Knight to be more important than its brother on e4. The reason is simple: the b4-Knight is the main guardian of Black's weak points on a6, c6 and d5.

IM Silman does not consider 18. Rac1 in his analysis.

  • Unfortunately, this does not answer the question. 18.Rac1!! also gets rid of the knight. – Jossie Calderon May 1 '17 at 17:12
  • (Hence the title of this post) – Jossie Calderon May 1 '17 at 17:24
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    @JossieCalderon 18.Rac1 gets rid of the knight on b4 how exactly? Note that Black is in no way forced to reply to 18.Rac1 with 18...c5. – Scounged May 1 '17 at 18:09
  • @Scounged that's correct. White then plays 19. Nd2. – Jossie Calderon May 1 '17 at 18:20
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    @JossieCalderon I see how that takes care of the knight on e4, but not the one on b4. – Scounged May 1 '17 at 18:53

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