-1
rnbqk2r/ppp1ppb1/3p1npp/8/2PPP3/2N5/PP1B1PPP/R2QKBNR b KQkq - 1 6

Normally, White plays (after 0... h6) 1. Be3 Ng4 2. Bc1, when Black has gained tempi but weakened his kingside.

Suppose White plays 1. Bd2 instead. Instantly I see that I can play 1... Nc6, and I don't want to play 1... c5 because the bishop on d2 aids the defense of White's queenside.

My biggest concern with 1... Nc6 is 2. d5 Nd4 3. Bxh6 Bxh6 4. Qxd4. Do I have enough compensation for the bishop pair?

And are there better moves than 1... Nc6 or 1... c5? Maybe I can play 1... c5, 2... e5, gaining central space and eventually gaining an outpost should White play f2-f4.

  • 5
    Why would white want to play Bd2? It seems to block the queen from defending d4 and I don't see where on the e1-a5 diagonal the bishop wants to go to. – user1583209 Feb 5 '18 at 19:19
  • @user1583209 Read the details of the question, sir. – Jossie Calderon Feb 5 '18 at 22:14
  • I read, but it does not say anything about the reason for playing Bd2. Why do you want the bishop on d2 instead of c1? White could develop his kingside first, no? – user1583209 Feb 6 '18 at 10:03
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    I suppose the rationale behind 6.Bd2 is to avoid harassment by the knight with ...Ng4, while protecting Nc3 and keeping the possibility of a battery with Qc1 to hit h6. Obviously the move has also serious minuses (lack of defense of d4, passivity). – Evargalo Feb 6 '18 at 13:51
  • @user1583209 "...the bishop on d2 aids the defense of White's queenside.". Please buy glasses, sir. – Jossie Calderon Feb 6 '18 at 17:49
1

I would castle and Kh7. This does allow for white pawn storm more effectively, but I feel that black's counterplay comes quickly.

The pawn sacrifice is interesting, although I prefer to play 3...Rxh6. Black would have total control of the dark squares and white has a bad bishop. Either side white castles on would give black attacking chances due to the open line for either the rook or the DSB.

Black's most active piece is the DSB, therefore c5 is a good move in most cases. If white castles on the kingside, the standard attacking plans involve the f5-f4 push.

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