6

I found myself in this position as a Black, and it is Black's move. I was thinking to somehow engage on the king's side in the end due to a stopped attack on the queenside. However, I checked few scenarios with the pawn exchange on f4/e5, or moving knight to h5 (?) to open f7 pawn, or pushing my g6 pawn to attack, so the light-squared bishop can escape. After that, I was thinking of what would happen if White would attack or push with his pawn on f4. All the scenarios I found were bad.

Also, after my plan of pushing on the queenside ended with this pawn wall, I thought about some attack on the kingside with Bgh3 followed by the queen, but this attack can end with White just moving to f5.

Does this position seem stable? How can I recreate a strong attack?

[FEN "r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1"]
3
  • White's pieces look better coordinated than Black's. Perhaps you should start worrying about defense? exf4 looks like it is playing with fire. Jan 7 at 23:11
  • I'm surprised by what is being said. Assuming it is Black's move (important!) I thought after exf4 I thought Black marginally better! The dark squared bishop now has a nice open line with ideas of coming to d4, the knight has a way in through, the half open e file allows pressure, and the knight on b6 ties down a white piece or two on the Q side protecting the pawns on a4 and c4. And stockfish agrees putting black about 0.3-0.4 better, which I admit is marginal, and a "strong attack" at the moment is much too optimistic - but I still think Black very much has everything to play for.
    – Ian Bush
    Jan 8 at 8:05
  • @IanBush You are correct, my assessment was too hasty. White possibly had a slightly better position prior to their last move but their pawn break was premature. Jan 8 at 13:13
6

Having the kings indian as my main opening in response for 1.d4 I see nothing immediately loosing (I might be wrong) and would personally be happy to play this position. The variations I have considered are hopefully inline with my argument that black is doing fine and If I have missed something obvious or have misrepresented white please let me know.

Variation 1.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. h3 Bd4+ 4. Kh1 Qe7 5.hxg4 Qh4+

From here you will at least get a rook for two minor pieces after white blocks and knight g3+. More importantly we can note that white has not done anything in the last 4 moves that could be considered active, so I would think the tempo gained for the bishop is worth it.

Well, white took black's bishop with the h-pawn... perhaps another move is possible, say going after the monster bishop on d4. (note in the following that giving up the rook on a1 i.e moving the knight on c3 to attack d4 is horrible for white);

Variation 2.

    r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. h3 Bd4+ 4. Kh1 Qe7 5.Nb3 Qh4 6. Nxd4 cxd4

Here black is looking to be an exchange up with Ng3+ which is made possible by the knight on c3 being under attack. I would say white was better in variation 1 then here.

A major flaw in the above variations have been kh1 as it has set up the main Ng3+ ending for black which have reduced material inequality. So what about kh2:

Variation 3.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. h3 Bd4+ 4. Kh2 Nxf4 5. Rxf4 Be5 6. hxg4 Bxf4+ 7. Kg1 Qxg4

Here black is up a rook and two pawns and some tempo for two minor pieces. A drawback is of course having only two active pieces, so f5 must probably be played soon if black is to win/draw.

Now the question arises if 2. gxf4 is any good for white... perhaps instead 2. Rxf4:

Variation 4.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. Rxf4 Nh5 3. Rf1 Bd4+ 4. Kh1 f5 5.exf5? Bxf5
  1. exf5 seems way to dubious for white as it just improves the bishop for black and the two open files are easier occupied by black's rooks.

Variation 5.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. Rxf4 Nh5 3. Rf1 Bd4+ 4. Kh1 f5 5.h3 f4 6. hxg4 Nxg3+

As @John Coleman points out in the comments I have been partial to h3. Therefore I am adding some more variations in which Nf3 is played to which I believe the key response is Bxf3;

Variation 6.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. Nf3 Bxf3 4. Bxf3 Qh3 5. Be3 f5

Variation 7.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. Nf3 Bxf3 4. Qxf3 Nxc4

Variation 8.

r4rk1/1p1q1pb1/1n1p1npp/pPpPp3/P1P1PPb1/2NQ2P1/3N2BP/R1B2RK1 b Qq - 0 1

1... exf4 2. gxf4 Nh5 3. Nf3 Bxf3 4. Rxf3 f5

Each of these variations need analysis in themselves. Variation 7 does not look appetizing at all for white and can probably be disregarded. In variation 6 it looks like black has trapped their own queen after say 1... Bg2 however 1.. Qxe3 2. Qxe3 Bd4! pins the queen to the king and all is good. Variation 6 and 8 looks decent for black with the clear goal of bringing the rook from a8 to e8. While white also has a decent position in those variations, there are some concerns with defending c4 with some piece other than the queen and getting the a1 rook into the game.

6
  • Nice answer, I underestimated some of the latent power in Black's position. In the first 3 variations, why 3 h3? I would probably play Nf3 instead (with similar remarks in variation 5). h3 while black has a knight eyeing g3 is just asking for trouble. Jan 8 at 13:25
  • I just thought that if Nf3 then Bxf3 because if queen takes then c4 is hanging and if bishop takes then Qh3 is an annoying pin and if rook takes then f5 looks good.h3 looked most consistent with f4 but you are right, it is really asking for trouble. I will add some Nf3 variations aswell, thanks for the suggestion! Jan 8 at 14:05
  • What about 5 Be2 in variation 6 offering to trade queens? Jan 8 at 15:38
  • That would just hang the knight on c3 after the queen trade, I.e 5. Be2 Qxd3 6.Bxd3 Bxc3 Jan 8 at 15:47
  • 2
    I am really amazed by the point of view of advanced players. I was thinking about some of your variations and didn't see these advantages that these moves give. I was thinking how to open this position to take a control and now this look really possible. I am starting my adventure with kings indian defense so these ideas you've all provided really will help to learn seeking for the best moves :) Thank you all.
    – Bomba
    Jan 8 at 17:00

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