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Here as white, I played b4:

[FEN ""]
[Startply "46"]

1. c4 g6 { A10 English Opening: Great Snake Variation } 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Ne7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. d3 d5 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. d4 Nbc6 10. e3 b6 11. a4 Qd7 12. Bd2 h6 13. h3 Ba6 14. Re1 Rae8 15. Nb5 Rc8 16. Bc3 h5 17. h4 Bb7 18. Qd2 Nf5 19. a5 Ba6 20. Na3 bxa5 21. Bxa5 Qb7 22. Nc2 Nxa5 23. Qxa5 Bc4 24. b4 (24. Nb4)

Using stockfish when I try to learn from my mistakes, it shows that Nb4 is the best move, but what is an explanation for why it is the best move and why b4 is not a good move?

1 Answer 1

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Nb4 is the best move, but what is an explanation for why it is the best move and why b4 is not a good move?

In the position where you played b4 your knight on c2 is under an x-ray attack from the rook om c8. Once the bishop moves out of the way you have to move your knight or protect it. Your knight can only move to a3 or b4. On a3 it cuts the co-ordination between your queen and rook.

After your b4 move black's obvious move is to move the bishop out of the way and attack your knight. Bd3 looks like the best square for the bishop, double attacking the knight and then Na3 is forced.

[fen "2r2rk1/pq3pb1/4p1p1/Q2p1n1p/1PbP3P/4PNP1/2N2PB1/R3R1K1 b - - 0 1"]

1...Bd3 2. Na3 Qb8 {eyeing up the g3 pawn}

and black looks like winning the fight for control of the open c file and stands better.

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