The only move suggested here by every chess engine is 17. b4

Can anyone please advise why is it so important?

[fen "r3k2r/ppp2pp1/7p/3pP3/3P2b1/5N2/RP1KBPPP/7R w - - 0 1"]
  • A way for you to figure this out is to play other moves and see how the engine punishes you.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 11:31
  • I tried many moves and trust there are many moves that yield good score. But this move yields a way too high score compared to other. And I was wondering why. But then @Tanj 's answer did help a lot
    – Md. Mohsin
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 5:57
  • How do you embed this fantastic game player into the post? I've been having difficulty finding documentation on it.
    – Nebri
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 14:14
  • @Nebri I don't know if the documentation is in one place, but some information is on meta. meta.chess.stackexchange.com/questions/179/… Another way is to 'view source' on one of our web pages with a board and see how it is done. It's fiddly but not too hard.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


Black is down material but still has some strength. The most obvious one is that he has a pawn majority on the queenside, meaning potentially passed pawn if he manages to push his majority. So Black's plan will be to put both rooks behind the pawns and go for ...a5-a4, ...b5-b4 etc...

In a very simple way White can fight against Black play (it's prophylaxie) by pushing b4 preventing ...a5 and ...c5. Moreover if we manage to push b4-b5, the pawn on a7 will now be a weakness so we can attack it (doubling rooks on a-file).

  • awesome! yes, occupying b4 kind of troubles black pawn advances. Plus white's rooks are easy to occupy the open files. The only strength in black's play is queenside pawns, so true. Thank you @Tanj
    – Md. Mohsin
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:12

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