Weekly Quiz No.4 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

Weekly Quiz No.4 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

Over the summer, on each Saturday we will be providing a Weekly Quiz Question on Find the Plan (and Move)! This will be taken from an actual game position and you will be provided with a number of possible options but only one might be best! These will be different to the Puzzles as they do not lead to an immediate win or draw but will focus more on the right plan so we recommend that you spend 5 to 10 minutes considering the position.

There will be one better plan (and move) and at least one weaker plan (and move) with other plans (and moves) assessed as being somewhere in between.

Martin Simons welcomes your feedback on the weekly quiz and any game submissions you may have for inclusion.

In today’s position you have Black alongside one of England’s top Grandmasters, Jon Speelman, and your opponent is IM Alexander Panchenko. The game was played in round three of the Mar del Pata tournament in 1982 and you are about to play your 22nd move.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ne2 Ndf6 6.N2g3 Nxe4 7.Nxe4 Bf5 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h6 10.Be3 e6 11.h5 Bh7 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nf6 14.O-O-O Qa5 15.Kb1 O-O-O 16.f3 Be7 17.Ne2 Rd7 18.g4 Rhd8 19.c4 c5 20.Qc2 Qb6 21.dxc5 Bxc5 22.Bf4

Can you play like Jon Speelman and find a good positional move?

Your options are:
A) Play 22…Ba3 threatening Rxd1+ (twice) with mate on b2 so White would probably need to play the weakening 23.b3.
B) Play 22…Ng8 to re-route the knight to c6 where it exerts more pressure on the centre and queenside.
C) Play 22…Rxd1+ as White has more space so it makes sense to remove the rooks.
D) Play 22…Qc6 to attack White’s f-pawn which is difficult to defend.
E) Play 22…Be3 to try to exchange White’s dangerous bishop whilst also threatening 23…Rd2 winning the knight on e2.
F) Play 22…Bd6 to force White’s bishop off the h2-b8 diagonal or to exchange it.