Weekly Quiz No.6 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

Weekly Quiz No.6 – 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 White alongside future World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, and your opponent is the current World Chess Champion, Alexander Alekhine. The game was played in round 7 of the Avro tournament, Holland, in 1938 and you are about to play your 11th move.

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bc4 cxd4 8.exd4 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10.Re1 b6

This position looks simple or is it?

Your options are:
A) Play 11.Qe2 to develop/improve the position of the queen and to set up a potential king side attack, perhaps with a later Bd3 and Qe4.
B) Play 11.Ne4 to avoid any exchanges which is key in isolated queen pawn positions and to transfer the knight to the king side where it is needed for a potential king side attack.
C) Play 11.Bxd5 in a position where knights are stronger than bishops, also with the idea of following up with Ne5 with initiative.
D) Play 11.Nxd5 followed by Bb5 to take advantage of Black’s last weakening b6 move.
E) Play 11.Ne5, threatening Nxc6 and if 11…Nxe5, White has the intermezzo move 12.Bxd5 when Black’s d5 pawn (after the two recaptures) is weak.

Solution