Weekly Quiz No.12 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

Weekly Quiz No.12 – 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 at least one better plan (and move) and 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 the future World Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik, and your opponent is Vitaly Chekhover. The game was played at the Russian Championship in Leningrad in 1938 and you are about to play your 16th move.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Bg5 d6 6.e3 Qe7 7.Be2 e5 8.Qc2 Re8 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.Rae1 Bg4 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Qe4 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Nc6

Your options are:
A) Play 16.dxc5 to open the d-file and force the recapture with a pawn.
B) Play 16.dxe5 to open the d-file and encourage Black to recapture with a piece on e5.
C) Play 16.Qc2 to maintain the pawn tension in the centre but remove the queen from any discovered threats from the rook on e8 and re-route to a4 exerting pressure on Black’s queenside.
D) Play 16.Qg4 to maintain the pawn tension in the centre but to remove the queen from any discovered threats from the rook on e8, whilst keeping an eye on d4 and maintain attacking intentions.
E) Play 16.Qb1 to maintain the pawn tension in the centre but to remove the queen from any discovered threats from the rook on e8 and immediately attack b7 distracting Black from his central pressure.
F) Play 16.d5 to close the centre and concentrate play on either the wings.

Solution