Weekly Quiz No.14 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

Weekly Quiz No.14 – Find the Plan (and Move)!

This is the last of our Weekly Quiz Questions on Find the Plan (and Move)!

Like the previous 13, it has been taken from an actual game position and you have a number of possible options but only one might be best! This is different to the Puzzles as the solution does 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 is 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 – 11th September 2021

In today’s position you have Black alongside future Bangladesh Grandmaster Reefat bin-Sattar, and your opponent is future GM Ziaur Rahman. The game was played in Dhaka in 1993 and you are about to play your 22nd move.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 e5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.d5 Ne7 8.O-O O-O 9.a4 a5 10.Ne1 Nd7 11.Nd3 f5 12.f3 f4 13. b3 g5 14.Ba3 Rf7 15.c5 Nf6 16.b4 Bf8 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.bxa5 h5 19.Nf2 Ng6 20.Bb4 Rg7 21.h3 Nh4 22.Nb5

Your options are:
A) Play 22…b6 so that if White captures on b6 the black queen moves to an excellent square exerting pressure along the dark a7 to g1 diagonal.
B) Play 22…Nxf3+ as there is a tactical justification in this sacrifice and it accelerates Black’s attack.
C) Play 22…Ne8 overprotecting c7 and d6 freeing the black queen to attack on the kingside.
D) Play 22…g4 getting on with the attack and sacrificing a pawn to open lines.
E) Play 22…Bd7 with the idea of following up with Rc8 to contest the c-file. White cannot capture on d6 (i.e. 23.Nxd6 can be met by 23…Qb8 and 23.Bxd6 by 23…Bxb5).