Saturday, December 04, 2021 16:10

Drawish?

On Saturday my opponent and I had reached the following position:

Black to Move

Black to Move


My opponent offered a draw after Ng3. I don’t see a stunningly better move. The Rook must go to the d or e file (and Fritz later showed me c file, but not spectacular at all.) I took the draw.

Fritz 6 tells me that the position is a little over a half pawn in Black’s favor with that move, where other moves like Be6 (trade light Bishops) evaluate to the full-pawn that Black is actually up.
(The move and draw offer was somewhat off-board tactical, as well. I was happy to end my playing day then and on a draw.)

One of the hard parts about playing as a Club Player is making judgment calls on board positions. By which I mean that a Grandmaster would probably know instantly whether the position above is a pure draw…. in Grandmaster play. In the messiness of club play, though, blunders do happen (as does selecting sub-optimal lines of play either accidentally or deliberately.) I’ve seen games where a two pawn (or even full minor piece) advantage have come back to a win for the down player. (I’ve even seen recoveries from loss of Rook or Queen in scholastic play.)

My opponent is a little smarter than that – I don’t think he drops pieces all that often, if at all, anymore.

But still, I’m left with the question… is the position above drawish? Draw after Ng3? Or would you press on? No matter where your board positions take you, be sure to

Enjoy your chess!

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