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  3. I can't understand why my position is so good...

Good morning all.
Perhaps bullet are not chess, but they're perfect when you have no time to play but you still want to do...
This is a match I played.

20. Qc1 is clearly a blunder, but after 20. Qxc8 Qd8 21. Qxd8 Kxd8 22. Nxe1; Stockfish says I'm 4.2 points ahead.

4.2 points?? It's nearly a full rook!!

OK, I traded a knight for a rook (+2) and I still have both bishops, but is this enough? My pawn structure is no stronger than my opponent's, my dark bishop hasn't moved yet and my light one is nearly useless (in fact, Stockfish suggests 22. ... a5). Finally, I can't castle anymore, so my rook won't come in play very quickly.

So, what am I missing?


More active king in the endgame, both bishops, exchange up. Seems like a won position at this point, though requires some grinding.
White-squared bishop is not useless, if anything it prevents the white king from coming to the center. I assume, the goal of a5 is so that you can keep the bishop on this diagonal after white goes something like a4, because if you retreat to c6, it'll block the open file for your rook.

Well, I'm a patzer, but that's what comes to mind.

Just follow the machine. It gives perfect answers, it is up to you to ask intelligent questions.

Just play it with both colors against the engine and it will reveal the veil.

Pawn values are only guidelines. What matters is activity. Compare:

- The Ne1 can't do much. d3 is controlled by Black, so it can only go to c2 or f3. From c2, a3 and d4 are blocked. From f3, d4 and e5 are blocked and although the knight may get to g5 in two moves, f7 is easily defended and White cannot bring another piece to attack it. Nh4 is obviously not very useful.

- The Nf3 branch applies to the Nd2 as well. Additionally, c4 and e4 are blocked and b3 is too unless White sacrifices the pawn, but then Black simply plays ...b6, blocking a5 and c5 (d4 is still blocked too), and White did gain nothing for his investment.

- White doesn't really have adequate space and has a weakness on the light squares which will make it difficult and time-consuming to manoeuvre his knights.

- The Be3 has a bit more mobility, but no point to attack. Most of Black's pawns (and soon his king and rook too) are on light squares and Black will be the first to get to the a5-e1 diagonal - the best the white bishop can hope to do is to trade itself against its counterpart.

- White's king is cut off and will need a lot of time to become active.

- There is no good pawn break in sight for White at all.

- On the other side, Black's bishops will in one move control two adjacent open diagonals and make life hell for the white pieces.

- Black's king can simply go to d7: Much closer to the centre and the Rh8 is easily activated.

- The Rh8 has a beatiful open c-file that it can occupy in 3 moves (Kd7, Bb4, Rc8). White won't be able to organize his pieces in that time.

- Black has useful ways to use his pawns: After an eventual ...a4 and a trade of pawns, it will be difficult for White to defend his remaining queenside pawns against the rook, assisted by the bishops and a- and b-pawns (light square weakness + d4 is backwards). A ...f6 break remains in the cards as well.

=> absolutely no counterplay + good chances to create a passed pawn on the queenside soon, while the White king is cut off = -5.0 evaluation

Are you sure you read correctly? Judging from my view the computer said -11# towards black?


#-11 after 20. Qc1.

-4.0~5.0 after 20. Qxc8.

Black has the bishop pair. White has no outposts for the knights. Black has a rook for bishop. Unless black has a really bad pawn structure, just by the material it is considered decisive advantage, you won't win inmediately but it's enough advantage to always win. Something like Q+pawns vs R+pawns. There might be some play left but the advantage is already decisive.

After reading your answers, I agree black has a winning position.
But before reading them, I didn't realize my light bishop is blocking the opponent king, nor I saw a clear chance to have a passed pawn on queenside.