Why does the engine prefer ...11Be4 or Ne4 instead of c5 in this position? I would've played one of those moves if e4 is threatened but why is it still so strong?
c5 changes the structure. What Stockfish really dislikes is 12...Nxc5 due to 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. b4 Ne4 15. Nh4 (or 15. Qd3 and 16. Nd4), and white may be able to exploit the precarious position of your knight (e.g. by forcing ...d5 exd5 exd5 for an isolated pawn). 12...bxc5 was ok, but I think the opening up of the diagonal still favors white.
11...Be4 12. Qd2 d5 entombs white's dark-squared bishop. Stockfish calls the position equal, but I'd much prefer to be black.
Very interesting, thanks for your detailed insights, helped me a lot!
Engines are weak in openings, as the relevant events lie behind their horizon. 11...c5, 11...Ne4 and 11...Be4 all seem viable. 11...Be4 may be stronger as it gains a tempo. After 11...c5 12 dxc5 you should indeed recapture 12...bxc5, when you have effectively traded your wing pawn b6 for his center pawn d4, quite an accomplishment.
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