Puzzle of the week #331

Level: 
2-Knight
Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #331"][Date "2018.01.14"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "r3r1k1/p2b1pp1/3qpnp1/3pN3/1p1P1P2/2P4R/PP1N2PP/R2Q2K1 w - - 0 1"]

In this middle game position white relies on the central Ne5 and Rh3 controlling a semi-open file; in the same time black relies on solid defence and hopes the b4-pawn will weaken white's Queen side. Your tasks:
a) Explain why this is a middle game position
b) Find the winning combination for white

Total available points for this puzzle is 10. A new points count starts with this puzzle. The answers will be published next time together with puzzle #332.

Puzzle #330 solution:
Puzzle by John A Bain, 2002. This week's best answers were provided by the top point scorers:
The choices are:
#1) 1. Rxe8+ (capture the attacking piece)
#2) 1. Rd1 (move away to cancel the attack)
#3) 1. Qe4 (block the attack)
#4) 1. Kf2 (defend the attacked piece with another one)
#5) 1. Qg4+ (counter attack a more important piece)
#6) 1. h4 (do none of the above and move another piece)
The best choice is #5.

[Event "Puzzle #330"][Date "2017.12.10"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "4r1k1/p1pq1p1p/8/3p4/5Q2/1P3PP1/P1P3KP/4R3 w - - 0 1"]1. Qg4+ Qxg4 (1... Kf8 2. Qxd7) 2. Rxe8+ Kg7 3. fxg4

Correct solutions:
Matthew, Glyn, Lyvia, Ellie, Justin, Joey, Blake, Eric - 10 points
Darius - 7 points
Coby - 6 points
Zheng Yu, Brian, Lucas, Chris - 2 points

Zheng Yu - 2 points for puzzle #329

FINAL STANDINGS 2017:
Matthew - 109 points
Lyvia - 90 points
Coby - 79 points

Eric - 78 points
Glyn - 74 points
Blake - 61 points
Joey - 58 points
Darius - 49 points
Justin, Ellie - 48 points
Zheng Yu - 28 points
Brian - 24 points
Lucas - 23 points
Itamar - 20 points
Chris - 4 points
Jacey - 3 points

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