Puzzle of the week #310

Submitted by Eugen on Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:32
Knight's position
Chess Diagram
[Event "Puzzle #310"][Date "2017.02.22"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2r1rk2/p5pp/2N2p2/1p1B4/1bp2PP1/8/PP5P/RN4K1 b - - 0 26"]
This game was played yesterday, Feb 21st in a top level World Championship match. If we strictly count the points on both sides, material is equal because white has 2 Knights for a Rook and a pawn; also both Kings look exposed. Your tasks:
a) Analyse the position and decide who stands better and why
b) Black to move and win the game

Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next time together with puzzle #311.

Puzzle #309 solution:
Game Ivanchuk – Aronian. Coco's answers were:
a) We are near the imaginary border between middlegame and endgame because:
1. The queens on both sides are off the board
2. Both kings are out and active (to support the pawn promotion)
3. Both sides can exchange pieces right now, hereby simplifying the position, and multiple pieces have traded off already
4. The pawns are starting to advance in hopes of queening

b) White has the advantage over black because:
1. White has doubled rooks in the semi-open file in the center, and is in more aggressive stance in comparison to black. (rooks and bishop pointing directly and indirectly at the king in the center of the board)
2. Black's king is in the center
3. It is white's turn to move
4. Black has the IQP in the near-endgame

c) The best line:
[Event "Puzzle #309"][Date "2017.02.14"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2r5/1b2kpp1/1p2n2p/pr1p4/8/P3PPKP/BP1R2P1/3RN3 w - - 0 16"]16. Nd3 {this natural move lead to a decisive advantage. Now white threatens to capture the b5-Rook by playing a3-a4. Benjamin, Jalen} (16. e4 {Cody, Coco} d4 {this is the best answer} 17. Bxe6 fxe6 18. Rxd4 Bc6 19. R1d2) (16. Bxd5 {Dheera, Deryk, Uros} Bxd5 17. Rxd5 Rxb2) d4 17. Bxe6 Kxe6 18. Nf4+ Ke7 19. Rxd4 Rc7 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 {white has won the IQP and will win the game}

Correct solutions:
Jalen - 25 points
Benjamin - 21 points
Cody, Coco - 17 points
Uros, Deryk - 7 points
Dheera - 6 points

Jalen - 75 points
Coco - 73 points
Cody - 64 points
Benjamin - 59 points
Bradley - 56 points
Deryk - 39 points
Uros - 29 points
Dheera - 13 points
Yakov - 11 points