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I was playing as white against my Excalibur tonight at level 20 and had the following game.

1. d4 d5; 2. c4 dxc5; Queen's Gambit Accepted... 3. Nf3 Bf5?! This is one I really can't figure out. It seems he's offering either some major initiative/space, or something more as you'll see in a moment. The game continued as such...

4. Nc3 Nf6; I'm preparing an e4 advance and he's trying to stop it. 5. Bc5 Nc6; I'm willing to play with two knights to a bishop because I feel comfortable that with a successful e4 advance, I'll have plenty of space for advanced knight posts as well as give my opponent a poor doubled pawn structure. 6. Bxf6 exf6 Another one I can't figure out. Why take with the e pawn rather than the g pawn? Really the only thing I could think was that he wants a kingside castle with a good pawn structure, and doesn't want an isolated h pawn. Regardless, this allows me the e4 advance I was seeking.

7. e4 This forces his bishop elsewhere, allows me to recapture my pawn (at c4) while simultaneously developing my bishop, and gives me a HUGE space advantage in the center. This to me looks to be a very advantageous position for white.

Its next move (really the next few moves) shocked me. 7. ... Be6? I was so shocked that after I drew the first game (thanks to a few blunders on my part), that I had to play it again to see if the computer just made a mistake. Can anyone tell me what's up with this? 8. d5 Bxd5 and I was left with a bit of question of what to do next. Down two pawns and guaranteed a minor piece advantage, I decided I didn't especially feel like allowing the queens to hang around on the board, nor did I want my e pawn to move to become isolated on the d file. 9. Qxd5 Qxd5; 10. Nxd5 and there it is. I'm up a knight, down two pawns (with one of its ready to fall, so really only down one pawn), and threatening the rook fork by 11. Nxc7. Its next move was a 10. ... 0-0-0 kingside castle.

The second game I played I cleanly won. I can't figure out why the computer would have moved the bishop to e6 though. Anyone have any explanation that might find some reasoning? The only thing I could think is that the computer hopes that I capture at d5 at some point with my pawn, thus having that isolated pawn to attack and a two or three pawn majority after a capture. Other than that, I can't figure out why this move would be at ALL beneficial.

The other move I can't figure out as whether or not it's any good is the 3. ... Bf5 move. To me it begs for an e4 advance, and with that spacial advantage and the poor pawn structure black would have, I'm very happy to play with two knights against his two bishops. Am I wrong in saying that? Is there some better way for me to proceed through this than what I did?

Any insight would be much appreciated. I know it's just a computer and not the greatest, but at level 20 it plays a pretty good game and I would not expect it to make the careless 7. ... Be6 at any level past level five. Honestly at level 20 I would expect that it wouldn't play 3. ... Bf5 unless it gives black some sort of advantage that I'm not seeing, or seems to feel that playing with two bishops and an open file for a rook due to doubled pawns is better suited than two knights, initiative, and tons of central space.

Chris
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