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I was contemplating on the position after 7...Be7 on Guess-The-Move (scored 37 points Par 35 BTW). It's easy to see that Black is gearing up for castling.
"Whenever the King is still in the center, I always look for ways to sacrifice even though I realize that the King is NOT in danger" - Mikhail Tal (in Attack With Tal).
This quote made an impression on me. And so my thinking was either I prevent him from castling or make castling unfavorable for him.
The candidates I have in mind are:
a. 8.Qd2 - preparing to castle long and throw up my Kingside pawns. Black has no counterplay with an undeveloped Q-side.
b. 8.0-0 - Which gets my king to safety, puts my Rook on the half open f-file. HOWEVER, I concluded that this is NOT aggressive enough. (Trying hard to be Tal I guess -_-)
c. 8.h4 - This one is in harmony of my Queenside castling idea. There could be possibilities of Bxh7 sacrifices...provides additional protection on Bg5.
d. 8.Ne5 - I thought this is the most aggressive of the moves. I'm basically threatening 9.Bxf6 and if Black takes back with either ...Bxf6 or ...gxf6 - I have Qd1-h5+.
If Black castles, 8...0-0, then I think I have 9.Bxf6. Recapturing with 9...Bxf6 and 9...gxf6 would submit his King to a strong attack.
9...Bxf6 10.Qh5. I haven't calculated it down to mate BUT it looks like White could have a nice attack going coupled with a pawn storm and queenside castling.
9...gxf6 10.Bxf7+ - Black loses if he takes the Bishop and if Not, White has a perpetual and can continue the attack if he wants to.
9...Rxf6 I think is the toughest defense. BUT after 10.Qh5, White has his pieces aggressively poised and coule bring up the reserves with 0-0-0 and maybe a pawn storm.
I eventually went for 8.Ne5. BUT GOT NO POINTS FOR IT! I even insisted on Ne5 on the preceding moves even after black played ...d7-d6 - sacrificing the Knight. Got no points for it BUT I think White gets some compensation (and TOGA the Guess The Move engine didn't deduct any points so maybe there's something to that move tactically).
What do you think of the move 8.Ne5? I'd like to hear your input.