Acting and Reacting

This position is taken from a game of mine that was played in recent tournament. What do you think about the position?

Black to play:

Here are some thoughts:
1) Black’s dark square bishop is absent so Black has some permanent weaknesses.
2) White’s beautiful dark square bishop on f6 will help arrange a checkmate if Black does not do something very soon, for instance by Rh4xh7.
3) On the other hand Black is relying on the counter play against the g2 square via the 2nd rank and h1-a8 diagonal.

Sometimes you get positions where you can’t just defend, if you do so you will lose. Here with 4 minutes on the clock, I played 1…h6 and lost very quickly as there is no defense to Rh4 and Rxh6. For example, Rxd3 then Rxh6!! No way to save checkmate on h8.

So did Black miss something? He forgot to act and realize the need to create his own threats very quicly. Here in fact Black stands better but instead of 1…h6, the best move is 1…Rxd3!, and it works because White still needs three moves to checkmate whereas Black needs only two. So White has to exchange the queens and here are no good alternatives, for example 2. Qg5 h6 or 2. Qg4 Rd2 3. Rg1 and now Rc8 will win for Black.

Accordingly White has to play 2. Rf2 (either) Rxg3 3. Rxb2 and now Black can play his rook to a safe square on the 3rd rank, and despite there being opposite colour bishops on the board the more active rook and bishop guarantees him a good game.

How many of you have lost games because of reacting instead of acting? Probably quite a few.

Ashvin Chauhan