This is the first test given in Amateur's Mind at the end of the book. I took a notebook and wrote down the follwing analysis:
There is a major material imbalance black has 3 minor pieces; 2 bishops and knight for Queen, an advantage.
Black's fianchettoed bishop combined with his half open c-file dictate Queenside play this is the side of the board he should play on. White has a space advantage on the kingside and will try to advance his pawns there.
The first thing I will play is ...d6 to stop the advance of whites pawns, this also frees a potential line for my bishop.
I want to develop my king knight and castle but I dont want to block the line of my strong fianchettoed bishop so I will play ...Nh6 and ...0-0.
My plan on the Queenside is a minority attack with ...b5-b4 possibly supported by ...Rb8.
My fantasy position is P/b4 Rab8, Nh6, 0-0, Ba6, Rfc8 and a possible Na5 with a Queenside attack.
I will play ...d6 followed by ...b5 and continue with my plan. I want to get in ...b5 asap in case white anticipates my plan with a4 or c4 even though i can continue my plan with ...a6. However ...d6 is critical and I will play it first.
Now for IM Silman's Notes:
In the game the amateur played 1...Nf6? (a move I never considered). This was a mistake. "Better was the obvious 12...d6 when 13...Nf6 would have worked rather well. White's problem is he has nothing to attack in the Black position. Of course black should also be looking for ways to attack White's camp...By moving his pawn to d6 black is telling White that an e4-e5 advance will either lose a pawn or leave the first player with a weak e pawn after ...dxe5. Having nullified e4-e5 black could then have developed in peace. Plans like b7-b5-b4 would eventually would eventually open some lines and highlighted the superiority of the black minor pieces over the White Queen."
I gave myself an 'A' on this one.