I came across a puzzle on lichess.org, (Black to move) , I was unable to solve it. But I know the solution now,

I don't wasn't the solution or analysis. I just want to know how should one think while looking at this position to find the correct path since there are so many options to choose.

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Spoiler: solution below

2 Answers 2


The essential thing is that sooner or later you have to come up with the move Re8. You only need the mental flexibility to take a step back after you have failed to find a solution via a series of checks, and look for additional motives.

Personally I saw Re8 immediately, but discarded it because it didn't seem to inconvenience the white queen too much. Then I tried to find a mate with forced checks. When this didn't seem to work, I remembered Re8 and found the solution.

In my experience solving tactical positions often come down to finding the necessary motives and putting them in the right order. If you don't find the right order, maybe you are still missing a motive.

  • Do you mean Re8??
    – SmallChess
    Dec 3, 2015 at 8:42
  • Yes, of course. In my mind I always play white … ;-) Dec 3, 2015 at 8:48

You should always think how the last move played by your opponent has weakened his position.

In this game, f5 limits the mobility of the White king forcing it to stay confined in the g and h files.

That gives black a chance to checkmate using the rook and the queen. If the queen is moved the king can get to the f file and then it would be much more difficult to deliver checkmate. So you move the rook, and the solution is clearly the best choice because it forces white to exchange the queen to not get mated.

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