[Title "Black to move"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "r4rk1/pp1nbppp/2p1pn2/q6b/2B2BP1/2NP1N1P/PPP2P2/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 1"]

White has just played g4, after which I have replied ...Bg6.

I have uploaded the position online for brief computer analysis, and engine suggested ...Nxg4 as best.

The lines were skimpy, and I could not understand/learn how to proceed after the knight sacrifice.


Can someone offer detailed analysis after ...Nxg4 ?

I need analysis of all relevant lines and branches, because I want to learn why is ...Nxg4 good in the above position.

Long story short, I have no access to engine, that is why I asked the question.

  • I ran the analysis. After more than 30 minutes, Stockfish preferred Bg6. Unfortunately it didn't actually give a line, it just said Bg6. Then I accidentally closed Stockfish while moving windows around. Doh. The score for Bg6 was 0 or -.06, by the way. I'll post later; I need my computer's CPU right now.
    – Tony Ennis
    May 4, 2016 at 1:49
  • @TonyEnnis: No problem, thank you. I would still like to come to the conclusion for the knight sacrifice though. I will try to analyse myself, without engine. Hopefully I might be able to ease your task a little... thanks. May 4, 2016 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


1... Nxg4 works (?) because it allows Black to force a draw.

[FEN "r4rk1/pp1nbppp/2p1pn2/q6b/2B2BP1/2NP1N1P/PPP2P2/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 1"]

1... Nxg4 2.hxg4 Bxg4 3.Kg2 (3.Re3 Qh5 4.Kg2 e5 5.Bg3 Qh3+ 6.Kg1 b5 7.Bb3 a5 8.a4 Qh5) Qf5 4.Bg3 Bh3+ 5.Kg1 Bg4 6.Kg2

Now here's Stockfish's Bg6 variation. I think it's kinda whacked. White sacrifices a few pieces to achieve a perpetual check. It is instructional in that it shows that White can choose this outcome. It never would have occurred to me to even look for it. The 11. Ne5 variation within the diagram below shows that White doesn't have to settle for that draw; instead, the Knight move keeps the game going by ceding a meaningless -.08 advantage.

I think Bg6 is completely playable if Black is seeking more than a draw.

    [FEN "r4rk1/pp1nbppp/2p1pn2/q6b/2B2BP1/2NP1N1P/PPP2P2/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 1"]

    1... Bg6 2.Bb3 Nd5 3.Nxd5 cxd5 4.d4 h6 5.c3 Rac8 6.a4 Be4 7.Nd2 Bh7 8.Nf3 Nb6 9.Bc2 Bxc2 10.Qxc2 Nc4 11.Bxh6 (11. Ne5 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Qd8 13.a5 Rc4 14.Bg3 Qd7 15.Kg2 b5 16.axb6 axb6 17.f4 b5 18.f5 b4 19.fxe6 fxe6 20.Rf1 Bf6 21.Qd3 Rfc8 22.Be1 e5 23.dxe5 Bxe5 24.Ra5 bxc3 25.bxc3 Bxc3 26.Bxc3 Rxc3 27.Qxd5+ Qxd5+ 28.Rxd5) gxh6 12.Rxe6 fxe6 13.Qg6+ Kh8 14.Qxh6+ Kg8 15.Qxe6+ Kh8 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Qe6+ 

It's 11:40pm here and it's racktime. If you have specific variations you want to see, let me know.

EDIT - ALNS has perhaps found a playable variation for White though it is not for the faint-hearted. White is down a pawn but has a passed center pawn.

[FEN "r4rk1/pp1nbppp/2p1pn2/q6b/2B2BP1/2NP1N1P/PPP2P2/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 1"]

1... Nxg4 2. hxg4 Bxg4 3. Re3 Qh5 4.Ne4 e5 5.Ng3 Qh3 6.Bxe5 Nxe5 7.Rxe5 Bh4 8.Qf1 Qxf1+ 9.Nxf1 Bxf3 10.Nh2 Bd5 11.Bxd5 Bf6 12.Rf5 cxd5 13.Rxd5 {with Stockfish rating Black slightly better.}
  • If machine claims its equal, then it probably is... I still don't get why but nevermind... I will do my own analysis once I repair my PC... +1 May 4, 2016 at 20:41
  • @AlwaysLearningNewStuff The last 4 moves in the first diagram are demonstrating a perpetual repetition of position, a draw. White's king is the only piece available to defend the Nf3 against the double attack from bishop and queen.
    – Jeff Y
    May 5, 2016 at 1:11
  • @JeffY: I don't know, I am not entirely convinced... After ` 1... Nxg4 2. hxg4 Bxg4 3. Re3 Qh5` I see Ne4 as an interesting move, to try and push back the black queen... May 5, 2016 at 1:32
  • @AlwaysLearningNewStuff new diagram added.
    – Tony Ennis
    May 5, 2016 at 2:35
  • 1
    Wow, that position is really exciting to play. That was exactly the reason why I asked all the lines to be examined. Again, i will have to analyze this thoroughly myself when my PC gets repaired. I will post my analysis as an answer... Thanks for the analysis... May 5, 2016 at 13:43

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