I've been playing with the Chesscademy app for a while, solving some tactics (which I'm not sure is improving my chess, but it's a good puzzle to kill some time). Today I ran into one tactic that I failed to solve, though my play seemed to result in the same advantage as the one picked as an answer.

Since I'm a beginner at Chess, I might be missing something about the move that makes it a better candidate, so I decided to post it here and get some opinions.

Below is the move that the tactic claimed is right (Black then White):

[FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"]

1... Kh7 2. Rf7 Kh6 3. Qh4 Qh5 4. Rh7 Kh7 5. Qh5+

My answer was basically the same, except instead of 3. Qh5 Rh7 I played 3. Qh5 Rf6.

So I could foresee one outcome from that play:

[FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"]

1... Kh7 2. Rf7 Kh6 3. Qh4 Qh5 4. Rf6 Kg7 5. Qh5 (Kf6 6. Qh6) 

That opens up an X-ray attack on the bishop if the King captures the rook (5. Kf6 Qh6), though it can be easily defended if the king goes to a square next to the bishop.

Is there any reason why this play is worse than the original answer? Usually, when I thought I was right about a play I'd think for a while and find some reason why it was not a good one, but this time I'm not really figuring out why the original answer would be better than this one.

  • I just realized some major mistake on the second outcome, the queen is pinned, thus can't be used to protect the king from the rook: only the first outcome is possible. I'll edit it as soon as I get home! – IanC Dec 19 '16 at 13:33
  • 1
    Computers are really good at tactics. If you have similar questions in the future, you could also consult an engine. Stockfish is both free and one of the strongest available. – 11684 Dec 19 '16 at 22:15
  • I'll definitely take a look at it @11684! – IanC Dec 19 '16 at 22:29
  • (The top engines are rated about 400-500 points above the current world champion.) – 11684 Dec 19 '16 at 22:30

The problem is that 5. Qxh5 isn't check, so Black has time for some back rank tricks (instead of capturing the rook on f6):

[FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"]

1... Kxh7 2. Rf7+ Kh6 3. Qh4+ Qh5 4. Rf6+ (4. Rh7+ Kxh7 5. Qxh5+) Kg7 5. Qxh5 Rc1+ 6. Qd1 Rxd1+ 7. Rf1 Rxf1#
  • Thank you! I can see now how vulnerable the white King is in that position, so keeping the advantage of checking in the end of the play seems like a good idea. Just a question: Could 6. Qd1 Rxd1+ 7. Bxd1+ at least prevent the mate? – IanC Dec 19 '16 at 13:45
  • Bxd1 is not possible; there is a black knight in the way. – Glorfindel Dec 19 '16 at 13:46
  • Oh, my bad! Completely missed the Knight, must be the lack of sleep haha. Thank you for showing me the issue with the play! – IanC Dec 19 '16 at 13:54
  • 6...Kh7 only leads to perpetual check if white does not want to win this game. White can win the bishop with a few well-thought checks. – xehpuk Dec 19 '16 at 16:20
  • @xehpuk how? Can you show a line? – Glorfindel Dec 19 '16 at 16:24

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