Total beginner at chess. I am analyzing a game I played.

The computer says the blue line here is the best:

r1bqr1k1/pp5p/2nb1p2/2p5/Q1Pp2pN/1P4B1/P3BPPP/4RRK1 b - - 0 1

1... d3
(1... Kg7 2. Bxd6 Qxd6 3. Nf5 Bxf5)

Why? If I move my pawn there, the bishop takes it without worries, it seems?

I instead moved King to g7, hoping to lure the white knight in a trap. If he went for a fork on f5 attacking my queen and king, I would take the knight with my bishop.

By going King to g7, his bishop would take my bishop on d6, then I would take his bishop with my queen, and then he would make his knight move to f5 for the fork. Then I would take knight with my bishop.

Ignoring the potentially better play, is this a bad move in and of itself?

  • 9
    You can't assume a player will make a move that drops a piece. – Herb Wolfe Oct 13 '17 at 3:45
  • If you "ignore potentially better play" you might as well play b5 as black, hoping to win the queen on the next move. Or even a5, hoping white plays Qxa5. Chess is not that simple, unfortunately... – TMM Oct 15 '17 at 17:50
r1bqr1k1/pp5p/2nb1p2/2p5/Q1Pp2pN/1P4B1/P3BPPP/4RRK1 b - - 0 1

1... d3
2. Bxd3 (2. Bd1 Bxg3 3. hxg3 d2 4. Rxe8+ Qxe8 5. Qb5 Qe5) Rxe1
3. Rxe1 Bxg3
4. Bxh7+ Kxh7
5. hxg3 

And Black wins the Bishop for two pawns.

Edit - I ran this position through Stockfish and was surprised to learn that Black is already about 2.5 pawns "up" while material is even.

The initial variation is inferior to the one that follows from Seth's suggestion below. My suggested move makes it much easier for Black. After Seth's "1. Bd1", there are no fireworks but it looks like Black improves his position with a dominating Queen in the center and a pawn on d2. Both players remained jammed up. If Black can activate his Rook and Bishop he's going to have a great game.

  • To be clear about this: note that this is because after the move 1...d3, Black is opening up the d file; the capture of the bishop on g3 then reveals a discovered attack on the bishop on d3, winning the piece, and White's best recourse is to just get another pawn for it by intervening Bxh7+ before recapturing on g3. (If White captures immediately on g3 then Black just plays Qxd3; if White moves the bishop on d3 out of attack then Black just retreats their bishop away from g3 and out of harm's way - or if they're feeling saucy, Bxh2+ followed by g3+ and Qd6+ with a strong attack) – Steven Stadnicki Oct 13 '17 at 18:19
  • 1
    what happens when the Bishop goes to d1 instead of Bishop * d3 ?? – Seth Projnabrata Oct 14 '17 at 6:27
  • @SethProjnabrata Good idea. See variant and edit. – Tony Ennis Oct 14 '17 at 14:17

By going King to g7, his bishop would take my bishop on d6, then I would take his bishop with my queen, and then he would make his knight move to f5 for the fork. Then I would take knight with my bishop.

You are playing "hope" chess. This boils down to -

"If I play Kg7 then he will play the bad move BxB (because he is stupid) then I will play QxB and he will play the blunder Nf5 check (because he is really, really stupid) and I will play BxN and will go on to win the game easily.

One of the first steps to moving from being a complete beginner to just being a weak player is to stop playing hope chess. When you calculate variations, instead of counting on your opponent playing really stupid moves in reply to your bad moves assume your opponent will play the best moves. That way you are less likely to play bad moves in the first place.

As Tony Ennis points out d3 was a good move because it wins a piece for two pawns. The flip side of that coin is that your Kg7 was a bad move because it lets your opponent off the hook when he can play something like Bd3 blockading your dangerous passer.


The idea is to lure White's Bishop to d3, so that it will be vulnerable to a discovered attack on it. The discovered attack happens when Black takes the Bishop on g3 with his own Bishop on d6, opening up the Queen to attack the now-vulnerable d3 Bishop.

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