Black to move:

[fen "4rbk1/pp3pp1/1nq4p/8/1PP5/P3N1P1/Q2BrP1P/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"]

I've tried to solve this chess problem - black to move, find the best move. I couldn't work it out so I checked the solution, which was R8xe3. I don't understand why this is the best move - could someone explain please?

  • 3
    Once you were considering R8xe3, did you actually try the various responses from white? In this case, there are only two main simple options, both of which are short. Being methodical can often help, and lead you to a general conclusion like "ah, I see, white has no way to win back the knight, so unless they have a greater counter-threat...". What may be a bit tricky here is that the question is presented as a "winning move", which may easily be mistaken for mate / major piece loss, not "just" a knight; so you're probably not considering everything. That's an important lesson too!
    – Daniel B
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 7:08
  • @ajax333221 there is no deflection here. Pin is the main tactic involved. Deflection is about duty -- some piece is distracted from its duty. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 10:08
  • "deflection: tactic that forces an opposing piece to leave the square, rank or file it occupies" you are right, there is no 100% true deflection here, but the pawn and bishop are not truly pinned neither. So don't know whats that called but yea..
    – ajax333221
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 1:48

3 Answers 3


1...R8xe3 wins a piece (the knight on e3), because either recapture leads to worse things for White, since the d2 bishop is pinned to the white queen, and the f-pawn recapture opens the possibility of mate on g2:

[fen "4rbk1/pp3pp1/1nq4p/8/1PP5/P3N1P1/Q2BrP1P/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"]

1...R8xe3 2.Bxe3 (2.fxe3 Qg2#) Rxa2 

Ideally, what does Black wants to do? He wants to put the Queen on g2. But that square is protected by the Knight on e3. The knight must be removed. If the pawn is recaptured then it will be mate. If the bishop recapture, the Queen will get captured. So, black is up material.


In the previous example, it is more about removing the defender (the Knight on e3 defends g2). so: - the recapture with the pawn does not work as it allows Qg2# - additionally, the Bishop is pinned on d2 because of the a2-Queen So a combination of pins and removing the defender would say

Deflections on the other hand happen when a piece is driven away from an important square, for instance, here, the d8 Rook isdeflected from the defense of the Queen d5: enter image description here

  1. Re8+ ! Rxd8 2. Qxd5

more on deflections on my blog post: http://chesstrainerapp.blogspot.fr/2014/01/deflection.html

  • 4
    Isn't 1.Qxd5 a better move? 1...Rxd5 isn't possible because of 2.Re8#, and I'd rather play Q+R v R than Q v R. And it's still deflection, I think. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 14:19
  • Removing defender is not quite the tactic involved. Undermining would be a better word here I guess (still, i feel like only pin is involved; not even opening lines[of attack] ). Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 10:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.