Let's say you have a position where you can win the opponent's queen in one move and you know he will resign; or you play a combination that is technically stronger since it forces mate, but it takes 8 moves, some of which are hard to see, so you do not think your opponent will resign on the spot.

Which is really better?

  • 1
    Better for what? Winning the tournament or learning the game? And just to confirm you can definitely see this 8 move combo is absolutely 100% sound?
    – Ian Bush
    Jan 1, 2020 at 13:40
  • Depends on your definition of better. If you mean better according to a computer, then it's the forced mate (assuming your calculations don't have any mistakes). But if better means finishing an already won game in the minimal time, then maybe taking the queen if you think there's a good chance it will cause the opponent to resign soon. Jan 1, 2020 at 14:55
  • Also @Brian Towers, the questions are different. This question assumes you already see a forced mate, and is wondering whether it's worth playing it. The other question is asking whether it's worthwhile to look for mates in the first place. Jan 1, 2020 at 14:57
  • The question is TOTALLY different. You could certainly make a case for opinion, but virtually every question here is asking for an opinion since chess is not solved. Jan 1, 2020 at 15:28
  • @InertialIgnorance That is kind of what I am looking for. I have my thoughts on it (probably take the queen, and just end the game immediately), but I was curious about other people's thoughts. Jan 1, 2020 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


you play a combination that is technically stronger since it forces mate, but it takes 8 moves, some of which are hard to see

If they're hard to see, chances are that you've missed something as well. Therefore, take the queen. You might miss the opportunity to finish the game in a beautiful way, but you can always save that for the post-mortem analysis.

The only reason not to take it would be if you're low on time and are not sure you can finish off the game, even being a queen ahead. But I wonder how you would see the mate in 8 then :)

  • 1
    +1 That is my thought, exactly. Thank you for your thoughts. Jan 1, 2020 at 15:45
  • 4
    long combination, wrong combination Jan 1, 2020 at 16:58
  • If you're low enough on time that you think you might not win, your opponent would likely think the same thing and not concede. Jan 1, 2020 at 17:12

It could be risky since you don't know what you have missed, but on the other hand, if you are low on the clock say under 10 minutes you might just have to go for the checkmate if the time control is also distant. Although playing while being a Queen up shouldn't be difficult even if you are a queen up.

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