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I am a beginning chess player, and just had a look at lichess puzzle 61124. The following contains spoilers.

The solution to the puzzle is supposedly Rd4, then the follow-up move from white is Nb6, which I do not follow. Would Qb5 not make more sense from white's perspective?

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After Qb3 or Qb5, black has the move Rb4 - kicking the queen away from the defense of the knight. In that line, white is losing a full piece. There is slightly more compensation by instead playing Nxb6 Rxc4 Nxc4 because at least there the black king is also exposed.

If you're ever confused on why the engine played the move it did, just turn on the analysis afterwards. Make the move that you expected the engine to play and see why that loses worse than what was actually played - that way you can learn without having to ask an online forum for help :P

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  • I performed the analysis (thank you for the suggestion), and the engine actually suggests Qb3... – Ton van den Heuvel Dec 1 '20 at 9:44
  • And after you make that move, do you see how it says Rd4 is completely winning? – NoseKnowsAll Dec 1 '20 at 10:34
  • Yes, of course, I'm just surprised the engine does not compute the right move up front. – Ton van den Heuvel Dec 1 '20 at 10:46
  • @TonvandenHeuvel Sometimes even modern engines need to think a few seconds to "get a good grasp" of a position (and even rarer they fail). – Annatar Dec 1 '20 at 13:49

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