[FEN "1r4k1/3q3p/p2P2r1/4pNNQ/5p1P/P7/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"]

I got this position as a puzzle with White to play. The correct move was 1. Ne7, followed by 1... Qxe7 and 2. dxe7. To me, it seems more logical for Black to simply move the king, e.g 2... Kf8, and then capture the knight with 3...hxg6 after White plays 3. Nxg6.

How come Qxe7 is forced here after White plays Ne7?

  • 2
    Hint: After 1 Ne7+ Kf8 2 Nxg6+ hxg6 white has a very strong move - can you see it? And What if black plays a different move instead of hxg6, what then?
    – Ian Bush
    Dec 5, 2020 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


If black plays 1... Kf8 he will get mated. Here is one possible line given by the engine:

[FEN "1r4k1/3q3p/p2P2r1/4pNNQ/5p1P/P7/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"]

1. Ne7+ Kf8 2. Nxh7+ Ke8 3. Nf6+ Kf8 4. Nxd7+ Ke8 5. Nxe5 f3 6. Qxg6+ Kf8 7. Qg8#

You can answer questions like that by using an engine, for example here (click on the button "Toggle local evaluation" in the top right). There you can also check all other variants, which you can't figure out on your own.

  • 1
    And even if you don't look all the way to the mate, after 4.Nxd7+ Black's obviously lost the queen anyway.
    – D M
    Dec 5, 2020 at 17:55

Ne7 has a double purpose. Firstly it´s a check, and secondly, it blocks the defence of the queen on the h7 pawn. Mate it´s unstopable, so the least worst move is QxN, which is loosing for black anyway.

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