[FEN "r2q1rk1/1p3ppp/p4n2/2Pp4/1Pn5/P1Bp3P/3N2P1/R2QN2K b - - 4 21"]

With Black to move Ne4 is not even in top 5 moves and engine says its an inaccuracy. I know it considers fastest winning moves and positional moves too but Ne4 should be a move not an inaccuracy. Ne4 is also a forcing move with many threats.

  • 7
    Does ...Ne4 here really save black's d3 pawn? 1...Ne4 2.Nxe4 dxe4 3.Qg4 (threatening mate) g6 4.Qxe4, and the knight on c4 is under fire (as well as the d3 pawn).
    – Scounged
    Feb 28, 2021 at 10:25
  • And imagine your long face after 3...f5??. Insofar (remember you are an exchange up, so all +-1 pawn units are pointless) d4 is "better", since it takes off the wB, the last swindling chance. Mar 1, 2021 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


Calling it an "inaccuracy" is nothing more than the engine saying that it evaluates the position after one move to be a certain amount better than after another move. It doesn't necessarily mean a move is "bad".

Both d-pawns cannot be kept no matter what Black does. After 1...Ne4, if White plays Nxe4, the recapture will leave the c4 knight without a defender, and it doesn't have a lot of places to go. White can win the pawn on e4 and attack that knight. And the dark squares around the Black king are just a bit weak. Black is still winning though.

If instead Black plays ...d4, this forces some trades. Simplifying the position seems like a good idea for Black, since they are winning. Overall Stockfish likes this option better.

Here's a comparison showing what the next few moves might look like for each option:

[FEN "r2q1rk1/1p3ppp/p4n2/2Pp4/1Pn5/P1Bp3P/3N2P1/R2QN2K b - - 4 21"]

1...Ne4 (1...d4 2.Nxc4 dxc3 3.Qxd3 Qxd3 4.Nxd3 ) 2.Nxe4 dxe4 3.Qg4 g6 4.Qxe4 * 
  • in your main line, what does white do after 4... d2?
    – jf328
    Mar 2, 2021 at 9:18
  • @jf328 Seems like 5. Nd3 is the only option since 5. Qxc4 d1= Q wins another exchange for black
    – user25182
    Mar 3, 2021 at 21:53

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