Black (me) to move.

I took the knight at f3 with my knight at e1. However, Lichess analysis shows that this move is a blunder, and suggests to take the bishop at g2 instead.

IMO, I am winning no matter I exchange the knight or bishop, but I feel hard to understand why exchanging the knight f3 is a blunder?

[FEN "r1bq1rk1/pp3ppp/4p3/2Pp4/2P5/P1B2NP1/3NPPBP/R3nRK1 b - - 0 1"]

1...Nxf3? (1...Nxg2!)
  • 2
    A link to the lichess game might be useful. That said 1) I wouldn't worry too much, the difference in the captures is between very, very winning and very, very, very winning 2) That said I would have taken the bishop without thinking too hard - bishops are usually a little stronger than knights, especially when you possess the bishop pair, and given the choice I would always take the bishop unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, and here the white squared bishop is potentially about White's best piece.
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 13:07
  • 3
    Did Lichess actually say "blunder" or is that your interpretation?
    – user21820
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 21:33
  • 1
    @user21820 This is a blunder considered by Lichess. Please see the link: lichess.org/GoIUYiwE/black#28.
    – null
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 20:32
  • 1
    Thank you for the link; it seems that the Lichess SF engine used in that analysis had searched to a depth where it saw a way to reach much clearer winning position for Nxg2 than for Nxf3, and this yielded −6.7 instead of −3.2, which was significant enough that made it classify it as a blunder. From the engine's viewpoint, −6.7 is very much better than −3.2; although it will almost always win as Black given either, the likelihood that it will fail is much lower for −6.7 than −3.2.
    – user21820
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 13:14
  • It's a matter of opinion whether you should consider it a blunder or not, because the bishop is really somewhat annoying. To understand the difference, simply try playing against maximum-level SF after Nxf3 (via Menu > Continue from here), and I would be interested to see the game that you end up with.
    – user21820
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


why exchanging the knight f3 is a blunder?

It obviously isn't a blunder.

I suspect you've made the mistake of thinking that if the website tells you that it evaluates Nxf3 as fractionally lower than Nxg2 then that means that Nxf3 is a blunder. It isn't. A blunder is when your large positive advantage turns negative. A blunder loses you the game from a roughly equal position or throws away a winning advantage. It is not when the evaluation changes slightly against you.

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