I have reached to this position starting from Queens' Gambit, and in this position Stockfish 14 is suggesting that the next best move is to bring my knight out instead of moving my dark squared bishop, I want to know why, what is the logic behind it? Will it give tactical advantage or positional advantage or is it setup for something else, I played the Nf3 and fxg5 just to find next best moves and this is what I got, 16. O-O Qd7 17. Rfe1 Nd4 18. Nxd4 Qxa4 19. Rxa4 Rc8 20. Be2 Nxd5.

Now, I still didn't understand the bishop sacrifice at 15. Nf3 fxg5.enter image description here

3 Answers 3


It's not really a sacrifice because the move in effect counterattacks the Nc6. You don't want to play dxc6 at once because after Bxc6 your Queen must move and Black will follow up with Bxg2. If you just move the Bishop then Black saves his Knight with Qd7 (not Nxd5 because then 0-0-0 pins and wins that Knight) thanks to the same Bxc6-Bxg2 idea. With Nf3 you stop that idea, so now the Nc6 really hangs. So, none of these alternatives really loses nor wins a piece.

Moreover, after Nf3 if Black replies fxg5 then (as your engine line shows) the Nc6 isn't going anywhere so you can first castle to safety, which Black can't do, and then endanger the bK with Rfe1. This even works against Qd7 because now if Black saves the Nc6 (say Nd8 or Na7) then White goes after the other pinned Knight with d6. The engine line has Black bailing out with Nd4 to at least get the Queens off, but the resulting ending is still won for White with the connected passers on the c/d files.


Nf3 is suggested because, after fxg5 the c4 bishop has become monstrously strong and prevents the black king from castling while you can castle and bring your rook into the game on the E file, putting even more pressure on black's position. Note that in the engine line,black trades queens and goes into a worse endgame, where he has a much worse structure and disorganised pieces to survive the attack Fxg5 also ruins blacks pawn structure giving him doubled pawns and finally, it's not a piece sac because you always have dxc6.


If you think of a line like dxc6 Bxc6 now Black will gain material after taking on g2. Nf3 allows you to take the enemy knight on c6

  • Can you please elaborate with the sequence because for Nf3 to take on c6, it requires 2 moves and black can essentially captures Nxd5 immediately. Commented Feb 27 at 2:06
  • 1
    Okay, we can pin the knight with long side castling. Commented Feb 27 at 2:28

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