Today I was solving a chess problem as following picture :

[fen "r1bqr1k1/1p3nbp/2pp2p1/2n2P2/p1PN1P2/2N1B1PP/PPQ3B1/R3R1K1 b - - 0 1"]

The solution given was 1...Rxe3, but I did not get the actual benefit of this solution. Can anyone explain this?


The point is that after 1...Rxe3 Black will be winning material, as the sole defender of the white knight has been removed, and a pin tactic is coming. Specifically, after 2.Rxe3 (anything other than this recapture means Black has just won a piece for nothing) and 2...Bxd4, White has no way to stop the follow-up 3...Bxe3+ since the rook is pinned to the king, and so Black has netted an extra piece anyway.

[FEN "r1bqr1k1/1p3nbp/2pp2p1/2n2P2/p1PN1P2/2N1B1PP/PPQ3B1/R3R1K1 b - - 0 1"]

1...Rxe3 2.Rxe3 Bxd4 *
  • We might need a few more moves, Ed. Black drops the exchange by Rxe3, and then wins the exchange after Bxd4. I don't see the white Rook dropping off the board for free. After Bxd4, White has 4 pieces that can defend e3 with one move. One little thing I see is that with the removal of the Knight on e4, Black can play Bxf5 with tempo and gain of a pawn. The solution you presented prevents the disruptive (but maybe bad...) 1. Nxc6 bxc6 2. Bxc6 Rook fork. Perhaps preventing that is the point of the puzzle.
    – Tony Ennis
    Feb 9 '15 at 11:56
  • 1
    @TonyEnnis In the position after Bxd4, White has two pieces for a rook, and will win an exchange on e3, thus he will be a piece up even if the Rook does not go for free. Am I missing something?
    – JiK
    Feb 9 '15 at 12:05
  • @JiK Yep, you're right - I miscounted it about 5 times. I neglected to tally the initial Bishop capture.
    – Tony Ennis
    Feb 9 '15 at 12:10

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