This is kind of like magic to me. Once they show you it becomes obvious :) :(

Can someone point out a good/easy strategy that a player can mentally train/use to decide what is the best move here for black?

Note: Guys, there is a best move for black there can lead to a checkmate later. The goal is not to find it, but to come up with a procedure to find it so it can be applied to other positions.

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    @Sid: I have edited the post with proper diagram. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Mar 17 '15 at 1:47
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    @Sid I've removed the additional knight. – dfan Mar 17 '15 at 2:06
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    Guys, there is a best move for black. The goal is not to find it, but to come up with a procedure to find it so it can be applied to other positions. – Eduard Roberts Mar 17 '15 at 3:49
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    Some relevant points: White has abandoned the kingside, has a loose knight on a4 and a weird bishop on b1. On the other hand white has an extra pawn, and if they can consolidate and improve piece coordination they will be better. Which means that black has to strike NOW. – Dag Oskar Madsen Mar 17 '15 at 11:04
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it smells. The OP wants to know a technique to find the proper move, and then accepts hos own 0-upvoted answer that says, "there is no technique" when we know this is not true at all. – Tony Ennis Mar 22 '15 at 14:43

I would say there are two tactical possibilities for black here:

  • 1…Bxd3 2.Rxd3 Rxa4 3.Qxa4 Nxb2 wins the pawn back with a better position (the a3 pawn is now weak).

  • 1…Rxe3 2.fe Nxe3 3.Qe2/d2 Bxd4 and the a4 Knight is hanging and the d1 rook is hanging with check … it still isn't over, in a game you should probably calculate further, but I'm to lazy to do that now.

There actually is an easy rule to find both of these tactical strikes:

Consider all captures!

Usually this rule is even broader: Consider all forcing moves! This includes captures, checks and attacks on stronger pieces.

Disclaimer: As with all rules this maxim has to be tempered by experience.

  • I don't think the former suggestion is very good; after 4. Qb3 Nxd3 5. Bxd3 Black has a worse pawn structure than White if anything. This is because while each side has a weak pawn (b7 and a3), it would be more serious for Black to lose their b7 pawn since the c6 pawn would be very weak and backwards afterwards. The position is pretty equal though but I would prefer to play White. That being said, the second suggestion looks pretty nice to me. – Sid Mar 17 '15 at 17:24
  • Hmm, I didn't see Qb3, but I guess you can play 5…Qa5 anyway, so you don't end up totally passive. Anyway, it regains the pawn and should be considered. – BlindKungFuMaster Mar 17 '15 at 17:46
  • It is true that it returns the pawn and results in a endgame that's probably a draw. You clearly have a good tactical eye. However, in the original position Black already has more than adequate compensation for the pawn (even without the winning Rxe3 sacrifice) and therefore doesn't need to simplify like that. :-) – Sid Mar 17 '15 at 19:37

I guess there is none logical strategy to follow. You just need to try to calculate in your head somehow and use intuition.

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    I think adding an answer yourself, just to accept it, is not really in the spirit of stackexchange … – BlindKungFuMaster Mar 22 '15 at 19:18
  • Given @BlindKungFuMaster's answer, clearly this answer is wrong... – hkBst May 25 '16 at 10:14

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