What is white’s best move?

DIAG 1

This week’s position uses pin to create a fork. With this hint in mind, please try to find white’s best move.

White’s pieces target black’s queen-side. Meanwhile, the black king is enclosed on e8, and black’s knight on e7 is one move away from providing further defense on the queen-side.

In this context, white’s best move is for its bishop on b5 to capture black’s bishop on d7, checking black. Black’s only reply is for its queen to re-take white’s bishop on d7. Black’s queen threatens white’s queen, which is not guarded.

However, at the same time, white’s queen pins black’s queen to d7. This allows white’s knight to jump to c7, checking black and forking the black king and rook on a8. Black’s queen cannot take the knight because of the pin (see next diagram).

DIAG 2

After the black king moves to d8, white first trades queens on d7 before capturing the black rook on a8 with its knight.

The lesson this week is forks and pins complement one another.  

Reach Eric Morrow at ericmorrowlaw@gmail.com or (505) 327-7121.

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