Next Tournament

Canadian Open Tactic - Is ...Bxd6 possible ?

The position shown was reached in the game GM Ganguly vs FM Hommeles in the round 6 of the Canadian Open Championship yesterday (07/16/2009). Black to move. White is up a pawn. Whites knight on c3 is hanging, but currently cannot be taken due to mate in two. I suppose you can spot that. But can black win back the pawn with first ...Bxd6 ? In the game, ...Bxd6 was played and Black resigned 3 moves later. Can you find out the variation?


  1. I'm not sure, but doesn't this just lose material big-time for Black? After ... Bxp, RxB, Black dare not take the Knight on c3. Ba5 for White seems a killer move (after a Rook check on d8), pinning the Knight, followed by BxN with check. Anything Black tries after White pins the Knight loses. Ouch! Looks like something I would do in a game! Anxious to see what I'm missing.

  2. You spotted Ba5 correctly, but it should come first even before the rook check on d8 due to the following variation

    ...Bxd6 Rxd6 Rxf3 Rd8+ Ke7 Ba5 , but black has ...Nc6! here forking.

    A change of move orders actually wins. You can figure out the variation
    ...Bxd6 Rxd6 Ba5! Rxc2 is a try threatening the bishop on g2. But here white wins with ?

  3. 1...Bxd6 2.Rxd6 Rxc3 3. Rd8+! Ke7 4. Bxb4+ Kxd8 5. Kxc2 nets a whole piece.

  4. To the Anon, you missed some moves in between. You never mentioned Ba5 move. I guess you meant that.