Material Return Problem

This problem is designed to reflect that if a player has backward development (positional inferiority) with an unsafe King, but a significant material advantage as Black does in this problem, then the player should consider returning a small amount of the material to be left with a won game. In the above example, consider the implications of Black capturing White’s Black Bishop with Black’s Rook (Rxe3). Black has broken White’s Bishop pair, removed the threat of White’s Black Bishop checking Black’s King by moving to c5, and removed the threat to White’s pawn at a7.

If White captures Black’s Rook by pawn capture (fxe3) then White simply does Qxe3+. Black sacrifices a Rook (5 points) for a Bishop and a pawn (4 points) giving back just one point in material, but breaking White’s Bishop Pair and preserving Black’s Queen. The table obviously turning on White to his or her disadvantage and barring any blunder by Black, then he or she should win.

If White captures Black’s Queen…Rxd3 (Black’s Rxe3 move offers up the Queen for capture), then Black does Rxd3. Black sacrifices the Queen (9 points) for a Bishop and a Rook (8 points), giving back just one point in material, but breaking White’s Bishop Pair, preserving Black’s two Rooks to one for White, and Black now may safely move the King to f2 to free Black’s King Rook from its entrapment and bring it into play. Obviously, also not good for White.