Moving the queen off the e-file seemingly reduces the pressure on the black knight. However, this move does 2 important things:
- It clears the way for the white rook on e1 to pin the black knight.
- White is threatening to capture the black queen, Qxc7.
Here’s two variations that show why white is winning material:
- 1. Qd6 Qxd6 2. cxd6, followed by capturing the pinned knight on e7.
- 1. Qd6 Qd8 2. Qxd8 Rxd8 3. Rxe7+