Thursday, May 14, 2009

One of my favorite mate puzzles

Black to move:

It is from Level 2 of the software Chess Tactics for Beginners. I think I also saw it in Chessimo.


Blogger dfan said...

Heh, that was pretty cute.

5/14/2009 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Loomis said...

Very cool.

By the way, your chess planner is well received. It seemed like an appropriate answer to the OP.

5/14/2009 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger From the patzer said...

1. Qg3 (threatening Qh2 mate) hxg4 2. Qh4 mate

Is it that easy or am i missing something?

5/14/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: thanks for the link. Thanks for mentioning my piece, and I am very gratified by the response!

CT: yes, that's the answer, though the right reaction is "Wow, that's beautiful.

5/14/2009 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger From the patzer said...

Oh, i am sorry.

Wow, that is beautiful!
Increable mais vrais, c'est magnefic!
Wowser, dat is een mooie!

5/15/2009 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

CT: exactly. :)

I really like the problem because the first move is seemingly quiet. Black doesn't have to do any capturing, doesn't put white in check, doesn't threaten to capture any pieces. There is something I find elegant and counterintuitive about it. Also, the fact that the mating piece moves right back to her original square on the second move makes it even cooler.

5/15/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Pearson said...

BDK--agreed, "elegant" is the word. I also like it because it took me several minutes of "checks and captures" to conclude that none of them worked, and finally it was one of those moments where it hits you that you need to expand your horizons.

5/15/2009 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Banatt said...

Very cute.

5/15/2009 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tommyg said...

Hey BDK,

I just got back from doing some gigs in North Carolina! Did you decide between the classical Bird and the Bird/Larsen?

I have a tournament tomorrow and am trying to decide if I want to throw caution to the wind and play the King's Gambit. Seeing as I got no actual study in while on the road it really will be a Gambit!!

Oh and I think this mate is in Chessimo. I am almost through with the second module. (it takes is like the quick sand of tactics trainng!)

Have a great weekend!

5/16/2009 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tommyg: I'm just letting it sit, playing around with both. It's not urgent to decide. They key is to try a couple of slow games with the Bird-Larsen and see how it feels. The weakness that moving the B incurs (potentially) on e3) is bothersome in the Larsen line. I often move my Q to e1 anyway, but it seems to leave my position open to more tactical weakenesses with all the places for the enemy to invade on light squares.

5/16/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger ADH said...

Dear Fellow Improving Players,
I am not sure if this helps, but I will give it a try. One way of finding mates in puzzles or in real games is to solve it backwards. What do I mean by backwards?
First, imagine (sometimes it requires imagination) or ascertain (make sure you have the right square) where the mate occurs, h2 in this puzzle. When I use this technique with students, I would normally ask them to pick up literally the mating piece and drop it on the mating square. The mating piece can come from the other side of the board. It is easier when it is in the vicinity of the enemy king.
Second, find a path from where the mating piece currently is to the mating square. Sometimes, it will involve clearing other pieces or exchanging defenders off. Sometimes, it involves correct sequencing.
For the complex ones, I would ask to find a mating motif that applies to the position. Then I would ask them to figure out how the motif can come about given the presence of other pieces especially when the mating side also faces a mating attack. I wrote about this in my upcoming book.

Best wishes,
Andres d. Hortillosa
Improving Player

5/16/2009 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely cute. After finding the solution, I was annoyed how long it took to find.

Dear Fellow Improving Players,A little disappointed it wasn't addressed to the Regressing Players as well.

5/19/2009 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Hiddenleaf said...

Just today I stumbled upon a same situation that was used as an example in a Steps Method book on Step 3.

However I was only shown a part of the bord, to see it here in it's full glory it's much prettier.

5/26/2009 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger 中国之星 said...

Nice. This is a time and place on the checkered board that is akin to a rare and beautiful sight caught by sailors on a voyage. Such is one of the many lures that keeps us, if you will, sailing on in the seas of chess. Thanks for sharing this.

6/03/2009 04:40:00 AM  

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