Monday, December 04, 2006

Puzzle


Well Streatham & Brixton Chess Club, I've been up for an hour and a half, and whilst I'd like to say 'Good Morning' to you, the truth is we're moving house today, half-packed, have to rush out for a van, then traverse London a few times, in order to trudge all our stuff up four flights of stairs. At times like this I start to puzzle over why I've never won the lottery, or why someone isn't paying me half a million dollars to lose to Fritz. I can easily do that any day of the week. Lose to Fritz, I mean, not win the lottery.

Still, at least Bob sent me a fabulous puzzle to solve, saying: "You asked for remarkable positions, well here's one from an Andersson game v anonymous. I found it in a book printed 1944. I have my suspicions about it's authenticity, but it's a great position. Don't you dare use a chess engine on this!"

It's white to play - and indeed, I think I just solved it without assistance. Enjoy doing the same.

7 comments:

Michael Goeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Goeller said...

Actually, you can figure it out by a relatively easy brute force method, since White's first move obviously must deliver check and there are only a few checks on the board.... But it is still very pretty: 1.Qe6+!! Qxe6 2.Nd7 Qxd7 3.Rb8+ Kxb8 4.cxd7 and the pawn promotes to a queen with mate.

Tom Chivers said...

I jumped through a lot of hoops.

The first was 1. Rb8+ followed by queen checks. The second was stalemate attempts - there are several and they all seem to fail - but that lead me to the 1. Qe6+ idea. Then I looked at 1. Qe6+ Qxe6 2. Nd7 Qxd7 3. cxd7 but figured black had too many pawns for that to be the solution. Then finally the penny dropped.

So - no brute force for me, partly as I didn't know if white was playing to win or draw. Anyhow - glad you liked it.

kingscrusher said...

I found it Tom - great stuff. Don't believe anyone that claims to have solved it without them having a decent OTB rating. This isn't a mickey mouse mating puzzle.

My first attempt, and thinking it was easy was Rb8+ but that fails eventually to Qc8. So logic dictates, the queen must be distracted from mating on g2, which leaves Qe6+ to look at. The subsequent rook decoy and pawn capture is quite beautiful indeed. Solving time total: less than 2 minutes, without engine :)

Kingscrusher

Tom Chivers said...

Well done Kingscrusher!

Under two minutes!?

Very impressive.

It took me about fifteen minutes over breakfast!

Mike Davies said...

That took me about 15 minutes - mostly trying to get 1.Rb8+ working. I saw the need to deflect the Black queen, and saw the mate with Nd7 and Rb8. It was only after I focused on the position after 1.Qe6+ Qxe6 did it all click together with 2. Nd7 Qxd7 and finally 3. Rb8+! with the theme of getting an untouchable pawn to d7.

Nice puzzle.

Tom Chivers said...

Well done - and glad you liked it.