To many European over-the-board players, the name Michael de la Maza will probably not mean very much. But, his book Rapid Chess Improvement: A Study Plan for Adult Players has - as far as I can tell - inspired many, especially American, players to attempt to follow the training regime he created. A regime which resulted in a phenomenal gain of 400 rating points in the course of one year, no less, for de la Maza himself - but which has nonetheless attracted some critical press. Many of de la Maza's followers are also chess bloggers, and they collectively are known as Knights Errant.
One such Knight Errant is Jim Megaskins, who recently posted a Mate in 2 puzzle he had attempted, in order to discuss how difficult it was. I wrote in his comments there how I had solved it in about a minute, but that I would also classify it as difficult - but now I somewhat wish I hadn't. To me, this kind of puzzle - where white has massive material superiority, but finds a crisp, witty way to execute the final stroke of the sword - is a sort of aristocratic intrigue; a refined, armchair amusement if you like. I experience its brief moment of delight an end in itself, but not a means for improvement. So, its competitive benefit is beyond me. And, yes, perhaps - approaching 30 and having learnt the game before computer technology transformed it - my mystification merely signals that I am simply yesterday's man, uncomprehending of a different but coming tomorrow.
On the other hand, the dual value of chess studies (with their more realistic, game-like settings) for both intrigue and improvement, both beauty and edification, is not lost on me. So, perhaps it is not a question of either/or, even if in some places I miss the point. Anyhow. In the study posted here it's white to play - and he appears to be torn between promotion but allowing a perpetual check, or the game continuing but with the loss of the f7 pawn. The latter not good news, you might think, when he's a queen for knight down. So what should white play?
Good luck solving that puzzle. The human intrigue of the future nature of chess improvment may take somewhat longer to play out - but I'd still be curious to know your opinion on both, of course.