Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pole Dance on the Chess Board?

I haven't tantalized your chess taste-buds with a puzzle for a while now, so here's a humorous one composed by David Gurgenidze in 1973 for you to solve, or otherwise. White to play and win.


And it comes with an extra challenge, too. In the chess forum where I found it, it was named: Georgian Pole Dance. This seems rather inappropriate - given it refers to one patch of the action in the solution, and the resemblance is only graphic, not symbolic.

Can you come up with something better?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't really get it. Better maybe is a footballing analogy, some sort of 'sidestep'.

Anonymous said...

Would have thought a pole dance would have the King running around the d-pawn.

Anonymous said...

I can see why it is called pole dance. It's not that difficult once you get your head round what's happening. Remember that pieces and pawns in compositions are not put on the board for no reason- in many ways the pawn on d5 is the key to the whole puzzle.
Andrew

Tom Chivers said...

The two things I don't like about the nickname are (1) it doesn't refer to the action in the corner, and (2) it doesn't make meaningful sense in chess terms - it just looks like the up and down motion, but that's all. (Btw, I have never seen a pole dance or been to a strip club or any of that stuff. But!! My sister studied dance for four years, and as a part of her Masters researched pole dancing!)

Anonymous said...

Justin did his Masters on librarianship , whilst you sister studied pole dancing. Maybe we should have a poll (pole) on which one people would prefer to study. You know the Dewey decimal system is pretty racy stuff!
Andrew

Tom Chivers said...

You know, as part of her research she went undercover and joined a pole-dancing class in Cambden for six weeks. So personally - my vote would be for the shelves - not the poles! But whatever tickles your fancy Andrew ;)

Jonathan B said...

*Research*
One of the biggest names in academic criminology got his Doctorate for a participant observation study of the marginalised youth groups of Notting Hill and the borderline criminal activity they indulged in .... i.e. he spent three years smoking cannabis with his mates then wrote about it.

*Study*
Little help?

ejh said...

A guy I knew (and a member of Cowley Chess Club) performed academic research involving discovering how it is that people follow moving objects and intercept them with their hands.

This involved getting people to hit cricket balls into the air and catch them, and videoing it.

Tom Chivers said...

Her dissertation was really quite interesting. Anthropologically there was different types of people in the class - ranging from an Eastern European intending to turn pro, to a good girl with a good job who lived with her nice family, and who told them she was going to the cinema each week, etc. She also interpreted the dance in dancey ways I couldn't really understand, and analysed its contradictions in terms of feminism. Something like, liberated, powerful bodies, but in a man-sanctioned manner.

Ryan Emmett said...

Ok, so I'm clearly the dumbest guy on the block. What's the solution? It's driving me nuts!

Tom Chivers said...

Hi Ryan, it's one of those ideas you'll either spot pretty quick - or not at all.

The solution comes in two parts, and begins 1.g7+ Kg8 2.Nh7!. This threatens Nf6# and gxf8=Q winning trivially. The only way black can get out of these dual threats is by moving the f8 rook away with check. Without check, the knight mates. So he must desperado his other rook, hoping to lure the white king to a square exposed to a check from the f8 rook. This leads to the pole dance of the title, starting with 2...Ra5+...

Ryan Emmett said...

Aha, that's sweet. Know I see why the d5 pawn is so important! Many thanks Tom. :)