Friday, December 31, 2010

The twelve puzzles of Xmas


Trautner, 1960

Helpmate in seven

[Thanks to Martin]

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

c1=N Kg8 Nb3 axb3 g1=B b4 Bc5 bxc5 a2 c6 a1=R c7 Ra7 c8=Q#

Anonymous said...

1. c1=N Kg8 2. Nb3 axb3 3. g1=B b4 4. Bc5 bxc5 5. a2 c6 6. a1=R c7 7. Ra7 c8=Q#.

Very logical, actually. Once one realises that there's no chance of using both king and pawn to mate, and that it takes six moves to promote with the first move being a king move perforce, only one mating configuration is possible: rook a7, queen c8. The solution then flows easily from that deduction.

I like the way each pawn promotes to a different piece - brilliantly done by the composer.

Jack Rudd said...

1...c1=N 2.Kg8 Nb3 3.axb3 g1=B 4.b4 Bc5 5.bxc5 a2 6.c6 a1=R 7.c7 Ra7 8.c8=Q#

(Using normal rather than helpmate notation.)

David said...

No takers? But this seems quite an easy one:

1... c1=N 2. Kg8 Nb3 3. axb3 g1=B 4. b4 Bc5 5. bxc5 a2 6. c6 a1=R 7. c7 Ra7 8. c8=Q#

The series of promotions N, B, R, Q is cute.

ejh said...

Sorry for the dealy in moderating comments. (It'll likely be the same tomorrow).

dfan said...

Am I missing something or can the white king go to h7 instead of g8, allowing the g1 pawn to promote to a queen instead of a bishop (without a check) before sacrificing itself on c5? Seems a shame if you can get around the theme that way.

Ah, no, then the c7 pawn is pinned by the rook at the end. Very nice - my appreciation just doubled!

Martin S. said...

So, this is interesting. It actually comes from "Secrets of Spectacular Chess" - it's a puzzle I suggested (without looking at it I might add) to ejh for his series. I managed to solve it myself this morning, finding it quite easy once I had figured out how the self-blocks had to work - as in the 2nd Anon comment. It was a kind of back to front retro analysis.

But now (the interesting bit) I can try and apply the Levitt and Friedgood categories - and then check it against their evaluation/analysis.

I think it most obviously has Depth - you don't see why it's Kg8 (rather than other K moves) until right at the end.

Underpromotion seems to be Paradoxical in L & F's scheme - and here there is a series/serious underpromotion.

It has a kind of Flow in the sequencing of the underpromotions and the goal oriented march of the white pawn.

And there's a bit of humorous Geometry in the initial position (the Ks), but not so much in the play.

So I'm going for a D, a P, some F; but just a little G, or (G) as they would put it.

Now I'm going to look it up in the book. And I'll comment again on what I find.

Martin S. said...

So they say: GFPD. It scores in all categories, big time.

"All elements present themselves in this exceptionally neat problem. The extended geometry of the Allumwandlung* pattern, the depth (and precision) of 2.Kg8, the flow of the white pawn up the board and the paradox involved in the motivations of the various underpromotions."
[*that's underpromoting to the complete set of pieces - I think. MS]

So, I was on their trail; but the Geometry they identify seems to be kind of conceptual rather than visual.

ejh said...

Originally published in Die Schwalbe. Martin found this one for me: his source was Levitt, J and Friedgood, D, Secrets of Spectacular Chess, 2nd Edition, Everyman, 2008, p.261-2.