Saturday, January 01, 2011

The twelve puzzles of Xmas


Kirtley, 1986

Selfmate in eight

10 comments:

ejh said...

I'm off to the mountains for the day, so apologies if comments moderation is a little late.

Martin S. said...

Well this one has well and truly scambled my brain. What a way to spend New Year's Day! I just can't get a handle on it. So I'm giving up, pondering as I do this observation from Levitt and Friedgood: "Mastering a difficult position (i.e. problem - MS) is an intellectual achievement, but not necessarily an aesthetic experience".
Unfortunately, neither was my reward today. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

Richard James said...

I recognised this immediately. All the white pieces return to their starting squares. I can't be bothered to work out the correct sequence or to look it up though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, RJ. That clue tips the solution off - I've seen it somewhere before too.

1. Nb1+ Kb3 2. Qd1+ Rc2 3. Bc1 axb6 4. Ra1 b5 5. Rh1 bxc4 6. Ke1 c3 7. Ng1 f3 8. Bf1 f2#!

Jack Rudd said...

Ah, thanks, Richard, that's enough information to solve it: 1.Nb1+ Kb3 2.Qd1+ Rc2 3.Bc1 axb6 4.Ra1 b5 5.Rh1 bxc4 6.Ke1 c3 7.Ng1 f3 8.Bf1 f2#

Martin S. said...

Aha! Got it!

But has anyone, ever, anywhere solved it without that clue!

Top marks for Geometry I'd say....even though it starts with a check.

Jack Rudd said...

Selfmates quite often start with checks - it's very hard to restrict the opponent's moves enough otherwise.

ejh said...

In fact I normally try to avoid checks as key moves but I made an exception in this instance. I'd like to say that this was reasons of taste, but in truth I was running short of time!

Martin S. said...

Not an "aesthetic experience", but Humour should get a mention in connection with this one...

ejh said...

Originally published in The Problemist. My source was Chessbase, 31 July 2010: Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (45).