Have you done a Chess Maze yet?
No? Then Good. I’ll give you the rules..
Only the White piece moves the Black pieces stay rooted on the
spot unless your piece goes to a square where it can be taken.
All you have to do is put the Black King in Check.
However at no time can your lone piece move onto a
square from where it can be taken. If so then you have
not found your way out of the maze and you have lost.
I’ll give the solutions below, if you do not solve the maze
in the shortest number of moves possible then you also lose.
Try to do them without moving the piece and if you can use
a full sized board. The benefit of getting your eyeballs rolling
over a full sized board will show dividends in your OTB game,
First the Bishop. I’ll give a clue for this one. You have to get
the Bishop to e1 to give the check but remember you are not
allowed to move onto a square where the Bishop can be taken.
Yes the Knight on e4 can interpose on the check but remember
Black cannot move unless you place your piece on a guarded square.
Now the Rook. All you have to do is check the Black King.
Finally the Knight. Give a Knight check without being taken.
Have fun and good luck. (solutions down at the bottom)
Very different from today. There was no computer to check your
analysis which in the olden golden days was thoroughly examined
by alert readers ready and willing with pen in hand to correct it.
An example from March 1961 CHESS (page 223)
D. J. Mabbs - I. Alexander, Eastman Cup 1961 (Notes by Arthur Hall)
Now if this had been put on a chess forum then within minutes punters and
I mean punters, not alert analysts, would have covered the thread with posts
of computer vomit with the posters posturing and claiming how clever am I?
Some punters do add that it was their computer that found the bust or a
quicker mate. This is a 'you are not arguing with me but with a computer’
stance. They are sheltering, their head never peeks over the barricades.
In the old days the refutations or quicker wins came a month later.
This example was fairly easy, some refutations and counter refutations
went on for years with the weary editor headlining it ‘That Game Again’.
Here are copies of two letters that appeared in April 1961 CHESS.
(don’t fret, I will decipher the 16.R-Q5!! notation for you)
All done obviously without a computer and note the two approaches.
One quite polite (Littlewood’s ) the other, in my opinion, a bit harsh.
One wonders if Arthur (Pity the Annotator) had spotted these quicker
wins between March and April and sat in silent dread waiting for the
April issue of CHESS to arrive. Had he gotten away with it? Would
his analysis slip through the net and be forever buried? Not a chance.
The John Littlewood quicker win.
The win spotted by Mr.Wright.
I’ll defend the ‘poor annotator’ by saying maybe Mabbs had seen 21.Bh6
way back on move 16. and had simply continued with his original analysis
Ply is the term given to how far a computer ‘sees’ ahead.
It is measured in half moves. 4 ply = two moves ahead.
Some of the older basic machines/programs used ply as
their playing levels. Level 1 was ply 1 seeing only a half
half move head. The computers were quickly checkmated.
As you raised the level to say 8 play (4 moves) it started
looking in advance at 4 moves for it and 4 replies. Then
it would look at every possible position evaluating each
position and playing the move that gave it the highest
evaluation This was known as the Brute Force Method.
Today the computers are more refined and use pruning which
basically means they don’t look at every possible position.
(don’t ask me any questions on ‘pruning’ and how it works
I’m very close to limit of my computer knowledge now.)
Back to safer ground and ‘ply’. This would sometimes get
a computer into a lot of trouble because it would evaluate
a position on say 6 ply only to discover when it got there.
or to be more precise when it saw the position appearing
over the horizon it discovered that it was now infact losing.
In short they had no pattern recognition or sense of danger.
They could not see any further than the ply set by the user.
Best explained by a game. I’m Black White is Mephisto,
not a program but an old fashioned dedicated machine.
Before we tread fearfully into the Hall of Doom we treat ourselves to this.
lemondrop - Bobski RHP 2017
White is currently as 1200+ player. Games like this fill me with hope.
Someone is listening. There is a bright rosy future to look forward too.
Then my nightmares, where I stand on a wobbly chair with a noose tied
around my neck are revisited. Sometimes I wake up screaming for mercy.
HEPKAT - zsleep RHP 2017
Black allows mate in one. It is missed the first time around.
lstcyr - tangerinefish RHP 2017
This next one is a typical RHP game displaying all of the traits of playing
too many games at once with days in-between moves. We forget what we
were up to. I too am guilty of this when I have a load of games on the go.
ThomasAy - jcspessanha RHP 2017
“ It’s what you were playing for...How could you miss it “
The solutions to the mazes.
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 172337