# Chess Problems

huntingbear
Posers and Puzzles 05 Mar '04 13:27
1. 05 Mar '04 13:271 edit
For a Posers and Puzzles forum on a chess site, we don't get enough chess puzzles around here. So here's a thread to solve that problem. We can thank Lenzar (was that his name?) for getting things started with his Mate in 1 thread. This thread will be for chess problems and studies of all kinds.
Anyway, here's a trivial shortest proof, easy but fun, just to get things going:
rnbq1bnr/ppppkppp/8/4R3/4N3/8/1PPPPPPP/2BQKBNR b K - 0 5
What were the necessary moves of this game before 5.Rxe5# ?

EDIT: Should mention my source, The Weekend Australian chess column, by (I think it was) Phil Viner. 7th-8th of September, 2002. Viner didn't mention his source.
2. 05 Mar '04 18:371 edit
i know the solution but won't post it yet.
here is an even sillier exzmple which took me a very long time to solve:
white's four moves are: 1. f3; 2. kf2; 3. kg3; and 4. kh4.
white is to be mated on black's fourth turn.
white must not be interdicted from making any of those moves.
(that is, something like 1. f3, d5; 2. kf2, qd6 is not allowed because 3. kg3 has been rendered unplayable. for that matter, if black moves the e-pawn without blocking or moving the queen, 4. kh4 is illlegal.)
can you solve it?
3. 06 Mar '04 16:59
here is another:
reach: rnbqkb1r/ppp1pppp/8/3p4/16/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKB1R (or rnbqkb1r/ppp1pppp/3p4/24/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKB1R) in four legal moves.
(i. e., each side is missing a knight and black's pawn stands on d5 (or d6 if you prefer).)
4. 07 Mar '04 08:04
I've solved the missing Knights puzzle. Still stumped on the other one. I'm hoping we'll get more folks showing up in this thread...
5. 07 Mar '04 08:20
Here's one of the first chess puzzles I ever solved. Printed in The Weekend Australian March 9-10 2002. Composition by I. Shanahan.

White mates in 2:

4N3/8/Q7/2pkbKn1/8/8/4N3/8 w - - 0 1

Crafty can't solve it, seeing only the single-variation mate-in-three: 1. Nf6+ Bxf6 2. Nf4+ Kd4 3. Qd3#

The two-mover has a quieter key...
6. 09 Mar '04 00:54
Originally posted by huntingbear
Here's one of the first chess puzzles I ever solved. Printed in The Weekend Australian March 9-10 2002. Composition by I. Shanahan.

White mates in 2:

4N3/8/Q7/2pkbKn1/8/8/4N3/8 w - - 0 1
i had to set it up on a board (i can't visualize from fen), but did get it.
will wait a few days before posting it though, so others can try also.
one of the principles of directmate problems (for those who don't know) is that the key is almost never a check and rarely a capture so you eliminate those right away. if you go through all the sensible moves and can't find the answer, then go back and try a capture or check.
problems with a line of symmetry almost never have symetrically duplicated keys since if something would work on one line of symmetry, it would on the other also. since the board is asymmetrical unless you go between squares, this makes for some interesting problem ideas.
finally, one theme that crops up often in problems is called the &quot;novotni&quot;. in this, one opposing piece moving on one line is forced to block the line of operation of another moving on a different line. put a black rook on a7 and black bishop on b8. if black plays rc7, the bishop's operation is blocked, and if the bishop goes there, the rook's line is blocked. i'm sure you can see where this is useful. a similar theme, called a &quot;plachutta&quot;, features two pieces moving on the same line (such as two rooks) interfering with one another. look for these and try them as possible solutions first (such as throwing a piece onto the point of interference where its capture forces a blockage).
other problem categories (endings, helpmates, maximummers, selfmates, etc.) might not adhere to these guidelines, but we won't worry about those.
7. eyeqpc
Robbo
09 Mar '04 01:06
This took me nearly half an hour but finally cracked it. Good puzzle
8. 09 Mar '04 14:36
Thanks for joining us, eyeqpc! Please post any good ones you've run across. BarefootChessPlayer, as was revealed in his (or her?) last post, knows quite a bit about the art of chess problem composition/solution. I know little, but newspaper chess columns were a big part of how I learned to play chess. I stopped reading them regularly several months ago, but I saved a year-and-a-half's worth from three different newspapers, so I've got some more for you guys. For example...
This endgame study is one of my favorites. It's not too tough, but it's fun and I remember it clearly because it was the first time I solved a puzzle in my head. I had been trying it out on a chess board for a few minutes and then put it away to call my wife. As I was talking to her on the phone, in the back of my mind I was reviewing the position and, pop, the solution dawned on me. Anyway, here it is, by O. Duras and printed in The Weekend Australian in August 2002: 8/2k2q2/2PpR2p/2P4P/6p1/8/6p1/4B1K1 w - - 0 1 and White draws. Enjoy.
9. 09 Mar '04 23:381 edit
Originally posted by huntingbear
Thanks for joining us, eyeqpc! Please post any good ones you've run across. BarefootChessPlayer, as was revealed in his last post, knows quite a bit about the art of chess problem composition/solution....8/2k2q2/2PpR2p/2P4P/6p1/8/6p1/4B1K1 w - - 0 1 and White draws. Enjoy.
when i saw this, it reminded me of a different problem i'd seen years ago in a book by chernev called chessboard magic! featuring 160 exquisitely beautiful endings.
the solution in that one was that black had a bishop controlling the white squares and it came to white tucking his king at g1 under two black pawns at g2 and g3. the bishop was on the long diagonal, and white was stalemate unless black moved the bishop off said diagonal and relinquished both pawns, producing a draw by insufficient material.
in the problem at hand, i saw right away that white must prevent the queen's infiltraton, but it took a while to see the proper sequence. it must also be fairly forceful to preempt black from mating or taking the rook.
i hope everyone finds it; it is truly delightful.
duras was noted not only for being a good problem composer but also an outstanding otb player, making him a rarity.
p. s.: i just noticed that i'd made my 2kth move earlier today!
10. 10 Mar '04 01:54
Originally posted by BarefootChessPlayer

p. s.: i just noticed that i'd made my 2kth move earlier today!
Congratulations! You should celebrate by posting us another problem ðŸ™‚
11. 11 Mar '04 17:53
Originally posted by huntingbear

Anyway, here's a trivial shortest proof, easy but fun, just to get things going:
rnbq1bnr/ppppkppp/8/4R3/4N3/8/1PPPPPPP/2BQKBNR b K - 0 5
What were the necessary moves of this game before 5.Rxe5# ?
i guess it's time to post the answer to this one.
1. a3, e5; 2. nc3, bxa3; 3. ne4, bf8; 4. ra5, ke7; 5. rxe5#.
white's first two moves can be interchanged without affecting the result.
12. 11 Mar '04 18:20
Originally posted by huntingbear
Congratulations! You should celebrate by posting us another problem ðŸ™‚
for me, 2k (=2048) has more significance than 2000.

here is one of my favorite problems:
white to move and win:

8/2p5/3prpb1/4k3/4p3/4KP2/4NP2/2R5
depending on the moves black makes, some of the results are rather prosaic, but the main line is pretty.

here is another:
white to move and win:

1R6/2pk4/1P6/8/3r4/K7/P7/8
solutions will appear on or after 03/22. if you know the anser prior to then, message me.
13. 12 Mar '04 11:54
Originally posted by BarefootChessPlayer
here is another:
reach: rnbqkb1r/ppp1pppp/8/3p4/16/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKB1R (or rnbqkb1r/ppp1pppp/3p4/24/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKB1R) in four legal moves.
(i. e., each side is missing a knight and black's pawn stands on d5 (or d6 if you prefer).)
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Ne5 d5 3. Nc6 Nfd7 4. Nxb8 Nxb8

The Black King's Knight has travelled across the board to avenge the death of his brother and stand in his stead on the Queen Side!
14. 12 Mar '04 17:262 edits
Originally posted by huntingbear
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. Ne5 d5 3. Nc6 Nfd7 4. Nxb8 Nxb8

The Black King's Knight has travelled across the board to avenge the death of his brother and stand in his stead on the Queen Side!
other ways: 2. nd4 and 2. ..., d6--getting to the end result by different means.
some things i'd like to point out for all here:
the names of chess pieces are not proper nouns and therefore do not require uppercasing. i sent a letter to uscf about this a number of years ago, and they stopped doing it but didn't acknowledge that i was the one to suggest it.
they still uppercase &quot;exchange&quot; (rook for minor piece transaction), which doesn't make sense since most authors (except reinfeld) don't (or didn't) do that even if they uppercase(d) the names of the pieces.
i've seen the words &quot;white&quot; and &quot;black&quot; treated differently by various authors. some uppercase them to refer to both the players and pieces (&quot;... the White knight was taken by Black&quot; ), some just to the players (... &quot;White threatened the black bishop, and Black moved it&quot; ), and some neither. i guess that's a matter of personal taste.
many of the older authors also used personal pronouns to refer to the chess pieces (&quot;black threatened the white queen, and white removed her from attack&quot; ), but most modern ones use the impersonal pronoun &quot;it&quot; to describe them. i prefer the latter, since chess pieces ar inanimate objects.
i think the idea of uppercasing the piece names came from the days in which all nouns in english were uppercased (see the u. s. declaration of independence or constitution as originally written for this), just as german does even today; chess was a longer holdout than most other aspects of the language.
as you can tell, i don't uppercase at all except to illustrate a point.
now back to the problems at hand...
15. 13 Mar '04 03:10
I do prefer to capitalize piece names. I generally use &quot;it&quot; to refer to pieces, but sometimes (as in my last post) I take literary license and refer to them as if they were people. &quot;White&quot; and &quot;Black&quot; I consider titles, and so I capitalize them. For example:

8/7P/8/6Bp/1K6/8/8/1k6 w - - 0 1

White (to move) assumed that if his King went across to capture the last Black Pawn, then Black's King would run to a8. Then White would have a Rook's Pawn and a Bishop on the wrong squares, and the position would obviously be drawn. White offered a draw and Black quickly accepted, but then remarked that White had missed an easy win. Who was right?