Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. 31 May '08 13:09
    Here is one that is tricky.

    In my experience of showing this puzzle over 30 years.
    It usually helps if you are an inexperienced player.

    I've shown this to good players IM's and alike.
    They struggle.
    Weaker players seem to get it within minutes.

    I showed it to one GM - he solved in less than 30 seconds.
    Though he was surpised how long it took him.

    There is something going on here.
    Weak players, especially children have very open minds,
    then they read chess books or get badly coached.

    GM's have trained minds.

    Us in the middle are too dogmatic I think that's the word.
    I toiled when I was first shown it.
    I eventually got it - but nearly gave up.

    Too many clues? Here it is.
    Clear chessboard.
    put the Black King on e5.

    Then place two white rooks and one white knight only,
    on the board so that the black king is checkmated.

    Try it on your chess mates - you will surprised who struggles
    and who gets it quickly.

    With solution an explanation on why it's so tough for
    middle of the road players (myself included) to solve.
  2. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    31 May '08 13:19
    Took me 3 minutes.

    Had to resort to logic rather than any chess intuition!!

    The reason its difficult to find is rather more obvious than the solution!
  3. 31 May '08 13:25 / 1 edit
    I believe in your explanation you have solved it.

    I do not know wether to congratulate you as I said
    weaker players solve it quickly and I may cause offence!

    There again you seem to be an experienced solver and can switch
    from normal chess to problem chess with ease.

    Of course you may a GM - well done.
  4. 31 May '08 13:31
    Took me about 2 minutes, I suppose that makes me a weaker player. Kudos for the good quality problem.
  5. Standard member emanon
    Student
    31 May '08 14:47
    At my first two attempts, I really couldn't solve it. Kept looking for about five minutes and threw aside the pieces in annoyance. At my third attempt I found it in a couple of seconds, great puzzle!
  6. 31 May '08 15:02
    15 seconds or so... I must be a very weak player then, according to you. I probably am.
  7. 31 May '08 15:54 / 1 edit
    Found a solution (or, rather, four symmetric solutions) in maybe three minutes.

    However, the positions I come up with are illegal. But, then again, the wording of the puzzle does not dictate a legal position, just that the black king has to be mated...

    Cheers,
    T.
  8. Subscriber Ponderable
    chemist
    31 May '08 15:57
    I didn't even find your problem...
    It's very basci to mate a lone King with two rooks. The Knight has just to stay out of the way I think.
  9. Standard member emanon
    Student
    31 May '08 16:28
    Originally posted by Ponderable
    I didn't even find your problem...
    It's very basci to mate a lone King with two rooks. The Knight has just to stay out of the way I think.
    I think you misunderstood the problem, the black king has to be placed on e5 and then you have to find a position that checkmates the king. You do not 'play the game'.
  10. 31 May '08 16:59 / 1 edit
    There is actually 8 solutions if you swap the Rooks about.

    By the fact you are on this site does
    tell me you enjoy solving these things so expect
    and look for the unexpected.

    That is why some of you are getting it so quick.

    There will be people out there cursing me
    (and you when you show it to them.)

    Average players chess players can only work with the tools they have.
    Pattern recognition plays a big part in playing
    combinations and SEEING combinations.

    "Before you play it - first you must see it."

    I think that quote belongs to Jacob Aagaard
    the current British Champion. (forgive me if I'm wrong).

    So when certain positions arrive on the board we can
    see there is a combination there or we are alerted by our
    memory which has a store of such patterns.

    The more you study the more patterns you store,
    the better you become.

    I could fill a book with all the combinations I have
    played over the past 30 years - sound combinations.

    Not one did I invent at the board. Each one can be traced
    back to an idea I had played against me or saw in a book.

    If you are honest you to will realise that every trick you
    ever pulled off at board was downloaded by you from your
    memory because of something had seen before.
    Not the exact position but the idea - the pattern.

    Do you think you would have found Phildors Legacy.
    The smothered mate. If you had never seen the idea before.
    I mean found it during a game. Not as a set problem when you
    know there is something there.

    So when an average player is confronted with this problem
    the first thing he does (unknow to him perhaps, but he is
    doing it) his mind is scanning his memory for a 2 rook 1 Knight
    mating pattern. There is none.

    So he has to invent one. This is where the struggle comes in
    and why your brain releases 'the joy' chemical once you have
    solved it. You really do feel good after you have solved it.

    Less experienced younger players do not yet have a store of patterns
    and their mind is not used to scanning patterns.
    They approach it as they do there games - hit or miss,
    suck and see, guess work. Inspiration. They will get it.

    Having been told there is no mating pattern our average
    player will do what he does in his games.
    There is no combination here and moves on.
    Failure to recognise a cobmination is due to a lack of patterns.

    But they have been told there is a mate there and go back again
    to try and find it. Frustration creeps in.

    They shuffle the bits around and around getting angry.
    I've seen it - you will see it - perhaps you have just experienced it.

    I include myself as an average player - I toiled, I got frustrated.
    Don't give up - you have never seen the position before.
    It's like asking you to name a face of someone you don't know.

    Don't post the solution just yet - give a few others the
    chance to get 'the joy'.
  11. 31 May '08 17:16
    I have the answer. Anyone who tries to explain why it's illegal may fall into another trap though. I can think of a position where this theme would be legal.
  12. 31 May '08 17:20 / 1 edit
    I know I'm spoiling the puzzle... does there have to be a wK?
  13. 31 May '08 18:10
    White has Two Rooks and one Knight only. No King.

    Black has a King on e5.

    Place the white pieces on the board so black is mated.

    No moves to be played - glue the Black King to e5 and mated him.
  14. 31 May '08 18:49
    Quite simple actually. The first idea that popped to my mind was the one that mates. Guess I'm a very weak player then.
  15. 31 May '08 19:24 / 1 edit
    Or a good player.

    Too many clues in the thread now.

    Try it out on some other players - you will surprised
    who sees it who does not.

    Edit 1. Sorry forgot to mention - I love your Latvian Gambit.
    I'm English all I have is 1.c4 (Blergh!)