22 May 2012

A Good Run

During lunch, after more than two hours of torture in the dental office, I solved a few exercises from the set of 300 provided with the iPad app Chess-wise Pro. Making a conscientious effort to work out the variations and choose the correct move on the first try, I managed to solve eleven straight without error. I was finished eating when I failed the twelfth.

The problem that required the longest time for me to work out the correct solution was No. 143.

White to move

Problem No. 146 stumped me. Even after I found the key, I did not really comprehend it.

White to move


  1. For the first problem, I've come up with the following.

    (1) Rxh6+

    (1)...Kxh6 (2) Qg6# is mate

    (1)...gxh6 (2) Nxf6+ Kh8 (3) Qg8#

    (1)...Kg8 (2) Nxf6+ Kf7 (3) Qg6#

    1. Yes. For some reason it took me several minutes of failing in other variations before I examined 1.Rxh6+. Once I looked at that move, working out the variations was quick, as they are short forced lines.

  2. I did not have any trouble with the first problem, but the second one did cause me difficulties. Nonetheless, I can explain the solution.

    First note that direct attempts to stop the pawn with the bishop fail. White’s bishop gets chased round the diamond f5, h3, f1, d3 by Black’s king running round the smaller diamond f4, g3, f2, e3. Note that if the bishop returns to f5, Black must not push his pawn, because it then gets in the way of his king. Instead he repeats with Kf4. I thought that the Q+P vs. Q endgame that results form sacrificing the bishop on f1 might be won, but Shredder has it as just +1.50.

    The solution is to play 1.Bc8. If Black pushes the pawn, it gets in the way of his king - as before - and the bishop stops the pawn. If Black does not push the pawn, White plays 2.Ba6. The bishop now stops the pawn after White plays c5.

    It is good to see that you have the courage to publish your failures! It is encouraging to the rest of us who sometimes fail to see the obvious! I am also encouraged that my current round of endgame study is worthwhile.