Studies for fun and entertainment
Note that I turn on the feedback section. Please do not provide any solutions to the puzzle – and spoil the fun for other readers. Just tell us what you think about it, how long it took you to solve it and how difficult you found the study.
The solutions will come in a few days in detail. There you will learn all the fine details of the position that even a casual chess enthusiast can understand. Of course, I will not state the source of the study today. It’s too easy to search it with google.
So let’s get started. Here is the first study with two questions:
The first task for you is to think about the legality of the above position. If White is to play, what could have been Black’s last move? And the whites move in front of it. It’s for you to find. Not entirely trivial.
The second is to release the position. You know you can move the pieces around on the diagram above. An engine will try to defend itself and will refute any unsound attempts by White to win.
The second study is quite confusing.
There are many tempting moves, but believe it or not, only one key move will ensure victory. Here we stopped the engine. You should try to find the right way to win all by yourself by moving the pieces for white and for black.
Initial thought: White can prevent Black’s h-pawn from advancing, but if he plays 1.Ke4 Black simply attacks the sixth-ranked pawn. For example, he plays 1…dxc6 and now has two separate passed pawns heading for the promotion.
So the first move will clearly be a pawn capture, but that’s the only one of the four possible captures that wins. You should work that out. Note that the first button below the chart takes you back to the starting position so you can try different lines one by one.
One last study for today. It’s very clever, but also very amusing.
White has a vicious attack with a queen and two rooks against the opponent’s king. But a rook is pinned and Black’s b-pawn threatens a checkmate promotion. Fortunately, White has a clear drawing strategy: 1.Rh6+ Qxh6 2.Qa8+ Kh7 3.Qb7+ Qa8+. Black is helpless against the repeated checks of the white queen. So the tie is certain.
But can white get more? Yes he can. The beauty of this problem is that White can actually take all of Black’s pieces (except the knight on a6) by check – 36 times in a row! But it has to be done artfully. Can you do it on the chart above? We switched on the engine and it will immediately refute any carelessness on your part.
That’s enough fun for today. Expect the solutions and full explanations on Monday, giving you a whole weekend to solve them yourself. Once again: Do not post solutions in the feedback session below. Just your thoughts on the study and this form of presentation.
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