27 February 2011

Andernach chess proof games

In December, I already drew your attention to orthodox proof games. Of course, you can combine this stipulation with a fairy condition, e.g. Andernach chess. Here are some examples:

  1Michel Caillaud  
feenschach 11/1993
  SPG in 3,0 moves(15+15)  
  Andernach chess

  2Erik Hansen  
Thema Danicum 04/2003
  SPG in 4,0 moves(15+15)  
  Andernach chess

  3                     Marco Bonavoglia
StrateGems 07-09/2006
Dedicated to Sara
  SPG in 3,5 moves(15+15)  
  Andernach chess

  4Markus Ott  
Dirk Borst  
feenschach 11/1994
  SPG in 9,0 moves(16+11)  
  Andernach chess

1 1. Nf3 Nc6 2. Ne5 Nxe5=w 3. Nxd7=b Nb8
2 1.2.1... means that the solutions splits at the first Black move, there are two (unique) continuations.
1. Nf3 d6 2. Ne5 dxe5=w 3. e6 Nd7 4. exd7=b e5
1. Nf3 e5 2. Nd4 Ne7 3. Nc6 Nbxc6=w 4. Nxe7=b Ng8
3 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5 Nxd5=w 3.Nxe7=b Ng8 4.c4
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 e4 3.Nxe4=b Nxd2=w 4.Nb1
4 1. e4 d5 2. e5 d4 3. e6 Bxe6=w 4. Bd5 Qxd5=w 5. Qc6+ Nxc6=w 6. Nb4 0-0-0 7. Nd5 Rxd5=w 8. Re5 d3 9. Re2 dxe2=w
After a long journey, the wPe2 returns: P->B->Q->N->R->P.

24 February 2011

Andernach Chess

Andernach chess is a chess variant in which a piece making a capture (except kings) changes colour. Non-capturing moves are played as in orthodox chess. If a pawn captures on 8th rank, it is promoted first and then changes colour.

Andernach is the site of annual meetings of fairy chess enthusiasts. There, in 1993, this chess variant was introduced.

  1Michel Caillaud  
Christian Poisson  
Andernach TT 1993
1st Prize
  Andernach chess

  2Stephen Rothwell  
feenschach 1997
2nd Prize
  Andernach chess

Perfect analogous variants in Nr. 1 resulting from the different first moves of the black pawn. After the key move 1. Qe4!, there is zugzwang:
1. - c5 2. Qe1 e4 3. b8=R e3 4. Rb3 e2 5. Rxg3=b R~ 6. Qg3#
1. - c6 2. e8=B c5 3. Qe2 e4 4. Bc6 e3 5. Bxg2=b B~ 6. Qg2#

The black rook on h4 is pinned in a way that's typical for Andernach chess – capturing the knight led to a change of colour and therefore to a self-check.

Diagram 2 shows a fairy roundtrip e2-e3-f5-f4-e2. White uses each newly acquired piece to give check again: 1. Be2! (thr. 2. Nc6#) fxe2=w 2. e3+ Nxe3=w 3. Nf5+ Rxf5=w 4. Rf4+ Nxf4=w 5. Ne2+ Bxe2=w 6. Nc6#.

In most cases, Andernach chess is used in connection with helpmates. Here are two beautiful examples.

  3Torsten Linß  
Markus Manhart  
Franz Pachl  
Manfred Rittirsch  
Andernach TT 1993
1st Honourable Mention
  Andernach chess

  4Juraj Lörinc  
Sachova Skladba 49/1995
  h#2      10.1...(9+4)  
  Andernach chess

The stipulation of Nr. 3 says that it's White to play. You also could write it as "h#3 0.1...". The asterisk tells that there is also a set play (play which is possible from the initial position of a problem if the other player moves first). Solution:
1. - - 2. Rxc4=w Ra4 2. Qxa4=w Qd4# and
1. - Nh5 2. Nxc3=w Nd1 3. Qxd1=w Qd5#.
Total analogy between set play and solution.

Nr. 4 is a task problem. Ten times the same procedure. Very neat!
1. Ra2 Rxa2=b 2. Rxc2=w Ra2#
1. Ra3 Rxa3=b 2. Rxh3=w Ra3#
1. Ra4 Rxa4=b 2. Rxg4=w Ra4#
1. Ra5 Rxa5=b 2. Rxb5=w Ra5#
1. Ra6 Rxa6=b 2. Rxe6=w Ra6#
1. Bg2 Bxg2=b 2. Bxh3=w Bg2#
1. Bf3 Bxf3=b 2. Bxg4=w Bf3#
1. Be4 Bxe4=b 2. Bxc2=w Be4#
1. Bd5 Bxd5=b 2. Bxe6=w Bd5#
1. Bc6 Bxc6=b 2. Bxb5=w Bc6#

21 February 2011

Alice Chess

Alice Chess is a chess variant played using two chess boards, A and B. It's named after the main character "Alice" in Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking-Glass (you remember?), and was invented by V. R. Parton in 1953.

All pieces move as in standard chess, except that the en passant capture is abolished. The normal array is on board A; board B starts empty. In turn, each player makes a single move on either board following these three rules:
1. A move must be legal on the board where it is played.
2. A move can only be made if its destination square on the other board is vacant.
3. After moving, the piece is transferred to the corresponding square on the other board.

If you like to read more about Alice Chess, here are links to two articles: The Chess Variant Pages,
George Jelliss.

You can play Alice Chess online and against computer software &mdash see the first of the links I just mentioned. Of course, there are also chess compositions with the condition Alice Chess.

Paul Raican
Quartz 12/2000
2nd Honourable Mention
SPG in 9,5 moves
Alice Chess

"A" or "B" behind a move indicates to which board the respective piece is transferred. After castling, both king and rook go to the other board.
1. a3(B) g6(B) 2. Rxa7(B) Bg7(B) 3. Rxg7(A) Nf6(B) 4. Rxh7(B) 0-0(B) 5. Rh8(A) Qe8(B) 6. Rxc8(B) Kg7(A) 7. Rxe8(A) Rh8(A) 8. Rxe7(B) Kf8(B) 9. Ra7(A) Ke8(A) 10. Ra2(B). Funny journey of the white rook and nice return of the black king and black rook.

18 February 2011

Through the Looking-Glass

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. You can find the complete text here. By the way, many of the illustrations in the German version of Dickins' A Guide to Fairy Chess are taken from that book.

The book is based on a game of chess, played on a giant chessboard with fields for squares. Most main characters are represented by a chess piece, with Alice herself being a pawn, becoming a queen by the end of the story.

The book opens with the following chess diagram and text:

White Pawn (Alice) to play, and win in eleven moves
1.Alice meets R.Q.1.R.Q. to K.R. 4th
2.Alice through Q.'s 3d (by railway)
to Q.'s 4th (Tweedledum
and Tweedledee)
2.W.Q. to Q.B.'s 4th (after shawl)
3.Alice meets W.Q. (with shawl)3.W.Q. to Q.B.'s 5th (becomes sheep)
4.Alice to Q.'s 5th (shop, river, shop)4.W.Q. to K.B.'s 8th (leaves egg on
5.Alice to Q.'s 6th (Humpty Dumpty)5.W.Q. to Q.B.'s 8th (flying from R.
6.Alice to Q.'s 7th (forest)6.R. Kt. to K.'s 2nd (ch.)
7.W. Kt. takes R. Kt.7.W. Kt. to K.B.'s 5th
8.Alice to Q.'s 8th (coronation)8.R.Q. to K.'s sq (examination)
9.Alice become Queen9.Queen's castle
10.Alice castles (feast)10.W.Q. to Q. R. 6th (soup)
11.Alice takes R.Q. and wins

In the preface of the 1896 edition, Carroll writes:
As the chess-problem, given on a previous page, has puzzled some of my readers, it may be well to explain that it is correctly worked out, so far as the moves are concerned. The alternation of Red and White is perhaps not so strictly observed as it might be, and the ‘castling’ of the three Queens is merely a way of saying that they entered the palace; but the ‘check’ of the White King at move 6, the capture of the Red Knight at move 7, and the final ‘check-mate’ of the Red King, will be found, by any one who will take the trouble to set the pieces and play the moves as directed, to be strictly in accordance with the laws of the game.

So, can the puzzle be solved? What a question! Here is the "translation" into chess moves:
Qe2-h5 d2-d4 Qc1-c4 Qc4-c5 d4-d5 Qc5-f8 d5-d6 Qf8-c8 d6-d7 Ng8-e7+ Nf5xe7 Ne7-f5 d8=Q Qh5-e8 Qc8-a6 Qd8xe8#.

15 February 2011


Today, I show five tough nuts, five times a mate in five moves. How many of them can you crack?

Heinrich S. Eichstädt
Neue Berliner Schachzeitung, 1867

Herbert Engel & Fritz Giegold
Schach-Echo, May 1973

Herbert Grasemann
Berliner Morgenpost, 1956

Hans Lepuschütz
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1940

Bernhard Schauer
Aachener Nachrichten TT, 1968
1st Prize

1. Bg3+? Kd4 2. Rd6+ Kc4!
1. Nd3+! Kxe4 2. Nc5+ Ke5 3. Bd4+ Kxd4 4. Re6 ~ 5. Re4#

Engel & Giegold
1. Bg1! e6 2. Bh2 cxb4 3. Ng8 Kxg4 4. Nf6+ Kf5 5. g4#
1. - cxb4 2. Bxb6 b3/e6 3. Bc5 e6/b3 4. Nf6+ Kxh6 5. Bf8#

1. Rh3! (2. Rc3, Rd4#) Bxh3 2. Rd4+ Kc3 3. Rd5+ Kc4 4. Bc2 (5. Rc5#) Kxd5 5. Bb3#

Hans Lepuschütz
1. Kb7? Rh8!
1. Ra1! (2. Rxh1 3. Rh6#) Rxa1 2. Kb7 (3. Nd5+ Kf5 4. Rg5+ Ke4 5. Bh7#) Rh1 3. Rf7+ Kxe6 4. Nd5 Kxd5 5. Rf4#
1. - g2 2. Re1 (3. Rf7#) Rxe1 3. Nd5+ etc.

Bernhard Schauer
1. Be5? Bxd5!
1. Rc5? Bb7!
1. Rc6! Bb7 2. Re6+ Kxd5 3. Rf6+ Kxd4+ 4. Rc6+ Ke4 5. Rc4#
2. - Kf4 3. Rf6+ Kg5/Ke4 4.Rf5+/Rff3 Kh6/~ 5. Rh5/Rbe3#
1. - Bxc6 2. dxc6 Kf4 3. c7 Kg5 4. c8=Q Kf4/Kh6 5. Qf5/Qc1#

12 February 2011


I have a thing for helpmates. Every now and then, I post some nice finds. Enjoy!

  1David Bevan  
The Problemist 11/2003
  h#5      2.1...(2+2)  

  2A. Henkel  
The Problemist FCS 07/2003
a) Diagram
b) wQc7

1 I) 1. Kd7 Nd5 2. Kc6 Ke6 3. Kb7+ Kd7 4. Ka8 Kc8 5. Ra7 Nb6#
II) 1. Rh6 Kd5 2. Kf6 Kd6 3. Kg7+ Ke7 4. Kh8 Kf8 5. Rh7 Ng6#
2 a) 1. Kc6 g5 2. Kd7 g6 3. Ke8 g7 4. Qd7 g8=Q#
b) 1. e5 Qf7 2. Kc5 Kg3 3. Kd4 Kf2 4. Ke4 Qc4#

09 February 2011

A joke chess problem

Some days ago, I came across this funny puzzle. Enjoy!

Niels Høeg
Skakbladet 1907
1st Prize
White ends the game in 2 moves (4+5)

1. Qe1! exf1=Q 2. Kxg3 Qxe1# (selfmate)
1. - exf1=R 2. Qxg3# (mate)
1. - exf1=B 2. Kxg3= (stalemate)
1. - exf1=N 2. Qf2 Kxf2 / gxf2= (selfstalemate)
1. - g2 2.Bxe2# (mate)

06 February 2011


Today, something less difficult. Referring to chess problems, the expression "no-brainer" has been introduced by Tim Krabbé. You may have a look at entries #265 and #267 in his Open Chess Diary. Here are two more of that category:

  1Knud Hannemann  
Skakbladet 06/1942

  2A. Lundgren  
Skakbladet 05/1942

No need to give solutions for non-brainers, right? Solving such puzzles is no work at all – the more it is composing them!

03 February 2011

More detective chess

Here are two more detective chess puzzles. Again, it's your task to place the given pieces on the board. Each number tells how often the respective square is threatened by a piece.

In puzzle 1, some fairy pieces are involved: grasshopper, nightrider and amazon (see the symbols in the second row below the diagram, from left to right). The amazon (AM) combines the powers of the queen and the knight. Puzzle 2 is a variation where you don't have marks but information for each square.



1 Sa3, Rb7, Gd3, AMf1, Qf8, Bg2, Ng5. To distinguish knight from nightrider, S is used for the knight.
2 Qa2, Ka7, Rf4, Ng1, Bh7.