08 April 2011

Synthetics

Yes, I owe you the solution to the joke problem you saw in the last post. Did you succeed in unmasking the "pusher"? Or were you desperately trying to crack the puzzle and finally gave up in despair?

Don't worry, you were not really supposed to solve it. This kind of problems is rather for the people's amusement. Firstly, for the composer to see (well, if I only could) people shaking their heads looking at it and making wild guesses. Secondly, hopefully, for those who bother to have a look at the solution and comprehend the special idea behind.

OK, the pushing piece is the white king! And what can he hustle? Of course, there are his subjects on the h-file. First poke: 1. Kh6+! As a result, all other pieces are being pushed one square downwards: Rh6→h5, Bh5→h4, Bh4→h3. The choices of the black king are irrelevant, White's moves are always the same. Second poke: 2. Kh5+ (Rh5→h4, Bh4→h3, Bh3→h2). Third poke: 3. Kh4# (Rh4→h3, Bh3→h2, Bh2→h1). That's all. I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit.



Would you like to compose a chess problem yourself? Just try — I give you the solution and you set up the position. The English word for this sort of challenge is synthetics, the Germans say Problemsynthese and the Dutch use the word Reconstructie. In several chess magazines, there were (in fact still are) such reconstruction tasks, e.g. Die Schwalbe, Probleemblad, The Problemist and Schach. Here is such a task for you.

Construct a twomover that has only the following variations:

1. Nd1! (threats 2. Nc3#)
1. - Rb3 2.Kxb3#
1. - Rb2+ 2.Kxb2#
1. - Qa5 2.Kc1#
1. - Qd4 2.Ng5#
1. - Qd3+ 2.exd3#
1. - Qd2+ 2.Kxd2#
1. - Qxd1+ 2.Kxd1#
1. - Qxe6 2.Kc3#

The composer used 18 men, but 17 already suffice. Again, take your time and have fun finding out how this works!

1 comment:

HeinzK said...

Wow, it plays like one of those hard levels of ladder man (in my case, probably level 1 or 2). Although I seem to recall that ladder man was too weak to push up/down more than one "box" at a time. But of course, the Chess King is more into body building 8-)