02 December 2011

Christmas Quizzes (1)

You know it, right? Yeah, it's quiz time! Lots of web pages, newspapers and (chess) magazines offer their readers brainteasers for their recreation (or desperation). I've chosen some chess puzzles from Hugh Courtney’s famous Christmas Quizzes that were published in the magazine Chess. Have fun!

1What is it that a king, rook, bishop, knight and pawn can all do, but a queen cannot?
2What (if anything) is wrong with the following conversation:
"The Vicar gave Jock a fright last night when he put Jock in double check from both his queens!" "Yes, I saw it, the Vicar had two queens, two pawns and king, and Jock had queen, rook, bishop, knight, three pawns and king: quite a position!" "That's right, and the Vicar's face was quite a picture when Jock's move in reply to the double check actually put the Vicar into checkmate!!" ?
3Is this true or false: Neither a knight nor a pawn can give check without first moving away from its original square. ?

  4G. Kortnog  
source unknown
[5Q2/1Ppn4/B3p3/1K1k4/8/8/8/8]
  h#2(4+4)  

These are the solutions:
1First asked by Arthur C. Moseley (CHESS, October 1959). A queen is the only piece that cannot make a move giving discovered check.
2Nothing is wrong. Consider the following possible position from the game Jock (White) vs. the Vicar (Black). White is in check and play continues 1. e4 fxe3 e.p.+ 2. Kxe3#
[4Q2N/5q2/7p/R2q3k/5p1P/5KP1/4P3/3B4]
3False! Although true of a pawn, a knight may actually give check from its original square — if a pawn promotes. For example, 1. d8=N+ puts a black king at b7 into check. The square d8 is that knight's original square!
41. e5 Ka4,a5,b4 2. Ke6 Bc4#
It took me quite a long time to discover the solution. Yes, the first white move is not unique and you'd consider this helpmate as cooked. But it's still a nice and tricky puzzle!

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