23 December 2011

Christmas Quizzes (4)

The 2011 solving contest of the Stuttgarter Zeitung is there! It was published last Saturday and, of course, you can find a reprint of the puzzles on Harald Keilhack's site. You are confronted with the usual suspects "add a unit", "release the position" and Proca-retractor. It's a must for all fans of that sort of chess problems. As for me, I did have great fun solving them.

I still have some of Hugh Courtney's puzzles left that I want to show you. As always, I struggle with the (lack of proper) references and again I am sorry for that. Anyway, I hope that you'll enjoy my selection and that you don't know all of it already.

Add white king and white knight, so that White can mate in one

  2Darwin Cabrera  
White takes back his last move and mates in one

  3Francis C. Collins  
Land and Water, 1879
White takes back his last move and mates in one

4   It's White to move. Here are some statements about the position:
  1. White mates in two.
  2. Black's last move was not legal.
  3. It's mate in one.
  4. Black's last move may have been legal, but the position itself is not legal.
  5. Black's last move was d5.
  6. Black's last move was Ke7.
Which two statements are right and why?

  5P. Leibovici  
Magyar Sakkvilag, 1931

  6H. Voss  
Aachener Anzeiger, 1933

In case you should need to have a look at them — here are the solutions:
1+wKd3, +wNh3: 1. Kxd2#. Last moves were e2-e1=N+, Rb1xc1+.
2back f7xBg8=N, then 1. f8=N#
3back 1. Rg8xPg5, then 1. h5xg6 e.p.#
4If Black had just played d5, there would have been no way at all for the black queen's bishop to have emerged from its initial square. And that means that White can't play 1. exd6 e.p.#.
Black's last move was Ke6-e7 as a reaction to White's move f7xg8=B+.
The position is legal: first f7xBg6, then wPf2 to f7, e7xNf6 and finally f7xg8=B+.
It's a mate in two by 1. exf6+ Kxf6 2. g5#.
51. Ke1 Rh1 2. f2 Ng1 3. Be2+ Nf3#
61. Kg6 Kg2 2. Rg5+ Rg3 3. Kh5 Kf3 4. Rhg6 Rh3#
Apparently, this problem was published with reversed colours, so that it was White to move and help Black to mate him. I changed that to make it look like a helpmate as we know it.

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