Thursday, 3 May 2007

Friday chess puzzle 3: the solution

The solution to last Friday's chess puzzle:

It was White to play and force mate, with the catch: you can only move your rook once.

I asked, can White play any king move and still win? Or, has White only got one move that wins in this position? Is so, show me the winning line and how Black draws against the other moves.

The answers:

No, White has to find the correct move to win. If Black can get the opposition, starting with the distant opposition, he draws.

1 Kg7 fails to 1 ... Kg1; and 1 Kg8 fails to 1 ... Kg2

So the only move to win is 1 Kh7!

Congratulations to everyone who got it correct; Paul Devisser gave the clearest description of the winning line

Interesting puzzle. I think the solultion is dependent on the White
king maintaining opposition, and would go as follows...

1 Kh7 Kh2; 2 Kh6 Kh3; 3 Kh5 Kg3; 4 Kg5 Kh3; 5 Kf4 Kg2; 6 Kg4 Kh2; 7 Kf3 Kg1; 8 Kg3 Kh1; 9 Rf1 mate

Any attempts by black to deviate would result in a faster mate, Paul Devisser

Note the use of the f-file to maintain the opposition, and if the king tries to run up the h-file, e.g. 7 ... Kh3 we have an alternative mate 8 Rh8#

Chris Wardle worked out an incredibly detailed solution using mathematics to solve it! Check out his game theory spreadsheet.

apologies to those who tuned in yesterday for the solution.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.