Sunday, September 10, 2006

Checkmate! (?)

I figured I should throw in some actual chess content instead of just making this a personal history blog. Here are 3 of the checkmate problems I worked while on vacation. One is just for fun, and for anyone who plays the Kings Gambit is probably just a warmup:

White mates in 5

I'm guessing King's Gambit players may have even seen the above position before. If not, it's probably not a bad idea to see it now.

Unfortunately, there were some errors in the book I was using. I remember reading someone's blog that argued in favor of checkmate problems because the finality of checkmate reduces errors. This may be true, but I'll show you some errors anyhow. The first is a minor error as there is a checkmate in the problem.

This problem is listed as Black mates in 5. I spent quite some time on this one, because I kept finding mate in 4! (1. ... Rf8+ 2. Nf7 Rxf7+ 3. Kg1 (Kg2 Rf2 Kg1 Ne2) Ne2+ 4. Kg2 Rf2++). Finally I decided I wasn't missing anything and checked the solution at the back of the book. The solution went as follows: 1. ... Rf8+ 2. Kg1 Rg2 and then Ne2++ after some spite checks. There was also no mention of the move Kg2. This makes me wonder who is proofreading this stuff.

This one is also listed as Black mates in 5 and this time the error is more egregious. There is no mate! It took me quite a while to convince myself of this. I tried to figure out what to do after Qxh3+ Kxh3 Ne3+ (or other knight moves) Kg3. Here it seemed white has escaped just fine. I worked pretty hard on this position until I finally gave up and looked at the solution. There is no mention of Kg3 in the solution! The book only gives Kh4, which does get mated. It turns out Kg3 is fine for white, there is no mate.

There were a couple other minor errors in the book where mate was faster than advertised, but overall, it was a useful book to take along to occasionally exercise my chess muscles while on vacation.

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At 1:22 PM, Blogger SamuraiPawn said...

Hi Loomis

Nice blog you got here. It's always nice to follow other peoples quests for real improvement in chess. Just wanted to thank you for your post and wish you all the best.


At 2:05 PM, Blogger Montse said...

Qh5 - Qf7- QD5-e5!! on fxe5 Qxe5 mates or otherwise Qf7# pretty much forced.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Loomis said...


1. Qh5+ Ke7 2. Qf7+ Kd6 3. Qd5+ Ke7 4. e5 Qe8 and there is no immediate mate.

1. Qh5+ Ke7 2. Qf7+ Kd6 3. e5+ fxe5 4. Qd5+ Ke7 5. Qe5++
Or, 3. ... Kc6 4. Qe5+ Kb6 5. Qb5++
Or, 3. ... Kc5 4. Qe5+ Kb6 or Kb4 5. Qb5++
Or, 3. ... Kxe5 4. Qe5++


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