Studies for fun and entertainment (2)

Note that I enable the comments section. Please don’t give puzzle solutions – and spoil the fun of other readers. Just let us know what you think about it, how long it took you to figure it out, and how hard you thought studying was.

The solutions will be detailed in a few days. There you will learn all the details of the position, in terms that even a casual chess fan can understand. Of course, I will not give the source of today’s study. It’s too easy to search for it with Google.

So let’s start. The first position seems quite simple.

Amazingly, there is only one key move in the above position that will secure a win. Can you find it by moving pieces on the diagram above? An engine will defend Black’s position, so you need to find the right strategy to be able to secure victory. There are many things you can learn from this simple study.

The second position is even simpler.

At first glance, it looks like an easy win for the Whites. But you soon see problems. Whatever you play, Black will respond with 1…g2 – and force you to trade the queen he promotes to g1 for your rook. There is only one move that will actually lead to victory. Can you find it. Move the pieces on the diagram above. Here the built-in motor is turned off, so you have to adjust everything yourself. Congratulations if you find the single winning move!

Our last puzzle concerns forks.

Black threatens the terrible …Re1#. White has a powerful family check: 1.Nf5+, attacking the king, queen and rook. However, you quickly discover that this does not work: 1…Kxf4 2.Nxe7 Kxe7 is a theoretical draw. So how about an intermediate control, 1.Nh5, forcing the black king to move to the h file. 1…Kh4 leads to immediate family control on f5, and trades until winning B+N for P, and 1…Kh3 2.Nf6+ forces 2…Kg3 and again we have control winning family.

But what about 1…Kh2, after white has limited options? Do you think White can win after 1.Nh5 Kh2 2.Nf6+ Kh3 – and if so, how should White proceed? Once again we’ve turned off the engine and you’re being asked to sort it all out yourself. Note that the main sequel contains a very clever path to victory.

That’s pretty fun for today. Expect solutions and full explanations in a few days, during which you can try to solve them yourself. Once again: do not post solutions in the comment session below. Only your thoughts on the studies and on this form of presentation.

About Norma Wade

Check Also

Hope for G-20 consensus dims as Russia bristles at ‘unacceptable language’ over Ukraine invasion

Russia and the United States failed to agree on the language of a joint statement …