Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chess960: Opening Puzzle No. 7

Wow I'm in shock, I've finally got four followers. Thanks for helping to encourage this continuing blog on Chess960. Please do whatever people do to show me that you are reading this blog because blogging is hard work if you want to make it reasonable quality. The readership of this blog is by far dominated by the spambots especially the "toothwhitner" spambot, but at least with the occasional human follower joining in, I can have some confidence that people are reading this. The Googles metrics are useless because of the spambots. I do wonder whether Google Inc is not removing the spambot effect on the metrics, because it gives blogging novices the impression that someone is reading their blog, when in fact no person is.

Ok onto a ridiculous situation that I got into in Chess960 a few days ago in what was a real game!  It makes a great Chess960 puzzle but be warned, it is way more difficult than it first appears! The solution involves a lovely twist in the plot! Here goes:

SP373 Black to play: Capture the Knight! (castling is permitted)
Solution is given somewhere on this page.
Be warned it is really tricky. Enjoy 960!

1.       ... cxb4! (...c4?, b5!...Be7, Nc6)
2. Rxb4  ... Nb6 (and the mission to shield the light bishop is complete)
3. a4!   ... Be7
4. Rb1   ... a5 (black must prevent the b6 knight from being biffed)
5. g4!!  ...
wrong is:
5.       ... Nxg4?
6. Qf3   ... Nf6
7. Bb2   ... O-O
8. Be5!  ... Rxb8 (but white has Bxc7/BxN!)
better is:
5.       ... O-O
6. g5!   ... Rxb8!
7. gxf6  ... Bxf6 (but white has positional compensation)
best is:
5.       ... Kd8!! (Black switches plans - a lovely twist)
6. g5    ... Ne8! (Black's previous move has made room for the knight)
7. Qf3   ... Kc8! (Black will capture white's knight with the king!)
8. Kc3   ... Kxb8! =/+ (sometimes the king has got to step out of the throne and get the job done himself!)


  1. I am happy to have gotten the first three moves. That seems to be my horizon.

  2. For FRC-chess960 the LAN (1. Ne1-f3) style of notation might be a better choice than SAN (1. Nf3, which might wrongly be assumed as referring to Ng1-f3 by traditional habit).

    Even generally better than LAN (Ne1-f3) might be XSAN (Nf3~e1 or Nf3<e1 perhaps).

    LAN or XSAN would be easier for me to mentally follow for a few opening moves, than would SAN.

    GeneM, 2011/Oct/16