Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Chess960: puzzle 22

Struck upon an amazing double queening tactical puzzle out of the opening for SP166 which in one primary variation has four queens on the board! It is advanced because it contains many tactical motifs primarily a quiet move, discovered attack, sacrifice, distraction(decoy), advanced pawn, exposed king and a defensive move!

SP166 white to play: move the only piece
 that wins in three moves
Solution bottom left (hint: the same piece
has two alternate moves to win)

e3!! (or e4!)

1.e3!! .. cxd2
2.Bc4+!.. Nxc4 (Kg6 leads to mate)
3.b8Q and black cannot avoid loosing a queen while white will have two

1.e3!! .. Qxd2
2.Be2!!.. and the only counter-attack ..Nd5 no longer works

1.Qxc7?.. cxd2
2.b8Q  .. Qe1+
3.Kf3  .. d1Q and black plays for a win with four kings on the board!

Comes from the opening for SP166:
1. f4 Nc6 2. b4 f6 3. Nc3 a6 4. a4 d5 5. b5 d4 6. bxc6 dxc3 7. Qa7 Qa2 8. Qxb8
Qxb1 9. Qxc8+ Kf7 10. cxb7 Qxc1+ 11. Kf2 Nb6 white to play

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Chess960: Watch out for the Chivalry Knights!

The chivalry knights are the name I've given to the many Chess960 positions that have two knights one square apart (or three as a variant).

They are one of the biggest threats in the opening phase of Chess960 creating many opportunities especially in blitz.

The key thing to remember about them is that they potentially hit two weak spots ahead of their position. Here is an example.

Black thinks that d6 might be a good idea to limit the forward scope of the chivalry knight pair. Good idea right? 

Well no. 

Firstly it breaks opening principals by wasting a tempo releasing the light bishop which already is released via e1-h5. Secondly, now e6 is a huge hole in black's position for the chivalry knights to exploit via the red lines indicated. There is a potential fork on e6 which would force the loss of the bishop pair and prevent castling. 

A would be disaster!

The chivalry knights can move forward to the square that separates them shifted three ranks up  - in only two moves - and they can get there from different directions. Two knights that coordinate with each other are like an octopus piece with tentacles that stretch all over the board.

Next time you see the chivalry knights in a Chess960 opening, have this pattern etched into your brain:

Enjoy 960

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Chess960: Puzzle 21

From SP 815 we get an awesome tactic that would never have happened in standard chess.


White to play and win:
Answer bottom left hand corner of this page

Notice the remnants of the start position in this tactic? Very difficult to get two kings in the corner and two undefended bishops next to each other in the corner.

Check out the solution below!

1. Ka2!! ... Qxg1?
2. e6! Black has no way to stop the e-pawn queening.
if instead:
1. e6? ... Qe1+!
2.Ka2 ... Qxe6
if instead:
1.Ka2!! ... Qe1!?
2.Bd5! ... Qxe5
3.Bc4 and black cannot avoid Qxb6 ruining blacks away-side pawns