Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chess960 puzzle no.20

Symmetry is an interesting subject in Chess960. Sometimes black can play symmetrically, sometimes black can't.

Here is a great little puzzle demonstrating some of the more bizarre situations Chess960 symmetry can throw up:

SP366 Black to play (castling all sides permitted):
Why can't black copy white's play and come out materially equal?

Answer bottom left corner

Answer: because black's queen ends up undefended!

With best play:
4.Bxc7! Bxc2
5.Bxd8! Bxd1
6.Bxe7! Bxe2??


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chess960 puzzle no.19

One of the most incredible openings I have ever seen in chess960 after only eight moves. You would think clearly white is better but white has some big weaknesses even though black's king is exposed.

SP650: Black to play (castling all sides/colours still possible)
Which side do you think is better in this position?
Answer bottom left corner below

Answer: black is better because of serious weakness on e2
(checked with Stockfish engine)
8)     ...Nf4  threatening bishop and fork on e2
9)Bf3  ...     defending fork
9)     ...Nd4  threatening e2 fork and attacking a4
10)Nb6+...Kb8  quiet move before the next wave of attacks
11)Ng3 ...     defending fork and developing
11)    ...g5!  threatening to undermine Bf3 and preparing Qg6
12)Nxa8...g4!  undermining e2 defense
13)Qf1 ...      stepping out of fork attacking a6
13)    ...Bb5  black actually does a bit of defending!
14)d3  ...     guarding c2 against Qg6 and attacking b4
14)    ...gxf3 capturing material
15)gxf3..      else queening threat!
15)    ...Qg6  threatening mating line beginning Nxc2!
white is completely lost

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chess960 - not a fool mate!

In standard chess, the fool's mate is the shortest way to loose needing only two moves. It is not a very pretty mate though. Problem is that it requires illogical play to happen. White would never actually play that badly.

Boring ugly and unlikely Fool's mate of standard chess

But now, thanks to Bobby Fischer the inventor of Chess960, The Chess world finally has a much prettier fool's mate. It is beautiful mate because each move is logical and principled. You don't need to be a fool to play this one!

SP168: A beautiful version of the Fool's mate
because each move is principled

Enjoy 960 and hope you never become the fool - but in chess 960, when you are a fool, you can be a beautiful one.