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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This week, I thought I would dedicate it to 1916, one hundred years ago. Here we have a problem from back then which was and still is quite popular: making a mating puzzle by setting it in the form of a letter. Pal Benko used to do this for Chess Life. As you can see, it is the letter “E” and it’s a mate in two.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This week, I thought I would dedicate it to 1916, one hundred years ago. A way to compare yourself with players of that era. What would your move be here? This position arose in a game Rabinovitch-Gregoriev in Moscow of that year. Future world champ Alekhine won the tournament with 10 wins and a draw!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This is a very practical study by Troitzki. The solution is a bit counterintuitive.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This was an actual endgame between Alexander Alekhine and Frederick Yates in 1910. A.A. found a way to win it. Now, to be fair, you must find Black’s best defense, because you would expect that from your opponent. Thus if you have a clever king move, remember he has one!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This was an actual endgame between an endgame composer, L. Prokes as White, and Balogh, at the Hague Olympiad in 1928. What did he come up with to win this game? Note that rooks for both sides are under attack.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This is a good puzzle if you’re among the readers getting lots of snow this weekend. It’s from the 1948 World Championship and Mikhail Botvinnik, soon to be champ, as White taking apart Paul Keres, no mean attacking master himself.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Our “overwhelming odds” puzzles conclude after a brief haiatus with a prodigious feat of composition by the legendary Sam Loyd who published it in The American Chess Journal of 1879. The knight makes a threat and then the bishop and rook play hide and go seek for 26 moves!!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Assiac, in his book The Pleasures of Chess, put this not so pleasurable position in one chapter on bad luck and missed opportunities. White here played 1.Qf4 and eventually lost. How should he have continued his attack on the Black king?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

A real bang bang mate done by Chigorin against an amateur. It’s over in three moves.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

What’s the quickest mate here for White? Alekhine found a mate in four, probably remembering a game Marshall played (big hint for chess history buffs)

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Continuing our “request” theme for overcoming overwhelming odds, here’s a study by Dr. O. T. Blathy that also fits the bill. This time you have a knight without promotion! It’s a mate in twelve (!), but as Assiac stated in The Pleasures of Chess, “it is by no means as difficult as it may seem.” Hey, it’s one piece to play with and ...

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

A reader, Rey Tomayo, whose correspondence I always enjoy, has written to say he would like to see some overwhelming odds puzzles. OK! We’ll start with an easy one: King and Pawn against EVERBODY!! And Black is threatening to queen three pawns!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This game is one of my favorite teaching games. It is Saulson-Phillips, Chicago, 1907. Chernev and Harkness used it to teach chess notation in their book, An Invitation to Chess. I modernized it for my students. It’s great fun, especially the last move!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This has become oldies week. Another ancient miniature game from 1900. If you did the last puzzle, you will see immediately the first move, but can you see the follow up moves?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Here’s an oldie from 1888 between Berger and Frohlich. Neither one seems to have a handle on how to open a game, but Berger suddenly ends the game with a few quick blows. Can you see what happened?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This is an old favorite, Nimzowitsch-Alapin, 1912, that teaches an excellent lesson to students of chess.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Grandmaster Jacques Mieses polished off his opponent in this position as part of a simultaneous exhibition. Pretty good for whizzing by a lot of boards one at a time and finding great moves.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

A complex middle game situation has arisen in Ulanov-Lyubitel, Moscow, 1956. Because Black’s pieces are actively posted, White has only one winning continuation.

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Here’s your task: first, memorize the position; second, close your eyes, third, find the winning continuation. Alekhine, as Black, was blindfolded when he played the winning move here.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

One might be forgiven if you glanced quickly and saw this as a Black to Play problem. White would have to play carefully, even though up in material, to hold the position; e.g., 1...Nf4 2.Kf1 Nh3 3.Qc2 Ng5 4.Qf2 Qh3+ 5.Ke1 Bf5 6.Rxf5 Rxf5 7.Bxf5 Qxf5 8.Qe3 Ne4 9.Qf4 f2+ 10.Ke2 Qe6 and chances are equal. However, it is White’s move and he can ...

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