Puzzle of the Week #030

Our last puzzle generated a record number of comments and debate – ranging from “impossible” right through to GM Jon Speelman immediately identifying the match, year, and opponents, whilst sportingly not posting the spoiler!

Props go to Adam Cranston this time – correctly figuring out this fiendishly tricky puzzle with the extremely non-intuitive 1.Kc8!! Line continues as follows:

  1. Kc8!!, b5
  2. Kd7! (White is now threatening Kc6), b4 (or Bf5+)
  3. Kd6!, Bf5
  4. Ke5!, Bc8 (or anywhere else on h3-c8 diagonal)
  5. Kd4 and black is in the square, so =

A true beauty.

To this week’s puzzle – and our source material is one of our Sledgehammer Cup Games! If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to get involved in our season-long, long play format competition, which is providing some great matchups.

Not strictly a forced-mate, but an 8 move mating sequence (with all remaining pieces staying on the 8th rank), with White to move – answers in the comments please:

7 thoughts on “Puzzle of the Week #030”

  1. help-mate in 8 might seem easy and even quicker possible- but with all remaining pieces on the 8th rank???

  2. Na4 looks strong kicking the queen off the 6th rank and making Qxe6 possible. That must be the first move.

  3. Too lazy to try and find a mate in 8 but in a game I’d just play Nxe6, looks totally crushing (Qxe6, Rxd5 wins the queen).

    1. Very good start, Carsten. Now just 6 more moves to either move the still remaining 7 white and black pieces to 8th rank or eliminate them, with mate of course.

      1. On this one I’ll subscribe to the John Nunn dictum of not calculating unnecessary tactics.
        All I need to see is that Qxe6 loses the queen and there is no way of pinning the knight, after that black has 20+ legal moves. I’ll worry about what to do when he’s made one of them (knowing they all lose!).

  4. Should add that black has no sensible way of closing the d-file so not only will he lose further material white will also get a crushing attack.

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