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invincible1 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Puzzle!! - let me see who can crack it first!!
W : Ke6, Qa6
B : Ke8, Ra8, a7, c7, e7

I now narrate a true anecdote. I have heard it first-hand. An IM looked at this postion on a chess board. There was nothing mentioned, no puzzle, no caption, nothing. Just the position. He thought for a while. He then guessed what the problem should be. Then he guessed the answer too! Any tries?

I will wait for some time before posting the puzzle. That is if no one can come up with the right problem......
brobishkin 6 ( +1 | -1 )
It depends on which color moves first... But if it's Whites turn Qd3 and the threat of mate would be my answer...

Bro...
invincible1 62 ( +1 | -1 )
brobishkin So this is how perhaps any of us would have thought and forgotten about the position. Perhaps I also wouldn't care much. All of us know, whether it is whites turn or black's, white should win.

But there is beauty and elegance in chess! At least I think so. Chess is intoxicating to me! And what amazes me is, an IM looked for more in this position. Why would an IM even care for a position like this? White clearly winning....

I dont want to give any more clues as then I will be denying all other GK people of an opportunity to try. I will probably post a hint in a week or so (or maybe a little sooner).
zdrak 32 ( +1 | -1 )
After taking a look at the position, I would guess the puzzle would hinge on the question "can black castle?"

If he cannot, white can mate in two: Qa1, followed by Qh8#. If he can castle, white is still winning, but it will take a while.

So: can black castle? (I already figured out the answer, tee hee, but I'm going to let you figure that out yourself)
invincible1 25 ( +1 | -1 )
zdrak Oh come on..... what a spoil sport! You should just have posted that you have got the solution rather than actually posting the solution.... sorry GK community, zdrak was just too quick! Much quicker than I expected!!
brobishkin 16 ( +1 | -1 )
So... The question to the answer was if "black can castle or not?"... Even with the moves I suggested that answer is quite clear... You cannot castle through check...
invincible1 4 ( +1 | -1 )
bro there still is a point you are missing....
parrvert 12 ( +1 | -1 )
If it's white's move then black's last move must have been a king or rook move so black can't castle.
atrifix 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Unless White, invoking an old rule, played bxa8=BR! (Black rook).
a_professional_idiot 13 ( +1 | -1 )
parrvert White could have captured something on a6, more specifically a something the Black had moved there one turn prior.
furryfunbundle 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Re Parrvert entry Yes, I can see why you would think that but Parrvert is saying "if it white to move now" so logically blacks last move must have been a king or rook move. In your scenario it would now be Black to move (since white has just effected a capture).

Tricky problem this...
tomarken 77 ( +1 | -1 )
black cannot castle... it has already been determined that if it is white to move, black must have moved the king or the rook on the last turn, it which case black cannot castle.

if it is black to move, it cannot castle now because that would put the king into check. there are two other possibilties, neither of which allow it to castle.

1. if it moves either the king or the rook on this turn, then of course it would not be able castle on any subsequent turn, or

2. if it moves the pawn to either c6 or c7, the queen can move to c6, checking the king, forcing it to move and therefore preventing black from ever castling.

so no matter what has happened to get to this point in the game, it seems that black will never be able to castle.
invincible1 28 ( +1 | -1 )
zdrak and parrvert have put it most accurately. The original problem must have been white to play and mate in 2. And the solution is 1.Qa1. Now black cannot castle because of parrvert's reason. Which means any move will be met by 2.Qh8#.

I'll try to post another problem in a few days.

Good thinking all of you!!
tomarken 65 ( +1 | -1 )
that seems like a disappointing solution to the problem, since it is impossible to determine just from looking at the board whether or not it really is white's turn to move. just being able to find mate in two in this position is not much of a "puzzle", so to speak, it's what one would normally do in the course of the game anyway...

the original post made it seem like there was more of a unique aspect to the situation that the IM discovered (i.e. can black castle?), which is a more difficult and interesting question...just coming across this position on a board, not even the IM would know if it was white or black to move...
brobishkin 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Final solution answered... And I sit here disapointed... What if just before the position at hand (Invincable presented at the beginning of the thread), Black had a Bishop on c8 and Whites Queen was on a5... Black moves his Bishop to a6 and White takes Blacks Bishop (to prevent black from castling out of danger)...

I mean what makes it so obvious Black has actually moved his Rook or King at any time... Black very well could have just lost a piece to the Queen the move beforehand...

Bro...
brobishkin 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Just noticed the Bishop on c8 would make check on Whites King... So how about a Knight on b8 instead... Same scenerio...

Bro...