29/08/20 Puzzle: Solution

In this puzzle, whoever’s turn it is to move (white or black) can checkmate in one.


Thank you to everyone who attempted this week’s puzzle. If you sent in your answers, you received at least 1 point. If you sent in at least one correct solution you received 2 points, and those who sent in two correct solutions received 3 points. The following players got full marks this week:

Aathiran Oyalood
Melanie Norris
Natalie Weaver
Annabel Baker
Dominic Walters

In first place so far with full marks for correct solutions every week is:

Dominic Walters (12pts)

Our 3 closest runners up, just 3 points behind, are:

Aathiran Oyalood (9pts)
Melanie Norris (9pts)
Natalie Weaver (9pts)

The Solution

White delivers checkmate this week with Rxh7, using a focused attack on the h7 square (white has two pieces attacking this one square). This means that white’s rook is able to invade the king’s field safely without fear of being captured by the king, who cannot move into check. The rook is not able to deliver a checkmate on b8 instead, as moving off the seventh rank will leave the g7 square unguarded, allowing the king to escape out of the corner of the chess board.

Black is able to deliver checkmate with the subtle move f4. It would be easy for a beginner to quickly grab the rook in this position, but the only check the rook can deliver would be on e2, which is an unguarded square. Re2+ would therefore be a blunder, and though none of our puzzlers made such a disastrous move this week, perhaps less careful players in a real game might not look to see whether a checkmate could be delivered here.

It would be easy for a beginner to simply try to save their own king in this position or, if not in immediate danger, attempt to push a pawn towards the end of the board, or wander aimlessly with the rook. That is why it is always important to keep your attention on the prize – checkmate! Here, you were told to look for checkmate, but in your own game, would you have found the winning move?

The white king here has no flight squares. Black’s pawns are attacking d3, e4 and f4, and the black rook is attacking all the squares next to the king on the second rank leaving no escape there. The only other squares next to the king are d4 and f3, which are blocked as they are occupied by white’s own pawns. Pushing to f4 doesn’t leave e4 unguarded as black was already attacking that square twice, with the two pawns on d5 and f5, This means that one of those pawns is free to deliver the final blow – the unblocked f pawn.

What To Do Next

There are only two puzzles remaining in this set! The next puzzle will be released tomorrow morning and points will be awarded in the same fashion. The puzzler with the highest score after this set of 6 puzzles will win a solver badge and a free chess lesson with the teacher of their choice. Consistently sending in your results is key to winning so make sure you subscribe below to get notified about tomorrow’s checkmate in one puzzle the moment it’s published.

Diagram courtesy of www.chess.com

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