05/09/20 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. Although we received answers from lots of you, only two players got full marks this week:

Melanie Norris
Natalie Weaver

In many cases this was due to recording errors. Where recording offences were minor we let you off this time, but do have a look at our page on chess notation to double check you know all the rules. It is also important to note the bottom left corner of the diagram is ‘a1’.

In first place so far, only dropping one point in the whole competition is:

Dominic Walters (14pts)

Our 3 closest runners up are:

Melanie Norris (12pts)
Natalie Weaver (12pts)
Aathiran Oyalood (11pts)

We only have one last puzzle in our first beginner set before we announce our winner. Make sure to compete next week (puzzle to be released this Saturday) for your final chance to win a free chess lesson and solver badge!

The Solution

The solution for white this week was definitely possible! Although the only piece that might instantly look dangerous is the bishop, as the rook is blocked by two pawns in this position, once again we must make sure not to underestimate the pawns. Our most dangerous piece here is actually the white pawn on c7. Any pawns anywhere near the other side of the board should trigger a big red flag.

“Promoting to a queen won’t even give us a check though!”

Well, in this position we don’t want a queen. The king’s escape square is b6. The king cannot move to b8 even if the pawn moves as our bishop will still be guarding that square – we will have opened a line for that piece. Therefore, we can look at the pattern of the squares that need to be attacked. They are both a knight’s distance away from our so-called queening square, therefore c8=N++ is the solution for white.

Our solution for black is more simple, and caused less trouble. f1=Q cannot work here as the white rook is guarding white’s back rank, and the bishop would also be able to block. Both rook and bishop are powerless to prevent a check along the white diagonal however. The king’s escape square is g2. The king himself sits on h1. The pattern again speaks for itself – those two diagonal squares can be attacked by the bishop with Bd5++.

What To Do Next

There is only one last puzzle remaining in this set which will be released tomorrow morning. 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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