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. This week, the following players received full marks for their solutions:
This means, in joint first place this time, with 18 points each (full marks!) we have:
Aathiran Oyalood and Daniel Wright
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This block’s runners-up:
Rob (15 points) and Natalie Weaver (14 points)
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This Week’s Solution
This week’s checkmate for white is a challenge, and requires your tactical skills! The black king is able to capture the white pawn on d3, or move to d5 or e5, which means that 4 squares will need to be covered: d3, d4, d5, and e5. Unless there is some kind of discovery, this pattern of escape squares is usually only able to be covered by the queen. In this position, it is easiest to consider the pattern ‘the d file, plus e5’.
To cover this, the queen should be placed on the d file, and the only way she can get there is by moving to d6. The rook looks a little ominous however, but don’t rush to think again! Sometimes a good first step when considering a position is to find all the tactics, or all the relationships between the pieces. In this position the rook is pinned to the king by the white bishop on g7, therefore Qd6++ is our solution, as Rxd6 would be an illegal move (in this case moving into check).
The white king looks very vulnerable here, trapped to the back rank by the pawn at f3. It looks like a rook or a queen would be ideal to land a back rank checkmate, but alas, the rooks are blocked out by the pawns, and there is no black queen. Black doesn’t need them though. If you look carefully, the king is not just trapped on the back row, but in his exact spot. g1 is attacked by the knight on e2, and e1 is attacked by the bishop on c3. A simple check could be the end of the king!
Bh3++ does the trick. It cannot be blocked or captured, as white’s pawns cannot move backwards, and as the king cannot move, its endgame. Checkmate!
What To Do Next
Tomorrow you will be able find next week’s puzzle on our blog (the first puzzle in the new block). The puzzler with the highest score at the end of the block will win a free chess lesson with the teacher of their choice and a solver badge and spot/two solver spots. Our runners up will receive a solver badge or a solver spot if they already have a badge. Consistently sending in your results is key to winning so make sure you subscribe below to get notified about the checkmate puzzles the moment they are published.
Diagram courtesy of www.chess.com