12/12/20 Puzzle: Solution

In this puzzle, white checkmates in one and a half moves.


Thank you to everyone who sent in their answers. You received at least 1 point. If you correctly guessed a solution, you received 3 points. You will have received a further point for each additional correct solution.  This week, the following players received 3 or more points for their solutions:

Aathiran Oyalood (4)
Rob (4)
Natalie Weaver (3)

This Week’s Solution

This block’s puzzles are much simpler than the last block, as the hardest part (finding the first move for white in a two move checkmate) is already done for you. All that needs to be considered are the moves of all the black pieces. In this puzzle, as the black pawn is blocked by the black king and cannot move, we only have to consider the moves of the black king.

Looking at the king’s field (all the squares that immediately surround the king), there are only two available moves. Kxd6 looks like a good move, but in a game would likely be missed by a beginner! Never forget that kings are able to capture undefended pieces right next to them.

Unfortunately for black, Kxd6 still leads to checkmate. Once the king lands on d6, the spaces that need to be checked are: c6, d6 (never forget the square the king is on, in case of stale mate!), d5, d7, e5 and e7. This many escape squares probably requires a queen in the king’s field. The bishop offers cover for her on e6, so Qxe6++ is a safe move, and dutifully attacks the king and all surrounding squares.

The other option for black is Kf6. Once on f6, the squares that need to be attacked are: e7, e5 and f6. The relationship between these squares seems to be using the diagonals, and may suggest the use of a queen, but the queen is already busy. Moving her will probably allow the king onto the g file. Instead, a perfectly placed rook can attack all these squares. Rxe6++, again, relying on the support of the bishop (or queen) attacks the horizontal rank (namely the king), and the whole e file (preventing use of his escape squares).

What To Do Next

Tomorrow you will be able find next week’s puzzle on our blog. 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

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