09/01/21 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 (5)
Natalie Weaver (5)
Hari Chowdhury (5)

There was a maximum of 5 points to be won this week.

This Week’s Solution

This week there were three options for black on the first move, so there were a total of 5 points to be won.

Black could start with Kh5, planting himself against the edge of the board. This makes the checkmate for white nice and simple. The white bishop and black pawn already stop the king moving along the edge, so to attack the king and the whole of the g file, all we need to do is place the queen opposite the king. Qf5++ finishes him off.

Alternatively black could play Kf4. He is harder to trap in the centre of the board. Let’s consider the king’s field around f4. The bishop attacks both e3 and g3, although importantly, so do the queen and the king, so potentially the bishop can be moved. The knight guards f3. The queen guards all the other squares that surround the king apart from g5 (where the king came from). The bishop can shift to the square jointly attacked by itself and the queen (e3) to attack the king on f4 and his escape square on g5. Be3++ is the solution.

The last option for black is to move the pawn forward one square to h5. Now we need to see how the king’s field is controlled with this adjustment. The pawn now prevents the king moving to the edge of the board where he went in the first solution. The queen, which was attacking the pawn, is now preventing the king from moving to h6 instead, and in fact stops the king moving anywhere on the sixth rank. She also stops the king moving to f5 and g4. The bishop prevents Kh4, but our knight is currently doing nothing to stop the king. We need to use it to attack both g5 (where the king is) and f4 (the only unattacked space in the king’s field. Nh3++ wins.

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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