Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saving Grace

Now a puzzle of a slightly different nature. I arrived at this position and my opponent is about to thrown in the towel. In a last ditch effort, Black plays

1. ..... Ng3+ (as shown)

Now which way should the White King head for safety?

Should White play

2. Kh2 or Kg1?


Answers can be found by highlighting the brackets.

As an added puzzle, if you ignore the fact that White King is in check - Let's say that the White King is on g1 and it's White to move. Can you find a way to checkmate the Black King?

The worse possible moment you can do in any game is to blunder:
2. Kg1?? Be3+
3. Kh2 Nf1+
4. Kh1 Ng3+ and Black escapes with a perpetual check and it's a draw

The answer is
2. Kh2
Nf1+ (2... Bf4 is impossible because of 3. Qe7#)
and now 3. Kg1 and the White King is safe.

Well done if you spotted that.

For the second part of the puzzle, the very nice little combination arrives after

2. Nc6+ Ke8 (only move)
3. Qb8+ Kd7 (3.. Bc8 4. Qxc8+ Bd8 etc. is an easy mate)
4. Nxe5# (very petite mate)



  1. Looks to me that its a draw since knight and bishops can always give check without the king have posibilities to leave the corner.

    If king on g1 then white has changes to win i guess since then the king can become active and help in the game without being in perputuel check.

  2. The second question is easier: 1.Nc6+ Ke8 2.Qb8+ Bc8 3.Qxc8+ Bd8 4.Qxd8#

  3. Clever move by your opponent. Kh2, because Kg1 walks into a perpetual after Be3+ Kh2 Nf1+ Kh1 Ng3+ etc.

  4. chesstiger: that's what my initial reaction was too. Kg1 until I saw Nf1+ giving the perpetual. tricky tricky. :)

    likesforests: it seems very counter-intuitive at first sight to walk out into the open in the direction of the bishops but that was the only way to win. well done. :)