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This is a chess puzzle someone showed me a long time ago. If you already know this puzzle please give the others a chance to solve it first.


Above you see a position where white is obviously on the winning side. The queen is one step from giving a checkmate. And the heroic h pawn made his way from h2 to c7 and is waiting for a promotion. However, black saw a last chance and moved Rf3+ in the last turn. The rook can't be taken, because black couldn't move anymore which is a stalemate (= draw). If the king moves away the rook will continue to give checks.

Can you stop the rambling rook and find a way for white to win the game anyway?

PS: Computers are not allowed, and no cheating.

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    $\begingroup$ Oh my gosh black is playing amazingly well lol! $\endgroup$ – warspyking Aug 31 '15 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ Is this like a 1 or 2 move thing? Or can I list a bunch of moves? Also do we assume black plays perfectly? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Aug 31 '15 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ @warspyking This is obviously not from a real game ;). And there are "a little" more than 2 moves involved. Don't want to give too many hints just yet. And yes, we assume that black tries to survive as long as possible. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Aug 31 '15 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ And am I to assume EVERYTHING falls under NORMAL Chess rules? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Aug 31 '15 at 17:47
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    $\begingroup$ @mikeTheLiar, I suspect that it indicates whose turn it is. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Aug 31 '15 at 19:12
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If white can ever stay out of check for one turn, then it can promote its pawn and put black in checkmate. So in order to play perfectly, black must attempt to put white in check with every move. In turn, white should make sure that black has only one option for a check in the next move, or else the rook will "break free" and have much more influence over white's moves.

White's overall game plan is to sacrifice pawns and maneuver the king until black falls into a simultaneous capture+checkmate.

enter image description here

 1. e3          Pawn moves forward to block rook.
 1. ...   Rxe3+ Rook captures pawn and places king in check.
 2. c3          Pawn moves forward to block rook.
 2. ...   Rxc3+ Rook captures pawn and places king in check.
 3. Ka2         King begins a "serpentine" maneuver, which will continue until move 9.
 3. ...   Ra3+  Rook takes only available move to put king in check, continuing until move 9.
 4. Kb1   Ra1+ 
 5. Kc2   Rc1+ 
 6. Kd3   Rc3+ 
 7. Ke2   Re3+ 
 8. Kf1   Re1+ 
 9. Kg2   Rg1+ 
10. Kf3   Rxg3+ Rook captures pawn in row 3 and places king in check.
11. Ke2         King begins serpentining back to column A.
11. ...   Re3+  Rook continues to pursue.
12. Kd1   Re1+ 
13. Kc2   Rc1+ 
14. Kb3   Rc3+ 
15. Ka2   Ra3+ 
16. Qxa3#       Queen takes rook and places black king in checkmate.
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  • $\begingroup$ Your last king move is a2, not a1. Also, it might be nice if you labeled which piece is moving, especially for the chains. $\endgroup$ – JonTheMon Aug 31 '15 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, fixed. The outcome should be still be the same though. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Aug 31 '15 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ For everyone that wants to see a visualization (and everyone that can deal with shitty gifs), click here. I'm very sorry for the "jumps", but I was in a haste because I thought I still had a chance to be the first one to answer :P $\endgroup$ – user14478 Aug 31 '15 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ @LuxxMiner, it's just how I imagined it. Thanks a lot :-) $\endgroup$ – Kevin Aug 31 '15 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ Here is another animated variant I prepared. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Aug 31 '15 at 19:17

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