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I found this nice little problem on Tim Krabbe's website the other day. I found it so unique and beautiful, that I felt compelled to share it here as a puzzle to be solved. Please do not use a computer and do please don't look up the answer! Try to use your own brain power!

Source: Gady Costeff (Israel)  3rd Place, World Chess Composition Tournament, 2003

It's White to move and win.

https://i.stack.imgur.com/0yeUM.gif

Have fun solving!

Clarification: I mean to say that by White to win I meant for White to reach a winning position. I also forgot to mention that the solution is 7 moves long The title is a bit of hint as to what the solution has.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm fairly new to chess puzzles - is the idea here to make moves as white and assume black will make the best possible move? I've done puzzles where you can force a set of moves by keeping the opponent in check but that doesn't seem possible here. $\endgroup$ – scatter Jun 20 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ Then welcome to puzzling scatter! And you are correct-assume that Black plays best. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 20 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ I assume it is more than one move $\endgroup$ – Moti Jun 20 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like White can't put Black in check here, let alone checkmate. So yes, it has to be more than one move. However, if White is to win, then all of White's moves must force Black's moves by threatening checkmate. $\endgroup$ – RShields Jun 20 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it is more than one move. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a checkmate threat. The title is a hint. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 20 at 18:06
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Another attempt based on OP comments: "From your new 7-move solution, the first full four moves are entirely correct. Reconsider White's 5th move-that is your first one of your edit."

1. Qa4 Rxf3 2. Qa6+ Qxa6 3. bxa6+ Ka8 4. Ba3 Rxb1+ 5. Bc1 Rb8 6. Bb2 Rbf8 7. 0-0-0 ..

From the title To Win The Right To **************** I think the asterisks refer to queenside castling which means the title was actually To Win The Right To Castle, which gave white safety from being threatened to be mated and the advantage in the following moves.


From OP clarification: "I mean to say that by White to win I meant for White to reach a winning position. I also forgot to mention that the solution is 7 moves long The title is a bit of hint as to what the solution has."

Possibly the solution was as Sconibulus answer suggests with elaboration assuming black plays suboptimal moves:

1. Qa4 Rh5 2. Qa6+ Qxa6 3. bxa6+ Kxa6 4. Kf2 Rh1 5. Nc3 Rh8 6. Bb2 Rxa1 7. Bxa1 Rxh7 .. then white would have advantages.


From OP comment: "White has....ways to avoid a stalemate, and capturing White's rook would not benefit Black at all. " add variant:

1. Qa4 Rxf3 2. Qa6+ Qxa6 3. bxa6+ Ka8 4. Ba3 Rxb1+ 5. Rxb1 Rf1+ 6. Kxf1 then stalemate since black can't move


Original answer:

Considering black always play the best move:

White won't be able to win.

Prove:

Most of the white move would be a big disadvantage since no way out of mate from black without sacrificing a lot.
Variant:
a) 1. Qb3 Qd6 2. Qg8 Qh2 hardly any chance for white to win left.
b) 1. Qb3 Qd6 2. exf5 Qg3+ either mate or draw from repetition moves.
c) 1. Ba3 Qb6 no way out of this mate.
Other variant doesn't seem to do anything better to solve the stalemate.

But if black was able to play suboptimal moves:

White would be able to win.

One of possible variant:

1. Qb3 Qe5 2. Qxd3 Qxa1 3. exf5 Re8+ 4. Kf2 Qe5 5. Qd7+ Ka8 6. Qc6+ Kb8 7. Qxe8+ Qxe8 8. Bb2 Kc7 9. h8Q Qxb5 10. Be5+ Kd7 11. Qg7+ Ke8 12. Qg8+ Kd7 13. Qf7+ Kd8 14. Qc7+ Ke8 15. Qc8+ Ke7 16. f6+ Kf7 17. Qc7+ Ke6 18. Qe7+ Kf5 19. f7 Qb6+ 20. d4 Kg6 21. f8N+ Kh5 22. Qf7+ Kh4 23. Qf4+ Kh5 24. Qg4+ Kh6 25. Bf4#
Apronus PGN Viewer

Disclaimer: I used Droidfish to spar my move against, and tweak the move for black suboptimal moves and play normally for the rest.

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  • $\begingroup$ Um, it was more for White to reach a winning position..... I'll update the question. But not so much as to change it way much. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 25 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered base64(MS5RYTQgbG9va2luZyB0byBmb3JjZSBhIHRyYWRlIHdpdGggMi5RYTY=)? $\endgroup$ – RShields Jun 25 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ From your new 7-move solution, the first full four moves are entirely correct. Reconsider White's 5th move-that is your first one of your edit. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 26 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ White has....ways to avoid a stalemate, and capturing White's rook would not benefit Black at all. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 26 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ In your new solution, Black's 1st, 3rd, and the entire 4th move are incorrect. Everything else is correct however. Sorry that I called Black's first move correct in your previous solution and causing confusion for you. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jul 1 at 1:59
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I initially thought the answer was something like

1.Qa4, Rxf3||Rh5 (Rook has to move or it will be lost after Queen trade)
2.Qa6+, Qxa6
3.xa6+, K?? (Not sure if capturing the pawn or moving to a8 or c6 is better) 4.Ba3, (Start developing pieces, immediate threat is handled)

Given the poster's comment confirming the first four moves:

1. Qa4 Rxf3 2. Qa6+ Qxa6 3. bxa6+ Ka8 4. Ba3 Rxb1+

I believe the continuation is as follows, for the following reasons.

5. Bc1 Rb8 Black must prevent H8^Q
6. Bb2 Rh3 Still trying to prevent promotion
7. H8^Q bRxh8 White forces a trade 8. Bxh8 Rxh8 9. O-O-O if possible, anyway, white seems pretty far ahead at this point.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right track! $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 25 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Your full first five moves are correct. Only White"s move of the 6th move is correct. Black's 6th move and beyond is incorrect. Wonderful solving so far! $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 26 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ Plus, the solution is 7 moves, not 9. $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 26 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ You're so close! $\endgroup$ – Rewan Demontay Jun 28 at 17:00

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