Chess Problem Solving

Chess Problem Solving-35
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Another is the eight queens problem, in which eight queens are to be placed on the board so that none is attacking any of the others.

Of far greater relation to standard chess problems, however, are the following, which have a rich history and have been revisited many times, with magazines, books and prizes dedicated to them: Across most of the above genres, there is great interest in exploring Fairy chess: where non-standard boards, pieces or rules apply.

En passant captures, on the other hand, are assumed not to be legal, unless it can be proved that the pawn in question must have moved two squares on the previous move.

There are several other types of chess problem which do not fall into any of the above categories.

Informal tourneys are often run by problem magazines and other publications with a regular problem section; it is common for every problem to have been published in a particular magazine within a particular year to be eligible for an informal award.

Formal tourneys are often held to commemorate a particular event or person.

Problems can be contrasted with tactical puzzles often found in chess columns or magazines in which the task is to find the best move or sequence of moves (usually leading to mate or gain of material) from a given position.

Such puzzles are often taken from actual games, or at least have positions which look as if they could have arisen during a game, and are used for instructional purposes.

The role of aesthetic evaluation in the appreciation of chess problems is very significant, and indeed most composers and solvers consider such compositions to be an art form. Yet if Black could only pass (i.e., make no move at all), White would have no way to mate on his second move. The arrangement of the black rooks and bishops, with a pair of adjacent rooks flanked by a pair of bishops, is known to problemists as Organ Pipes. Qf5#, a move which is only possible because the bishop Black moved has got in the way of the rook's guard of f5 – this is known as a self-interference. Rf7, this interferes with the bishop's guard of d5, allowing White to mate with Nd5#.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote about the "originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity" of creating chess problems and spent considerable time doing so. The thematic approach to solving is to notice then that in the original position, Black is already almost in zugzwang. This arrangement is designed to illustrate the effect of mutual Black interferences: for example, consider what happens after the key if Black plays 1... Mutual interferences like this, between two pieces on one square, are known as Grimshaw interferences.


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