Saturday, April 5, 2008

Extreme Symmetry

I will be very busy until the 15th or so but I will try to fill the silence with some mini entries. In my entry of February 22nd I offered two reconstruction tasks:

1) Black's 5th move is to promote a pawn to a bishop with mate.
2) Black's 5th move is to promote a pawn to a knight with mate.

Here are the solutions:
1) 1.c3 d5 2.Qb3 d4 3.Kd1 dxc3 4.Kc2 cxd2 5.Qc3 d1B mate (Dia)

2) 1.d4 e5 2.Kd2 exd4 3.b3 d3 4.Kc3 dxe2 5.Kb2 exd1N mate (Dia)

Today's task can be seen as a prelude to a theme to which I hope to return shortly: Symmetrical positions and the advantage of moving first.
Can you construct a symmetrical game in which White's 4th move is mate?

The usual conditions apply:

All moves must be legal but obviously they don't have to make sense by conventional chess standards.
Unfortunately there are two and a half solutions. There are two different mate positions and one of them can be reached via two slightly different routes.

Good luck!


Nils said...

Delurking! ;-)

I can't see it happening that fast with knights or rooks, so bishops and queen then. The queen must move I think, so any mate must cover the d8 square. That should exclude f7 as an option.

This one I thought were the easiest to find, but I count three move orders?

1.d4 d5 (or 1.e4 e5 first) 2.e4 e5 (or Bg5 Bg4 first) 3.dxe5 dxe4 4.Bg5 Bg4 5.QxQd8 mate.

This one took me a little longer.
1.c4 c5 2.Qa4 Qa5 3.Qc6 Qc3 4.Qxc8 mate.

Here's two suggestions for your blog. First I don't think you have a RSS (atom) link anywhere? Yours is if you didn't know. Second, when reading a single blog post, there's no easy link back to the main listing of blog post. A "home" link would be good, but I would suggest also making the header "Sverre's Chess Corner" clickable.


Sverre Johnsen said...

Hello Nils,

Your first try is five moves. Your second is one of the two (and a half) correct solutions. By the way it could be interesting to find the shortest symmetrical mates with other pieces than the queen. Unfortunately I don't have that kind of spare time anymore.

In my internet browsers (IE 6&7 and Mozilla) the header 'Sverre's Chess Corner' is clickable when you are reading a single blog post( Are we talking about the same header?

Nevertheless I agree that a 'home' link at the bottom of each post seems a good idea as it will save you some scrolling if the post is long or your screen is small. I will start adding it from now on. In a month or so I will give old posts a makeover (tags, diagram sizes etc.). Then I will also add 'home' links to the old posts.

I must research the RSS (atom) feature. For the moment I don't really know how (and more importantly why) to use it. I have so far not been too eager to attract traffic but I feel that the time will soon come - maybe when I get around to publish some book reviews?

Nils said...

Yes... Not very clever of me to write 5.QxQd8 mate and not notice the number 5 I just wrote. Symptomatic for my current chess form, I'm afraid.

The right solution is 1.d4 d5 2. Qd3 Qd6 3.Qf5 Qf4 (Alternatively 3.Qh3 Qh6) 4.Qxc8 mate.

As for clickable header, I must confess that must have just been another blunder. With all my blocking of scripts and whatnot, it seems I have confused myself. It works fine as is.

Lesson learned. Back to lurk-mode... ;-)

The main advantage with an RSS reader for me is that I get an easy way of scanning a list of blogs for new posts. I currently use to watch 44 blogs.

Sverre Johnsen said...


A little help with counting was all you needed.

I can see that RSS will save me some surfing time. Maybe it will be appreciated by my blog readers too but I am not really convinced.

Nothing major will happen with my blog for at least a month. But in a week or two I will add some more substantial entries.