It took about 400 years for chess notation to develop from using sentences to describe each move (back in 1614), to the algebraic notation we all know so well today. The algebraic notation was used for the first time by Philipp Stamma back in the 18th Century until he lost a match to Philidor. Soon after Philidor's use of the descriptive chess notation became very popular and stayed that way until the 20th Century when the algebraic notation regained dominance in most of the countries except the English speaking ones. Finally those countries began to use it as well after 1970 (source Wikipedia).
If games from the ancient times did not survive, quite a few interesting puzzles beat father time and give us a chance to enjoy today their forever lasting beauty. If we would not know their origin, who could tell they are coming from such a distant past? Today's puzzle plays the role of a virtual time machine taking us all the way back to the 14th Century, time when it was written and preserved in a persian manuscript. See diagram.
White to move and mate in 5 (1 point puzzle).
The answer will be published next week together with puzzle #11.
Puzzle #9 solution:
It is nice to see quite a few of you observing the wrong colour Bishop incapable to help the a-pawn transform into a Queen. This was the rule I was looking for. Once you see this, the main line of dropping the Queen for gaining a tempo in the chase for reaching "a1" is easy to figure out:
1.Kf2! Bxf3 2.Ke1!! a4 3.Kd2 a3
If until now the moves were kind of forced, this time it matters where White moves; let's see:
a) 4.Kc2 a2 5.Kb2 draw
b) 4.Kc1?? Be4 5.h4 Kb6 6.h5 Kb5 7.h6 Bh7 and the White King has to move away (cannot reach "a1") and loses the game.
This was the line I was looking for in order to award the 3rd point and two of you got it!
Correct solutions (perfect):
Jacob, John D - 3.0 points
Partial correct solutions (mistakes, not finished):
Frank, Jeremy, Bryant, Joanne, Jakab, Karl, Katerina, Mark - 2.0 points Wilson, Trevor - 1.0 point
11.0 Jacob and Bryant
10.0 John D and Jeremy
3.5 Matthew, Algerd and Jakab
1.0 Wilson and Trevor
0.5 Alejandro, Vera, Kenneth and West
Mate in 5 (2)