I keep in touch with a lot of friends from my junior years and I hope you guys will do the same and remain friends with everyone coming to the club. It is nice to share the same hobby and these relations last a life time. One of those chess buddies has sent me the above position composed in the XVIIIth Century together with the following little story:
"During the "Dark Age" years a lot of people ran to hide from religious prosecutions; some went to monasteries and became disciples to study the true way. During those long days and nights in monasteries, some were playing blind chess by passing their moves between themselves during sermons and other gatherings. Chess sets were not allowed. They were also doing research by studying old manuscripts on different subjects. One group found one day the above diagram, something they have not seen before. It looked so simple and yet so complicated, especially after they saw what needed to be solved:
White to move and mate in 1
They spent long nights trying to find the solution and some even thought it was especially prepared by the Dark Side to defy them all. However in the end all of them found the solution, proving one more time the truth always wins."
Could you find the solution the disciples were looking for? No matter how crazy it seems, there are 2 different ideas on how to solve it. One idea requires you to know something from the long history of chess, while the other is more about Divine intervention! Please do not send me several messages with tries, as I will not be able to respond to them. My access to the internet will be rare and brief.
Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published in June (when we come back from Europe) together with puzzle #72.
Puzzle #70 solution:
John remains a master of positives and negatives for both sides. I urge you all to read these better solutions and do your best to improve yours to the same level.
a) White's Positives: 1. White's Ke6 and Rg6 are attacking and are threatening mating threats. 2. White's pieces are way more active than Black's and are using the most of his pieces.
White's negatives: 1. Down a pawn, but White has more than enough for it. He only needs a few tempos and CHECKMATE before Black can even use his extra g5-f4 passers.
White's plan: White has to find out what is the important thing to achieve in the position is: Gain decisive tempos to not let Black use his passers. Also using his tempos to attempt to mate Black. White will gain tempos by threataning mating threats on almost everymove. Meanwhile White's position will become better and better. Black's pawns actually block Rh4 from helping out.
Black's positives: 1. Extra passers, but Black must use them quickly and open up a pathway for Rh4, or Black will be dead meat.
Black's negatives: 1. Kh8 is very-unsafe and not protected. This is very fatal for Black.
Black's plan is to use his extra pawns as fast as he can while creating a pathway for Rh4 to help. Black must do this before White gains decisive tempos.
b) See solution:
[Event "Puzzle #70"][Date "2009.05.08"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "7k/8/4K1Rp/6pP/5p1r/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]1.Kf7! Rxh5 (1...Kh7 2.Rg7+ Kh8 3.Kg6 f3 4.Re7) 2.Rg8+ Kh7 3.Rg7+ Kh8 4.Kg6 g4 5.Ra7 Rg5+ 6.Kxh6 g3 (6...Rg8 7.Rh7#) 7.Kxg5 g2 8.Ra1 f3 9.Kg6
Joshua, John, Jeremy, Andy Y - 20 points
Humphrey, Karl - 18 points
James, Wilson - 15 points
Andy Q - 10 points
Marcus - 2 points
Marcus, Humphrey - 2 points for puzzle #69
John - 407 points
Joshua - 393 points
Andy Qian - 360 points
Andy Yee - 333 points
Karl - 326 points
Jeremy - 307 points
James - 255 points
Mark - 223 points
Wilson - 214 points
Humphrey - 174 points
Marcus - 146 points
Katerina - 113 points
Jacky - 80 points
Nathaniel - 73 points
Alex Ge - 56 points
Ricky - 48 points
Joanne - 47 points
Danny, Owen - 40 points
Jin-Lang - 37 point
Darren - 20 points