STAIRWAY TO CHECKMATE

Well-crafted chess puzzles have this uncanny knack of driving your mind crazy. Every chess lover is familiar with that helpless feeling when the elusive solution seems just around the corner only to evade us again and again.

Sometimes when you can’t solve a chess problem you get so exasperated that you just feel like climbing up a staircase and jump from the top. Following creative chess problem composed by B S Barrett in 1874 can be solved by doing exactly that. To be more accurate, the maneuvering of the white queen strongly resembles climbing a staircase and jumping off the top.

WHITE TO PLAY & MATE IN 12 MOVES

A CHESS HORROR STORY - FRANKENSTEIN VS DRACULA

Chess humour is a constant topic in most of my posts so perhaps now is the time to discuss something completely different.
  
According to “The Oxford Companion to Chess”, there are 1327 named chess openings and variations. Out of all these openings/variations which one is the SCARIEST? Which chess opening can make you wake up in the morning in cold sweat?

If we only consider the names of chess openings we don't really have to go any further than the aptly named “Frankenstein-Dracula variation” (yes, that is indeed the name of a REAL opening and not a silly invention of mine) of the Vienna game. The character of this variation was deemed so bloodthirsty that one monster alone was deemed insufficient to express the horrors associated with it. (Read more about Frankenstein & Dracula if you are unfamiliar with them)  


Let’s see what’s so scary about this "one-monster-is-not-enough-so-let's-have-two" variation. But be afraid. Be very afraid….

HOW TO WIN A CHESS GAME WITHOUT TOUCHING A PIECE

In the rich history of the game of chess, games have been won in many curious & devious ways but to win a game without touching a single piece is taking it bit too far.

But there is a way, albeit using a slight technicality in chess terms. In chess terminology, a pawn is technically not a ‘piece’. Bishops & Knights are minor pieces. Queens & Rooks are major pieces. But pawns are.... just pawns. 

But has there ever been a game when a player won by exclusively moving his pawns? 

SO LONG YOUR HIGHNESS

The checkmate on a long diagonal is literally (and geometrically!) the longest checkmate that can occur on a chess board. Just Imagine playing Qh1+ and mating the black king on a8! Unfortunately this does not happen all that often over the board. If you have practical experiences I'd love to hear about them.

A puzzle composed by Philip H. Williams in 1908 is a stunning example of how chess & geometry combine harmoniously to create a visually pleasing spectacle.

WHITE TO PLAY & MATE IN THREE MOVES

The possibility of a stalemate could not be ignored. But if white surrenders the pawn on a7, a mate in three is impossible.

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