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Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (2)

5/12/2008 – The Editor of Chess Notes presents a challenge: half a dozen positions to solve from over-the-board play, ranging from quite straightforward to labyrinthine. But which are which? Although few, if any, clues are being given, readers are assured that there are some truly beautiful lines to puzzle out.
 

Chess Explorations (2)

By Edward Winter

Since its foundation in 1982, Chess Notes has published hundreds of games and positions from all levels of play. Whereas some have been illustrations of cunning, eccentricity and incompetence, many have been neglected gems, often with an historical background to explore. A number of the best specimens lend themselves to presentation in quiz form, and six of those are set out below. Readers are offered a few days to pit their wits against the sextet.

ONE:

White to move

This position is about a century old. What is required, of course, is the shortest winning line.


TWO:

Black to move

The preceding moves were Qg2-b7+ Kg7-h6, followed by the pawn capture Qb7xb6.


THREE:

Black to move

The question here is whether the white king is in, or can be drawn into, a mating net.


FOUR:

White to move

This is the oldest position of the half-dozen and comes from an odds game, with two consultants manning the black forces. How long can they survive?


FIVE:

White to move

This position received some well-merited attention in 1957. As ever, it is the fastest line that needs to be found.


SIX:

Black to move

The question here is whether there is more than one way for Black to win, just one way, or no way at all.

The solutions will be presented in a few days’ time, together with background information and exact sources.


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All articles by Edward Winter


Edward Winter is the editor of Chess Notes, which was founded in January 1982 as "a forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime". Since then over 5,500 items have been published, and the series has resulted in four books by Winter: Chess Explorations (1996), Kings, Commoners and Knaves (1999), A Chess Omnibus (2003) and Chess Facts and Fables (2006). He is also the author of a monograph on Capablanca (1989).

Chess Notes is well known for its historical research, and anyone browsing in its archives will find a wealth of unknown games, accounts of historical mysteries, quotes and quips, and other material of every kind imaginable. Correspondents from around the world contribute items, and they include not only "ordinary readers" but also some eminent historians – and, indeed, some eminent masters. Chess Notes is located at the Chess History Center. Signed copies of Edward Winter's publications are currently available.

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