Christmas puzzles, fun to solve

by Frederic Friedel
12/30/2023 – Today you get three puzzles that are simply enjoyable to solve. Very strong players should try to solve them in their minds, straight from the diagrams, mere mortals can move pieces. They may be surprised to see that our live diagrams will defend for the black side, stopping you from reaching the goal. Unless you find the unexpected solutions, which will be presented to you with instructive and entertaining videos in the new year.

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Today you have three interesting problems to solve. The authors and source will be provided with the solutions in the first week of the new year.

We start with a fairly simple position – but one which is quite clever:

You can move the white pieces, and the diagram will defend for Black. Chances are, you will not be able to win the position for White – unless you find the very clever idea that ensures victory.

This is a problem by one of the greatest and most prolific composers. Once again, you can move the white pieces, and the diagram will defend for Black. 

The point, of course, is to capture the rook and end with bishop and knight against the king. It is truly incredible that there is only one key move, a fairly innocuous one, that allows White to secure victory. 

Black is threatening mate in one by ...Rh4. How on earth can White defend against it?

Full solutions will come in three very nice video explanation in the first week of the new year.

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We hope you have enjoyed these puzzles, and that it will encourage you to venture into the fascinating world of chess composition. If you do:

Please submit your compositions here

Previous Christmas 2023 puzzles

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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