Studies for fun and entertainment (2)

by Frederic Friedel
10/4/2022 – Last week we presented you with a second set of unusual and interesting positions. They are clever and somewhat difficult to solve. But all of them are fun. Today you get the solutions, presented in a way that is particluarly easy to follow. You do not have to be a champion player or problem expert to follow.

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At the bottom of this page you will find all three positions in a replay window where you can follow the moves and analyse with an engine. In the following diagrams you can move the pieces on the board. In the first study the diagram in fact will defend for Black.

The first position we presented looked fairly simple. 


Astonishingly, there is only one key move in the above position that will secure a win. Of the four plausible moves only one works: 1.Rh1! Want to know why? Well, it is explained very nicely in this video:

This video was made by Frank Scarpa and appeared on his Youtube channel Chess for Charity. Frank's declared goal is to spread the amazing game of chess while helping those in need. Half of all income earned on YouTube goes directly to charity.

The second position is even simpler.


At first glance this looks like an easy win for White. But you soon see problems. Whatever you play Black is going to respond with 1...g2 – and force you to exchange the queen he promotes to on g1 for your rook. There is just one move that will actually lead to a win: 1.Rf3! and after 1...g2 one has to find the anti-intuitive sacrifice 2.Bf1! Here's Frank explanation:

Our final puzzle is all about forks.


Black is threatening the dire ...Re1#. White has a powerful family check: 1.Nf5+, attacking the king, queen and rook. However, you soon discover it doesn't work. The only way to win is with 1.Nh5+! Let Frank tell you why:

Please give us your thoughts on the studies and on this form of presentation in the feedback section below. And here are the three positions for you to replay and analyse:

  • Click on the fan icon to switch on an engine which will help with your analysis.
  • And click on the book icon for an alternate layout you might find more useful.

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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