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I assume with the idea of r-e8 and grabbing the f bishop with mate to follow taking the g pawn
Subrosian, I double-checked with a chess engine. On the first move, Re1 is better than Nc1. So the puzzle solution is not the best solution. Also on the first move, Bb2, Rf1, Rg1, Rd1, Rh2, Rb1, Rc1, Rh3, Rh4, Bc3, and Bd4 mate just as quickly as Nc1. On the second move, Re1 and Nd3 mate just as quickly as Ne2. But it's still an interesting position.
likesforests, you of all people preferring chess-engine "best" solutions??? :)
In a serious vein, soon as i looked at the puzzle N-moves came to mind - in 8 secs or so it was clear that reaching Nxg6+ was the key - in maybe 8 more secs the given solution was found and checked for correctness.
Now there are other solutions, but is anyone of them more natural for humans? That's not a rhetorical question - i have a poll in mind. [of course if one uses an engine *before* trying the prob, then it gets difficult to figure out what one solution one would have found by relying on carbon-based grey matter only :) ]
My purpose is to see if better players than me think differently - if another [complete] solution to this comes to their mind first . I am really interested in this; i'll be tracking this thread.
normajeanyates> but is anyone of them more natural for humans?
Interesting question. In another thread we were just discussing the same dilemma. Specifically, is the first move of the below puzzle ambiguous (and therefore unpublishable in a particular medium that requires a single right answer)?
normajeanyates> In 8 secs or so it was clear that reaching Nxg6+ was the key - in maybe 8 more secs the given solution was found and checked for correctness.
What of the other move orders that reach Nxg6? Nc1->Ne2->Nf4->Nxg6, Nc1->Nd3->Nf4->Nxg6, Nc1->Nd3->Ne5->Nxg6.
What about Nc1-b3-a5, Re1-Re8 taking away the only moves black has available?
Nc1 Bb7 Nb3 Bc8 Na5 Ba6 Re1 Bc8 Re8 Ba6 Bb2. In zugzwang positions I usually think of ways to take away my opponent's last remaining moves.
nice *human* masterly solution :) - nice tip for zugzwang positions... my simpler idea (also for zugzwang situations) works because the prob is simple enough - but it is at the more elementary level of "now go ahead and look for simple checkmate position and how to get there" - yours is of wider applicablity.
re "the order of moves": that's in my opinion like asking a human "think of a number between 1 and 3" - at least for me it was like that when i solved the puzzle - and i think anyone capable of solving it would know well that chessboard geometry distances are not what they look like visually (i.e. euclidwise) so those three N-move sequences would be equally preferred i think - i dont remember which seq I particularly chose [except that i didnt choose Nc3?? :) ].
btw why call it zugzwang? A player is in zugzwang is when, if s/he were allowed to make a "nullmove", then "nullmove" would be her/his unique best move. So this could confuse beginner readers who have just learned what zugzwang is.
[I know - there is no good name for *this* position - black is cramped in a specific way in that he has to keep repeating the position of *his* pieces (ie B within 4 squares) unless white blunders - here being allowed only to move the bishop between 4 squares]. And the position vaguely reminds one of triangulation, which in turns reminds us of zugzwang ....
maybe the term used first here - "basically in zugzwang" - should be made a technical phrase describing this-sort ofposition.]
 the archetypal *abstract* black and white in chess are male, though i am not comfortable with that...
Okay - i admit that is a very *reasonable* - make that *good* - no, *masterly!* - generalisation of the narrow meaning of zugzwang [thats why my previous post re the term "zugzwang" came so late in the thread - the position looked and felt "zugzwangy" so it did not ring a bell before]. Point taken!
I think *I* will call such positions "zugzwangy" or "zugzwangish" or "sort-of-zugzwang" - because, since i am nowhere near master level, people will be confused if *I* call it zugzwang :)
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