My First Composition

Aug 19, 2014, 12:24 PM |

    This is a very strange position. White is up a Rook and Bishop for two Pawns, and his Bishops seem to slice down the board. This is a huge fact, but it is overshadowed by something even bigger: White seems to be about to lose an entire Queen to the pin. What does he do? If you want to know, read on! I didn't mean for this to be just the puzzle above -- that would be more than a little bit confusing!

    If you can solve this puzzle, conGRAtulations! If you can't, don't randomly try to move pieces until you get it right or try to make the craziest sacrifice that you can find. Instead, try to absorb what's below and try to solve it on the second time it appears. Trust me, you'll understand it better after you've digested everything below.

    How did this puzzle come about? Well, one day, when I was browsing various chess ideas/themes to create a composition on, I came upon one that I particularly liked (and thought was simple enough for me to try my hand):

Notice here that Black's pin has been crossed by another! Black has pinned White, but White has doubly pinned Black: ...Bxf2+ now is illegal and 1...Bxb2?? 2.Qxa7 is a jarring end to the game. Therefore, White wins a piece (Notice: White doesn't win the game, just a piece! A Queen and Bishop can't win against a Queen! I don't want to see comments on this!).

    Now that you have seen the idea that I will use, this problem should prove to be relatively easy to solve:

    Interestingly, this theme repeats itself four times! That was better than I had thought (I was satisfied with two). I was extremely proud of myself, and still am. I hope this update to this blog was helpful and interesting!


    One of the key components to creating a composition is "economy"-don't make too many pieces! In the beginning, Black had another pawn on h6 and White had pawns on g2, h3 and f4(!).
    I left the Pawn on g7 because if it wasn't there, White would be forced to put his Rook on a place like g2 for the solution to work. Then, though, 1.Rh2+ Kg8 2.Rh8+!, 1...Kg7 2.Bb2!, and 1...Kg6 2.Rh6+ made things simpler. Even more, 1.Bg8+! Kh8 2.Bb2! is even faster, with mate in a few moves. Multiple solutions are not allowed in compositions!
    The f5-pawn too was critical: without it, 1.Bb1+! and then Rb8+ wins instantly.
    Clearly, you need to painstakingly search for variations in a composition (I did it without an engine). Composition writers hardly ever use engines to help him -- some of them are "unsolvable", even to computers!
        Also, there is a possibility where moves like 1.Bb2! are beat by another pin! For example, this is from a game where I removed the Pawns and changed it a bit:
    Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions? There's always more than enough space in the "comments" section. I'll edit this soon, so come here often to stay updated!