Funniest Chess Puzzle (partially illegal) solved by IM Nihal Sarin

Funniest Chess Puzzle (partially illegal) solved by IM Nihal Sarin

samyakdeshpande
samyakdeshpande
Apr 1, 2018, 8:17 AM |
0

One of the greatest young chess talents in the World, 12-year-old IM Nihal Sarin recently visited the quarters of the Chessbase in Hamburg, Germany. There was a number of funny chess problems whose solutions really made me smirk more than once..

People don’t usually associate the word “funny” with the word “chess problem”.

However, I hope that this article will change your opinion. And that the problem will make you laugh.

The problems revolved around the correct definition of the promotion rule. 

When the pawn reaches the last rank, a player can promote it to a piece of his choice.”

Nihal effectively refuted this definition with the following puzzle:

It is White to play and mate in three.

The only move that satisfies this condition is the surprising underpromotion… to a king:

1 d8K!!

 

 

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The Black King is caught in a web of Kings. Wherever he goes, he gets caught by the rook

1… Ke6 2 Rf1 Kd6 

 

 

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White completes the checkmate with 3 Rf6. It is obvious that running to the c-file on the first move makes no difference (1… Kc6 2 Rb1!).

This little puzzle has pointed out a massive oversight in the initial definition. We can correct it here:

When the pawn reaches the last rank, a player can promote it to a piece of his choice, except for a king.”

This definition is complete enough and shouldn’t lead to any confusion right?

Time for another problem:

 

 

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