Are you a Technician or a Tactician?


This is my favorite chess puzzle.

This position occured in an OTB game several of us were watching. (White offered a draw here. Felt silly when he was shown the win by somebody 200 lower rated than he.)Laughing

The cool thing about it, it has TWO solutions. One technical, one tactical. Both hard to find.

I like showing this position to my friends, to see which solution they find first. It gives me great insight into how they tackle chess problems.

So take a crack at it, and see which solution you find first.


First, I'll show the technical answer.


And now, the tactical answer.


That's it, hope you enjoy it.


nice, really diffrentiate the player mind. The engine sure choose the tactical way. why? because white mates on the last solution in 10 moves while the 1st solution is only guarantee the white will win but still more moves to go. Am i right?


Yep. Would stand to reason.

Myself, I found the technical one first.


yup i would choose the tactical way 1st. The so called technician way its harder to see actually for me. Even though its far the safest but you need to look deeper, while the tactical way always be a sequence of force moves. in my opinion i would be much go to tactical but if i have time, i would choose the tactican way. If you choose the tactician way i would say you are much more tougher opponent.


Nice puzzle, very nice to see one with both a positional and a tactical solution.


Great article! The tactile one is difficult to see. I found the technical one much easier to see!


Oh, I didn't read technical/tactical at first, and felt dumb when 1.Kg4 didn't work (what did I miss?) but I like the technical solution, very nice.

Even more fun is it was a real game position.


For me the "technical" way is completely obvious and is as simple as 1+1=2. There is no single winning line, just all of them are winning... simply put the bishop on b1 and march the king to c1 or c3 you can do it in any order as long as you don't do something stupid like put the king on c2 instead of c1 or c3.


The technical seems overly obvious, while you actually have to think to find the tactical. Being lazy, I naturally prefer the technical.


pretty cool position, however the technical applies more to common sense. Black king has to guard promotion so you can roam. The tactical one requires calculation.


Well... the tactical one was obvious to me and didn't require calculation... because it's a known pattern that you see in tactics/endgame puzzles.


Like I said. Different players see the same position completely differently. Looking at totally different possibilities.

Incredible, isn't it?


Took me longer to find the switching technique, but it seems like a fairly common pattern in endgames so if you're familiar with it you should get that really fast.

The tactical one seems a bit harder, although I actually saw it faster.


I found the 'tactical' way, like wafflemaster.

But that only proves I am bad at looking how the bishop can stop the pawns...


This is very interesting-seeing how different players find different solutions. Personally, the first thing I looked for was how to push my pawns through, so I found the tactical one.


There are several ways to win that game, there arent' just two methods.


I'm a noob and a technician according to the test. If you are a technician too, pleas join my Society of Technicians.