Moderately Tricky Puzzle


I recently came across this puzzle on another site & it had me thinking about it for some time. It's not particularly difficult but there is one variation that needs quite a lot of thought.
Although the objective wasn't stated as such, it's pretty clear that you need to find a way of forcing the exchange of White's bishop for Black's rook....

Hint: >>This uses the principle of Zugzwang !<< (Highlight the text to read the hint)


I'll post the full solution later but I expect some of my fellow 'puzzle junkies' will find it before then. Good luck.

For those who want to see it, click here for the source site.


Yes, you're on the right track with 1.Bb2 but can you work out what follows?

If you think about the moves Black's king can make first of all, then 1...Kg7 is clearly bad because of 2.Rg3+ & the bishop captures the rook but what about 1...Kg8 or 1...Kh7 ?

Then there are all the possible Black rook moves. But the only ones that should give you trouble are 1...Rf7 & 1...Rf8, particularly the latter ! (because the position is symmetrical about the a1-h8 diagonal, solutions are the same as for 1...Rg6 & ..Rh6).

It's really the solution to 1...Rf8 (or ..Rh6) that raises this from being a fairly straightforward & easy puzzle to something a little more special.

Rf8 giving me he most problems...

Bb2 is an obvious move to an experienced player. There are no variations by the way, at most they are 2 moves long. Good for beginners(<1200 FIDE or so)

Metaknight251 wrote:

nice working it out scott!  I just figured that there was no way black was going to be able to keep the rook after Bb2. 

I haven't worked out 1...Rf8.


sorry about my last comment I missed the Rf8 variations those are longer than 2 moves but they were apparent to me...

after Rf8 there is Rc7 Kg8 Rg7 Kh8 Ka2 picking up the rook in all variations, or Rh6 Rg3 Kh7 Rg7 Kh8 Kb1 is the other line


Just 'apparent' to you, huh?


yes, I saw the lines within 5 seconds...

I didn't intend to sound arrogant sorry if it came off that way. 


Apology accepted.


anyway it's a fun puzzle

and I agree the Rf8 lines are harder to see than the others


Well done !

I originally got stuck for a while on the ..Rf8 variation at the fourth move before I realised that Black has no saving moves whatsoever so long as  White guards it's king against check by the rook on f1 ...



This is a very clever puzzle, could NOT solve the puzzle with my level chess.. Also, the stalemate factor was a cool part of the puzzle, making it harder.