Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever


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Josef Riha    (2011-12-10 12:08:43)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

ChessPosition (see diagram)
White to play and win.

a b c d e f g h

Thibault de Vassal    (2011-12-12 20:28:06)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Tough! :)

Stephane Legrand    (2011-12-12 22:26:40)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

i propose Cf6+ Rg7 Ch5 Rg6 Fc2 Rxh5 d8D AND ....

Josef Riha    (2011-12-12 22:32:17)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Ok, that's right, but how does it continue?

Stephane Legrand    (2011-12-12 22:39:51)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

PAR EXEMPLE Cf7+ Re6 Cxd8 Rf5 e2 Fe4 e1C Fd5 c2 Fc4 c1C Fb5 is winning... MATE TO COME

Josef Riha    (2011-12-12 22:51:41)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Alright and can you please give for the rest of us the complete line?

Stephane Legrand    (2011-12-12 22:58:26)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

par exemple Cc6 Fxc6 Cc7 Fa4 Cc2 Fxc2 Ce2 Fd1 Fe1 and Fxe2 mate and a great chess puzzle! i found the beginning and engines help me for knight promotions! ...

Josef Riha    (2011-12-12 23:01:34)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Sorry, but Nc6 is wrong!

Stephane Legrand    (2011-12-12 23:03:20)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?


Stephane Legrand    (2011-12-12 23:07:28)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

or Cc7 Fa4 Ce2 Fd1 Cf3 Fxe2 c4 Fxf3 MATE but Cc6 seems longer! no?

Josef Riha    (2011-12-12 23:11:53)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Congratulations, you got it! Nc6 is indeed longer!

Josef Riha    (2011-12-12 23:28:57)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Here are the explanations to this puzzle:

First let's discuss the obvious: Black has so much extra material, that White has to finish things up neatly or lose. Promoting 1.d8=Q loses to the fork 1...Nf7+. The initial check 1.Bc2+ is fruitless, for after 1...Kg7 there are no more checks. If White wastes time, Black will play ...Ba5 to cover the queening square more directly.

The winning line begins with 1.Nf6+ Kg7! (Not 1...Kh8? 2.d8=Q+ which is mate in three, and not 1...Kg6? 2.Bh5+! +-)

Next comes 2.Nh5+ Kg6 (2...Kf7? 3.d8=Q +-; 2...Kh7? 3.Bc2+ mating) and now, the star move: 3.Bc2+!! forcing Black to play 3...Kxh5. Even computers have difficulty finding this resource.

Now comes the point of this jockeying: 4.d8=Q!!, giving Black no choice but to execute the fork 4...Nf7+ 5.Ke6 Nxd8+ 6.Kf5!

If you like, pause now and examine the position after 6.Kf5! Notice how Black, although still ahead a mountain of material, is about to get checkmated with the lonely bishop.

Now comes 6...e2 (forced) 7.Be4 e1=N(!), underpromoting to a knight is the only way to prevent Bf3#. 8.Bd5! c2(!) 9.Bc4! and now the threat is Be2+. Again, Black's only defense is an underpromotion which is cute but insufficient: 9...c1=N(!) (to guard e2) 10.Bb5! (threatening Be8+).

Look at Black, with his four (!) knights, unable to prevent a checkmate by a single darting bishop. For example, if now 10...Nc7 (to guard e8) then 11.Ba4! (the final finesse) and now the imminent 12.Bd1+ will finish the job. Black, with all of his knights, can't even throw in a check. To drag it on to the bitter end, it goes 11...Ne2 12.Bd1 Nf3 13.Bxe2 (any) 14.Bxf3#

Bobby Johnson    (2011-12-13 03:33:18)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

1.Nf6+ Kg7 2.Nh5+ Kg6 3.Bc2+ Kxh5 4.d8Q Kg4 5.Qf6 Kxg3 6.Qe5+ Kf2 7.Qh2+ Ke1 8.Qg1+ Ke2 9.Qg4+ Kf2 10.Bd1 Nb8 11.Qe2+ Kg1 12.Qxe3+ Kg2 13.Qe8 Ba3 14.Qxb8 Bc1 15.Kxc5 Bd2 16.Kc4 Nh3 17.Qb6 Kg3 18.Kb3 Kg2 19.Qg6+ Kf2 20.Kc2 Ng1 21.Qe4 Kg3 22.Qg4+ Kf2 23.Qh4+ Kg2 24.Qd4 Kf1 25.Qf6+ Kg2 26.Kb3 Nh3 27.Qf3+ Kh2 28.Kc4 Nf4 29.Bc2 Kg1 30.Qg3+ Kf1 31.Bd3+ Nxd3 32.Kxd3 h5 33.Qf3+ Kg1 34.Qxh5 Kg2 35.Qe2+ Kg3 36.Qe4 Kf2 37.Kc2 Kg3 38.Qf5 Kg2 39.Qg4+ Kf2 40.Qe4 Kg3

Josef Riha    (2011-12-13 08:43:48)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Sorry, 4. ...Kg4 is wrong! Look at the solution above. It's a mate in 14 moves.

Philip Roe    (2011-12-16 06:38:43)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Perhaps Bobby has a point? Instead of winning the Queen but walking into a mate, Black can play 4..Kg4 to escape the net. Then its not so obvious. For example 5.Qc8+ Kxg3 6.Qxa6 wins a piece, but then ..c4+ 7.Kd5 e2 8.Qa1 Kf2 and BLACK wins! I am sure that there actually is a win and I think it starts with 5.Qf6. If then 5..Kxg3 6.Qxh6 looks easy enough. But it was a reasonable question.

Josef Riha    (2011-12-16 09:49:46)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Unfortunately we cannot know what the author of this puzzle have in mind as he creates it.
I also believe 4. ...Kg4 is better but I'm not a top player :-)

Om Prakash    (2012-01-18 10:50:09)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?

Its GK time now. The Truck Driver and Tal Problem..... A long, long time ago we are talking April 1987 there was a super-GM tournament in Brussels. It was won by the the great Jugoslav GM Ljubo Ljubojevic, who today lives in Linares, Spain. World Champion Garry Kasparov was equal first with the same number of points. The two were one and a half points ahead of Anatoly Karpov and the rest of the field, which included Tal, Larsen, Kortschnoj, Timman and a very young and off-form Nigel Short. The other memorable thing, which is the subject of today's puzzle, was an encounter with a very intense young British Grandmaster Jim Plaskett was visiting the tournament,As a parting gift Jim showed me the following interesting study: [FEN "8/3P3k/n2K3p/2p3n1/1b4N1/2p1p1P1/8/3B4 w - - 0 1"] "White to play and win", said Jim with a intense little smirk. And all players spent the rest of the day shuffling the pieces around on the board. Occasionally one of the super-GMs would come in after his game, and occasionally they would join in the analysis. But nobody got it that day. Except Misha Tal, who worked on it unsuccessfully for ten minutes, left the press room and then suddenly popped in again an hour later. Apparently he had worked out the main idea during a walk in the park. So White hat to take more drastic measures: 1.Nf6+ Kg7! 1...Kh8 2.d8Q+ is mate in three; and 1...Kg6 2.Bh5+ Kf5 3.d8Q wins, as there is the forking square f7 is defended by the bishop. 2.Nh5+ Kg6. 2...Kf7 would block the forking square and allow 3.d8Q. 3.Bc2+! Forcing Black to take the knight a very difficult move for computers to find. 3Kxh5 4.d8Q!! (allowing the fork) Nf7+ 5.Ke6 Nxd8+ 6.Kf5. White is threatening 7.Bd1+ e2 8.Bxe2 mate. 6e2 7.Be4. Threatening 8.Bf3#. Black has only one reasonable defence underpromotion! 7e1N 8.Bd5!! c2 9.Bc4 (threatening 10.Be2 with mate in two) 9c1N 10.Bb5 (threatening 11.Be8 with mate in two) 10Nc7 11.Ba4.Look at this situation. Black has four knight (and a bishop), but cannot stop the lone white bishop from delivering mate in three moves, e.g. 11Ne2 12.Bd1 Nf3 13.Bxe2 and 14.Bxf3 mate. A beautiful, fascinating problem, praised by many readers (see feedback below). However we discovered a fairly serious difficulty in this study. Actually it was the same Jim Plaskett who drew everyone's attention to the fact that in the meantime analysts had found that Black can draw by playing 4Kg4 (instead of going for the queen with 4Nf7+). A bit of computer analysis confirmed: this seems to destroy the study by preventing a white win. John Roycroft, in the endgame magazine EG vol. 122, says: The composer of this fine study is the Dutch composer Gijs van Breukelen, who demonstrated it as an example of his own work at a meeting of ARVES held in 1992 in Delft. The position with the authors name was already in Schakend Nederland of iii1990 as an original. The composer said at the ARVES meeting that he had composed it in the mid-1970s and shown it to several friends, but had neither sent it for publication nor entered it for a tourney. Having somehow penetrated the player circuit it circulated rapidly, acquiring journalistic colour en route though being associated either with a (totally fictitious) Ukrainian tractor-driver, or with a very specific (but equally spurious) game between leading masters. The late IGM Tal was one of the active propagators, but when asked he claimed he could not remember who had first shown it to him. Note:- So to Avoid draw by Kg4 if we can place a pawn at h2 to support g3, It becomes the fine Puzzle ever.

Om Prakash    (2012-01-18 10:52:26)
Maybe the hardest chess puzzle ever?