Each week the Fort Wayne Chess club will offer tips for learning or improving your chess game. The puzzles you see are to teach simple checkmating patterns or 1-3 move tactics to strengthen your foresight and decision making; usually with only one best solution. Note: It is recommended that puzzles be solved on an actual chess board to help visualize the game.
Chess notation: K=king, Q=queen, N=Knight, B=bishop, R=rook. A notation such as “e5” indicates a pawn move where there is only 1 pawn that can move to e5.
If a knight were to take the pawn on e5 notation would state Nxe5 (the leading letter N is interchangeable with any piece being used, i.e. Bxe5). If a pawn on the “D file” were to take an opposing pawn on the “E file,” notation would be as follows, d4xe5.
Hint: Forced mate-in-3.
White to move; level: Hard
Contributor: GM Pal Benkö
Answer: Bc4!; This is the only move that guarantees a forced checkmate in 3! The pertinence of Bc4 is that it cuts-off almost all of blacks mobility. Due to the restriction, black now only has two squares to move to; e5 and f5. If Ke5, then 1) Qd5+, Kf6 is forced 2) Qg5#! If Kf5, then 1) Qh5+, Ke4 2) Qd5#! (Note that black can play Kf6 instead of Ke4 here, but Qg5# would still be checkmate). We urge you to play this position out on your board to understand this important endgame technique.
Chess puzzles are provided by Fort Wayne Chess Club. For questions about the puzzle or to submit a puzzle, email firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the chess club offers casual and competitive play from 2 to 6 p.m. each Saturday at Start Fort Wayne, 111 W. Berry St.