“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (61)

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
Bruce Lee

A quick reminder how it works:

  • Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
  • Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
  • Verify it in your mind the best you can
  • Compare it with the solution

This week’s puzzle has been challenging some chess lovers on the internet lately. Some thought they solved it, while others really did. Possibly you’ve seen it before. In my opinion the true challenge is to solve it within a minute. Please give it a shot!

It is obvious the bishop must move with tempo to give the rook a chance to capture the e3-pawn and stop the promotion. There are 2 possible checks and each one reveals Black’s sneaky defence.

There does not seem to be any other choice for White. This means you must decide really fast which one is the correct one. At this point you have observed 1. Bc6 leads straight into stalemate with no chance to deviate. Choosing 1. Bf5+ should make you realize that in order to play ahead, you would have to let the pawn promote. At this point in your analysis it might be apparent you should look for a checkmate, as well as a defence against either Qe1-b1+ and Qe1-h1+. The rest is easy.

If you got the winning idea within a minute, consider yourself successful. We are doing this for practice and discovering the idea is very useful. Later on we can build on it to speed up the whole process and also find all the moves. Of course if you got the idea and the moves all figured out within a minute, my congratulations. You are quite good by now at this challenge.

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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