“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
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
Preparing the article for this week gave me the opportunity to learn about a chess lover that you probably have never heard of. His name is Friedrich Amelung. A while ago I stumbled over one of his endgame studies, and somehow never got around to solve it. Here it is. White to play and win:
The study was listed under testing one’s visualization. After taking a quick peak at it, the first hunch I had was to figure out how to setup a checkmate. That would force Black to give up the queen, leading to a win. Then I looked at it a bit closer, and saw the nice, forced sequence that wins the queen outright. I trust you figured it out with many seconds to spare.
“What is the big deal?” you might ask. It looks like an easy puzzle, and I agree with you. However, here is the twist: originally I setup by accident the starting position like this. Can White still win it?
Now it looks like Black has some life. After a tempting knight check (which one would you pick?), the White king is nicely protected from any immediate queen attack. Is there a clever rook move White can follow up with to win? Rg1-e1 would be nice, but it is not possible. This turns out to be a very nice challenge. You can try on your own to see what you can come up with. Good luck! The best I could figure out from many options is: