“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (71)

“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

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:

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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