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Puttin' On The Fritz!* Print E-mail
September 27, 2008
ImageWell, I learned something. You guys don’t even like to HEAR the word homework during the summer. On page four of the August issue, we asked you: If both sides play perfectly, who should win, or should every game be a draw?

In other words, does White, having the first move, have a decisive advantage over Black? Or should Black be able to counter every move White makes and draw? How you answer those questions will very much decide how you play chess. Talk it over with your coach.

The overall opinion of those who responded is that, “It depends!” And I guess that’s as good an answer as any. The winning essay came from HARRISON WANG of California, and he will receive the two book series, Back to Basics from Russell Enterprises.

GIVE IT A SHOT: On page 12 we asked for the LONGEST continuation of checks, resulting in checkmate.

Black to Move

I liked thi­­­­s problem by Noah Weisz because I don’t think you can solve it using Fritz. The answer is 1 … Rg8+ 2.Rg7+ Nb7+ 3.Nc5+ Ne4+ 4.Qxe4+ Qd5+ 5.Qxd5 mate.

And the book prize (Back to Basics: Tactics by Dan Heisman) goes to:  ANIRUDHA HADAGALI of Michigan. 

As for Colton Payne of Arizona:  Sorry, you can’t have your picture taken with my gnomes from Outer Mongolia. They are camera-shy. But they are flattered you asked!

WORK IT OUT!: The Chess Magnet School puzzles on page 21 received the most responses and the most compliments. I hope the winners have as much fun with their one year, online chess course!

You’ll have to refer to the August issue for the positions, but here are the answers.

1. White to play and checkmate in two moves: 1.Bg6+ Kh4 2.g3#. or 1.Bg6+ hxg6 2.Qh3#.

2. White to play and checkmate in three moves:  1.Bxg5+ Kxg5 2.Qg7+ Kh5 3.g4#.

3. Black to play and checkmate in four moves:
  1 … Qxg2+ 2.Nxg2 Nf2+ 3.Kg1 Nh3+ 4.Kh1 Bxg2#, or 4.Kf1 and Black can checkmate with either Bxg2 or Rf2.

4. The white rook reaches the target square in eight moves by:
b4, a4, a7, d7, d6, h6, h1, f1.

5. The white knight reaches the target square in eight moves by: d8, e6, c5, e4, f2, h3, g1, e2.

6. The white bishop reaches the target square in eight moves by: e4, b1, a2, b3, a4, b5, e2, h5.

There were so many good responses, my gnomes had to work overtime to pick seven winners. Good thing they had their eyes closed! (The winners were chosen randomly.) And the winners are:

Jessica Proctor
of North Carolina

David Patuwo
of Ohio

Tristan Pollner
of California

Andrew Rausch
of Maryland

Raffi Piliero
of New York

Qinhong Chen
of Pennsylvania

Dennis Bolshakov
of Colorado

I want to thank everyone who entered the contests, and I hope you all score well on the Chess Report(s) Card.

*Ask your grandparents.