Chess Puzzle of the Week (53)


Last week I left you with this position in which White unleashed a classic rook and queen sacrifice as follows:

31. Rxg7 Bxg7 32. Qxh7+ Kxh7 33. f6+ Kh6 34. Be3+ Kh5 35. Bf3+ Kh4 36. Bf2+ and Black resigned because of 36… Kh3 37. Bg4#.

A spectacular finish which will no doubt find its way into many tactics books.

From a sporting perspective I think Black should either have resigned on move 32 to indicate she’d seen the finish or played on until mate.

Meanwhile, back at the Roebuck, the standard of play was not quite at the same level.

Bob and Ted were arguing about their game, in which Ted’s king had fallen on the floor.


“Checkmate!”, shouted Bob triumphantly. “That means you buy the next round.”

Ted was having none of it. “Nonsense! It was stalemate: I wasn’t in check. It’s a draw so the next round’s on you.”

At that moment Carol returned from the bar with a gin and tonic.  “What’s all the fuss about, boys?”, she asked. On hearing their explanations she quickly summed up the situation. “It’s quite possible Bob is correct: there’s just one square on the board in which Ted’s king would be mated. But it’s equally possible Ted is right: there’s also only one square in which the black king would be stalemated. Both scenarios are equally possible: why don’t you toss for it?”

Alice had been watching the game.”They’re both talking rubbish, Carol. It’s Bob’s move, not Ted’s, and, as it happens, Ted’s king was on a square which would allow Bob to deliver an immediate checkmate. Not that he’d ever find it, though. He’s had far too much to drink already.”

So, there are three questions for you to answer.

  1. If Bob is correct and it’s checkmate, on which square was the black king?
  2. If Ted is correct and it’s stalemate, on which square was the black king?
  3. If Alice is correct: it’s White’s move and he can mate this move, on which square was the black king?