Chess Puzzle of the Week (39)


Last week Richard Thursby asked you to mate in 3 moves using the bishop on b1. You have to think outside, or perhaps, inside, the box to solve this.

1. Bxf5 gxf5 (now the bishop is back in the box.)
2. b8=B (now the bishop is outside the box again, but on a black square. It must be the bishop that has just been captured as the other one is still on the board.)
2… f4
3. Be5#

The latest issue of The Problemist features an article by David Shire on the problems of  Henry D’Oyly Bernard (1878-1954).

This example shouldn’t detain you long. It was published in the Western Morning News in 1904.

White to play and force mate in 2 moves.




Hammersmith v Richmond TVKO 17-06-19

Time was when the season finished promptly at the end of April, but these days matches continue to the end of May and sometimes beyond.

So it was not until the second half of June (although you wouldn’t think so from the weather) that our season reached its conclusion with the final of the Thames Valley KO Cup away to league champions Hammersmith.

Over six boards we like to think we always have a chance but this time it wasn’t to be. We lost the bottom three boards pretty quickly and never looked likely to win all the top three boards. Chris might have won an exciting game, but by that time Mike had already gone down in a tight ending.

Many congratulations to Hammersmith on a richly deserved victory and on completing the league and cup double. Other clubs can learn a lot from their recent successes.

Hammersmith Richmond
1 Ryszard Maciol 212 0:1 Gavin Wall 223
2 Thomas Bonn 199 1:0 Mike Healey 212
3 Carsten Pedersen 196 ½:½ Chris White 177
4 Bajrush Kelmendi 186 1:0 Raghu Kamath 169
5 Sylvain Eche 195 1:0 Bertie Barlow 162
6 Jim Stevenson 182 1:0 Max Wood-Robinson 176

My thanks to everyone who supported the team during the season, especially to Gavin and Mike for their outstanding results.

I’ll post some views on the Thames Valley League results within the next week or so.



Chess Puzzle of the Week (38)


Last week I left you with this position from the RJCC database. Black wins as follows:

1… Bxe4+ 2. Bxe4 Qa7 3. Rc1 (3. Kc1 Ra2 4. Bc2 Rxc2+ 5. Kxc2 Qa2+ 6. Kc1 Qa1+ 7. Kc2 Qc3+ 8. Kb1 Qxb3+ 9. Ka1 Qc3+ 10. Kb1 b3 11. Rc1 Qd2) 3… Ra1+ 4. Kc2 Qa2+ 5. Kd1 Qxb3+ 6. Bc2 Qf3+ 7. Kd2 Qc3+ 8. Kd1 Qd4+

This week something a bit different: a puzzle composed by RTCC member Richard Thursby.


It’s not difficult for White to mate in 1 move, but Richard asks you to force mate in 3 moves using the bishop on b1. You’ll have to think outside the box to solve it.

I always welcome contributions from readers of this blog, whether or not they’re RTCC members.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (37)


I’ve just published my first book review for John Upham’s British Chess News website, which you can read here

Last week’s puzzle is taken from this book: an impressive conclusion by Gustav Neumann, sacrificing a bishop, a queen and a knight to force a two rook checkmate.


The solution (main lines only: you can work out the rest for yourself) is:

1. Bb5+ Kxb5 2. Qc4+ Kxc4 3. Na3+ Kc3 4. Rac1+ Kb4 5. Rb1+ Kxa3 6. Bc1+ Kxa2 7. Rb2+ Ka3 (7… Ka1 8. Re2 Bxf3+ 9. Bg5#) 8. Rd3+ Ka4 9. Rd4+ Ka3 10.
Rxb7+ Ka2 11. Ra4#

The subvariation on move 7 is particularly interesting. The other lines are all checks, but in this line White has to find the precise quiet move 8. Re2, an anticipatory closure of the h5-d1 diagonal so that the bishop can’t capture the rook on d1. White then has the cross-check and mate Bg5.

A position that should be in every tactics book, but I don’t recall seeing it before.


As well as reading this book I’m currently engrossed in my long-term project of analysis the nearly 17000 games played over 30 years in my RJCC database looking for interesting puzzles.

This week’s puzzle is another, slightly easier, test of your analytical abilities. It comes from a 1999 inter-area U11 competition between Richmond, Wey Valley, Barnet and Sussex, four of the country’s top primary school teams at the time. Sam Burgess (Wey Valley) v Scott Lympany (Sussex).


It’s Black’s move. How should the game continue?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (36)


Last week I left you with this position, based on the conclusion of an endgame study by Kubbel.

The solution is 1. Qh7+ Ke6 2. f5+ Kd5 3. Qg8+! Qxg8 4. Kd3 and Black can’t prevent 5. c4#

This week something a bit harder.


This is a position from a game Neumann-Mayet Berlin 1866.

White to play and force mate in 11 moves.

All variations please, and no cheating! Half marks if you find White’s first two moves (and that might be a helpful clue).

Forthcoming Events (June 2019)

There are several events, including Kingston and Richmond Rapidplays, coming up which might interest you.

3rd Kingston Rapidplay Chess Tournament @ Richard Mayo Centre Kingston United Reform Church Eden Street Kingston

Jun 1 @ 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Contact: Edward Mospan Email: Web: [MAP]
The event is divided into three sections by ECF rapidplay grade – Group A – Open; Group B – Under 160; Group C – Under 120. This tournament is FIDE rated and ECF graded.

Golders Green FIDE Rapid Chess @ St Luke’s Church, Kidderpore Avenue, London

Jun 8 @ 10:30 am – 5:45 pm

Contact: Adam Raoof Email: Web: [MAP]
Monthly, 6 rounds, 5 sections – Open, Under 170, Under 145, Under 120 plus NEW Improvers Under 105 section, and an ECF Graded Under 80 Section! 25 minutes each plus 5 seconds a move –

Richmond Rapidplay @ Orleans Park School Richmond Road Twickenham

Jun 9 @ 10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Contact: Paul McKeown Email: Web: [MAP]
Respected and longstanding series of rapidplay tournaments run by Richmond Junior Chess Club | Entry form

Pimlico Summer Tournament @ Community Hall, Under Morgan House, 57 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

Jun 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Contact: Nick Faulks Email: Web: [MAP]
5 rounds, consecutive Thursday evenings, one round per Thursday. New Pimlico premises, including anaysis room. Time control G/75′ plus 15″ increment. Three sections – Open, U150 and U120 | Entry form

Greater London Chess Club Summer Rapidplay @ St George’s Bloomsbury 6 Little Russell Street London

Jun 15 @ 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Contact: Nigel Blades Email: Web: [MAP]
Five round Rapidplay – Open, Major and Minor Sections. Rate of play 25 minutes per player plus 5 second increment. ECF graded and FIDE rated


Chess Puzzle of the Week (35)


This was last week’s puzzle.

White wins by ignoring the threat to capture the rook with check:

1. Rh4! Qxc1+ 2. Kh2 Nh7 and now not the obvious Qxh7+ but instead 3. f5! to clear the sixth rank. Now 3… gxf5 4. Bxf5 exf5 5. Qxh7+ Kf8 6. Qh6+ Ke7 7. Qd6# or 3… exf5 4. Qxh7+ Kf8 5. Qh8+ Ke7 6. Qf6+ Kd7 7. Qd6#

You only pass the test if you found 3. f5!!

If I don’t have anything to hand I can just sit and watch my Twitter feed. It won’t be long before someone posts an interesting puzzle.

That’s what I did this week, and here’s what came up.

White to play and win. Not difficult: you only have to find one move, but it’s not the first. Thanks to Roger Emerson for informing me it’s based on a study by Kubbel (1st Prize 64 Magazine 1925)