Sunday, 12 July 2009

The problems with problems

It is the 'unnatural' nature of problem positions that seem to scare off chess players from attempting them. Although the 'this looks stupid' is not so much a barrier to solving them (as the laws of chess remain the same whether it is a game of chess or a composed position), but simple a barrier to considering them in the first place. However once I learned to get past the problem of the placing of pieces (realising that each piece contributes to not only the question, but also the answer) chess problems became much more accessible.
Here are two different problems from the same composer, William Shinkman. The first looks more 'natural than the second, but enjoy the challenge of trying to solve both. Both are White to play and mate in 3.

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