Saturday, 8 May 2010

Can I checkmate with this?

I spent yesterday running an interschools chess competition for 130 children. While some kids had played competition chess before, a majority had not. This necessitated a brief explanation of some of the more important chess rules (touch move, winning on time etc). Probably the trickiest section is explaining what is an isn't a drawn position. King v King is easy, and King and single minor piece usually makes sense (although in at least one game the player with a bishop was certainly making an effort to win). However King+2 Knights v King occasionally provokes discussion, as although the mate isn't forced, it can still happen.
And of course once you add extra pieces, then anything can happen (and in schools chess, often does). For example, if it was 2 knights versus 2 knights, I would suggest the players play on, especially if they reached the following position (which is actually a problem by FJ Prokop, 1929). White has a mate in 4, and in most lines, doesn't even need both knights!

1 comment:

Paul said...

1 Nd7 , win in four moves