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1. Chess Merit Badge Chess Problems by Joseph L. Bell © 2011

2. Types of Chess Problems • Direct mate - Checkmate in one or more moves • Stalemate or force a draw - Eliminate all legal moves, or force a repetition of moves • Studies - A realistic position where White is to move with the goal to win or draw Chess Merit Badge

3. Types of Chess Problems (cont’d) • Helpmate - Black moves first and cooperates with White to checkmate his King • Self-mate - White moves first and forces Black to checkmate the White King • Series-move - White makes several moves without reply to achieve a given goal) Chess Merit Badge

4. Types of Chess Problems (cont’d) • Retrograde Analysis - Find the legal moves that led to the problem position • Puzzle problems - Non-game puzzles that use chess pieces • Knight’s Tour, or 8 Queen’s Puzzle Chess Merit Badge

5. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Look at the “King’s field”, which includes the square the King is on, and the squares around the King. • There are usually squares the Black King cannot legally move to because one of his pieces is there, or there is a threat from the White pieces. • Find ways to attack the King, and the remaining squares around the King Chess Merit Badge

6. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • The set of squares that the Black King can move to often gives a strong clue to the kind moves that will give checkmate. • Bishop, Queen or Knight can cover diagonal squares. • Rook or Queen cover squares in a row or column. • A discovered check can cover a triangle next to the King in a single move. Chess Merit Badge

7. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Look for the flight squares that the Black King can move to. • The Black King may be able to move away, or forcing the King move to another square could create an opportunity to give checkmate. Chess Merit Badge

8. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Look at which pieces are pinned and where it may be possible to break the pin on a piece. • Pins to the King prevent a piece from moving, and breaking the pin makes it possible to move that piece. Chess Merit Badge

9. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Look at possible checks to the White King from the Black pieces (or vice versa). • Harassing checks can slow down or stop a checkmate attack. Chess Merit Badge

10. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Composed chess problems are often designed to hide the solution, so it may be necessary to look at some rather odd first moves (called the “key”). • Odd key moves that give Black more freedom to move and open up many options, or moves that reduce the options for White moves, are valued by chess problem composers. Chess Merit Badge

11. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Analyze options in a methodical way, so that you do not miss the solution. • Some first moves may have several responses, and each one needs to be analyzed. Chess Merit Badge

12. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • Mate in two move problems can be solved by looking at all possible moves. • For mate in three or more moves though, you will need to know some shortcuts you learn from practice in solving simpler direct mate problems. Chess Merit Badge

13. Tips for Direct Mate Problems • When no other move seems to work, the composer may have implied a move, like castling or an en passant pawn capture. • If the King and Rook are on the initial squares, assume that castling is possible. • If pawns are positioned on adjacent files in row 4 or 5, assume that the first move could be to capture a pawn en passant. Chess Merit Badge

14. Problem Theme: Knight’s Wheel • Mate in 2 Moves after 1. R1c7 • 1. … Nc6 prevents White playing 2. Nc3#, but allows 2. R(c7)d7# • 1. … Ne6 prevents White playing 2. Nc3#, but allows 2. R(e7)d7# • … Nf5 prevents White playing 2. Qd3#, but allows 2. Re5# • 1. … Nf3 prevents White playing 2. Qxh5#, but allows 2. Qe4# Chess Merit Badge

15. Problem Theme: Knight’s Wheel Mate in 2 Moves after 1. R1c7 (continued) 1. … Ne2 prevents White playing 2. Qd3#, but allows 2. Qxh5# 1. … Nc2 prevents White playing 2. Qxh5#, but allows 2. b4# 1. … Nxb3 prevents White playing 2. Nc3#, but allows 2. Qd3# 1. … Nb5 prevents White playing 2. Nc3#, but allows 2. Rc5# Chess Merit Badge

16. Problem Theme: Knight’s Wheel Mate in 2 Moves after 1. R1c7 (continued) Other checkmates, that are not in the “Knight’s Wheel”: 1. … Rc5 prevents White playing 2. Nc3#, but allows 2. Rxc5# 1. … Re5 (or Qe4) prevents White playing 2. Qxh5#, but allows 2. Nc3# Chess Merit Badge

17. Chess Problems as Art • The Knight’s Wheel problem as Art: • The solution tells a tragic and heroic story • The Black Knight stands by his King to the end, defending with every possible move from one threat after another, until the Knight ultimately overwhelmed. • The solution follows a theme or repeated pattern, and completes the Knight Wheel, which this an artistic accomplishment in composing chess problems. Chess Merit Badge

18. Endgame Problems White to move What is White’s best move? Chess Merit Badge

19. Requirements • Do the following: • Set up a chessboard with the white king on e1, the whit rooks on a1 and h1, and the black king on e5. With White to move first, demonstrate how to force checkmate on the black king. • Set up and solve five direct-mate problems provided by your merit badge counselor. Chess Merit Badge

20. Requirement 5c With White to move first, demonstrate how to force checkmate on the black king. Chess Merit Badge

21. Mate in 1 Problem #1 Chess Merit Badge

22. Mate in 1 Problem #2 Chess Merit Badge

23. Mate in 1 Problem #3 Chess Merit Badge

24. Mate in 1 Problem #4 Chess Merit Badge

25. Mate in 1 Problem #5 Chess Merit Badge

26. Mate in 1 Problem #6 Chess Merit Badge

27. Mate in 1 Problem #7 Chess Merit Badge

28. Mate in 1 Problem #8 Chess Merit Badge

29. Mate in 1 Problem #9 Chess Merit Badge

30. Mate in 1 Problem #10 Chess Merit Badge

31. Mate in 1 Problem #11 Chess Merit Badge

32. Mate in 2 Problem #12 Chess Merit Badge

33. Mate in 2 Problem #13 Chess Merit Badge

34. Mate in 2 Problem #14 Chess Merit Badge

35. Mate in 2 Problem #15 Chess Merit Badge

36. Mate in 2 Problem #16 Chess Merit Badge

37. Mate in 2 Problem #17 Chess Merit Badge

38. Mate in 2 Problem #18 Chess Merit Badge

39. Mate in 2 Problem #19 Chess Merit Badge

40. Mate in 2 Problem #20 Chess Merit Badge

41. Mate in 2 Problem #21 Chess Merit Badge

42. Mate in 2 Problem #22 Chess Merit Badge

43. Mate in 2 Problem #23 Chess Merit Badge

44. Mate in 2 Problem #24 Chess Merit Badge

45. Mate in 2 Problem #25 Chess Merit Badge

46. Mate in 2 Problem #26 Chess Merit Badge

47. Questions ? Chess Merit Badge

48. How to do Requirement 5c Fast • Rh4 Kf5 • Ra5+ Kg6 • Rb4 Kf6 • Rb6+ Ke7 • Ra7 Kd8 • Rb8# Chess Merit Badge