|Do you see it, too (Finally, in 1986, Averbakh saw it as well, writing: it is a creation of genius)? There's a checkmate in twenty moves, below. Apparently composed 13 centuries ago, in Babylonia, by As-Suli in the Court of Caliph Harun-ar-Rashid, as featured in the one of the earliest remaining books, entitled: The Thousand & One Arabian Nights. |
The rules of the puzzle are Shatranj, and so, the Queen is really a Firzan (both its move and attack are one move at a time, but only diagonally outwards), and not yet a Fers (with its immediate choice of a leap), its Mediaevil successor. The name stems from the Rank of the Aparzan, a Tent Commander-in-Chief of an Army.
Another rule of Shatranj at the time is that immediately prior to the appearance of a bare King position, stalemate would only occur if the side with the bare King can also immediately take sufficiently much material to strip bare both Kings. Otherwise, the side with the bare King is also checkmated.
click for larger view
The hints are that:
(i) white may make progress if it were black, in zugzwang, who was compelled to move,
(ii) there is a mirror-diagonal solution which can assist white in the pace of his progress,
(iii) is it possible in the game for a King to mate with a Queen (er... Firzan)?
Sources: Oxford Companion to Chess (terminology), and seen once as a puzzle in the Globe & Mail, of Jonathan Berry.
---- places to snoop ----
Game Collection Voting ? for the Biographer Bistro crew.
chessgames.com chessforum (throne room) and CG Librarian chessforum (their library for PGN Upload Utility corrections/adds, which Biographer Bistro (kibitz #14454) won't necessarily be uploaded by <me> this time, since I have neither this kind of time (nor Mac OSX resources - chessbase only runs on my older windows machine image through a Parallels/VMware set-up) to run through each of the pid names to check pid spelling consistencies with the ones that already exist in this database). Premium users get the Zipfile Archive as a PGN download tool.
Viewer Deluxe chessforum (support forum of game review/analysis tool) also see User: crafty (robotic annotator sometimes present on their localhost).
Chessgames Playing Zone or Thematic Challenge chessforum (correspondence ideas). ChessBookie Game (run by Chessgames Bookie chessforum ) and Pun Voting Booth are methods to judge (like http://www.chessgames.com/perl/kibi... do for the quality of games submitted annually).
Monte Carlo (1904) (for those mainly interested in the Rice Gambit).
http://ratings.fide.com/suggest.phtml (similar "correction slip" page to inform about a FIDE error)
Forum is locked for the world team, in the case that they require an extra slot to debate opening theory against some correspondence player.
In addition to usage as a potential team forum for correspondence matches or repairing/help with my collections (my premium membership expires in Dec; I may <collect> for now, adding some other extra notes or introductory material <after> that time), the forum is also open for other Biographer discussions. Normal kibitzing guidelines apply too (please stay on-topic/relevant to chess, but the occasional joke might be considered okay), but also with the additional knowledge that the forum may not always be left on - so it may not be worthwhile to make a pointer to a kibitzing link here. Reserved is the right for an admin to potentially delete/close off-topic posts, and the forum shall be a place to handle trolling, etc more appropriately than on mere general game or tournament or player kibitzing pages.
Anyways, thanks for visiting!
Throughout June and July, http://www.internationalchess.net/ is showing some of the top boards of http://chessevents.com/viewer/games... (both Game Collection: 2012 Washington international and Game Collection: 2013 Washington international were previous installments) and the http://chessevents.com/viewer/games... (again, Game Collection: 1996 World open , Game Collection: 1997 World open , Game Collection: 1998 World open , Game Collection: 1999 World open , Game Collection: 2001 World open , Game Collection: 2002 World open , World Open: Open Section (2003) , 32nd World Open (2004) , Game Collection: 2005 World open , 34th World Open (2006) , World Open (2007) , World Open (2008) , World Open (2009) , 38th World Open (2010) , 39th World Open (2011) , World Open (2012) , 41st Annual World Open (2013) are others in the series) are being featured (clicking along the right-side menu there and sometimes changing the pgn file name can sometimes pull out a previous year to 2014-5 season, or sometimes side events like blitz or sectioned events).