Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rabies Theologorum.

As you might have noticed I seem to be infected by a kind of Rabies Theologorum when it comes to CTS. I will try to explain why.
Have a look at this diagram.

Black to move and win.

At first I failed with Qxh2, because I hadn't seen the rook on a2 (a whole 4 inches away!)
I tried it again and it took me 152 seconds to find the solution. This happens over and over again on CTS. 152 seconds for a mate in 3 with 3 forced moves. If you take the comparison of J'adoube of the tables of multiplication, we speak here of 7 x 8.
And my answer is:"Where have I left the batteries of my pocket calculator?"
I'm not the only one. 6 of the 16 people who have ever tried to solve this problem failed (hi Slowmouse).
As long as I fail with such simple problems, I don't want to hear anything about positional play or endgames or thoughtprocesses or what. I'm busy. With the tables of multiplication.

circle 0: 1470
circle 1: 1500
circle 2: 15,800 /70,000
Highest rating 1567


  1. Hmm, I see the first move (I think) but am not seeing a mate in 3, doesn't the king have an escape square that avoids mate in 3 or am I missing something?

  2. You make it even worse for me. I missed that escape square in 152 seconds too;)

  3. 1. Bxh2+! Rxh2
    2. Qg3+ Rg2
    3. Qxg2#


    1. Bxh2+! Kh1
    2. Bg3 dbl check Kg1
    3. Qh1#


    1. Bxh2+! Kf2
    2. Qg2 winning the rook.


  4. Ok, maybe it's more like 12 x 13, but anyway . . .

  5. CD, in your 2nd option the king isn't allowed to go to h1.

  6. Well, firstly let me say that the first thing I looked at was Qxh2 but then I saw the Rook, so the next thing I looked at was Bxh2 and that worked pretty much the way CD wrote - it took about a minute to figure it out.

    As for the multiplication referback, I think you are on the right track if you keep repeating the simple tactics like this one.

    Since you are a legitimate 1700+ rating, it probably doesn't hurt that you are doing more difficult tactics.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. This, again, just goes to prove that the first essential skill in chess is to look and see.

  8. I saw it pretty quick .. but that was with the help of your "3 forcing moves" hint ;)

    ps, offtopic, I wonder how someone gets a closet grandmaster title? ;) i guess by getting norms from tourneys held inside closets!? lol just teasing

  9. SM,
    I believe he is a specialist in the Toilet variation of the Grand Prix attack. (1.e4 c5 2.Pc3)

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  11. It is interesting to think about blind spots.

    The first thing I started thinking about with this problem was, "what can I take with my queen?" Then, "where can I move my queen so that I can mate?".

    These two lines failed because of that pesky rook on a2 and the pawn on h2.

    The answer lies in then thinking about how do you block, distract or move these pieces. I suppose that's a second order thought about the position.

    Quite often I find that I have a blind spot. I focus too much on the first order though and think, "there *must* be somewhere I can move my queen", rather than moving on to this second order thought.

  12. I agree with you, and this is why I am a heavy CTS-user, too. BTW Slowmouse may have failed, but Mousetrapper is back and will solve such stuff in less than a minute!