Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Daily Tactic December 31, 2013

This is a famous position from Fischer-Mjagmasuren, Sousse 1967. White to move. Can you visualize white's moves through to the end?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Daily Tactic December 30, 2013

Morphy-Jefferson, New York simul, 1859. This game ends with the mating pattern know as Philidor's Legacy. Morphy sets it up with two Deflection moves. To help learn this pattern and solidify it, practice going over the final moves in your head from move 19. Qa3+ to the end. Once you learn the pattern or if you already know it, go over the game in your head from move 17. e5! onwards to practice your visualization skills.

Deflection is forcing an enemy piece away from some useful position. In this game Morphy deflects the black queen off of the d8-h4 diagonal.

Decoying is attracting an enemy piece to a square useful for you. In this game as part of the final mating pattern, a black rook is decoyed to the f8 square.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Daily Tactic December 29, 2013

Morphy-Julien, New York simul, 1859. This knight odds game features a double attack and multiple deflections. Morphy's 12. Bg5! and 19. Rd1+ are great examples of deflection and 13. Qxb7+ is a double attack threatening the rook on a8 and mate in three.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Daily Tactic December 28, 2013

A pretty little study by H. Rinck from 1907. To win, White needs to promote one of the pawns, but how? The first move may be obvious -- save the g-pawn.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Way Out?

Yesterday I received an email from a friend that has the KnightVision mobile app. He asked:
My son likes playing KnightVision  and he found this. Does this count as a bug?
It would appear that the Bishop is trapped with "no way out" and with no way to complete the level. To see how the Bishop escapes and captures the pawns keep reading...

The short answer to this dilemma is to do a long press on the Bishop which will temporarily transform it into a Knight then make one or more moves and then change it back into a Bishop.

For every piece except the Knight there are times when it is necessary to transform into a Knight to complete the level. For most pieces this only happens at the highest levels. For the Bishop this issue crops up from the beginning because a Bishop can only travel on either the light squares or the dark squares. Even if all pawns were forced to be on the same color as the Bishop the issue would still occur at higher levels, like the one in this question, where the piece would be trapped without the Knight transformation.

Even the powerful Queen needs to transform into a Knight to complete some levels. This provides a useful demonstration and lesson of some of the unique properties of the different pieces.
  • The Knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces or pawns.
  • Each Bishop is limited to travel on only half of the chess board; either the dark or light colored squares.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

KnightVision for Improving Chess Players

KnightVision can help beginning to intermediate players improve at the game of chess.  You improve by developing fluency with the pieces, especially the knight.  The knight can take a long time to master and KnightVision provides focused practice at this key skill.

KnightVision also demonstrates and helps the user internalize important chess principles such as attacking a pawn chain at its base, attacking pawns from the side or from behind, and the power of a rook on the seventh rank.  You develop skill at knight maneuvers which is another critical chess skill.

Using KnightVision to Learn Chess

KnightVision can be used by by someone just learning chess or their parent or coach as a tool to help learn how to play chess.

It can help you become familiar with and oriented to the chess board. It can be used to help learn the names of the pieces and how they move.  You can use it to practice moving the pieces and develop confidence and fluency at moving the pieces.  It is a great way to start learning the game while having fun at the same time.

Spectacular! Five Stars! A Must-Download!

KnightVision is a fantastic game, sure to capture the imagination of anyone who has ever obsessed over the game of kings.
KnightVision is simple. The game starts and you are given a board with one knight and one pawn. Your job is to move the Knight however many times are necessary to take the pawn. At first it seems needlessly simple, but as you progress, there will be more pawns on the board and more complicated procedures to capture them all. With time it becomes quite an engaging puzzler. You can customize your puzzles as well, swapping out your Knight for other pieces like the Queen or Bishop, turning on Zombie mode (new pawns appear on the board as you play) or turning off piece moves and warnings so you have to figure it out on your own.
The game's design is simple yet elegant... The graphics are slick and bright and the options are accessible and easy to change... If you enjoy chess and puzzle games or simply want to learn more about how each piece works, this is a must-download - especially at a price point of Free. More at CNet...
Five Stars! Spectacular! A Must-download! Cool. Yesterday when I checked, out of 1688 "chess" iOS apps listed at CNET.com, KnightVision was the only one with the highest editorial rating of five stars.