Looking at the "Game of Kings" from the Queen's point of view.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Rise and Shine Sleepy Head!
I think I need another large cup of tea! I don't like coffee so tea is my caffeinated beverage of choice. Nothing like waking up at 3:30 am to cell phone buzzing with a text message from my bank with credit card balance. Oh yes Citi Bank for the city that never sleeps. Note to self: "Turn phone off tonight!"
I went downstairs to get tea at the coffee place in the hotel. The line was out the door. I guess all the early morning gamblers need their caffeine fix. I went outside for the first time since I arrived here. It was actually really nice out. Morning desert breeze and sunny. The mountains surrounding the area really are very beautiful. Yes there is life outside a casino hotel. One just has to walk out the door to see it. If it's not unbearably hot later, I'll take some pictures.
While eating my breakfast and drinking my tea I was flipping through the book I bought yesterday. Yes I did buy a book, but it's not really for me per se. It's the third workbook of an excellent series written by Jeff Coakley of Chess'n Math Association. (Canadian scholastic chess organization.) If you teach chess to children you should check out the site. They have a wonderful kids chess magazine that you can sign up to receive free by email. It comes in PDF format.
Getting back to the workbooks, they're a great source of fun problems and excellent teaching material. I have the first two volumes, but never had gotten around to getting #3. So yesterday I grabbed the last copy they had in the bookstore.
I'm looking at a couple of the puzzles, and found myself stumped by this mate in 2 for White.
It's not really all that hard, but I spent time looking for spectacular sacrifices and super forcing moves. However sometimes one needs to apply the KISS principle when analyzing a position. No spectacular sacrfices needed. 1. Qg6 any move for Black, 2. Qxg7# DUH!
This second problem is very different. The problem is White to move and not mate in one. This one involves a little different thought process.
This one had me stymied. It's hard not to make a move that is not mate. None of the knight moves work because the other knight will still be guarding the e3 pawn. King moves don't work because they're all illegal. The only move that's not mate is 1. Rc6+. That unpins Black's rook so he can play 1...Rxh7.
Hopefully the inability to solve a couple of problems from a children's workbook, isn't an indicator of how today will go. Maybe I should go do the mates in 1. :-)