Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Mate in 11

by Andrew

This puzzle comes from IM Andras Toth's book Exploration in Chess Beauty, and is one of my favourites.

Mate in 11
G. Murkisch, 1969

The solution can be seen by highlighting the area below.

1.Ke7 Bb4+ 2.Kf6 Bc3+ 3.Kg5 Bd2+ 4.Kh4 Be1+ 5.Qf2!! Bxf2+ 6.Kg5 Be3+ 7.Kf6 Bd4+ 8.Ke7 Bc5+ 9.Kd8 Bb6 10.Kc8 Bxc7 11.Bxc8#

The king makes the seemingly pointless walk from d8 to h4 all so that that the queen can lure the bishop onto a different diagonal, the point of which only becomes relevant when it makes it to b6: it blocks the queen from being able to defend the rook and prevent mate.
A lovely piece of work that demonstrates with real elegance how what seem like the finest, most intricate details of a position can make such an important difference.

Reminiscent of a certain mate in 271 I saw once...

Composed by Nenad Petrovic, 1969.


  1. I solved the mate in 11 in 4 seconds. I didn't attempt the mate in 271...

  2. Wow, that's pretty impressive... In fact, that sounds just about impossible... But well done for solving it, anyway. The mate in 271 is easier than you might think (not sure whether you already checked the solution). The puzzle is quite unambiguous, and once you find the right motif to make progress you can work out say the first 250 moves or more pretty easily.