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Volume 5, Issue 36 ISSN 0958-8248 Autumn 2000

Problem 322 Near Solution

322: this is Grid Chess - another unplayable variant, as it's very hard to achieve anything at all, particularly mate. Only moves crossing one or more of the grid lines are legal - and this applies also to checks - apparent king-captures that don't cross grid-lines do not give check. In this diagram the K could legally stand on d1 or c2. On the other hand, he can never legally reach any of the corners.

This is a seriesmover, where Black makes 7 successive legal moves (with White not moving at all) in such a way that White can then deliver checkmate. There are two ways to do this. Each sequence of moves will be unique - for problemists, it spoils it completely if Black's moves can be swapped about a bit. Again, this has one dagger for difficulty.


Grid chess
Series helpmate in 7, 2 solutions

Near solution: 1.Bf3 2.Be2 and now bK can move without self-check; 3.Kf2 now bK can't play directly to f1, so must divert across a grid line 4.Kg1 or g2 5.Kf1 6.Bg2 and White plays Rd1. This is mate - wR covers g1, bB blocks g2, and bK has no other legal squares. We can see this must be wrong as Black has a choice of moves at No: 4. Although one experienced solver did offer this as a bad solution (or 'dual'). Why isn't it a bad solution? Well, the proposed mating move Rd1 doesn't cross a grid line, so isn't legal.