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Last Move

by Aleksey Bartashnikov

Last Move is a computer generator of all sorts of game situations in which you will have to make only a single move, but that will be the most important one - mate to the opponent's King. Below, you see a description of the computer game.

Aim of the Game

The objective of the game is to create by various means situations of mate on the chessboard. The choice of the proper method depends on the type of task you are to fulfil. The program features 4 task types: 1) mate in 1 move; 2) add the opponent's King on a square where he is mate; 3) add pieces of your side's colour to have the opponent's King mated; and 4) construct a position of mate with the available pieces. If you cope with them, you win; if you don't, you lose. You are always playing for the stronger side, i.e. the side that creates the situation of mate to the opponent's King.

Task Types

Mate in 1 move

This task is similar to an ordinary chess problem in which one of the sides is to mate the enemy King in one move. The act of mate- giving is always up to you. Situations are possible when there is more than one way of giving mate. In order to win it is enough for you to display any one of them, irrespective of the type of mate you have set (see Features). You only need to make a single move on the chessboard to cope with the task.

Add King

In case of this task you will be asked to cope with a problem position in which the opponent's King is missing. Your objective is to add the King in such a way that he is in a situation of mate. Note that in the thus created position there is no need for a final mating move. All you have to do is determine a square on which the King is mate and then put him there.

Add pieces

This task type is similar to the previous one in that you are also offered a position in which one or more pieces are missing. But this time the absent material is yours. You are to place the piece(s) on the board so that the enemy King is mate. The pieces you may use to construct mate are limited. Their number may vary from 1 to 3, depending on the difficulty level of the task. But the correctness of your solution is estimated regardless of how many pieces you have used. The really important thing is to achieve mate! For example, you are asked to add 3 pieces but you have found a mate in which only one of them is involved. In this case it is enough for you to add only that single piece leaving the others alone.

Construct mate

The essence of this task type is to create on the initially empty chessboard a position in which the opponent's King is mate. Two sets of pieces - white and black - are at your disposal to carry out the assignment. Your objective is to display maximum imagination and ingenuity. You are free to invent the most unusual, non- stereotyped and even `unreal' mates (i.e. mates that may not be achieved in a real chess game). The principal criterion for the success of your action is the fact of mate. This task type will help you go beyond the limits of traditional ideas about chess and discover new capabilities of the `magical pieces'.

Features

The game has two modes: Play and Training. Play mode incorporates 10 levels of difficulty. The difficulty of a particular task depends on two factors: the number of pieces involved and the time allotted for the solution. The more pieces are on the chessboard, the greater is the difficulty of the task, for the opponent has more possibilities for avoiding likely threats of mate. The higher the difficulty level, the less time you have for discovering the solution.

The program generates three types of mate: 1) simple mate; 2) mate through discovered check; and 3) mate through double check. For each task you have coped with the program gives you a certain number of points. The higher the difficulty level, the more points you get.

Example

Only one move takes you to victory, but even that `bagatelle' is not always easy find... Try to solve the following task, and you will see.

This is a task of 6th level of difficulty (type Add King). Your objective is to add the black King in such a way that he is in a situation of mate. Note that in the thus created position there is no need for a final mating move. All you have to do is determine a square on which the King is mate and then put him there.

More detail description of the game and a place to download an evaluation copy of the game you will find at the Chess Puzzles Series.


Written by Aleksey Bartashnikov. HTML conversion by David Howe.
WWW page created: July 3, 1998. Last modified: December 14, 2001.