One of the Most Famous Chess Endgame Puzzles Ever

One of the Most Famous Chess Endgame Puzzles Ever


Hi everyone it’s Jerry. This is one of the
most famous endgame puzzles ever. It’s one that has many stories surrounding it, and
if that’s of interest to you I have included a couple links in the description to this
video that not only show the puzzle’s solution but again it discusses the many stories surrounding
it. My focus here is to simply present the problem and show it’s solution. And in this
puzzle it’s white to move. What is the best play? If you’d like to try and figure it out
now would be the time to pause the video. Okay, the solution to this puzzle is one that
may very well give your computer difficulty with. In fact, posting this position on a
computer may show that black is the side that’s winning. But that’s not the case. White is
winning, and so let’s see why. Ruling out of a couple things for starters, promoting
to a queen is not good because we would just have a fork. White goes nowhere. Also, giving
check leads to nothing after king g7 because now what? The knight can’t move to give check
of course the bishop can’t move to give check and still can’t promote to a queen successfully
because of the fork. And for the next turn the bishop is always in a spot to let’s say
go to a5 and defend against that d8 square. In short, white will not be able to promote
successfully. White will be not the side that’s winning this position. So, it’s not the pawn
promotion it’s not bishop c2 as the first move but rather knight f6 check. And now the
king is restricted in a great way. Going to h8 allows the pawn to actually promote successfully
because it would come with check. So there’s really only two options, g6 or g7. Let’s first
look at g6. g6 is met with bishop c2 check. If king takes knight, now we promote with
check. If king f7 we once again promote because the knight now can’t make use of f7. King
g7 therefore, and now knight h5 with check. And what is the king to do? We know what happens
if he goes to f7 and well going back to the eighth rank we promote with check. So king
to g6 does not provide the most resistance. King g7 therefore. But now comes knight h5
check and king f7…okay we know what happens we promote. The only other two that we haven’t
really looked at h7 and g6. You go to h7 bishop check. Eventually the king is forced back
and then we promote with check. King g6… well what do you do now? If Bc2, the king
grabs the knight. But that’s actually what white allows black to do. The bishop makes
use of c2, gives a check and allows that king to take the knight. We have a serious material
deficit. Just a bishop and a couple pawns. Black has three minor pieces four pawns. But
black is completely busted. At this point we promote to a queen, and this comes only
after we have forced the king to the edge of the board. We get that queen. We allow
for a fork to occur and we don’t even think about trying to recapture on that d8 square.
King e6 knight takes queen with check king f5, the king is frozen. The bishop at this
point needs to only get on this diagonal or this one and it’s going to be mate. And we
have, for the most part, a forced sequence of moves. Before I show what that forced sequence
of moves is because it’s going to lead to a mate in several moves and there’s nothing
that black can do to prevent it. Before I get to that, what you’ll find is that actually
landing this fork at this point is not the strongest continuation for black. Maybe just
trying to run around here is really just delaying the inevitable. Eventually white will be the
side that not only wins this e3 pawn, but likely this knight over here that’s unprotected
on a6. For example queen to e8 is threatening that e3 pawn. If king f3 you could give a
check. Eventually the queen will be able to make use of e2 this pawn will fall etcetera.
Not long after that black king will fall. But my main focus will be to simply show what
will occur after white allows black to actually land the fork on the king and queen. We do
have king e6, the queen is taken, and after king f5 the main threat is to get on again
either one of these diagonals. And in this position white is trying to get to that d1
square. It’s prevented with pawn to e2 but the bishop is insisting making use of a central
square trying to get to f3. That’s shut down as well in the only way that’s possible, under
promoting to a knight. The bishop now makes use of d5 another central square and what
we’ll see is that as soon as that bishop makes use of that e4 square, it’s essentially just
zigzags its way along the fourth and fifth ranks. And from this post right here on d5,
it freezes both of these nights on d8 and e1. For if either one move, the bishop would
make use of f7 or f3, whichever one will be undefended. And so what to do now because
the other idea that white has is to just go to c4 and then e2 and that’s going to be game.
That could be prevented for only a little bit with c2. Bishop c4 and now c1 once again
under promoting to a knight just to cover the e2 square. We have four knights on the
board, a bishop, a couple pawns, but they’re no match unfortunately for the strong king
position, a bishop, and just a mere pawn on g3. Bishop b5, trying to get on this diagonal.
If the knight blocks okay you just take the knight. The other try is to just go to c7
where it attacks the bishop and of course defends that e8 square. And now again, just
after bishop a4, there’s absolutely nothing for black to do about the bishop returning
to the square that it started at on d1. What might follow is something like knight e2,
but we just have bishop d1, knight f3, bishop takes knight. Pick your favorite move for
black it doesn’t matter. Bishop takes knight, and that’s game over. So, that’s all for this
video. I hope you enjoyed it. Take care. Bye.

100 thoughts on “One of the Most Famous Chess Endgame Puzzles Ever

  1. I'm a GM and let me tell you that Putin the Hacker man has hacked your program allowing illegal moves..

    White King is in check from the start!!

  2. can anyone pls help link that video with the stories please.

    its also very sad how many comments say blackpawn is check the white king. all well i had the exact same thought in the beginning as well

  3. this puzzle was presented from a gm to all gm of that time like karpov kasparov fisher and ofcours misha people start to make so many rumors trying to solve puzzle misha says i cant focus here i with go to park and belive it or not it takes to him just 10 mins to park for god sake to sovle the puzzle.simly out of this world

  4. Yeah I managed to easily calculate the result for everything and even saw the checkmate threat but didn't see the zig zag. Thought black could've defended

  5. omfg what a silly problem. the White king is in check the Whole game by the pawn at C5. White cant start with moving the knight…

  6. The title and description doesn't name the players? Can someone tell me who it is I wanna watch the full game

  7. Too bad: "It has been brought to my attention, about 5 months after the upload of this video, that the original links I had referred to in the video have been broken (are no longer working)."

  8. After the first move (Nf6), if Kg6 why not Bishop h5? Covering the f7 square so the Knight can't fork the promoted pawn and King. If then King g7 you can promote straight away.

  9. Just incredible! I saw the first few moves, and the underlying issues, then decided to play the video. When it got to the first underpromotion I started to laugh. At that point, I knew it was a GREAT puzzle. After the second underpromotion, I knew it was an immortal. Nice one, ChessNetwork!

  10. What a briliant mating threat! OMG
    And I like the couple of underpromotion !
    Thank you for great explanation Jerry!

  11. wow i cant belive i solved it real fast, didnt even pause the video, btw i dont consider myself nothing but a decent chess player

  12. 3:27 – Pivotal Knight sacrifice and then "we allow for an endgame King/Queen fork to occur and we don't even think about trying to recapture on that D8 square." After which all the King's horses and all the King's men …

  13. White King is in check by Pawn. White king must escape before moving. All the other moves are illegal until that is done.

  14. In your alternate universe where Queen is allowed to be promoted(without being forked), shortly after that I find that black pawn c5 to c4 does prevent white mating, though I could be wrong. Of course this is a world where an opponent doesn't accept a beautiful fork bait, and that ain't a world I want to be in.

  15. Why wouldn't King to e7 be good for a first move. Still guards the pawn, prevents the fork, black cannot check. No pieces sacrificed?

  16. Unfortunately, at 4:17, that move forces a draw. Two fixes have been proposed
    adding a white pawn at H2, or moving the knight from G5 to E5!

  17. Wrecking Stockfish 9 from a position it evaluated to 53.2 against me.. so satisfying. I even threw in some taunts after it resigned. I'm dead if it ever finds out the truth.

  18. I was unable to see that the king moving would block the fork, and therefore wouldn't do it.  Had I seen this, I'm quite positive I could have solved this one…

  19. Most horrible pieces around. Only problem with your channel but not a little one. Puzzle is just …. fantastic.

  20. why didn't you play Bishop c3 as the first move stopping the knight to create a fork when the pawn is being queened

  21. The man that composed this puzzle was either of these

    1. Came from some other dimension.
    2. Saw this in his dream.
    3. Was high on DMT(The God Molecule)

  22. 6:10 Couldn't the pawn promote to queen and then move to g5? This forces the white king to move, then queen g3 taking a pawn and potentially checking the white king again. Now white only has a bishop and he can't checkmate.

  23. I like how you say at 1:52 that black king has only 2 options where white(g6 & g7) bishop is on d1 and in 2:12 suddenly the bishop is on c2 during the second option where as it should actually have been d1. All here got fooled saying how engines got fooled and almost none noticed how the bishop is suddenly on c2 square. If you put he 2:12 position Stockfish immediately notices the check mate! Any way God job fooling people!

  24. Thats crazy how such a complex looking position could be 100% detetministic. I wonder how often such positions turn up in games but we never see them.

  25. Everything about this video is very good, except the colors. Black's pieces are shaded with white, and white's pieces are shaded with black. Would be better if there was more of a contrast.

    Cheers!

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