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By Graham Brown Home

In life there are ten comandments. Carefully carved out in stone. A design for life. A fine set of ideals but ... much like the seven dwarfs ... they are all too difficult to recall in full at dinner party trivia games. Anyway here are my 3 simple laws for solving chess problems.

  1. Always look for the most silly move on the board.
  2. Turn you chess brain OFF.
  3. In a chess problem every piece is there for a reason no matter how silly the reason may be.

Now with Messrs. God and Disney kicking themselves for over-icing their respective cakes I will now expand on law 1. Silly moves come in a variety of categories. In a previous article a knight went to the corner of the board ... quite silly. But perhaps a rather more sophisticated form of silly move involves placing a piece (preferably a valuable one) in the line of fire of enerny pieces. The more enemy pieces that are attacking it, the more silly the move. If you wish, try the following problem on your own before reading on. But remember ... be silly.

Mate in 2


Where can we place the queen that is silly? Well there are a number of squares where it can be placed where it can be captured. That's silly! Unfortunately none of them are silly enough since on none of these squares is the queen attacked by more than one piece. Not very silly really.

So we look downwards in value to the rook. The rook on g6 can be moved to d6 so that it is attacked by all 3 of black's pieces. This is an extremely silly move and must beat even the tempting Nh1

Let's try another

Mate in 3

Over to you. Why not try this one before looking at the answer.

To conclude.

Silly moves will not always be the answer. But if you're anything like me, and you solve these monsters by trial and error, they make a good starting point! Happy solving



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