Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Treat for the Problem-Allergic

So you say you don't enjoy solving chess problems? Here's one that might that change your mind:

White to move and mate in 6 (V. Röpke, 1942)

I first saw this gag position many years ago, in a section of Andy Soltis's fun work Chess to Enjoy devoted to what he calls "anti-problems. I don't have the book any longer, but I was happy to see that Tim Krabbé had recently posted it on one the Dutch pages on his fantastic (seriously - I can't recommend it highly enough) Chess Curiosities website, thereby saving me the effort of trying to track the position down.

So whenever chess just seems too difficult, pull out this position, take a deep breath, and try, try again.


  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger Bill Vallicella said…


    This is too easy -- or else I am missing something. All moves forced.

    1. d4 b5
    2. d5 b4
    3. ab a3
    4. b5 a2
    5. b6 a1 = Q (or whatever)
    6. b7 mate

    So what's the big idea? Black queens, but then gets mated with a lowly pawn?

  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Rakshasas said…

    The idea is that it's a mate-in-6 problem that literally anyone can solve. Hence the "anti-problem" title.

  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Bill Vallicella said…

    OK, I get it. The problem is an anti-problem because it is self-solving.

  • At 10:26 PM, Blogger Bill Vallicella said…


    I got it before I saw R's post. You gotta believe me! Look at the time stamp!

    You have a great blog going. But you need a better title. How about something with Monomaniac, Monomania, Monoman in the title. Caissa's Crux. Caissa's Monocle. Sorry to play with your name. People must mangle it worse than they mangle mine.



  • At 10:39 PM, Blogger Robert Pearson said…

    Bill: Thank you for directing me to Dennis's site, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I thoroughly enjoy Maverick Philosopher as well.

    Dennis: It's a Small World After All...At one of the first tournanments Jerry Weikel put on in Reno in, I believe 1982 or '83, I had admired your play and you were nice enough to chat with me for a few minutes. Later, in the bulletin you analyzed your (last round?) game in the Exchange KID, and I learned a lot about the line, and still feel comfortable meeting it today! Funny what sticks in the mind of a chess player. Love the site, and hope it continues for a long time to come.



  • At 4:19 AM, Blogger Dennis Monokroussos said…

    Hi Robert,

    Almost a quarter of a century ago, can you believe it? I'm glad that you found my old game with Smithers helpful, and I think in retrospect it was one of the better positional efforts of my early career.

    Incidentally, Gallagher has an interesting discussion of the Exchange variation in his newest book on the KID (Play the King's Indian, published by Everyman Chess). He heaps scorn on those who play the line as a drawing weapon (which I didn't) - his reaction is so strong (though good-naturedly, I think) that it's actually pretty funny. In any case, the book is worth getting for the serious KID player.

    Thanks for saying hello, Robert, and I hope Bill can persuade you about Ms. Rand!


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