Friday, December 07, 2007

 

Four Problems

Update: 12/8/2007: I've created a link where you can play through the problems and subvariations with added analysis and evaluation by Fritz. The link is: fourproblems. For each problem, ignore the first move as it is just setting up the problem and is not part of the exercise as given by PCT or CT-Art.

Four tactical chess problems are below each with a main line solution. They are meant to be challenging.

Two of them are taken from the middle of the highest level of CT-Art and two of them are taken from the middle of the highest level of PCT. What do you think of these four problems and their solutions? What about the quality of the problems?

Which is the easiest to which is the hardest? How hard or easy is it to find the first move or understand the point? How close or far apart in difficulty are these four? I intend one or more follow up posts to look at these four problems in more detail.

Problem A

1...e4+ 2.fxe4 Nb2+ 3.Kd2 Rxc3 4.Bd4 Rfc8 5.Bxc3 Bh6+ 6.Ke2 Rxc3

Problem B

1...Bxh3 2.gxh3 Rxd4 3.Bxd4 Nf3+ 4.Kg2 Nf5 5.Rg1 N5xd4 6.Bd3 Nxg1 7.Qxd4 Nxh3

Problem C

1...Ba3+ 2.Kxa3 b4+ 3.Ka4 Nb6+ 4.Kxb4 Rb5+ 5.Ka3 Qc1+ 6.Bb2 Nc4+

Problem D

1...Nb4 2.fxg4 Qxa2+ 3.Kc1 a5 4.Rhf1 Ne4 5.Qe1 Rc4 6.Rf4 a4 7.Rxe4 Rxe4 8.Qg3 h6

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Comments:
It's a little tough to ascertain difficulty since the solutions are right next to the problems.

For Problem D, I'm still not certain why alternate defenses don't quite work. (eg, a3) White certainly isn't forced to take the Bishop.

As far as easiness, problem C is the easiest, simply because Black has few choices. He has to check every single turn.

Besides that, the lines are long enough so they require non-trivial thought.
 
Scratch comment on D.
 
It is a little hard to ascertain, as I suck so bad they are all hard, but A and D seem easier than B and C.

Does PCT give alternate lines? E.g., in CT-Art the computer will often make you reply to multiple possible counterresponses.

At any rate, the higher-level PCT problems I did only had four ply so perhaps I didn't go high enough into the final module, as any of these would be great.

This makes me glad I've started PCT. About halfway through PCT I'll better be able to really evaluate whether my concerns are justified (especially the lack of stats).

I've restarted PCT using 2007 (a huge improvement as you noted), and am re-doing the first couple of stages in module 1. Boring, but I want to be thorough.

I had a smothered mate the other night that was almost the exact same as a PCT module 1 problem I had just worked on. I would have seen it anyway, I hope, but I saw it immediately because of the training.
 
LEP: It's a little tough to ascertain difficulty since the solutions are right next to the problems.

I think that without the solutions no one would have been able or willing to find the solutions.

problem C is the easiest, simply because Black has few choices. He has to check every single turn.
Good point. I had not even considered that.
 
BDK: It is a little hard to ascertain, as I suck so bad they are all hard, but A and D seem easier than B and C.
I find them all challenging as well. Possibly beyond my ability to solve (I haven't tried). Within my range to learn, given the solutions, I think. But I have not yet tried to do that.
 
It's better to give the solution in grey between [brackets]. That makes it invisible yet readable for who wants it. Now I had no chance to try it.
 
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