A knight positioned in the corner of the board can make two moves while a knight positioned on a central square can visit eight possible squares. (Side question: Given a number between 2 and 8, is it possible for a knight to have that number of possible moves? For example a knight on b1 can make 3 possible moves.) In the previous post we examined problems in which a pawn could make the maximum possible number of moves. In this post we will examine problems in which a knight can make its maximum eight moves. Such problems are often known as task problems. When a black knight makes its eight possible moves and the theme is called a knight wheel. When a white knight makes its eight possible moves it is called a knight tour. As usual you will scroll down for the solution to my problems and click on the diagrams for the solutions to the other problems.
For the first problem the key 1.Re4 makes 7 threats (2.Sb3/Sc2/Sc6/Se6/Sf5/Sf3/Se2). The key gives a flight and the king's move 1...Kc5 forces 2.Sf5. The move 1...c2 forces 2.Se2. Moreover, 1...Sxb5 defeats all of the threats but finishes the knight tour. Answer to the side question: A knight can have 2,3,4,6, or 8 moves.
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On the side I like to dabble in chess problem composition. I am mostly interested in two and three move direct mates. I hope to convey the beauty and logic of chess problems with this blog. In the entries are some of my favorite problems and my own problems. Before looking at the problems I suggest reading this introduction to the chess problem world by the British Chess Problem Society. Also, here is a list of terminology and themes. Here is a link to my problems on yacpdb.
1. "Choose wisely" The Problemist Supplement, Sept. 2016
2. "Double checking white in a two mover" StrateGems July 2016
3. "Double check without capture" The Problemist Supplement, January 2018
4. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part I" The Problemist Supplement, March 2018
5. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part II" The Problemist Supplement, May 2018
6. "The disappearing Nowotny: Part III" The Problemist Supplement, July 2018
7. "Castling with half-battery and Fleck themes" StrateGems, July 2018
8. "The Baku Nowotny" StrateGems, January 2019
9. "The Romanian Nowotny with Fleck" The Problemist, March 2019
10. "Mirror Image" The Problemist Supplement, May 2019
11. "White King in Check" Problemas, July 2019
12. "A Simple Mechanism", StrateGems, July 2019
13. "Miniatures with castling and (partial) Fleck" Problemist Supplement, September 2019
14. "Taking the Straitjacket off the Fleck" The Problemist Supplement, November 2019
15. "Unforced threats" The Problemist Supplement, May 2020
16. "Ojanen in Miniature" The Problemist Supplement, May 2020
17. "Developments in the Finnish Nowotny" The Problemist, July 2020
18. "Categorising the Fleck theme" The Problemist, January 2021
19. "Masking the Bristol" The Problemist Supplement, March 2021
20. "My love of the Novotny" StrateGems July 2021
21. "Masked Novotny" The Problemist Supplement, November 2021