Converting a GM’s Endgame into a Puzzle
The composition of this miniature puzzle is inspired by the endgame in the match between Grand Master Liu DaHua（柳大华）and Master Wang BingGuo（王秉国）. Red to move and win. It’s not difficult, but be aware of traps.
While editing the games on the “2HC Checkmate Routine” page, a sudden inspiration helped me to compose this endgame puzzle.
Recently I bought a pocket-size xiangqi book 《妙破残局》. It is a collection of some 130 brilliant endgames compiled by Fu Baosheng(傅宝胜)and Zhu Zhaoyi(朱兆毅). In the left diagram below is game #16 from the book. Red wins with a stunning Smothered Mate. However, there is a flaw in the original move list. Red does not need to sacrifice his Chariot, he could have played P5=4 on the second move followed by R3+5 checkmate, a faster win!
I admire the brilliant design concept of the Smothered Mate sequence. Here we have a gem in xiangqi puzzle, if you care to give it a little polish. I managed to resuscitate the flawed puzzle by relocating a few pieces. The diagram on the right is the final product.
In xiangqi, a situation may arise in which the position favours the player not having the turn to move. Diagram 1 shows an example. It is Black’s turn to move. He has a choice between K5=4 and A5+6, Red could win easily in either case.
In diagram 2, we have the same position except it is Red’s turn to move. Logically, one would ask if there is a way to ‘pass’ the turn to the opponent and win as in the first diagram? Read the rest of this entry »