Daily Rome Shot 583, etc.

Simple and simply wonderful. The pasta are ferretti, made from flour and water. With salmon, zest from various citrus, and dill.  I have to do this one myself.  The trick will be the “manticare” stage.  I ate out only about a half dozen times when I was in Rome recently and this was perhaps the most memorable plate I had.

Meanwhile, the other day I saw this fun puzzle which the participants in the Meltwater Champions Finals were asked on the spot and on camera to solve.   Magnus, just out of a match, took more than a minute (but he talked it through). Prag needed only about 10 seconds.  How about you?

White to move. Mate in 2.  Not easy.

This reminds me of a joke a commentator here posted:

“I met some chess enthusiasts in a large foyer recently.
They just kept bragging about how good they are at the game.

There’s nothing worse than chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

Apt, because in Rome these days the smell of roasting chestnuts is common on the streets.

NB: I may hold comments with puzzle solutions a little longer than others so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Stock up on wonderful beer by the traditional Benedictine monks of Norcia.

Please use my Amazon links for online CHRISTMAS shopping.  I always like to get that done early so I don’t have to fret about it.

A chessy suggestion is

Birth of the Chess Queen: A History


NB: This is a “feminist” view of the history of the development of the Queen.  The writer is at Stanford’s “Institute for Research on Women and Gender”, which sounds absolutely horrifying.  However, she did not go completely off the rails into the darkness of man-excoriating nuttiness.  The acknowledgments section, which I usually don’t read, reveals that she did serious work and consultation in trying to get things right in other languages, etc.  There’s a section on Isabella of Castile, whose cause for canonization is on the books.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Neal says:

    1. b5+ Rc4
    2. Rh3#

  2. Adam Piggott says:


  3. David says:

    Quaeritur, Father: Pasta are? Or pasta is? ?

    [Ummm…. yes.]

  4. waalaw says:

    With vetus ordo notation, if you can forgive my nostalgia, using (i) a double check and (ii) a discovered checkmate:

    R – K3+ K – K5
    R – QB3 ++

  5. waalaw says:

    With vetus ordo notation (and a slight correction thereto from being out of practice), if you can forgive my nostalgia, using (i) a double check forcing the king to move and (ii) a discovered checkmate:

    R – K3+ K – Q5
    R – QB3 ++

  6. Uniaux says:

    I worked out some solutions, but I can’t find a forced mate in 2 – need to keep working at it, I guess.

    1.Re3+, Kd4
    2.Nf5+, Kd3

    1.Qa1, {anything other than Rc3}
    2.Re3#. However, black going to Rc3 seems to complicate matters…

    1.Qa1, Rc3
    2.Qxc3, Q(anywhere, really – it’s the only mobile piece for black and cannot form any defense)

  7. johncmeyers says:

    This was rough. So many ways to get mate, but not in two. Every time I thought I had it, well, I didn’t. (I even pulled out a physical set.)
    The only way I can make this work is by:
    which leaves only the Rook or Queen with a move. However, I don’t see what difference any move would would make since it can’t block
    What am I missing? Or maybe I actually have it?

  8. johncmeyers says:

    I meant Re2++. The Rook is already at e3!

  9. Ready?

    If Rxf4+ the enemy King can run. If Re3++ the King still has an escape to d4.

    The solution is:

    1. Qa8!

    What are we looking at? Black’s King can’t move and the pawns are glued down. Black’s Rook and Queen are the only pieces which can move, but moving them results in death.

    Zugzwang! Any move black makes results in disaster. BUT… black has to move (or resign).

    If black moves the Queen anywhere but 1. … d4 there comes 2. Nc5#. White’s Queen skewers Black’s Rook so it cannot move and take the attacking white Knight on c5.

    If black moves the Rook and, again, 2. Nc5# because this time Black’s Queen is feeling the x-rays, pinned to her square.

    If black moves 1…. Qd4, then Nc5+ doesn’t mate because the unpinned Queen can capture the attacking Knight on c5.

    However, after 1. … Qd4 is visited upon the King. Perpend.

    2. Re3++ results in a double check because white’s light square Bishop is revealed. When double-checked the King is forced to move, because blocking or capturing doesn’t solve the other check. BUT… the King has no where to hide because with 1. … Qd4 her traitorous majesty took away his only escape square, d4.

    Scaccus mattus et adversarius vincitur.>/i>

  10. excalibur says:

    Father, I’d really like to have the recipe for that pasta dish.

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!