Daily Rome Shot 790

Photo by The Great Roman™

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Meanwhile, how long did it take you to find this mate in two?  White to move.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

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The Fischer Random (960) tourney is over at the St Louis Chess Club.  Sam Sevian (22) took the honors with 7/9.  Shankland, Aronian, and So shared 2nd with 6/9.    It was fun watching Garry Kasparov (60) play.  Intense guy. He has a way of moving that could be a slight distraction to one’s opponent.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    What is it that we’re seeing in the Great Roman’s photo?

  2. mrjaype says:

    Often times, guessing the photograph is more difficult than solving the chess puzzle. The Holy Wall of some church?

  3. Robert says:

    Generally, I can identify the picture of the day. But, I am entirely uncertain as to what this is.

  4. I am tempted to tell you what the photo is as a reward for solving the chess puzzle.

    Anyone? Mate in 2? (It’s not easy… until you see it.)

  5. Don’t worry… I will tell you what the photo is. I’m just … avoiding spoilers!

    Yeah, that’s right! That’s what I’m doing! “No spoilers!”

  6. Front Pew View says:

    That looks like the slab of marble on which the body of St. Lawrence was laid after his death by being roasted on a gridiron.

  7. Sue in soCal says:

    If only I knew something about chess,
    I’d take a guess.
    But I don’t.
    So I won’t.
    Cuz it’d be a mess.

  8. Imrahil says:

    1. Qb3+ Ke5 (only field not under attack by the white king, queen or, yes, pawn).
    2. Qd4++.

    The queen herself is protected by the king, gives check, and disallows d5 (together with the king), back to d6, e4 (together with the bishop), f4, and the king can’t capture the bishop protected by the pawn, nor the pawn protected by the bishop, nor his own piece. Neat.

  9. UncleBlobb says:

    Qb8 to b6;
    Kd6 to e5;
    Qb6 to b5. Mate.

  10. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    In response to the proposed chess solutions – Qb6 can be met with cxb6. Blunders the queen. So I assume the correct solution is something else, but it’s not coming to me yet.

  11. Anneliese says:

    I don’t know how to play chess. Re the photo — looks like bullet holes.

  12. JonPatrick says:

    1. Qc8
    if … fxe6, 2. Qxe6#
    if … Ke5, 2. Qxc7#
    if … Ke6, 2. Qd7#
    I think that is all the moves black can make

  13. Imrahil says:

    Yes, Qb3 was a blunder. Thanks.

    In JonPatrick’s solution, 1. … Ke6 is not possible (that would mean capturing the pawn, but it’s protected). What is possible, and you probably meant, is 1. … Kc6, but then 2. Qd7+ would be followed by 2. … Kb6 or Kb7.

    The choice of 1. Qc8 is interesting, though, but there is one option where mate is in more than two:

    1. … fxe6 2. Qxe6++ as you mention.
    1. … Ke5 2. Qxc7++ as you mention.
    1. … Kc6 2. Qb4++
    1. … c6 2. Qc8+ (or identically Qc7+) Ke5 3. Qd4++.

    For the latter option, I cannot see how even the queen can put both the king on d6 and the escape field e5 under attack.

  14. Imrahil says:


    1. … c6 2. Qb8++.

    Now if she were on the diagonal, but she’s unprotected and under attack by the king on c7… She can simply go back.

  15. DCLex says:

    1. Qb5 pins the King and forces c6 as well
    2. Qc5++

  16. Imrahil says:

    Dear DCLex,
    I think you mean Kc6, and that would indeed be mate by 2. Qc5++, but Kc6 isn’t forced. There’s also 1. … Ke5 with, as far as I see, no mate at the second.

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