Chess puzzles are like the treadmill of chess players and lovers. It’s a great way to prepare yourself for a game or a competition. Chess puzzles or problems train players to think critically in certain complex positions. Training with puzzles creates a kind of muscle memory that, sometimes, comes in handy in games. If you’re a puzzle collector, we’ve got some of the best for you right here! We’d give our opinions on the rating level of each puzzle as we proceed.
Here are Top 5 of the best chess puzzles today:
This puzzle presents a checkmate in 14 moves, provided both players go for the best moves. As you can see, Black has three pawns that are about to become queens. So, you know that you can’t stop checking the king until you reach either a checkmate or a Zugzwang in your favor.
If you couldn’t solve that puzzle, here’s the solution:
Black has two possible ways to respond. 1…Kf1 continues the game while Kh2 ends the game instantly as white would follow up with a rook check.
White’s objective is to use the rook, knight, and king to enclose the Black king in a space where his allies support checkmate.
We finally have the waiting move that forces the Zugzwang. The only option black has is to promote, but that’ll do no good.
The rook on f8 blocks the flight squares for the king, while the king on h3 protects the bishop delivering the final blow.
4. Your Pieces Are Lava
White to play(Looking from a to h)
You’re probably wondering why this is one of the best chess puzzles. Well, for a start, it confuses chess engines. Checkmate should be found in 4 with the best moves, but engines see mate in 10. Of course, you should always go for the shorter continuation. Time might not be on your side!
Engine suggests Ng4+ here to start the mate-in-10 line, but there’s a more technical and faster route here.
Here’s the solution:
1.Qa8. A quiet move that puts black in a Zugzwang. Capturing the d5 knight with the bishop is mate in 1 with Qh8#.
1…Ne6 to create a d4 flight square.
3.Qh1 whatever Black plays will end in checkmate in the next move
3…d2 means 4.Qe4#
This puzzle is beautiful because White doesn’t capture any of Black’s pieces. The Queen simply forms a triangulation around the edges of the board, and Black self-destructs in a series of Zugzwangs.
3. Draw? No, Thanks!
White to play (obviously)
In this puzzle, it looks like Black has forced a draw because there are just three black pieces on the board, and just one can make a legal move. Black has a mammoth disadvantage, so he looks to a suicide sacrifice to salvage this game. Here, white is on check but can’t take the bishop if a win is needed. With correct play, there is a forced mate in 18 for white. The first move is absolutely crucial here, if not, DRAW.
Here’s the solution:
These pawn moves create a kind of zigzag path for the king to follow as the checks come in. From this point, the white king does a zigzag dance across the first to third ranks, and the primary motive was to trick the suicidal rook into capturing the g pawn. This capture frees the third rank for white’s rook to operate.
After the g3 pawn capture, the zigzag dance continues back to the a-file where black’s rook can no longer hit a check without causing checkmate with 17.Rxa3#. The other option for black is to capture the rook. Of course, the c-pawn queens, and it’s checkmate.
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2. Control Your Greed!
This position looks relatively easy, but the continuation tells you that it’s one of the best chess puzzles you can find out there. Chess.com engine rates it at 3943, one of the best chess puzzles on the platform. To solve this puzzle, one must recognize the significance of waiting moves and must control the urge to grab pieces en prise.
If you can’t solve this lengthy puzzle, here’s the solution:
1.Nd6+ is a relatively easy-to-find move
The rest of the solution is EXTREMELY complicated. So, it’s best if we just refer you to this video to help you appreciate the beauty of this puzzle.
1. Otto Blathy puzzle (1929)
The puzzle was composed by the great chess composer Otto Blathy, a Hungarian electrical engineer. He specialized in grotesque chess problems. He composed the puzzle above in 1929 but could not find the solution himself. Cyril Banderier found the solution to this puzzle in 1992. He spent more than 63 years working on the solution. If you can find the 290-move line in a matter of minutes then you might have the highest IQ in history!
Here’s the solution:
We’d only go over a few moves in the solution before we skip to the end.
You can’t play 2.c3 because Black promotes with 2…b1=Q, and the sequence is over
In summary, the white king does the father of all triangulations you’d ever see. And for black not to lose a terrible bishop, it must move a pawn to save the bishop. White slowly triangulated and eliminates the tempo-neutralizing pawns until the repetitive sequence is broken and mate becomes inevitable.
SEE ALSO: The Ten Best Chess Sets Under $100!
If you agree with our Top 10 of the best chess puzzles, do like our post and comment. If you think any puzzle should’ve made it into the list, kindly share it.