Buon giorno chess enthusiasts! Today Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) will focus on the power of the rook. Up down, side to side...sounds boring? Prepare to be shocked at how versatile (useful in different ways) the rook is. Solve 3 puzzles where the rook is a helper and 3 where it is a mater. (Not a tomater, a checkmater!)
Some of these puzzles are difficult, so I will give you a hint for each one. The hint will be below the puzzle. So if you don't want the hint, don't scroll down until you have solved it! A big up-front hint is that every move is a forcing check.
White to move in every diagram.
1. Helper mate in 2 or 3.
Hint for #1: The queen and rook work great together on the 7th rank. How can she get there safely?
2. Variation of Morphy's Mate in three.
Hint for #2: A rook sac opens the castle nicely when you have a back-up rook ready to charge!
3. Mate in 4! Remember, each move is check!
Hint for #3: No matter which way the king hides, after your amazing rook sac black is toast.
Superhint! The next 3 puzzles are all discoveries!
4. Mate in two.
Hint for #4: Don't let the king escape from the back rank. What is the most powerful type of check? A double check!
5. Mate in two. Another Morphy's Mate!
Hint for #5: What a lovely open g-file! If you make just any check, that knight on d3 will be annoying and eat your bishop.
6. Mate in 2.
Hint for #6: No one can capture you if you make a discovered double check!
Great work! So you see, the heavy tower is a very useful piece! He's great as back up and as a mater himself. For more practice, some of the links will take you to other puzzles. Click on them!
Tip of the week: What is your favourite piece? Try playing a game with a friend without it. That will make you more versatile!