Contest 58: Kingless


"Kingless" in chess isn't possible. The White King must be somewhere. The above chess position was originally presented as a "find the White King's square" puzzle. Unfortunately the puzzle is trivial and flawed with multiple solutions.

"Kingless" in checkers, on the other hand, is quite a normal situation.Contest 58 in Bill Salot's spectacular long-running Unofficial World Championship Checker Problem Composing Contest series has begun. and the theme of this contest is indeed Kingless. It features four disparate problems, all of whose settings contain no kings. However, this set of problems is free of multiple solutions and certainly isn't trivial.

The contest can be found, as always, at It runs until the end of October. Be sure to try out the problems and cast your vote for the one you think should win the title.

For today's problem, Bill provided us with a "sample" kingless problem. It's not part of the contest but it illustrates what you have to look forward to. The problem is entitled Bewildered and is by well-known composer Roy Little.

White to Play and Win


Bewildering? Perhaps. You don't need to be the king of checkers to solve it, though; it's within reach if you put in the effort. When you're ready, give your mouse a kingly click on Read More to see the solution.null


This problem appeared in Contest 49 in February 2020, and fell just one vote short of first place.

27-23* 19-24 32-27* 24-31 23-18* 31-22---A 18-11-2---B. White Wins---1.

A ---14-23 or 15-22, 26-1 or 26-3 both WW.

B---Jump via 18-11-*2 is correct, but not via 18-9-2 because then 7-11* 2-7 11-16* draws.

1---6-10 2-6 10-15 6-10 22-25 10x19 White Wins.

By the way, if you're interested in the chess puzzle, there are many solutions, starting with

1. e3 e5 2. e4 Ke7 leaving the White king on e1.

However, it turns out the White king can be at any square in which he is not in check. Start out with

1. e4 e5 2. Ke2 Ke7 3. Ke3

and then shuffle the Black king between e7 and e8 while the White king wanders the board to just about any free, safe square.

A spectacularly bad puzzle, in our opinion. Nothing of the elegance of Mr. Salot's world-class contest puzzles.

09/18/21 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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