Learning Chess Part I: Anastasia’s Mate

So, BF is really into chess, and I’m learning the strategies so I can play with him on rainy afternoons (or whenever else, I suppose a chess match might be appropriate). I figure, it’s not really gonna hurt me to learn.  It’s one of those things that people will always nod and say, “Aaah…” and look at you a little more intelligently for during those after-dinner (or before, or during dinner for that matter) conversations.

So, I bought a new book:

My Brand-Spankin New Chess Book
My Brand-Spankin' New Chess Book

So far, it’s just right up my alley.  I looked at a bunch of other books at Borders, and trust me, those get pretty daunting.  It’s like reading algebra and pretending they make sense after looking at a single line of E2+ or Kxg4 or whatnot.  Maybe Bobby Fischer can decode it after a glance.  And the BF.  And anyone else who adores the game.  But for someone like me…someone who is finding a footing of adoration for the game, it’s best not to slap me with algebraic-like equations that run from cover to cover.  It’s almost like asking a three-year-old to read something that Thucydides wrote.

But this book…well, let me just tell you…it’s not just for kids.  Each “mating” motif is carefully and simply explained.  And there’s lots and lots of pictures to accompany the algebraic-like equations that they have used to describe the step-by-step process. Furthermore, it teaches beginners to spot certain patterns and work on their pattern-recognizing abilities.

So, far…I’ve learned 1 out of the 50 in the book.  Hey…I’m on Christmas vacation.  Give me a break.

The first one is pretty interesting and seemingly innocuous.  Then-again, I think a lot of chess strategies fall into the “seemingly innocuous” category.

Anyway, here is Anastasia’s Mate (have I told you how I adore the names of these moves??? At least there’s one toe into the world of chess adoration.)

Checkmate in 3 Moves.  How?
Checkmate in 3 Moves. How?

So, checkmate in three moves.  The key is apparently the White Knight on e7.  How?  Well, some guy in Princeton has made the little pic below to demonstrate.  Unfortunately, I’m not nearly blog-savvy enough to figure out how to slip in an animated gif (yet).  But basically, (1) the White Knight moved from its spot on d5 to e7.  That’s a check.  Then, (2) Black King has to scoot over towards h8.  (3) White has to sacrifice something.  In this case, the White Rook moves from h1 to take Black Pawn in h7.  Check again.  (4) Black King has to take the White Rook to save itself, so moves from h8 to h7.  (5) The White Queen then repositions herself from d2 to h2.  Checkmate.  See?  Black King can’t move to h8 because the White Queen can still take it.  And it cannot move to g8 or g6 because the White Knight can take it on those spots, too.

See?!?!  Ta-Da!
See?!?! Ta-Da!

And there are five other ways to recognize Anastasia’s Mate, too!!!

Isn’t that exciting?…well, maybe not as exciting as when I actually try it out.  Until then, I’m just excited I learned something new about chess!

(and even more more exciting…I figured out how to show you the animated gif!!!  Go Princeton guy and me!) –does it work?

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