Did the wicked witches catch you out with their fiendish puzzles?

Or did you fend them off with magical solutions?

If you still want to have a crack at the questions without seeing the answers then click here

1. There are no ghosts on this board, just zombies blocking the way.
What is the only White move that fails to give mate?

1.Rf6 (zombie rook!) unpins the black rook on g7 so Black can reply 1…Rxa7

The other 13 (unlucky for someone) moves for White all result in mate!

2. The creepy old Black witch has just played her move. What did she do?

She captured a knight on h8 which had come from g6.

The Black witch’s king must have come from h7.
The White bishop on b1 could not have got there from another diagonal to give check to the king on h7 (as there is a pawn on a2).
So there must have been a White piece blocking the bishop’s route to it.
As there is no extra white piece on the board, the blocking piece must have been captured on h8 by the black king.
That is only possible by a knight moving from g6 to h8, i.e. N(g6)h8 or N(g6)xh8.

3. Ghosts invent their own rules.
There are 3 ways White can take back a move then give mate but c
an you find all of them?

a) White has just played Rf2 to f1.  Retract that and play Rd1 mate.

b) White has just played Ra2 to a1.  Retract that and play Rd1 mate.

c) White has just played 0-0.  Retract that and play 0-0-0 mate.

The last of these is perhaps hardest to spot but also the prettiest.

4. Many ghosts are neither harmful nor dangerous, some are even kind and generous.
It’s Black to move first and help White to mate in 4 moves.
Can you do it without promoting Black’s h-pawn on the first move?


2.Kc4 h1=R!
3.Kd5 Rh8
4.Ke6 Qh7
5.Ke7 mate

If 2…h1(Q), then White’s king cannot move to d5 when mate cannot be delivered on White’s 4th move.

5. This one is very eerie as ghosts can roam around in different dimensions!
It’s White to move and mate in 1. No chess engine at the moment can solve this one.

Hint: think outside the box.

1.Qg9 mate, a truly ghostly move!
The clues were ‘to think outside the box’ and ‘No chess engine at the moment can solve this one’!

If you were playing Crazyhouse you could drop a rook on g8 or a queen on g8, f6, f7, h6 or h7.

If you were playing other variants you could also win in one move but these would not actually be checkmate (you could nuke the black king by Qxg5 in Atomic or give a third check numerous ways in 3 Check Chess).

6. Never upset a ghost by copying its actions. Black has agreed in this game to mirror White’s moves.
A bad choice as there are now 3 ways for White to mate in 4 but can you find them?

a) 1.c4 c5 2.Qa4 Qa5 3.Qc6 Qc3 4.Qxc8 mate

b) 1.d4 d5 2.Qd3 Qd6 4.Qf5 Qf4 4.Qxc8 mate

c) 1.d4 d5 2.Qd3 Qd6 4.Qh3 Qh6 4.Qxc8 mate

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