HOW TO SOLVE FOR CHECKMATE using CHESSMASTER 9000 (or 8000, or 7000, similar but slower) (File CMinstr1.txt, 30Oct04)

1. Log in.

2. Click on "Game Room."

3. Click on "Game" in top menu bar, then on "Set Up Position" in pull-down menu.

4. Click on "Clear Board"and if the "Set Up Board Position" (SUBP, for short) window is covering part of the board, drag it away to the side. (Dragging is done by pointing the mouse arrow to the top of the window frame, holding down the mouse button, sliding the window away, and then releasing the mouse button.)

5. Drag the two kings to the desired squares. (If you don't place the kings right away, or later need to correct the placement of any pieces, click the "hand" button next to the white queen and use the hand to move the pieces. The red "X" button below can be used for erasing pieces.)

6. Place the remaining pieces on the board by pushing the button in the SUBP window for the kind of piece (or pawn) you want and then clicking on the square where you want it to be. (If you make a mistake, you can remove a piece by dragging it off the board.)

7. Verify that the side to move is correctly identified, then click on "OK" in SUBP window. The window then disappears. (In CM7000 two windows show up, in the first one you push "Apply," in the second "OK" to make them disappear.)

8. Click on "Mentor" in top menu bar, then on "Solve For Mate" in pull-down menu.

9. In the "Solve For Mate" window that pops up next fill in the number of moves to look ahead (you can accept the default 20 in CM9000 also for fewer moves). Click "OK."

10. Now, depending on the difficulty of search, text with an answer will appear in the "Solve For Mate" window. (CM9000 is very fast, compared to CM7000, which for the same problems may just show that it is cranking through tens of millions of positions.)

11. Drag the "Solve For Mate" window out of the way if it obstructs the board, but leave it so that you can follow directions and push the "Move" button to see the solution on the board. When you have seen all, you may have to drag the SFM window back again, to be able to get rid of it by clicking on the "x" in its upper right corner. (If a "... Checkmated" box has stayed on the screen, just click its "OK" button to get rid of it.)

12. To solve for another checkmate, start again from step 3. above, or choose other options from top menu.

SAMPLE PROBLEM TO TEST THE ABOVE PROCEDURE (and learn how to checkmate with a queen)

1. Set up the following position: White - King on g5, pawn on g6; Black - King on h8.

2. Before you go on, write on the line the move that you think White should start with in order to checkmate Black in the fastest possible way: ___________

3. Now, proceed to solve the problem (steps 8 through 11 in the above instructions), and write down the moves that Chessmaster found for you. 1. _____ _____ 2. _____ _____ 3. ______ _____, and so on.

4. If you got the homework sheet from me titled "How chess helped Columbus discover America," then you can see how fast CM9000 will find all answers for you. If you did not, then I will give you the position in Forsyth notation (which all of my former students have learned). White (King Ferdinand) is to move first and take the game away from Black (Fonseca), who threatens to checkmate in (how many moves? ____ ) if he could move right away. The position is: K1k4r/2p5/4P3/5R2/1P4R1/1n5B/8/2r1q3 Forsyth notation is simple. We start with square a8 in the upper left corner and go row by row down the board. The white pieces are written in capital letters, the black ones in lower-case letters. The numbers indicate empty squares, the slashes mark the end of each row. The first checkmate problem (step 1. above) then would be written in Forsyth as: 7k/8/6P1/6K1/32 (since ranks 1-4 are empty, instead of writing 8/ four times, we just abbreviate with 32. (If only two ranks had been empty, we could have written 16/, and so on.)

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