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Subject: "Mate in two" puzzles - for games that aren't Chess. rss

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David Lame
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Huntington Woods
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A staple of Chess literature are various puzzles where a position is presented and the reader is asked to find the best move. The most common examples are "mate in X" puzzles, where a player is expected to find a move which guarantees Checkmate in X moves.

Other puzzles might not involve a looming Checkmate, but perhaps a position where a gain of a piece is guaranteed. (Chess.com has a "tactics trainer" which presents these position to a user who is asked to find the best move.

I know how to find tons of material for Chess. How about other abstract strategy games? Are there puzzle sources available for anything else? I have some for Xiangqi, and I assume I could find some for Shogi, but I haven't looked.

Here's what I'm going to do with them.

At my next Chess tournament, I'm going to bring a digital projector loaded with a slideshow of such puzzles. It will be running non-stop in the skittles room. 4 out of the 5 puzzles will be for Chess, but other abstracts will be thrown in.

I'm not sure if there will be any competition associated with this, and there are number of things which might happen to prevent this from actually working. (Like my inexpensive projector not being bright enough, or not being able to find a suitable space), but that's my plan.

In order to be suitable, the puzzles should be not too difficult, because most people will be beginners at most of the games, and should be very little work for me. i.e. I should be able to go to a web site, copy a picture of the position, at most add a caption or trim some material off the border, and have a complete puzzle with very few minutes of effort.

I'm also not looking for tons of different puzzles. I think about 100 will be fine, and since 80 of those will be Chess anyway, I don't need a big supply.

The goal is to present other abstract games in a context which makes them seem in the same league as Chess, possibly piquing someone's interest in playing something other than Chess.

(It would be even better if the puzzles would be for a game which I will have physically present at the tournament. Examples include Shogi, Xiangqi, Go, Hey That's My Fish, Arimaa, Hive, Gipf, Khet (1.0 or 2.0, but I prefer 2.0) Othello, Checkers (American and continental), Jungle, and I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking about right now.)
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Germany
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Here is a huge collection of wins in two for Arimaa positions. All these occured in real games and are datamined by a bot:

http://arimaa.com/arimaa/mwiki/index.php/Unique_wins_in_2

There is always only one single move that forces a goal or elimination in 2.
I don´t know of any other websites.

Alternatively you could go to

http://arimaa.com/arimaa/puzzles/list.cgi

, there are far fewer puzzles, but some are about winning a piece, and not about winning the game.
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christian freeling
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Meadmaker wrote:
(It would be even better if the puzzles would be for a game which I will have physically present at the tournament. Examples include Shogi, Xiangqi, Go, Hey That's My Fish, Arimaa, Hive, Gipf, Khet (1.0 or 2.0, but I prefer 2.0) Othello, Checkers (American and continental), Jungle, and I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking about right now.)

I can honestly say that only Dameo is in the same league as International Draughts when it comes to stunning combinations, so that would be my suggestion. Mindsports has a large compilation of Dameo basic tactics as well as problems and endgames to choose from.
 
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Drink Me
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I'd be happy to track down some Go puzzles for you. Would you prefer "black to play and win" (i.e., endgame puzzles), tactics puzzles, or puzzles about killing groups?


You can also browse yourself. The puzzles most likely to interest you are the first 100 or so in the "Beginner Exercises" section.

http://senseis.xmp.net/?Exercises
 
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Ryan James
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There are a number of Camelot puzzles here.
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Bennett Gardiner
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If you ask very nicely Carlos Luna Mota might let you use some of his Xodd problems from "360 Xodd Problems" - all unique solutions and some are likely 2 moves.

Of course, Kamisado lends itself well to these problems, and there are some easier ones on the Kamisado page.
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Joe Joyce
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Dave, Gary Gifford has designed a very interesting variant Dimension X that comes with 7 problems. See the chessvariants.org original posting: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/msdisplay.php?itemid=MSdi... I'm not sure if they exactly fit your criteria, but you might find something useable.
 
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Matt Loscutoff
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I'd rather lose to a good move, Than win to a bad one...
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GIPF puzzles found here:

http://www.gipf.com/gipf/index.html
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Gustavo
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I've found this website about Trax when clicking on the Puzzles link at the Dvonn official page shake:

http://www.abstractboardgames.com/trax/puzzles.htm
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Daniel Danzer
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Some XiangQi puzzles in its picture gallery (with much more moves though):



I don't know any specific site, but when you google "mate in" and "XiangQi", you'll find a lot of nice puzzles.
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Carlos Luna
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I've prepared a set of 360 end-game puzzles for a relatively unknown abstract game called Xodd.

All of them are guaranteed to have a unique winning move for Black.
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Carlos Luna
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dispatch134711 wrote:
If you ask very nicely Carlos Luna Mota might let you use some of his Xodd problems from "360 Xodd Problems" - all unique solutions and some are likely 2 moves.


Wow! I didn't read this comment before posting mine! Sorry!
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Francis Siefken
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Neuroshima Hex 3.0 box edition includes 55 puzzels. It's a themed abstract a chess, hive like game played on a hexagonal grid with asymetric armies.
http://zmangames.com/product-details.php?id=1370

The much cheaper iOS Neuroshima Hex puzzle app has 100 puzzles (I think they overlap with the box) coined hex-aches. MichallusTG was responsible for at least some of them.
http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/1456/review-neuroshima-hex...

solutions and walkthroughs are published on the official site
http://neuroshimahex.pl/mobile/neuroshima-hex-puzzle-walkthr...

Here are 16 free puzzles/hex-aches and solutions made by allstar64
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/863150/allstar64s-hex-ache-r...

 
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Russ Williams
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Since shogi links haven't been given yet:

http://genedavissoftware.com/tag/one-move-tsume/ (very elementary)
http://genedavissoftware.com/tag/three-move-tsume/ (somewhat harder)

And 300 tougher problems in a PDF from Fat Bald Cyclop:
https://sites.google.com/site/fatboldcyclopsplace/the-goods

and various links are suggested in this forum thread:
http://81dojo.com/81forum/showthread.php?tid=72
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John Mendonopoulos
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How about Trax? You can find puzzles on traxgame.com. There is also a free puzzle book from which you can choose puzzles with different levels of difficulty. (http://gnutrax.com/book/trax_puzzles_v1_4.pdf)
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