Chess Puzzle: Mate In 3

When fabulous Fabiano Caruana praises a Chess puzzle it’s got to be great!

I saw this chess puzzle posted by Caruana. White to play and mate in 3 moves

As part of my weekly Chess time, I decided to try this puzzle. Very quickly I realised that it involved too many complex variations – and rightly so; after-all it fascinated even Caruana.

To be honest I was not hoping to solve it. However I just wanted to see how far I could go.

First I figured out what were the constraints and what could be the potential mating position – where the King could be trapped. Then I found out how Black could sabotage mate in 3 – by sacrificing his pieces (even Queen) and what should White play to avoid that. And then I found the winning move!

Yes! I did find the winning move! I checked it on Chessify app and indeed I had found the first move for a winning continuation!

However, my joy was short lived. Yes I had found the winning first move and one continuation to deliver mate in 3. However, I had missed the other variation after the first move, in which case white would still mate in 3, but in a different way.

So, in short, I had NOT solved the entire puzzle, with all possible combinations. I had just found the first move correctly and then 1 continuation.

I know where I goofed up. I didn’t thoroughly check all possibilities after finding one combination. I rejoiced too early and thought that I had “solved” it. A common mistake I often do – in Chess and in life 😟😞

Anyways, I am happy that I at least found one combination and more importantly, I understood that I had missed the other ones and the root cause (rejoicing too early). Hopefully, this realisation will one day lead to not repeating such mistakes.

Here is the complete solution based on Chessify analysis (after first correct move Bh4, which I correctly found).

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