New Content Update: Winning the important Rook and Bishop vs Rook Endgame, and more in Puzzle Academy!

The latest content update includes 50,000 new puzzles, 9 new guides, 10 new levels, and how to win the important endgame Rook and Bishop vs Rook.

Join Premium now and start learning chess tactics systematically with Puzzle Academy, or read on for details and examples about the new content.
You can learn more about Puzzle Academy on our landing page.

Watch a video with examples of the endgame and all other levels:

More puzzles

With this month's content update, Puzzle Academy includes now more than 200,000 puzzles.
50,000 puzzles were added across all levels since October.

New guides

I've added guides for several skills introduced in the last months:

Endgames: Winning with rook & bishop against rook

In the "Endgames" course, I've added a new skill "Winning with rook & bishop against rook". This is the first endgame with five pieces in the endgames course, and one of the most important endgames without pawns in practical games.

In general this endgame is a draw, but defending this endgame isn't easy, especially if you don't have much time on the clock. Even very strong players, including Grandmasters, frequently make mistakes in the defence.

Exploiting these mistakes and winning the resulting positions also is far from easy. In fact, there are some positions that are so complicated that you need more than 50 moves to win the game with best play. With best defence, these positions would then be a draw under the 50-moves rule. However, these positions are very rare, and we are going to learn the "easier" cases, which still are very complex, and can require more than 20 moves with best play.

To flatten the learning curve, I've split this skill into four levels, starting with easy tactics, and working up to more and more complicated winning manouvres.

Here is an example from level 2:

Click the diagram to play this endgame.
You can watch the video to see how to solve this puzzle, with explanations.

Tactics: Intermediate check to avoid fork

In the "Tactics" course, we continue with the theme of intermediate moves and checks. This month I've added the new skill "Intermediate move to avoid a fork" with one level. Here is a typical example:

Black just grabbed a pawn on g2 with the knight. The idea is to regain the piece with a fork: 1.Kxg2? 2.Re2+ Kf1 3.Rxc2. However White can win with the intermediate check 1.Bb3+, removing the bishop from the fork with tempo, for example 1...Kf6 2.Kxg2, and White is a piece up.

Combinations: Trade and discovered attack, level 3

In the "Combinations" course, there is now level 3 for the "Trade and discovered check" skill. With this combination you can win material by making a trade to set up a discovered attack. The new level includes puzzles with five moves. Here is a nice example:

Click the diagram to solve this puzzle.

Checkmate Patterns: Kill Box mate, level 1 and 2

In the "Checkmate Patterns" course, I've added a new checkmate pattern "Killbox mate". In Kill Box Mate, a rook checkmates the king. The rook is next to the king, but cannot be captured, because it is protected by a queen. The queen is a knight jump away from the king and also prevents the king from escaping.

Queen and rook form a 3x3 box that traps and checkmates the king, giving the pattern its name.

Here is an example from level 2:

White can deliver kill box mate with 1.Qb8+ Kd7 2.Rd6#.

Checkmate Combinations

Last month I started a new skill "Difficult checkmates". This month I'm continuing that skill with level 2, which includes checkmates in 7 moves.

Here is a beautiful example:

Click the diagram to solve this puzzle.

Defence: Defend against check and avoid a pin

In the "Defence" course, there is a new skill "Defend against check and avoid a pin". For example:

Black just played Qc5+, and White is now in check. White has three legal moves to defend against the check: 1.Qe3? would lose the queen to 1...Qxe3+. 1.Qf2? would allow a pin 1...Bd4!, also losing the queen. Therefore, the only good move is Kh1.

Attacking: Attacking the uncastled king, level 4

In the "Attacking" course, the "Attacking the uncastled king" skill now has a fourth level.
Here is a beautiful example:

Black's king hasn't castled, but it is protected by the central pawn chain f7-e6-d5, and it doesn't look obvious how White can attack.
However here Fiona Sieber found a beautiful queen sacrifice:
1.Qxc4!! dxc4
Now the d-file is openend, and the rook-battery becomes very powerful.
Another sacrifice to deflect Black's queen from protecting d8 (2...Qxc6 3.Rd8#).
2...Kf8 3.Rd8+ Qxd8 4.Rxd8#
The game saw 2...Rd7 3.Rxd7+ Kd8 4.Bxa4+ and White already has a material advantage, while the attack continues. You can replay the entire game on the solution page.

Join Puzzle Academy

Puzzle Academy is the most comprehensive tactics course, and personalizes your learning and practice based on your strengths and weaknesses. Join Premium now and start learning chess tactics systematically with Puzzle Academy.
You can learn more about Puzzle Academy on our landing page.

Future development and your feedback

Work has already started on additional endgames and levels, stay tuned for the next update.
As always your feedback is important and welcome, please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

6 Nisan 2023 Perşembe

Martin Bennedik

Founder of, International Correspondence Chess Master

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