It has been said that marriage is a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries. In this week’s position, black, however, is not looking to marry white. With this hint in mind, please try to find black’s best move.
If black captures white’s rook, white is stalemated. The rook seals the white king to the “a” file. The knight prevents the white king from moving to a2 or a4. White has no other moves and is not in check and is thus stalemated.
Black’s best move is to move its king to c2 (see next diagram).
From here, black threatens rook to b3, checkmate. White thwarts an immediate mate by capturing black’s knight with its rook. The black king takes the rook and black soon wins, but it will take some eight moves or so until checkmate.
The lesson this week is to avoid marriage. After all, in chess there is an imbalance of power between the queen and king, so, too, in life, or so it has been said.
Reach Eric Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (505) 327-7121.