Find the solution to this difficult chess problem

Several Grandmasters haven’t been able to, actually.

“In an Italian tournament back in 1990s, an International Chess Master couldn’t find the win at the board in this position:

Kaissiber 1997

IM Srdjan Sale of Croatia showed IM Gerard Welling the position, who then sent it to us. At first, Sale thought it was impossible to win, then found the right solution.

Later he set the position up to many strong players, but GMs Cvitan, Kozul, Hulak, Cebalo, Wahls, Vl. Kovacevic and Dreev didn’t solve it. GM Shirov tried blind, but failed. GM Zviagintsev didn’t find it at first, but was successful overnight. It took GM Dizdar 20 minutes, GM Vescovi 40, both having found the winning method.

Do you have any idea of what to do here? Try to find the solution, but take some time to do it.”

Kaissiber, April-June 1997, p.18


Today let’s meet Kaissiber, a small, relatively unknown chess magazine in German language, one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.

It’s been self-published by FM Stefan Bücker since 1996. The title is made up of two words, Caissa, a fictional Thracian dryad portrayed as the goddess of chess, as invented during the Renaissance by Italian poet Hieronymus Vida, and German word Kassiber, a secret written message (kessaw means written in Yiddish) of a prisoner to other prisoners or from prison to the outside world.

It has a circulation of 5400 (as of May 2010), and an edition in Italian since 2007.

Here is what some can say about it:

“In this era of hackneyed chess journalism and sloppy research, Bücker’s Kaissiber is a refreshing burst of fresh air. [In it you’ll find] fascinating articles about chess history, computer chess and, most assuredly, opening theory, particularly of irregular, unorthodox and controversial openings. In the mix you are also served vintage photographs, whimsical drawings, book reviews and tactical positions to solve, all of which adds up to pure delight for even the most demanding of gourmet palates.” –Hannon Russel, a lawyer, chess historian, and owner of The Chess Café.


Kaissiber is a highly recommendable chess magazine of which I have never seen an equivalent. Just try it – you will not regret it!… Kaissiber is in a way timeless…” –Erik Sobjerg (2274 FIDE, in Seagaard Chess Reviews, Dänemark).

Kaissiber is the best journal I’ve seen by far for the coverage of rare and little-played openings… with numerous other features and an emphasis on history and fun: check it out at A knowledge of German is extremely useful, but not entirely necessary, because much of the analysis speaks for itself.” –IM John Watson in The Week in Chess.

To give you a sense of what topics the magazine is covering, the latest Kaissiber 37 continues with the analysis of the Sicilian Wing Gambit (1 e4 c5 2 b4 cxb4 3 a3) 3…e6 and 3…Nf6. More topics: Maurits Wind writes about GM Buchuti Gurgenidze (remember his 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 b5!? -mr) and his opening repertoire, Volker Hergert has something to say about 1 e4 c6 2 f4!? d5 3 Nf3!? dxe4 4 Sg5, and Peter Anderberg contributes with “The young Sämisch”.

What to say to wrap it up?

I totally agree with Erik, Kaissiber is really timeless; in particular, I have enjoyed the brilliant articles by the late Bent Larsen who was a special contributor from Argentina.

In short, a real chess gem of a magazine!

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SOLUTION to the above problem (see puzzle #245)

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