Crazyhouse might not improve your chess in the short-term. If you play crazyhouse, you might find yourself considering sacking your queen to go for a huge attack or doubling your pawns for better central control and end up suffering as your opponent trades down pieces into an endgame. It will however improve your mind and your vision of mating nets and in the long-term you cannot help but improve your tactical vision. Extra pieces means extra potential.
Here are some standard chess puzzles that crazyhouse players will enjoy, all from a recent series of 157 bullet games played over the course of four hours after midnight Norwegian time under coronavirus lockdown between Andrew Tang (penguingim1) and the World Champion of classical chess, Magnus Carlsen (DrNykterstein). The Iranian teenager Alireza Firouzja (alireza2003) had just hit 3200 bullet on lichess last week, after a couple of impressive wins over Carlsen in Lichess Titled Arenas. Magnus played a long series with Penguin, probably hoping to overtake the young Iranian, and despite winning the series 100½-56½, Penguin was too good and 3200 remained out of reach. Penguin at 3100 now still holds the all-time peak rating of 3256.
Write down your solutions. Highlight the line below each set to read the solutions. How many did you get out of 12?
Solutions: Rh8; Qg1; e7 Ke8 Bc6; Qxh6 Bxh6 Rxh6; f4 Ke4 Re6; g6 Kh8 (Kh6 Qh3 Bh4 Qxh4) Nf7 Kg8 Nh6 Kh8 (Kf8 Qf7) Qg8 Rxg8 Nf7; Bc5! (the final combo to conclude the series, deflecting the defender Nxc5 Rh2 Qg3 is mating, while Ke1 Qe3 only delays mate a few moves)
Solutions: Qa8; g6 Kh6 Rd8 Kh5 Rh8; f4 Nxf4 Bxf4 Kxf4 Qd2! Kxg3 Qh2; Rd8 Rxd8 Rxd8 Ka7 Bb8 Kb6 (Ka8 Bf4 Ka7 Bxe3) Rd6 Ka5 b4 Kb5 (or Black loses the queen) a4; Kg2! Qc7 Nxf6 with a clear advantage, but Kxh4 or gxh4 both lead to mate: Kxh4 Qg4 while gxh4 Qg4 Kh2 Qg1 Kh3 Qh1 Rh2 Qf1 Rg2 Qxg2
In crazyhouse news, the 2020 Crazyhouse World Championship has started and we hope to keep you updated in future blogs!