1. Catch the King Chess Materials

2. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

3. Teacher & Classroom Questions

4. Introductory Email Chess (Practice Session)

5. Consultation & Tandem Chess

6. Puzzles (Math Chess & Trivia)

7. Programs & Activities

8. Tournament Information & Registration



Paul Simon's
"Catch the King"
(Chess For Elementary Schools)

Puzzles, Math Chess & Trivia

  • Participation is restricted to registered members only!

  • Registered members must include their password, teacher name, school and grade in the the subject line of the email.

  • Weekly chess puzzles (mate in one, two, etc., white/black to play and win), Math Chess (puzzles based on retrograde analysis, illegal positions, etc.) & trivia question.

  • Solution to puzzles will only be accepted from registered members who will be qualified to participate in various contests. Each class requires a demonstration board in order to effectively participate in these activities.

  • The position below is a simple example of a chess puzzle that can be used in the classroom. All that is required by the teacher is to set up this position on the demonstration board and relate to the students the task at hand. In this case it is white to play and mate in one. It is then up to the students to try and solve the puzzle.

In the above position it is white to play and checkmate in one move. Can you find the move that will "Catch the King"?

Once the students have solved the puzzle the solution should be written down using algebraic notation. This solution can then be verified with the answer that will appear the following week. The diagram below demonstrates the solution along with the algebraic notation.

By playing 1. (R)e8-a8# (Ra8#) white has "Caught the King" and checkmated black in one move.

Registered members are invited to participate in contests by emailing in their solutions to the more advanced puzzles. The details of these contests will be sent out to all registered schools.

The above position is taken from a very famous game played by Paul Morphy in 1858. Morphy, playing white, checkmated his opponent in two moves. Can you figure out how to "Catch the King"?

The following week the participants will be able to compare their solution to the answer:

Chess Puzzle - Level # Puzzle # (Solution): The great Morphy played the following sequence of moves, 1. Qb8+, Nxb8 2. Rd8#, with which he "Caught the King".

The above puzzles are examples of what are usually found in many books and magazines. Their purpose is to entertain and sharpen tactical ability. These are the type of puzzles that are familiar to most players.

There is, however, an entirely separate category of chess puzzles that do not follow these accepted conventions. The same rules of chess apply, although the solutions are not based on finding a checkmate or forced win. These puzzles deal with logic. The following is a simple example:

The above position is illegal. Which is to say that it could not have occurred if both players followed the rules of play. Your task is to discover the specific element that makes the position illegal.

Math Chess - Level # Puzzle # (Solution): The position is illegal because white has two black squared bishops, on c3 and g5. It is the responsibility of both players to be aware of such errors.

  • Trivia Question: What movie is about a chess prodigy?

  • Answer: "Searching for Bobby Fischer."

Click Here for Weekly Puzzles & Trivia