White to move. I showed this chess puzzle to my SPICE students earlier today. The catch is I read the piece locations to them and they had to solve them blindfolded. Everyone was able to solve it, including members of our C team.
Unfortunately, I could see Alena's solution before I tried to solve it. I certainly couldn't have done it blindfolded, and I don't think I would have found 1.Be8 quickly given the large number of plausible looking beginnings for white- 1.Be8 is not obvious to me at all, but I can see it wins, and I can do that calculation pretty fast. Alena is correct, I think- it is a mate in no more than 5 moves in all variations.
The first move is extraordinary
1.Be8 Nf4 2.Bxf7+ Kh8 3.Bxg7+ Kxg7 4.Qh6+ Kh8 5.Qf6#
1.Be8 gxf6 2.gxf6 Qxf2 3.Qg4+ Ng5 4.Qxg5+ Kh8 5.Qg7#
1.Be8 Raxe8 2.Qh6 gxf6 3.gxf6 C4 4.Qg7#
1.Be8 Raxe8 2.Qh6 gxh6 3.Ng4 d2 4.Nxh6#