Home > Weekly Problems (3) >
Weekly Problems with Solutions (3) < Prev | Next >

 51. Arthur Mosely The Australasian 1909 1st Prize Mate in 2

A fine key, 1.Sf7!, offers two flights to the black king, and also disrupts a set line, 1…h6/h5 2.Bg6. The threat is 2.Sh6, an indirect battery mate. Taking either flight allows the same queen mate, though the two variations are distinct given that the king is mated on different squares: 1…Kg6 2.Qg5, and 1…Kg4 2.Qg5. Three other defences by various black pieces are connected by the self-blocking error that each commits: 1…Sg4 2.Sd6, 1…Qf4 2.Qxe6, and 1…Be4 2.Qg5.

 52. William Whyatt The Problemist 1965 Helpmate in 2 Twin (b) Pe4 to e3

The diagram is solved by 1.Bg5 Rc7 2.Bc1 Rb8, and part (b) by 1.Bg6 Rb7 2.Bb1 Rc8. Coordinated black and white half-pin play. The black half-pin on the h-file leads to the pin of each bishop, exploited in the eventual mate. White similarly self-pins each rook with the initial move, but it is unpinned by an interposing black bishop, freeing the piece to give mate.

 53. Cyril Whitehead Australian Chess Problem Magazine 1995, 2nd-3rd Prize = Mate in 2

This problem took part in a theme tourney that stipulates the key to be a queen sacrifice, and it's a striking example with 1.Qe6! solving. After this waiting key, captures of the queen and two other black pawn moves produce a quartet of “open-gate” variations: 1…dxe6 2.Rd8, 1…fxe6 (or 1…fxg6) 2.Rf8, 1…d6 2.Qxc8, and 1…f6 2.Qxg8. Three other defences are more straightforward unguards: 1…Bb7 2.Qxd7, 1…Sxg6 2.Qxf7, and 1…Sg~ 2.Sf6. Lastly, the correction move 1…Sxe7 permits 2.Qxe7.

 54. Brian Tomson Chess in Australia 1977 Mate in 3

A surprising key 1.Qf1! relinquishes the queen’s control of the b-file and yields a flight on b7. The threat is 2.Bd5+ Kxd5 3.Qc4, against which Black has only two defences. The main one 1…Kxb7 provokes the marvellous 2.Qxa6+, with three sub-variations: 2…Kxa6 3.Sc5, 2…Sxa6 3.Bd5, and 2…Ka8 3.Sb6. The second defence 1…f2 is answered by the more ordinary 2.Qxh1+ f3 3.Qxf3.

 55. Molham Hassan Australasian Chess 2010 Ded. to John Sharkey IV Mate in 2

The key 1.Qc5! cuts off the a7-bishop and threatens 2.Rxd4. The thematic knight on d4 has six possible moves, and each one induces a different mate: 1…Sb3 2.Qxc2, 1…Sb5 2.Qxc6, 1…Se2 2.Re3, 1…Se6 2.Qe5, 1…Sf3 2.Sf2, and 1…Sf5 2.Sf6. All of these defences commit the error of self-interference – a good connecting motif. There’s by-play with 1…Bxc5 2.Sxc5, 1…cxd6 2.Sxd6, 1…Qe5/Qxd7 2.Qe5, and 1…Rd1 2.Re3.

 56. Henry Tate Good Companions 1920 Mate in 2

The unprovided flight 1…Kc4 is a significant clue, since any potential key must deal with this strong defence. 1.Qg4! sets up an indirect battery on the fourth rank, and threatens 2.Sf6. 1…Kc4 walks into the battery directly and enables 2.Sc3. Taking the second flight on d4 (released by the key) permits another battery mate, though it’s the same move as the threat: 1…Kd4 2.Sf6. Black self-blocks in the variations 1…c4 2.Qd7 (changed from the set 2.Qe5), and 1…Rd4 2.Qe6. Also, 1…Rxe4 2.Qxe4, and 1…Bc3 2.Sxc3.

 57. John Lindsay Beale & John James O’Keefe The Problemist 1950 Mate in 2

The diagram is a complete block, with every black move having a set mate: 1…R~rank 2.Sf6, 1…R~file 2.Sc3, 1…S~ 2.Qe5, and 1…c6 2.Sd6. Tries that attempt to preserve all of these variations fail, e.g. 1.Kd8? Rd3!, and 1.Ba7? c5! The waiting key 1.Se7! abandons two knight mates, but by putting an extra guard on f5, enables the queen to handle the black rook instead: 1…R~rank 2.Qf5, and 1…R~file 2.Qe3. The correction 1…Rf4 allows yet another queen mate, 2.Qd5. The remaining play is unchanged from the set: 1…S~ 2.Qe5, and 1…c6 2.Sd6. An exemplary mutate.

 58. Ian Shanahan Australian Chess Problem Magazine 1994 Helpmate in 3 2 solutions

The two solutions of this miniature are 1.e1(Q)+ Kxf3 2.Qb4 Ke2 3.Qb1 Sd3, and 1.e1(B) Sg4 2.Kd1 Kd3 3.c1(R) Se3. The first phase shows a paradoxical black queen promotion, and ends with an ideal mate, while in the second part Black underpromotes twice, to avoid attacking the white king or the knight’s mating square.

 59. Arthur Willmott Chess in Australia 1988 Mate in 3

The key 1.Bh7! forestalls a black check on the h-file, but makes no threat. A nice variety of play follows the black rook’s defences. 1…Rh8 2.Qa1+ Kb8 3.Qxh8. 1…Re8 2.Qa4+ Kb8 3.Qxe8. 1…Rg8 2.Bxg8 Kb8 3.Qd8. 1…Rf3+ 2.Qxf3 Kb8 3.Qf8. 1…Rc8 2.Qa1+/Qa4+ Kb8 3.Qa7. Other rook moves permit short mates, while the king defence enables another fork by the queen: 1…Kb8 2.Qd6+ Ka8 3.Qxf8, or 2…Kc8 3.Qc7.

 60. Rurik Bergmann Chess in Australia 1985 Mate in 2

Two set lines, 1…B~ 2.Se7 and 1…Qxb4 2.Sxb4, are curiously dropped by the key 1.Sd4!, which threatens 2.Be6. The unpinned black knight initiates the new thematic play, 1…Sxf4 2.Qa5 and 1…Sc5 2.Qc6. These variations, together with the self-blocking 1…Qxd4 2.Qb7, bring about three subtly differentiated queen mates. There is by-play with 1…e3 allowing 2.Bf3.

 61. Denis Saunders World Chess Solving Championship Pula, 1997 Mate in 2

The splendid key 1.Sd3! (waiting) disrupts the R + S battery, grants a flight, and also enables the black queen to check. A new R + S battery fires directly with 1…Kxd4 2.Sxc5, and indirectly with 1…Qxf4+ 2.Sxf4 and 1…R~ 2.Sb4 when the white rook recovers the d4-flight. 1…S~random leads to 2.e4, while the correction 1…Se4 permits 2.fxe4. Also, 1…Q-else 2.Qxc5.

 62. Peter Wong British Chess Magazine 1995 Helpmate in 2 2 solutions

If the black queen were not on the board, two helpmates in one are possible: 1.Re5 fxe5 mate and 1.Bd5 c5 mate. Simply shifting the queen away to facilitate these mates would not work, however, because White has no waiting move available. Instead, the black queen’s first moves must be aimed at providing White with a spare move. 1.Qxc4 bxc4 2.Re5 fxe5, and not 2.Bd5? here because the d5-bishop would have disabled the 2…c5 mate with a pin. Analogously, 1.Qxf4 gxf4 2.Bd5 c5, and not 2.Re5? here because the h2-bishop would have prevented 2…fxe5 mate. Tempo play with dual avoidance.

 63. Laimons Mangalis British Chess Federation Tourney 1952-53, 3rd Prize Mate in 2

After the key 1.Sf7!, any move by either black knight would defend against the threat of 2.Sxe5. A random move by the d6-knight, 1…Sd~, opens the white queen’s line to c5 and allows 2.Rd4. Two correction moves by the knight stop this rook mate, but commit the error of closing a black defensive line: 1…Sb5 2.Qb4, and 1…Sf5 2.Qe6. Moving the e5-knight, 1…Se~, opens the white rook’s line to c5 and again permits 2.Rd4. This knight has three correction moves that prevent the rook mate, and two of them are also self-interferences: 1…Sf3 2.Qe2, and 1…Sc6 2.Rc5. The third correction is a self-block: 1…Sd3 2.Rc2. There’s by-play with 1…Qb5/Qb2 2.Sxd6, and 1…Rc5 2.Rd4. Remarkable for a strategically rich problem, the position is pleasantly open and nearly pawnless.

 64. Alexander Goldstein & William Whyatt Arbejder Skak 1964 Mate in 3

The key 1.Bf2! threatens 2.Qb1+ Kg2/Kh2 3.Qg1. The thematic defences, 1…e4 and 1..g6, impede the white queen but also render 2…b1(Q) ineffective for controlling the white queen. This weakness allows White to activate the half-battery on the h-file. 1…e4 2.S5f4 (threats: 3.Sg5/Sg1) Qe5/Qd8 3.Sg5, or 2…Qxf4+ 3.Sxf4. Not 2.S3f4? because of 2…Qe5! 1…g6 2.S3f4 (threats: 3.Sg7/Sf6) d6 3.Sg7, or 2…Qd8 3.Sf6, or 2…exf4 3.Sxf4, or 2…gxh5 3.Qxh5. Not 2.S5f4? because of 2…d6! Also, 1…S~ 2.Qe4+ Kh2 3.Bg1, and 1…Kg2/Kh2 does not stop the threat, 2.Qb1 and 3.Qg1. Very subtly determined choice between 2.S5f4 and 2.S3f4 in the main variations.

 65. Frederick Hawes The Australasian Chess Review 1929 Mate in 2

The many white tries include 1.Reb3? Ba3!, 1.Rbb3? Kxa1!, and 1.Rb4? Bxe3! The waiting key 1.Rb6! closes the e3-a7 diagonal in anticipation of 1…Bxe3 2.Qa8. 1…Bd2 permits a dual, 2.Rb2 and 2.Qb1, but the remaining two bishop defences force these mates individually: 1…Bb2+ 2.Rxb2, and 1…Ba3 2.Qb1. When Black takes the flight provided by the key, White gives a model pin-mate: 1…Kxa1 2.Ra3.

 66. J. Willis Town and Country Journal 1878 3rd Prize Mate in 2

Most of Black’s moves in the diagram have set mates arranged for them, and the key 1.Sh3! completes the block. 1…Bb7 2.Qxb7, 1…Bc6 2.Qxc6, 1…Bd5 2.Qd3, 1…Be~ 2.Qf5, 1…Bf4 2.Rxf4, 1…Sb~ 2.Sd2, 1…Sg~ 2.Rf4, 1…d3 2.Qxd3, 1…f5 2.Sg5, and 1…Kxf3 2.Qd3/Bxg2. A waiter with a flight-giving, sacrificial key, and plenty of variations; its only flaw is the dual after the king’s move.

 67. Juan Kloostra Australian Chess 2003 Mate in 5

Two obvious first moves, 1.Qxc6? and 1.b8(Q)?, fail to 1…Bxe5! and 1…Qxb6! respectively, while a better try, 1.Qd8?, is refuted by 1…Qxb7! If the b7-pawn were missing, White could mate in two with 1.Qa7+, so White’s plan is to induce Black to remove this pawn. The key 1.Qg1! threatens 2.Qxg7. Since short mates result from the lines 1…S~ 2.Qg8 and 1…Bg6 2.Qxg6, the main defence is 1…Qg2. Now 2.Qc5, with the threats of 3.Qe7/Qc7, compels the capture 2…Qxb7. The switchback 3.Qg1 forces 3…Qg2 again, and now that the b7-pawn has been annihilated, White proceeds with 4.Qa7+ Qb7 5.Qxb7. Fine long-range, pendulum-like play by the two queens.

 68. Matthew Fox Chess Life 1957 Mate in 2

A prominent set variation, 1…Qb8+ 2.Ka4, is discarded by the key 1.Kc5! (threat: 2.Kb6), whereupon 1…Qb8/Qd8 enables 2.Kc6 instead. The thematic key also sees the white king walking into a black battery, which fires with 1…R~+ 2.Kxc4 and 1…Rxd5+ 2.Kxd5. So we have a nice mix of white and black battery play. There’s by-play with 1…Sf7 2.Rxe8 (1…Sg6 2.Rxe8/Qf6).

 69. Linden Lyons & Geoff Foster Australasian Chess 2011 Mate in 2

The key 1.Qf7! threatens 2.Qxd5. A random move by the d5-knight, 1…Sd~, allows 2.Qc4. The knight has three specific moves that disable not only the original threat, but the secondary threat of 2.Qc4 as well. These correction moves, however, entail the error of self-interference and provoke additional mates: 1…Sb6 2.Sxc5, 1…Se3 2.d3, and 1…Sf4 2.Qxf5. Also, 1…Se6 2.Qxe6, and 1…Rd3/Rg3 2.Qxf5. A clear-cut presentation of correction play.

 70. Arthur Mosely Brisbane Xmas Card 1920 Australian Columns 1st Prize = Mate in 2

Every possible black move has been provided with a set mate: 1…Sf~ 2.Sd5, 1…Sh~ 2.Rbf5, 1…e3 2.Be5, and 1…d6/d5 2.Se6. The excellent key 1.Se5! (waiting) gives the black king a capture-flight on g5, and generates plenty of changed play. 1…Sf~ 2.Rg4, 1…Sh~ 2.Rf5, 1…Sxg6 2.Sxg6, 1…e3 2.Sd3, 1…d6/d5 2.Se6, and 1…Kxg5 2.Be3. Three mates are changed and two added in this first-class mutate.

 71. Frank Ravenscroft Europe Echecs 1965 Mate in 5

The somewhat obvious key 1.Bc6! immobilizes the c7-pawn, so that Black is restricted to shuffling the king between g1 and h1. Now White is free to organise a battery mate with the knight. After 1…Kh1 2.Se4, the g2-pawn is unpinned but 2…g1(Q)+? allows 3.Sf2 mate. So 2…Kg1 3.Sg5 Kh1 4.Sh3 – White unpins another piece, but now with the g1-flight attacked Black is forced to open the battery line: 4…Bg1+ 5.Sf2.

 72. Brian Tomson Problem Observer 1982 Helpmate in 3 (4 parts) Whole board for each

From left to right, the four positions are solved by (a) 1.Kb5 Rb3+ 2.Ka6 Sc4 3.Ra7 Rb6, (b) 1.Kb5 Sd4+ 2.Ka4 Rc2 3.Rb4 Ra2, (c) 1.Kf7 Rxe7+ 2.Kg8 Sf6+ 3.Kh8 Rh7, and (d) 1.Kh7 Kh3 2.Kh6 Rg6+ 3.Kh5 Sf4. A curious set employing the same material four times to arrange different one-row asymmetry problems. The point is that despite the symmetrical positions, only one solution works in each case, by utilising the left or right board edge in some way.

 73. E. D. McQueen Melbourne Leader 1934 Mate in 2

In view of the unprovided check, 1…Rxh8+, and the out-of-play g1-bishop, the key 1.Bh2! (threat: 2.Rg7) is easy to find. But this is a task problem with the most number of black rook variations ever shown. 1…Rxh8+ 2.Rg8, 1…Rh6 2.Rg6, 1…Rh5 2.Rg5, 1…Rh4 2.Rg4, 1…Rxh3 2.Rxh3, 1…Rxa7 2.bxa7, 1…Rb7 2.Qd8, 1…Rc7 2.bxc7, 1…Rd7 2.Kxd7, 1…Re7+ 2.Kxe7, 1…Rf7 2.Kxf7, and 1…Rg7 forces the threat 2.Rxg7. Twelve black rook defences are answered by distinct white mates – a record achieved in an unusually light setting.

 74. Molham Hassan Australasian Chess 2011 Mate in 2

A great key 1.Qd6! offers two flights to the black king and makes no threat. When Black takes the flights, the d5-bishop becomes pinned (on different lines), leading to two nice pin-mates: 1…Kf5 2.e4, and 1…Kd4 2.Rc4. Moving the bishop lets those flights be re-guarded by White: 1…B~ 2.exf3. And three queen mates follow 1…Se~ 2.Qxd5, 1…Sf~ 2.Qe5, and 1…g4 2.Qf4.

 75. Augustus Lulman Illustrated London News 1848 Mate in 3

The withdrawal 1.Ke1! is remarkably the only way to solve this in three moves. After 1…Ke4, 2.Qh5 forces 2…Kxe3 3.Qe5. A real problem key is followed by a second-move sacrifice, and then an economical mate – a combination that makes this mid-19th century work very quotable still.