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26. Ian Shanahan
Ideal-Mate Review 1998
Hon. Mention
Helpmate in 2
3 solutions

The three solutions are 1.Rc8 dxc8(Q) 2.Re6 Qc5, 1.Re8 dxe8(Q) 2.Rd6 Qe4, and 1.Ree6 Kf4 2.Kd6 d8(Q). Each part finishes with an elegant ideal mate – a mating configuration in which every square next to the black king is covered just once (i.e. guarded/blocked by one piece only), and with every piece on the board taking part. These ideal mates given by the queen are nicely varied, as is the change of promotion squares throughout, all of which add up to a terrific miniature.

27. David Smerdon
OzProblems.com 14 May 2011
White to play and win

It’s well-known that two connected pawns on the 6th rank would normally beat a rook, so to win here White must make mating threats. 1.Rc3! a2/b2 2.Rg3+ Kh4 3.Kf4 g5+ 4.Kf3 g4+ 5.Kf4 a1(Q)/b1(Q) 6.Rh3+ gxh3 7.g3. Or 1…Kg4 2.Rxb3 a2 3.Ra3 h4 4.Rxa2 Kg3 5.Kf6 g5 6.Kf5 g4 7.Ra3+. An attractive study by one of the few Australian OTB Grandmasters.

28. Alexander Goldstein
L’Echiquier de Paris 1952
Mate in 2

The diagram is a complete-block position, with set mates provided for all of Black’s moves. 1…Sb~ 2.Sa5 (pin-mate), 1…Sxc5 2.Sb8, 1…Sf~ 2.Sce5, and 1…b4/bxc4 2.Qa4. White cannot preserve the set play completely, and the key is 1.Qa8! (waiting), which swaps the pin of the bishop for a pin of the knight. Now 1…B~ allows 2.Sa5 (same mate but different pin) and the correction 1…Bxc5 permits 2.Sb8. Therefore two white mates are transferred from one pair of black defences to another.

29. Peter Wong
Phénix 1993
Shortest proof game in 6
2 solutions

The diagram shows a homebase set-up, in which every piece on the board is on its game array square. 1.b3 d6 2.Ba3 Be6 3.Bxd6 Bxb3 4.Bxe7 Bxa2 5.Ba3 Be6 6.Bc1 Bc8, and 1.Sf3 e5 2.Sxe5 Qf6 3.Sxd7 Qxb2 4.Se5 Qxa2 5.Sf3 Qd5 6.Sg1 Qd8. Four raids are carried out by two white and two black pieces, when they capture one or more enemy units before returning to their original squares. The two solutions also effect total change – no moves are repeated across the two parts.

30. Denis Saunders
The Problemist 1984
Mate in 2

The key 1.Qa6! (waiting) gives a flight on f3, in addition to the three squares already available to the black king. 1…Kf3 2.Qe2, 1…Kd4 2.Qc4, 1…Kxd5 2.Qc4, 1…Kf5 2.Qg6. Any move by the black knight allows 2.Qd3. A busy white queen delivers five mates in this miniature, including a nice model after 1…Kxd5.

31. Molham Hassan
Australasian Chess 2010
Mate in 2

A give-and-take key, 1.Se7!, grants Black’s king a flight on e5 but removes the set one on f5. The threat is 2.Sfg6, firing the R + S battery and recovering the e5-flight. The defence 1…Rxf5 self-pins the rook in anticipation of 2.Sfg6+? Rf4, but now 2.Sxd3 works, taking advantage of the self-pin as well as the white rook’s guard of d3. 1…Se2 opens the white bishop’s line to e5 and permits 2.Sxe2. Also, 1…Ke5 2.Re6, and 1…Bg3 2.Qxe3. Three good battery mates, including the threat. The try 1.Sh4? generates similar play to that after the key, but fails to 1…Rxd6!, while 1.Se5? entails a new threat of 2.Sfxd3, but again 1…Rxd6! refutes.

32. Linden Lyons
Australasian Chess 2010
Mate in 2

Most of Black’s moves have been provided with mating replies, e.g. 1…Sd~random 2.Sf6, and 1…Sf~random 2.Sg3. However, no mates are set for the correction moves 1…Sxf4 (2.Sf6+ Ke5) and 1…Sfxe3 (2.g7+ Kd4); in both cases White’s would-be mating moves interfere with the h8-bishop’s control of a flight. Therefore White needs to move the bishop over the critical squares, f6 and g7, to avoid the interferences. A series of tries result: 1.Be5? Sxf4! (2.Sf6+ Kxe5); 1.Bd4? – not technically a try since it’s defeated by two moves, 1…Sfxe3! (2.g7+ Kxd4) and 1…Sdxe3! (2.Qb7+ Kxd4); 1.Bc3? dxe2! (2.c3 illegal); and 1.Bb2? Sdxe3! (2.Qb7 illegal). Only the corner-to-corner 1.Ba1! (waiting) works, leading to eight variations. 1…Sd~ 2.Sf6, 1…Sdxe3 2.Qb7, 1…Sf~ 2.Sg3, 1…Sfxe3 2.g7, 1…dxe2 2.c3, 1…dxc2 2.Qxc2, 1…c3 2.cxd3, 1…fxe2/f2 2.Qh1.

33. Frederick Hawes
British Chess Federation Tourney
2nd Hon. Mention
Mate in 2

White’s Q + S battery is prepared to fire when Black unpins the e6-knight, e.g. 1…Sbd6 2.Sc5 or 2.Sg5 (a dual mate, which also follows 1…Sfd6). A good key 1.Qd7! abandons the battery and threatens 2.Qd5. After 1…Sbd6, only 2.Sg5 works, avoiding 2.Sc5? which would have interfered with the a5-rook’s attack on e5. Similarly, 1…Sfd6 has only one reply, 2.Sc5, because now 2.Sg5? would cut off the h5-rook. These variations thus demonstrate dual avoidance. If either black knight tries to defends d5 directly, with 1…Sc3/Sc7/Se3/Se7, then 2.Qd3, taking advantage of a white rook’s guard on e5 again. 1…Ke5 self-pins both black knights, which is exploited by 2.Qd4, a double pin-mate. Lastly, 1…Rxe6+ 2.Qxe6.

34. Cyril Whitehead
Chess in Australia 1989
Mate in 2

The key 1.Sg7! (waiting) sacrifices the knight to all three black pieces, and allows the black king to discover check, though on the downside the move also restricts severely the movement of Black’s rook and bishop. 1…Kxg7+ 2.f8(S), 1…Kxe7+ 2.fxg8(S), and 1…R/Bxg7 2.Re8. Two pleasing knight promotions, especially in the first variation, which involves a cross-check and the Phoenix theme (promotion to the same kind of piece as one that was captured).

35. William Whyatt
The Problemist
Jubilee Tourney 1970
4th Prize
Mate in 3

In the diagram, Black’s only mobile piece is the b1-bishop and any of its moves allows an immediate mate, 2.Qxe1. But without a waiting move capable of preserving this set mate, White is forced to extend the play to three moves, making this problem an example of a pseudo two-mover. The difficult key 1.Qc4! (waiting) frees the second bishop and sets up a half-pin on the first rank. 1…Be-any self-pins the b1-bishop, enabling 2.d4 and 3.Qxe2 (1…Bg3 2.d4 Bxh2 3.Rxb1). 1…Bc2 immobilises the e1-bishop, admitting 2.Qg8 and 3.Qg1. After 1…Ba2/xd3, the white queen gives a switchback mate, 2.Rxe1+ Kxe1 3.Qc1.

36. Srbo Zaric
Australian Chess Problem Magazine
Theme Tourney 1995
1st Commendation
Mate in 2

A good key 1.Qxc6! (threat: 2.Sf3) offers the queen and also allows two black checks on the long diagonal. 1…Rxc6 2.Sxc6, 1…Qd5+ 2.Qxd5, 1…Be4+ 2.Qxe4. Two related variations, 1…Qf5 2.Bc3 and 1…Rf8 2.Qc3, feature unguards from the rear that permit mates on the same square. The white queen delivers yet two more mates with 1…Ke5 2.Qxd6 and 1…d5 2.Qf6. Andy Sag points out that the problem can be improved by transferring the g6-bishop to c2 and the c6-pawn to g6, thereby avoiding the capture-key.

37. Juan Kloostra
The Problemist 1984
Mate in 2

Initially the black king has two unprovided flights on f4 and e6. The try 1.Qd3? takes care of 1…Kf4 with 2.Qg3 but not 1…Ke6!, while 1.Kc6? covers 1…Ke6 with 2.Qd5 but not 1…Kf4! The key 1.Qb3! (waiting) removes the e6-flight but gives the king access to two new squares. 1…Kxd6 2.Qd5 (a mate transference relative to the try play of 1.Kc6?, when the same mate occurs against a different defence), 1…Kd4 2.Bf6, and 1…Kf4 2.Qg3.

38. Ian Shanahan
(after C. Russ and W. Speckmann)
The Problemist Supplement 1995
Mate in 4

The key 1.Bh5! crosses over the critical square g4 to prepare for a self-interference on that square. After 1…Ke3 2.Kf5 e4, Black has set up a potential stalemate. White answers by playing to the critical square, 3.Kg4, which closes the bishop line and grants Black a flight on e2. Now 3…Ke2 is forced, whereupon White mates by reopening the diagonal, 4.Kf4. An economical illustration of the Indian theme.

39. Bob Meadley & Ian Rogers
British Chess Magazine 1979
Mate in 3

A brilliant key 1.Bg5! yielding two flights seems to let the black king escape. There are two threats, 2.e3+ fxe3 3.Bxe3, 2…Kc5/Ke5 3.Bxe7, and 2.Bxf4 (3.e3 or Be3) Rb3 3.Sc2, 2…Rxd2 3.Sxb5. When Black takes the flights, the king walks into the battery formed by the key, 1…Kc5 2.Bxe7+ Kd4 3.Bc5, and 1…Ke5 2.Bxe7+ Kd4 3.Bc5. Two rook defences lead to mates given by the battery itself, 1…Rb3 2.Sc2+ Kc5/Ke5 3.Bxe7, and 1…Rxd2 2.Sxb5+ Kc5/Ke5 3.Bxe7. It’s curious how the white moves Sc2, Sxb5, and Bxe7 recur variously as second-move continuations and third-move mates.

40. John James O’Keefe
Good Companions 1918
2nd Hon. Mention
Mate in 2

Black has three possible moves in the diagram, all of which have been provided with a white mating reply: 1…Ka7 2.Qxb7, 1…b5 2.Qxb7, and 1…bxa5 2.Qxa5. The waiting key 1.Qa2! creates a Q + S battery and changes the responses to two of the black moves, 1…Ka7 2.Sc6, and 1…b5 2.Sc4, while 1…bxa5 2.Qxa5 is as set. The key also grants a flight, leading to 1…Kb5 2.Qc4. A light, classic mutate.

41. Andy Sag
Brisbane Sunday Mail 1991
Mate in 2

A fine key 1.Re5! (threat: 2.Sd3) shows a triple-sacrifice of the rook, including a flight offer. Taking the flight with 1…Kxe5 permits 2.Qxd6. The other captures on e5 result in self-blocks that White exploits, 1…dxe5 2.Qh6, and 1…Bxe5 2.Bd2. Two further variations see White recovering the e5-flight with the mating moves, 1…dxc5 2.Qf6, and 1…Sc1 2.Bg3.

42. Laimons Mangalis
Die Schwalbe 1951
2nd Commendation
Mate in 2

A fairly obvious key, 1.Bd8! (waiting), prepares the white pawn to discover mate when the black queen moves: 1…Qd7/Qf7 2.e8(S), 1…Qxg6 2.e8(Q), and 1…Qxf8 2.exf8(S). The two battery pieces also seem to protect each other against captures by the queen: 1…Qxd8 2.exd8(Q), and 1…Qxe7 2.Bxe7. The black bishop illustrates correction play: 1…B-random 2.Sh7, 1…Bxf8 2.exf8(Q). Lastly, 1…S-any 2.Qe6. The white pawn delivers five distinct promotion mates, and it’s remarkable that every black queen move is followed by an accurate white mate.

43. Peter Wong
Chess in Australia 1991
Helpmate in 2
2 solutions

Black begins: 1.Qd3 Rc5+ 2.Ke4 Rg4, and 1.Qe5 Kf3 2.Kd4 Rd2. White begins: 1.Rh3 Ke5 2.Kg3 Qf4, and 1.Rc1 Kd4 2.Rf1 Qe3. Two pairs of echoes, with three of the four parts ending in model mates. It’s a pity that the white pawn is required, being used only in one phase.

44. Denis Saunders
The Problemist 1995
Mate in 2

A terrific key 1.Sf7! provides three flights to the black king and threatens 2.Qd8. That White allows Black to castle as one of the flight-taking moves is quite unusual: 1…0-0 2.Sxh6. The king walks into another battery with 1…Kf8 2.Sfd6, while accepting the last flight leads to 1…Kd7 2.Qc6. There is only one by-play variation, 1…Be7 2.Qxe7.

45. Thomas Denton Clarke
The Melbourne Leader
Chess Problem Tourney 1884
Mate in 2

A good sacrificial key 1.Rf2! entails the threat of 2.R4xf3. Two pairs of thematic variations follow. When the king captures either rook, the f3-knight becomes pinned by the remaining rook, and the queen exploits this with a pin-mate: 1…Kxf2 2.Qg1, and 1…Kxf4 2.Qg5. The f4-rook can also be captured by two other black pieces, resulting in self-blocks. Each blocking defence would apparently allow two white mates, but due to an additional line-opening effect, the dual is avoided: 1…Bxf4 2.Re2 (not 2.Sd1 because of the d8-rook), and 1…Rxf4 2.Sd1 (not 2.Re2 because of the a6-bishop). Lastly, 1…S-any also enables 2.Sd1.

46. Alexander Goldstein
Dzien Polski 1930
1st Prize
Mate in 3

Directmates of the ‘Bohemian’ style aim for a variety of elegant mating configurations, and this is a fine example. The key 1.Kg2! threatens 2.f4+ Ke4 3.Sc5, which is a model mate. Two more model mates are brought about with 1…Bd6 2.Sa5 B~ 3.Sc4 and 1…Ba7 2.Sb4 B~ 3.Sc6. Only 2…Kd4 3.Qf4 here is not quite a model, e4 being attacked by both the queen and the pawn.

47. Frederick Hawes &
Frank Ravenscroft

The Observer 1957
2nd Hon. Mention
Mate in 2

The square-vacating key 1.fxg4! threatens 2.Rf3. Black defences on d6 remove the b8-bishop’s control of e5, but they cause a pair of Grimshaw interferences: 1…Rd6 2.Rf8 and 1…Bd6 2.Rxc4. An analogous pair of defences on d5, aimed at disabling the a8-bishop, generates another Grimshaw: 1…Rd5 2.Sxe6 and 1…Bd5 2.Sd3. Two further variations utilise the white queen: 1…Bxe3 2.dxe3 and 1…Rd3 2.Qf1. Finally, 1…Be2 also allows 2.Sxe6.

48. E. D. McQueen
Melbourne Leader 1935
Mate in 2

The waiting key 1.Qh1! surprisingly lodges the queen in a corner square, where the piece is also en prise. A random bishop move, 1…B~, permits 2.f4, while the correction move 1…Bxe4 enables 2.Qxe4. The black knight also produces correction play: 1…S~ opens the h-file for 2.Qh8, while the correction 1…Sg4 interferes with the black bishop, allowing 2.Qh5. The two black pawns open mating lines with 1…d3 2.Qa1 and 1…g2/gxf2 2.Qxh2. The active white queen delivers five mates and visits three corners, showing good long-range play.

49. Linden Lyons
Australasian Chess 2011
Mate in 2

The key 1.Rh3! vacates g3 to threaten 2.Sg3. Since the threat cuts off the key-rook's control of the third rank, any move by the f3-bishop would defend, by creating a potential flight. However, when it lands the bishop finds itself interfering with other black pieces: 1…Bc6 2.Sxc3, 1…Bd5 2.Sd4, and 1…Be4 2.Re3 – three nicely matching variations. The bishop provokes two more mates with 1…Bg4 2.Qxg4 and 1…Bh5 2.Qxh5. Also, 1…Qxf5 2.Sxc3.

50. Brian Harley
The Observer 1923
Version by Geoff Foster
The Problemist Supplement 2007
Mate in 2

Set mates are provided for all of Black’s moves in the diagram: 1…e6/e5 2.Rxg5, 1…f3 2.g4, and 1…R-any 2.Qe4. The thematic try 1.Se4? (waiting), which grants a flight, changes the mates to 1…e6 2.Sd6, 1…f3 2.S4g3, and 1…R-any 2.Rxg5. If 1…Kxe4, then 2.Bg6, but 1…e5! defeats the try, since the unpinned b5-knight prevents 2.Sd6. The key 1.Bc7! (waiting) introduces further changed play with 1…e6 2.Bg6, and 1…e5 2.Qc8. 1…f3 allows an unfortunate dual, 2.Sg3 or 2.g4, while 1…R-any 2.Qe4 is as set. An unusual mutate that includes an additional try phase besides the set and post-key play.