Weekly Problems > Weekly Problems (4) >
Weekly Problems with Solutions (4) < Prev | Next >

 76. John James O’Keefe Daily News 1928 2nd Prize Mate in 3

A difficult miniature with many tries. 1.Rg8? threatens 2.Qe4+ Bg2 3.Qxg2, and if 1…Bg2 then 2.Sd3 (waiting) B~ 3.Sf2, or 2…Kg1 3.Qe1, but 1…Bd3! refutes. 1.Qh6? threatening 2.Qc6+ is similar, and it’s defeated only by 1…Bb5! 1.Qh7? has two threats, separated by 1…Bd3 2.Qb7+ and 1…Ba6 2.Qe4+; but now 1…Bg2! works because after 2.Sd3 Kg1, the knight prevents 3.Qb1. The key 1.Qh8! (2.Qa8+) takes advantage of the fact that the black bishop cannot go beyond a6 to guard a8. 1…Bg2 2.Sd3 (waiting) B~ 3.Sf2, or 2…Kg1 3.Qa1. The queen visits three corners in the course of play.

 77. Ian Shanahan The Problemist Supplement 2001 4th Hon. Mention Mate in 2

Some problems make use of dual mates in a thematic way, and this is an example illustrating combinative separation. The flight-giving key 1.Bh5! has three threats: 2.Qg4, 2.Qf3, and 2.Qxe3. Black's defences separate or force these mating moves in every possible combination. 1...Rh1 permits all three mates to work: 2.Qg4, 2.Qf3, and 2.Qxe3. Three promotion defences allow different mating pairs: 1…g1(R) 2.Qf3, 2.Qxe3; 1…g1(B) 2.Qg4, 2.Qf3; 1…g1(S) 2.Qxe3, 2.Qg4. Lastly, each queen mate is forced individually with 1…g1(Q) 2.Qf3, 1…Kg3 2.Qg4, and 1…Ke4 2.Qxe3. A black AUW is shown, normally not possible in a two-mover.

 78. Cyril Whitehead & Andy Sag Chess in Australia 1990 Mate in 2

Black has only two possible moves in the diagram, but the fine key 1.Sd4! (waiting) increases the mobility of that side to six moves. Two flights are created for the king: 1…Kxd4 2.Qd6, and 1…Ke5 2.Qxc5. The knight is also sacrificed to a pawn, 1…cxd4/c4 2.Rg5, while the freed f-pawn enables d4 to be guarded by a white rook: 1…f3 2.Qxe6. Lastly, 1…e5 permits 2.Qd8.

 79. William Whyatt The Problemist 1965 4th Prize Mate in 3

The key 1.Qf7! threatens 2.Sc4 and 3.Sd6. White has two self-pinning moves, 2.Sxe4 (3.Qxf6) Rxe3! and 2.Rxe4 (3.Se7) Rxe4!, that are unplayable until the black rook has been diverted. After 1…Rc1 and 1…Rb1, White must pick the correct capture on e4 in anticipation of new defences by the rook. 1…Rc1 2.Sxe4! Rc6 – stopping 3.Qxf6 but unpinning the knight – 3.Sxg3. Or 2…Bxe4+ 3.Bxe4, and 2…Sd7 3.Qxd7. Not 2.Rxe4? because of 2…Rc7! 1…Rb1 2.Rxe4! Rb7 – stopping 3.Se7 but unpinning the rook – 3.Rxe5. Or 2…Bxe4+ 3.Bxe4, and 2…Sc6 3.Qd7. Not 2.Sxe4? because of 2…Rb6! Lovely dual avoidance strategy.

 80. Arthur Willmott The Problemist 1988 Mate in 2

The diagram is a block position, with every black move having a set mate: 1…S~/Sc2+ 2.S1c2/S1xc2, 1…Sxd3 2.Qxd3, 1…g3 2.Sf3, and 1…fxe1(Q) 2.Qf4. With no waiting move available, however, White plays 1.Qh1! with the threat of 2.Qe4. Two changed mates follow with 1…Sc2+ 2.S3xc2, and 1…Sxd3 2.S1c2, while 1…g3 2.Sf3 is as set.

 81. John Lindsay Beale Chess Life 1958 Mate in 3

The long-range key 1.Ba7! (waiting) prepares for a self-interference on b6, in anticipation of 1…h3 when stalemate is threatened. Now 2.Rb6 releases the black king and leads to two battery mates: 2…Kd4 3.Rxd6, and 2…Kc5 3.Se6. After 1…hxg3, White ambushes behind the black pawn: 2.Rh3 g2/gxh2 3.Rd3.

 82. Peter Wong Phénix 1997 3rd Prize Shortest proof game in 12½

The diagram is reached after 1.g3 b6 2.Bg2 Bb7 3.Bh3 Bxh1 4.Bf1 Bd5 5.h3 Bb3 6.cxb3 h6 7.Qc2 Rh7 8.Qxh7 Qc8 9.Qg6 fxg6 10.Kd1 Kf7 11.Kc2 Qe8 12.Kd3 Qd8 13.Ke3. White’s bishop and Black’s queen each executes a 3-move round-trip to lose a tempo. One of the first SPGs to show such a doubling of the theme.

 83. Denis Saunders The Problemist 1994 Commendation Mate in 2

The fabulous key 1.Qg6! (threat: 2.Rxf4) unpins the black queen and concedes a flight, enabling Black to check three times: 1…Kf3+ 2.Rd4 (pin-mate), 1…Qxd2+ 2.Rxd2, and 1…Qxd6+ 2.Rxd6. The black queen forces two more variations with 1…Qe3 2.Rxf6 and 1…Qxf5 2.Qxf5. The by-play 1…Sxd2 2.Rxd2 repeats a white mate. Another fine battery play problem typical of its composer.

 84. Laimons Mangalis Die Schwalbe 1956 Mate in 2

Black’s e7-rook and f3-bishop interfere with each other in the set play, 1…Re4 2.Qd5 and 1…Be4 2.Se2. After the key 1.Sd3!, which threatens 2.Qc5, White exploits the Grimshaw interference differently: 1…Re4 2.Qd7 and 1…Be4 2.Be3. A good number of secondary variations occur in this light, Meredith position: 1…Ra5/Rc4 2.Qc4, 1…Re5 2.Qxe5, 1…Rg7+ 2.Bxg7, and 1…Rc7 2.Qe5/Be3.

 85. C. W. Marsh The Sydney Morning Herald c. 1896 2nd Prize Mate in 2

White mates are set for all of Black’s moves in the diagram, except for 1…Kh4. A nice to-the-corner key, 1.Rh8! (waiting), provides for that move by arranging a battery on the h-file: 1…Kh4 2.Kxg6. Two other diagonal flights lead to 1…Kf6 2.Bd8 and the pin-mate 1…Kf4 2.Qe3. Most of the black knight’s moves result in a dual, unfortunately – 1…S~ 2.Bd8/Sf3, with only 1…Sxb6 2.Sf3 and 1…Sxe5/Sd2 2.Bd8 forcing unique mates.

 86. Alexander Goldstein Práce 1947 Prize Mate in 3

White has two natural moves to d6 but they are refuted if played prematurely: 1.Bxd6? threatens 2.Bc7 but 1…Rf7!, and 1.Sxd6? threatens 2.Sb7 but 1…Re7! The key 1.Bb4!, with the short threat of 2.Ba5, aims to decoy the black rooks to the a-file. 1…Ra1 2.Bxd6 (3.Bc7) Re7 3.Bxe7, and 1…Ra2 2.Sxd6 (3.Sb7) Rf7 3.Sxf7 (2…Ke7 3.Sb7/Sf7). So the right capture on d6 ensures that White can deal with the remaining black rook defence on the 7th rank. Also 1…Re7 or 1…Rf7 2.Ba5+ Rc7 3.Bxc7.

 87. Nigel Nettheim Chess in Australia 1985 Helpmate in 5

This miniature is solved by 1.c4 Kc7 2.Ke7 Kb6 3.Kd6 Ka5 4.Kc5 b3 5.d6 b4. The parallel king marches are complemented by the farseeing square-vacation 1.c4, and the crossing of the critical square d6 before it’s self-blocked. But the main point of this appealing helpmate is the subtle 4…b3! to avoid an en passant capture, as well as the ideal-mate finish.

 88. Thomas Denton Clarke The Brisbane Courier 1917 Mate in 2

Except for the flight-taking 1…Kf6, every black move has been provided with a set mate. A good waiting key, 1.e4!, grants a second flight on d4. Now both king moves are followed by the same white mating response, though the effects are quite different: the pin-mate 1…Kf6 2.e5 and the battery shut-off 1…Kd4 2.e5 (not 2.exf5?). Any bishop move, 1…B~, permits another battery to fire, 2.exf5 (changed from the set dual, 2.Re6/Sf7). The g8-rook yields four distinct variations: 1…Rg~ 2.g8(Q), 1…Rf8 2.gxf8(Q), 1…Rxh8 2.gxh8(Q), and 1…Rxg7 2.Bxg7. Lastly 1…fxe4 2.Qxe4, 1…Sc3+ 2.Qxc3, and 1…Sd2 2.Qxa1.

 89. Geoff Foster Ideal-Mate Review 2009 Series-helpmate in 5 2 solutions

The two solutions, 1.Ka7 2.Qa8 3.Bc8 4.Ba6 5.Rb7 Sxc6 and 1.Qb7 2.Bc8 3.Rd7 4.Kc7 5.Sb8 Se6, have dissimilar play though they both end with an ideal mate. The more interesting second phase shows a follow-the-leader sequence involving all five black pieces.

 90. Frederick Hawes & Frank Ravenscroft The Problemist 1959 1st Prize Mate in 2

The flight-giving key 1.Ba6! threatens 2.Sc7. Black has four defences on c5 that are self-pins, but which anticipate the unpinning effect of the threat. In each case White takes advantage of the self-pin to mate in another way: 1…Qxc5 2.Se3, 1…Rxc5 2.Qf7, 1…Sdxc5 2.Sxc3, and 1…Sexc5 2.Sd4. Black’s self-pinning moves in such a scheme are known as Schiffmann defences, and the four thematic variations rendered here equal the record. Also, 1…Sxd6 2.Sxd6, and 1…Kd5 2.Sc7.

 91. Linden Lyons Australasian Chess 2012 Mate in 2

The square-vacating key 1.Bb8! threatens 2.Sc7. Since the threat removes the white bishop’s control of d6, any move by the rook from that square will defend by creating a potential flight. 1…Rd4 2.Qxe5, 1…Rd5 2.Qf5, 1…Rd7 2.Bf7, 1…Rd8 2.exd8(S), 1…Rc6 2.Qxc6, and 1…Rb6/Ra6 2.Qc4. So a single rook generates six distinct variations, without any duals. There’s by-play with 1…Sf8+ 2.exf8(S).

 92. Matthew Fox Chess Life 1958 Mate in 2

The black queen is defending against two knight mates on d5 and g2, and almost all initial black moves will relinquish control of one of the two squares. Only 1…Qg5! retains the queen’s focus on both mating squares and it would defeat a simple waiting move like 1.Rb3? The surprising key, 1.Qg2! (waiting), grants a flight and changes one of the focal mates. 1…Qf7 (or to e6, etc.) 2.Qg5, 1…Qg7 (or to g6, etc.) 2.Sd5, 1…Sfg6/Shg6 2.Qg5, 1…Se6/Sf7 2.Sd5, 1…Qxg2+ 2.Sxg2, and 1…Kxe3 2.Qd2.

 93. Andras Toth Australasian Chess 2012 Helpmate in 4

The black king’s final square seems likely to be the congested d5, especially since a bishop mate will cover the e6 flight. After 1.Bxe4 Bxc4, the players coordinate to activate the c2-pawn, with the aim of using it to control c5 – 2.Bd5 Ba2 3.Bb3 cxb3 4.Kd5 b4. Nice switchbacks by the two bishops; the white bishop also shows critical play by crossing over the b3-square (twice), before it’s occupied for an interference and vacated again for the battery mate.

 94. Arthur Mosely The Hampshire Telegraph & Post 1915 3rd Prize Mate in 2

Two prominent black checks are already provided with white responses: 1…Rxd6+ 2.Sxd6 and 1…Bxd2+ 2.Sxd2. This set play is unexpectedly changed by the key, 1.Sc5!, which threatens 2.Qf4. The extra guard on b3 frees the d3-rook to answer the checks with battery mates: 1…Rxd6+ 2.Rxd6 and 1…Bxd2+ 2.Rxd2. There is plenty of good by-play featuring two pairs of queen and rook mates: 1…Bf2/Bg3 2.Qc1, 1…Sg6 2.Qxf7, 1…Rxc5 2.Rxc5, and 1…Sb5 2.Ra4.

 95. John James O’Keefe Hamburgischer Correspondent 1932 Mate in 3

White has many rook tries that fail to one defence only, e.g. 1.Rd1? Bf6!, 1.Rb1? Be5!, 1.Rh1? (threat: 2.Rh8+) Ba3!, 1.Ra7? Ba3!, and 1.Re7? Ba3! It’s the latter try that points to the key, 1.Ra1! (2.Ra8), as after 1…Bxa1 the decoyed bishop cannot stop 2.Re7 and 3.Re8. Also 1…Ba3 2.Rxa3 Kh8 3.Ra8, 1…Be5 2.Ra8+ Bb8 3.Rxb8, and 1…Bf6 2.Ra8+ Bd8 3.Rxd8.

 96. Molham Hassan Australian Chess 2003 Mate in 2

The key 1.f4! (threat: 2.f5) entails a triple-sacrifice of the pawn, while conceding a flight on d6 as well. The two main variations show a curious effect possible only with en passant captures, 1…exf3 e.p. 2.Bf5 and 1…gxf3 e.p. 2.Rxe4. In each case Black unblocks two vital white lines simultaneously – one for the mating piece, initially blocked by Black (on e4/g4), and the other for the g3-bishop, initially blocked by White (on f4). 1…Bxf4 is another line-opening, which enables 2.Qd5. Lastly, 1…Kxd6 2.f5 sees the threat working as a battery mate, and 1…f5 2.Rh6.

 97. Brian Tomson Sunday Times 1971 Mate in 3

Set play is provided for all black moves: 1…Sc~ 2.Re7 (threat: 3.Be4) Kg6 3.Be4, 1…Sf7 2.Rg6 (3.Rf6) Kxg6 3.Be4, and 1…Sg6 2.Rf7. The waiting key 1.Rg3! changes two of the variations: 1…Sc~ 2.Be4+ Kxe4 3.Sxd6, and 1…Sg6 2.Rg4 (3.Be4/e4) hxg4 3.hxg4, 2…Sf4 3.e4, while 1…Sf7 2.Rg6 (3.Rf6) Kxg6 3.Be4 is as set. The short mate in one of the set lines is a slight flaw, but this is a difficult mutate where every white second move in the post-key play is an active sacrifice.

 98. William Whyatt Weekly Times 1959 Mate in 2

A fine key, 1.Re6! (threat: 2.Sg7), sacrifices the rook to four black pieces: 1…Bxe6 2.e4, 1…Sxe6 2.Qb1, 1…fxe6 2.Qh7 and 1…Kxe6 2.Bg4. In the first two variations, White exploits the half-pin arrangement on the fifth rank to produce a couple of pin-mates. Thus two ideas are neatly combined: a complete half-pin and multiple black defences on the same square. Also, 1…Qxe8 2.Qxd5.

 99. Stephen Bicknell Australian Chess Problem Magazine 1995 Mate in 2

A good key 1.e4! (waiting) offers another flight on d4 and unexpectedly obstructs the B + R battery. 1…Kc4 2.Qc3, 1…Kxd4 2.Qd5, 1…Kxe4 2.Rg4, and 1…Ke2 2.Qxa6. Four black king moves are answered distinctively, including (a little unusually) three flights to the same rank.

 100. J. Van Der Klauw Australian Chess Problem Magazine 1996 White to move Can White castle?

Black’s last move to reach the diagram wasn’t …Re8-d8 or …Re7-d7, because either would mean Black was to play while checking White. And it wasn’t …Kb8-c8 because the white bishop couldn’t have delivered the check. That leaves …0-0-0 as Black’s only possible last move. If Black has just castled, that means the black king previously had not moved from e8, and the original rook from h8 couldn’t have escaped from the top-right corner. That implies the d7-rook is a promoted piece. Regardless of where Black promoted, the new rook must have visited d1, e1, or f1 in order to leave the first rank. In all cases the rook must have displaced the white king, either by attacking or occupying e1. So we have proved that the white king has moved before, and now cannot castle.