‘Problem Potpourri’ columns from ‘Australasian Chess’

21 Feb. 2016 | by Peter Wong

A complete run of the ‘Problem Potpourri’ columns from Australasian Chess is now available for download. This terrific feature of the national magazine was edited by Geoff Foster over a six-year period, from 2008 to 2013. In Geoff’s capable hands, it attracted high-quality originals in a variety of genres from around the world. Frequent contributors include, from abroad, Christopher Jones, Leonid Makaronez, Christer Jonsson, and Chris Feather, and local representatives Molham Hassan, Linden Lyons, and Ian Shanahan. A band of regular solvers, consisting of Andy Sag, Bob Meadley, Nigel Nettheim, Dennis Hale, and others, share their perspectives on the problems and liven up the proceedings. To view or download the full set of ‘Problem Potpourri’ in the PDF-format, use the link above or go to the Magazines and Columns page of this site.

Molham Hassan & Geoff Foster
Australasian Chess 2008

Mate in 2

Let’s consider two problems that first appeared in the column. The joint two-mover has an excellent key, 1.Sc5! (threat: 2.Sb3), which by closing two white lines gives the black king access to e5 and c4. 1…Ke5 allows a battery mate, 2.Sxe6, while 1…Kxc4 leads to 2.Ra4. The white queen mates twice with 1…Rg3 2.Qe4 and 1…Bd5 2.Qxd5. A couple of knight mates round off the play – 1…Bxc4 2.Sf3 and 1…Rb8 2.Sxe6. In this well-constructed problem, every white piece (besides the king) is economically utilised to perform both mating and guarding duties.

Christopher Jones
Australasian Chess 2011

Helpmate in 5

The helpmate by the British Grandmaster presents an appealing geometric idea. 1.Be4 Bf3 2.Bh7 Bh5 3.Ke4 Ke2 4.Kf5+ Kf3 5.Bg6 Bg4. A sort of “dance” occurs as each black move is imitated by White using an equivalent piece.