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Chess Problem 1996a2c201


The Problemist, 1996


LEOs a3; f5
PAO g1
VAOs b4, h7

1.LExd3! ()

1...LEe4 2.LEc4#
1...LEg6 2.LEa6#
1...Sg4  2.LEh3#
1...Sf3  2.LEf1#
1...e5   2.LEb5#
1...e6   2.LExd7#
1...Sf1  2.Rc1#

In the first six (thematic) variations the wLE unpins the bLE and it's check from the wVAh7 over the unpinned bLE. But the wLE has paralysed the bLE, which makes it an immoveable hurdle, which means the check is mate.

Some years after this problem was published, Stephen Emmerson presented it in a lecture to the BCPS, but didn't tell the audience (which included me) who had composed it. Before he moved onto his next problem he asked me what I thought of the problem. I had completely failed to recognise it as my own problem. I can’t remember what I replied, but what I do remember is my inability to speak when he told me I had composed it!

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