Home of the Meson Chess Problem Database and the BDS Ladder

Chess Problem 1997d1e501


Suomen Tehtäväniekat, 1997


LEO h4
PAO f8
VAOs a3; a7, d8
MAO b6

1.LEh1  (2.MAd7#)

1...VAc7 2.VAb2#
1...VAe7 2.LEe1#
1...PAf6 2.LEh2#
1...VAb8 2.MAc4#

The key, by guarding d5, threatens 2.MAd7#. All Black’s defences stop this by threatening to play to d6, so blocking the Mao’s line of attack to the black king on e5. The thematic variations are the first three, which block a line between the black king and a potential Circe rebirth square. In each case the mating piece cannot be taken by a pawn, as then the piece would be replaced on the eighth rank and check the black king over the black piece that just moved. 1...VAb8 is merely an unguard of d4.

There are at least two flaws in this problem. The first is the white Vaoa3, which is only used for one mate. The second is the black Vaoa7, because it is the second Vao Black has on dark squares, and this I consider a breach of economy. It is partially justified by giving the Maob6 a second mate, and this is to be preferred to just adding a black pawn at b5 to stop that mate. I can't remember from this distance in time, but I hope I investigated the possibility of replacing the black Vaod8 and black Paof8 with a single black Leo. If this were possible, it would legitimise the black Vaoa7.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.
Implemented with HTML5, MySQL, Perl (with, inter alia, CGI::Simple, HTML::Template & XML::LibXML) & CSS/Javascript (jQuery, Bootstrap & DataTables).