|64 Square Problem Tour|
|By Gary Kevin Ware|
|February 23, 2008|
Here is my effort to duplicate the excellent article by Bart Gibbons, on the 64 greatest
moves, one for each square, only now for composed problems. Gibbons' selections included 32 problems with Black to Move and 32 with White to Move. In keeping with the conventions of the majority of composed problems, all 64 of mine are White to Move.
I will not say that these are definitely the greatest composed problems of all time. For one thing, there are thousands upon thousands of composed problems and endgame studies to choose from. But I have done my best to select positions that I think are spectacular, instructive and/or historically significant and pioneering.
Like Bart Gibbons, my original intention was to have an equal distribution among composers. But as those of you who read the article, Dr. D's Check-up: Fixing Sam (April 2007), which I co-wrote with former problems columnist Dr. Steven B. Dowd, know, I am a big fan of Sam Loyd, and he was a pioneer in so many ways and his problems are so spectacular, that he gets preferential treatment over other composers. Even on some of the problems, which he did not compose, he still gets mentioned! I could have easily included even more of Sam Loyd's puzzles. The one way in which I was more 'democratic' was that I tried to include direct mate problems that represented a diverse representation of the many themes, principles and terminology that are peculiar to the problemist's art.
For those of you who are new to composed problems, I hope that this article will pique your interest as mine first was over 20 years ago. The first book on composed problems that I read was 101 Chess Problems For Beginners; the problems were by Comins Mansfield, the commentary by Brian Harley and it was edited by Fred Reinfeld. But don't let the title deceive you, it is only a book for beginners in the sense that it starts from the ground floor and teaches you all of the major concepts that one needs to know to enjoy chess problems.
From there, I read all of Kenneth S. Howard's and Brian Harley's books and endgame study books by A.A.Troitsky, 1234 Modern End-game Studies by Sutherland and Lommer, and others. More recently, I read The Puzzle King: Sam Loyd's Chess Problems and Selected Mathematical Puzzles, available through the USCF, and that further sparked my interest in Sam Loyd and my discovery of his 'cooked' problems (multiple solutions) led to "Fixing Sam." I also acquired Alain C. White's, Sam Loyd and His Chess Problems.
For those of you who are more experienced with composed problems, I hope that you will still learn something, I certainly did! I have also included some endgame studies for those primarily focused on OTB play but as I said, I hope that they can also learn to appreciate composed problems.
Unlike Bart Gibbons, I am not going to include alternate positions that didn't make the cut. I plan on presenting those and other problems in future columns on Chess Life Online. With that in mind, I would look forward to communication and feedback from the past and future devotees of Key Krackers, Dr. D's Check-up and beyond, with regards to problems that they think should have been included, should be featured in the future, and as a general forum for the problem art. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since either the Black King or Rook must have made the last move, retroanalysis, 1...0-0-0 is impossible and so after 1. Qa1 any 2 Qh8#. (Hide Solution)
In this Black Self-Unpin, the three thematic variations show the Black Queen unpinned for defensive purposes on the file but the Pawn moves interfere with her long diagonal.
1. Ka2 d4 2 Rdc2+ Kd3 3 Rb3#
e5 2 Nxd5+ Kc4 3 Rbc2#
c6 2 Rbc2+ Kxb4 3 Rd4#
This study was originally published by George Walker in 1841, who claimed it was a drawn. Josef Kling showed the winning procedure. 1. Ka3 (the beginning of a triangulation, a maneuver by the King that loses the move and sets up or leads to zugzwang, the compulsion to move) 1...Kb6 2 Kb2 Ka5 3 Kb3 (End of triangulation, Black must withdraw the King) 3...Kb6 4 Kc3 Ka5 5 Kd2 Ka4 6 Ke3 Kb4 7 Kd3 Ka3 8 Ke4 Ka4 9 Kd5 Kb4 10 a3+ (Hide Solution)
Adolf Bayersdorfer (1842-1901) called Klett the "Bach of the problem art" and he was regarded as the leading exponent of the so-called Old German Style.
1. Na4 Kd5 2 Rb1! Kxc6 3 Nb6 Kb7 4 Nxa5#
Kc4 3 Nb6+ Kb5 4 Nd4#
Ke4 3 Nc3+ Kf3 4 Rf1#
The key is 1. a5 and there are two variations, each showing the Indian Theme, in which a line-piece is moved across a critical square, another piece of the same color is moved to this square, creating a Battery, a two piece mechanism of one color which can open against an enemy square, line or piece, and may then be moved again to unmask the piece that was moved first. More on the Indian Theme later.
1 a5 Nc5 2 Rxc5 a6 3 Be5 Kg5 4 Bf6#
Nb8(c7) 2 Bxb8(c7) a6 3 Re5 Kg3 4 Re4#
1. Ra6 Rxf5 2 Rxa4#This is the American Indian theme, not to be confused with the Indian Theme. In the words of Sam Loyd, "The key withdraws a guarding piece to a remote square so as to attack a Black man which in turn threatens a White piece previously guarded by the key piece but now open to capture by the Black King. If the Black man captures the piece initially guarded, the key piece passes through the square vacated by the Black man and captures a second Black man giving mate."
If Black is allowed to play e4, he will be able to stop the h-pawn and draw. Therefore, e4 must be stopped at all costs and the key is 1. Ba7 if 1...Bxa7, then 2 h7 and 3 h8=Q, therefore 1...Ba1 2 Kb1 Bc3 3 Kc2 Ba1 and now White looks to be at an impasse because if 4 Kd3, then 4...e4+ and again the h-pawn is stopped, therefore 4 Bd4!! and if 4...exd4, then 5 Kd3. So 4...Bxd4 5 Kd3 and now 5...e4+ does not work because of 6 Kxd4 and so after 5...Ba1 6 Ke4, the pawn is blockaded and White follows with 7 h7 and 8 h8=Q. (Hide Solution)
1. Ba8 fxg4 2 Kb7 Kd5 3 Rd3#
f4 2 Be4 any 3 Rd3# This problem is a Passive Indian in that the White Battery, set up by the first two moves, never opens. Its purpose is purely the one of preventing stalemate.
Key: 1 Rb1 with 14 variations. Cook was co-author of American Chess Nuts (1868), a collection of more than 2,400 positions, an overview of the early years of the problem art in America.(Hide Solution)
The key is 1. Kxb2 and the three main variations show cross-pins, the pinning of a piece that is itself pinning a man.
1...Re6+ 2 Qe5 Rf6 3 Qh2#
1...Rd6+ 2 Qd4 Rf6 3 Qh4#
1...Rxc6+ 2 Qc3 Rf6 3 Qh3#
This problem illustrates the Brede theme, a check from a black piece is answered by the self-pin of an interposed piece which subsequently unpinned is freed to make the mating move. (Hide Solution)
The key, 1. Rb3 provides for Nxb5 and avoids Black's stalemate threat.
1...Nxb5 2 Ra7+ Nxa7 3 b7#
1...Nxa6 2 bxa6 bxa3 3 Re8#
1...Ne8+ 2 Rxe8+ Kb7 3 Rb8#
1...Ne6+ 2 dxe6 axb3 3 Ra7#
1...axb3 2 Rxc7 b2 3 Ra7#(Hide Solution)
1. b4 Rc5+ 2 bxc5 a2 3 c6 Bc7 4 cxb7 any 5 bxa8=Q# This is the Excelsior theme, whose task it is to advance a pawn from its second to its eighth rank, preferably in consecutive moves. Loyd made the problem in 1858 at the Morphy Chess Rooms. "It was quite an impromptu to catch old Dennis Julien, the problemist, with. He used to wager that he could analyze any position, so as to tell which piece the principal mate was accomplished with. So I offered to make a problem, which he was to analyze and tell which piece did not give the mate. He at once selected the Queen's Knight's Pawn as the most improbable piece but the solution will show you which of us paid for the dinner."
1. Bb5+ Kf8 2 Bd6+ Kg8 3 Bc4+ Kh7 4 Bf1 Kh6 5 Bf4+ Kh5 6 Kf5 Kh4 7 Bh6 Kg3
8 Be3 Kh2 9 Kf4 Kh1 10 Kf3 Bh2 11 Bg2+ Kg1 12 Bxf2#, an ideal mate, a pure mate in which all the men on the board take part; a pure mate is when all of the unoccupied squares in the King's field are attacked only once; pieces that function as self-blocks are not under attack, unless necessarily pinned and the mating move is not a double check, unless this is necessary to prevent the defender from interposing a man or capturing a checking piece.
The key is 1. Bb6, threatening 2 Qg6 with the idea of vacating a square for White's e-pawn or for the knight at c3.
1...Rf5 2 Qf4
1...Nf5 2 Qh4
1...e5 2 Qf5
An example of square vacation, the removal of a man from a square, usually so that it may be occupied by another man. (Hide Solution)
This problem was immediately dubbed 'the Immortal Problem'; and almost as immediately forgotten, for the problem art was fast changing to its modern form. 1 Rb7 Qxb7 2 Bxg6+ Kxg6 3 Qg8+ Kxf5 4 Qg4+ Ke5 5 Qh5+ Rf5 6 f4+ Bxf4 7 Qxe2+ Bxe2 8 Re4+ dxe4 9 d4#. White sacrifices five pieces and a pawn to mate with the lone pawn.
Rde6 2 Nc3#
Rxd5 2 Bb1#
c4 2 Bb1#
cxd4 2 Nxg3#
Rf~ 2 Nxg3#
Rxf5 2 Qg2#
gxf4 2 Nc3#(Hide Solution)
This is actually a version of a problem by Loveday, the original problem had an extra black pawn on b6 and mate in four was stipulated. There were nine keys and many duals, alternative solutions. This problem is the originator of the Indian Theme, previously defined. The key, 1. Bc1, is a critical move, the move of a line-piece across a cutting-point which becomes the critical square later occupied by a piece which interferes, 1...b4 2 Rd2 (White places his rook on the critical square creating a battery) 2...Kf4 3 Rd4#. The interference move, 2 Rd2, releases Black from a stalemate situation, a common but not essential ingredient of the theme. Although critical play had been shown under the old rules of Shatranj, this is the first known example in a problem of the modern game and its publication marked the beginning of the so-called transitional period. For more than the first three and a half centuries of the modern game, problemists had failed to see the possibilities of the new line-pieces, the Queen and Bishop. Then in 1845, Howard Staunton published Loveday's Indian Theme problem featuring critical play. This stimulated the imagination of problemists who soon invented other kinds of line-themes such as cutting-point themes, doubling themes, Bristol Clearance and developed other ideas including decoy themes, focal play and introduced tasks such as Albino and Excelsior. The years 1845 to 1861 in which the content of problems was so greatly enriched is sometimes called the transitional period. (Hide Solution)
Here is another example of critical play. The solution is 1. Rbc2 (threatening 2 R2c4#) 1...Bxc2 (a critical move, crossing the critical square e4) 2 Nfe4 (the interference move, of a kind known as Nowotny Interference) and now 2...Rxe4 3 Nf5# or 2...Bxe4 3 Ne2#. If it were Black's move after 1 Rc2 Bxc2, Black could play ...Bg6 when interference on e4 is ineffective. Such a move across a cutting-point is called an anti-critical move.(Hide Solution)
Three model mates follow the key, 1. Rc3
1...Rxa2 2 Re3+ Kf4 3 Nd5#
Kd4 3 Nf5#
1...Rd2 2 Qe6+ Kxe6 3 Re3#
This is an example of the Bohemian style which emphasized model mates and minimum force using few, if any, white pawns. A model mate is a pure mate in which all of the attacker's men, with the possible exception of king and pawns, take part.
The key is 1. Qc4 with variations showing several model mates.
1...dxc4 2 Rxd4
1...Qa6 2 Rxe3
1...Kxe4 2 Bg6+
1...dxe4 2 Qf7+
1...e2 2 Nh6+
1. Bc5 Nxc5 (1...Nd6 2 Qd7) 2 Qa7 N~ (opening the diagonal a7-g1) 3 Qg1#. This problem features annihilation, the sacrifice of a piece on a line so that another man of the same color can be moved along the line when the capturing piece is moved out of the way.(Hide Solution)
The key is 1. Nc6 threatening 2 Kd7
1...Rg1 2 Rg6+
1...Rf1 2 Rf6+
1...Rf2 2 Bf4
1...Rg2 2 Bg3
1...Ra2 2 Bb8(Hide Solution)
White's first move is 1. c7 and in April 1895, Barbier had claimed that Black could draw by 1...Rd6+ 2 Kb5 Rd5+ 3 Kb4 Rd4+ 4 Kb3 Rd3+ 5 Kc2 Rd4 6 c8=Q? Rc4+ 7 Qxc4 stalemate. But Saavedra, a monk, discovered that instead of 6 c8=Q, White could win by 6 c8=R (if 6...Ra4 7 Kb3) and thus the most famous of all chess studies was created.(Hide Solution)
Another example from the Bohemian school. The key is 1. Nc8 followed by three model mate variations:
1...Bg3 2 Nb6+ Qxb6 3 Nf2+ Kc5 4 Ne4#
1...Bc5 2 Qf7+ Qxf7 3 Ne5+ Kb5 4 Bc6#
1...~ 2 Nd6+ Qxd6 3 Nb2+ Kc5 4 Na4#
This problem features a rare unpin of White on Black's first move. The first two variations show unpin by interference on the pin-line and the last two by withdrawal from the line. In the first variation, White's second move uses the unpinned White Rook to unpin his own Knight.
1 Rd1 e5 2 Rc3 ... 3 Nd6#
Nc6 2 Nd6+ Ke5 3 Re3#
Qxh4 2 Re3+ Kxf5 3 Re5#
Qg1 2 Rxg4+ Kxf5 3 Rf4#(Hide Solution)
The key is 1. Qd2 threatening 2 Qxd4#. The Rook on a3 needs to defend g3 and e3, the Bishop on e2 needs to defend b5 and c4 and their paths intersect on the cutting point d3. The first two variations showing reciprocal interference by Rook and Bishop constitute Grimshaw interference.
1...Bd3 2 Qxh2#
1...Rd3 2 Be7#
1...Nbd3 2 Nc4#
1...Ncd3 2 Qxe2#
1...d3 2 Qe3#
1...Qd6 2 Bxd4#
1...Qxd7 2 Nxd7#
This is an example of White correction, correction being a term for certain effects created by alternative moves of, in this case, a white piece. By moving the Bg6, White threatens Ng6#. A random move (Ba7?) is defeated by 1...Bb1. Secondary corrections: 1 Bf5? Bc7, 1 Be4 Rd6, 1 Bc2 Nd6. The key, 1. Bd3 avoids the errors of the secondary corrections.
1...Bc7 2 Qxf6#
1...Rd6 2 Qxe4#
1...Nd6 2 Qc1#
Organ Pipes, a problem idea originated by Loyd in 1857 in which two black rooks and two black bishops are aligned on a file or on a rank and in the main variations, each bishop interferes with each rook and vice versa. After 1 Rd4+ exd4, 2 Qc5 sets up a block, Black is under no threat but is exposed to a threat if obliged to move. This is the problemist's equivalent of zugzwang.
2...Bg7 or Bg6 3 Qg5#
2...Rg7 or Rf6 3 Qxd4#
2...Rf7 or Rg6 3 Nh5#
2...Bf7 or Bf6 3 Qf5#
This problem features changed play, in which the mates set for set play (if Black were to move first) are changed in the post-key play.
Set Play: Key: 1. d5
1...fxe5 2 Qf7# 1...fxe5 2 Rf7#
1...Ra4 2 Qxc8# 1...Ra4 2 Bxc8#
1...Qb4 2 N4xe3# 1...Qb4 2 N2xe3#
1...exf2 2 Be4# 1...exf2 2 Qe4#
1...Bh2 2 Nxh6# 1...Bh2 2 Nh4#
Black to move would have a strong defense in d6. Therefore, d6 must be prevented at all costs, 1. Qd6! There is no threat but any move by Black weakens his position. 1...c6 or c5 2 Qb8#, 1...R moves 2 Qxd7# and if Black accepts the sacrifice 1...cxd6, then 2 Rc1#.(Hide Solution)
This problem was created after the composer was told that mate with two knights was impossible. 1. Rd7 Nxd7 2 Nc6 3.Nf6# (Hide Solution)
This problem features a bivalve, a move made by Black that opens a file for one black line-piece and closes a line commanded by another black line-piece. White needs to move his Bishop from f6 to threaten Qe5#. There are four tries: 1 Bh4? Nh3, 1 Bg5? Ng2, 1 Be7? Nd5, 1 Bxd4? Nd3. The key is 1. Bd8
1...Nh3 2 Nh4#
1...Ng2 2 Rg5#
1...Nd5 2 Bxe6#
1...Nd3 2 Nxd4#
The first variation shows a valve, a move made by Black that opens a line for a black line-piece and closes a line previously commanded by the same line-piece, the other variations show bivalves.(Hide Solution)
The key is 1 Ne1, guarding c2 and threatening 2 Rd3#. The set play:
1...Nc5 2 Qc4#
1...Nde5 2 Qb3#
1...Nfe5 2 Qd4#
The tries, other attempts to guard c2, are each refuted by one of the set-play moves:
1 Bb1? Nc5
1 Bb3? Nde5
1 Nd4? Nfe5(Hide Solution)
The key is 1 Ke2 and Loyd called the problem the Steinitz Gambit because this move is often made in that gambit, 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 exf4 4 d4 Qh4+ 5 Ke2. If 1...f1=Q+ 2 Ke3 or if 1...f1=N+ 2 Rf2+. Loyd's aim was to provide a key that allowed Black a double check. This kind of problem earned him the nickname "showman of the problem world."(Hide Solution)
Black's queen must cover potential mates by Ng8 and Nd5. White has no waiting moves, for instance, 1 Kb2? b3, 1 Bg4? Qd8! Key: 1 Re3 prevents 1...Qf3+ but now after 1...Qg2, Black still guards d5 and g8. 2. Bg4 cuts off guard of g8 and 2...Qxg4 leads to 3 Nd5+ Kf5 4 Re5#. So 2...Qa8 3 Re5 Qd8 4 Bd7 and now not 4...Qxe7 5 Rf5#. So 4...Qa8 5 Re4 and now we have the initial position with Black to move and the Black Queen cannot prevent mate at both g8 and d5.
Black's threats include Nxd3 and Bxb7, so 1. Be4! threatening 2 Qxe7#. If 1...Kxe4 2 Re3#, if 1...Rxe4 2 R or Qxd5#, if 1...N or Bxe4 2 Bf4#. Other moves don't stop mate either.(Hide Solution)
D'Orville was the most outstanding of the problemists that preceded the transitional period. "To compose like D'Orville" was the highest praise. His solutions contain moves, he says, that are unlikely to be chosen by players, thus problems became an art form unrelated to the game. 1 Ne5 a5 2 Nc6 axb4 3 c4 b3 4 Nc2 bxc2 5 Bxc2#(Hide Solution)
Shinkman was one of the two greatest American composers of the 19th century, and more prolific and thorough in his work than the other, Sam Loyd. 1 Qe6 (setting up a block) 1...Kb4 c5#. The mating move opens batteries on three lines simultaneously. Other variations:
1...Kc6 2 Qc8#
1...N~ 2 Qxd6#
1...d5 2 Qb6#
1...Kd4 2 Bb6#
1...Rb4 2 Qd5#(Hide Solution)
This problem features plus-flights, the four flights laterally adjoining the square occupied by a king that does not stand on the edge of the board.
1. Ne7 Ke5 or e3 2 Rc4 K~ 3 Re4#
Kd4 or f4 2 Re2 K~ 3 Re4#(Hide Solution)
This problem features Dombrovskis Theme, in two tries, the intended mating moves, A and B, are forestalled by Black's replies a,b. But in two variations of the solutions, the black moves a and b are answered by white moves A and B.
1. Be4? (threatening 2 Nd6# (A)) Bd5 (a)
1. Ne3? (threatening 2 Bc4# (B)) Bd6 (b) The key is
1. Qe8 (threatening 2 c7#) 1...Bxd5 (a) 2 Nd6# (A)
1...Bd6 (b) 2 Bc4# (B)
"The strikingly fine activity of the Queen against the opposing Bishop has never before been brought out." Konrad Bayer calls it a 'splendid example of strategy.'
1. Qf1 Bc3 2 Qd3
Bb2 2 Qb1
Be5 2 Qf5
g3 2 Ng6+ hxg6 3 Qh3#(Hide Solution)
If White plays 1. Nfe6 threatening mate by 2 Nc5 or 2 Nf8, the black bishop can defend against both mates by 1...Bb4. If White plays 1 Nd5 threatening mate by 2 Nb6 or 2 Nf6, the black rook can defend against both by 1...Rxg6. So White's keymove, 1. Qf2 threatens 2 Qd4#, so Black is forced to capture the queen with the rook or the bishop.(Hide Solution)
1...Bxf2 2 Nfe6 Bc5 3 Nxc5#
1...Rxf2 2 Nd5 Rf6 3 Nxf6#The composers also collaborated on the book, Das indische Problem (1903), a comprehensive examination of critical play. In this problem, the Roman theme is doubled, the Roman theme being where a defending piece is moved to another square from which it still defends against the primary threat, but the changed defense allows a different mate.
After 1. Qf3 Nxc5, White continues 2 Rg7, a sacrifice on the cutting point g7 (the R on h7 needs to guard c7 and the R on g8 to guard g3)
2...Rhxg7 3 Qg3+ Rxg3 4 Bc7#
2...Rgxg7 3 Bc7+ Rxc7 4 Qg3#
This is the Plachutta Theme. A year earlier, Sam Loyd had shown the same idea and a version of his problem published in The Illustrated London News, December 1857, was almost certainly known to Plachutta. Unlike the Grimshaw and Nowotny interferences (using R and B), the Plachutta and its relations like the Holzhausen theme use like-moving pieces (R and R, or Q and B) and cannot be shown in two-movers.(Hide Solution)
Loyd said, "I made it yesterday and gave it to (Wilhelm) Steinitz, betting him that he would not solve it. In half an hour, he said he had solved it. I told him to write out the solution, which he did. I then told him to examine the solution carefully, as he would lose his bet if he made any mistakes; so he took five minutes more, and then said he would stand by his solution. He gave me the following, which I expect most of your solvers to send: 1 f4 B any 2 Bf8 any 3 Bxg7 any 4 Bxf6#. After he had thoroughly examined it, I showed him the following defence: 1 f4 Bh1 2 Bf8 g2 3 Bxg7 stalemate! Better publish it under the motto 'S.S.'-Stuck Steinitz."(Hide Solution)
The correct answer to the problem is: 1. f4 Bh1 2 b3 g6 3 Be7
White would like to play 1 Ra2+ followed by 2 Qb4# but after 1...Qxa2, White's queen is pinned to his king. So 1. Bxf5! Qxf5+ 2 Ke7! and now Black has no good check and so he goes back to guard the threatened mate at a2, 2...Qb1, but now after 3 Ra2+ Qxa2, there is no pin and so 4 Qb4#.(Hide Solution)
The key is 1.Rf6 which completes what was before an incomplete block, "in which not every Black move is set with a mate" The block is complete after the key; White threatens nothing but mate follow because Black must make a move.
1...Rf on rank 2 Rf4#
1...Rff7 2 Rd7#
1...Rxf6 2 Nxf6
1...Re on rank 2 Re6#
1...Ree8 2 Rd8#
1...Re5 2 Rd4#
1...Nd3 2 Re5#
1...N~ 2 Qb1#
1...e2 2 Qd4#
1...hxg3 2 Nxg3#
A miniature, 7 or less pieces. 1 f7 Ra6+ 2 Ba3 Rxa3+ 3 Kb2 Ra2+ 4 Kc1 (not 4 Kxa2? Be6+=) 4...Ra1+ 5 Kd2 Ra2+ 6 Ke3 Ra3+ 7 Kf4 Ra4+ 8 Kg5 Rg4+ 9 Kh6 Rg8 10 Ne7 Be6 11 fxg8=Q(R)+ Bxg8 12 Ng6#, an ideal mate.(Hide Solution)
Another American Indian by Loyd, who put extra men on the board to make the position more like one in actual play, so as to entice players (to whom the key would be even more improbable than to solvers) to try it.
1 Bf8 threatening 2 Qa1#
1...Bxb2 2 Bxh6#
1...Kxb2 1 Qa3#
This problem features the Schiffman defense, to prevent a threatened mate by discovered check, Black moves a man so that it becomes pinned, a self-pin. If White attempts to carry out the threat, this man becomes unpinned and can prevent mate; however because this man is pinned, White can mate in another way, a pin-mate. The key 1. Bg1 threatens 2 f4#. The three moves that prevent this lead to pin-mates.
1...Qxe4 2 Qxf6#
1...Nxe4 2 Qa1#
1...dxe4 2 f3#(Hide Solution)
Annihilation of the Rook 1. Rg2 threatening 2 Qa2
1...Bxg2 2 Qa2 Bxd5 3 Qh2#
Else 3 Qa7#
1...cxb3 2 Qc1
The thematic try is 1 Rh2 defeated by 1...Bg2 2 Qa2 Bxd5! and now the Queen cannot mate at h2.(Hide Solution)
About 1903, Wainwright became interested in this task, which he christened the 'Queen's Cross', showing the queen giving mate on 12 different squares, the maximum possible. An essay on this theme by him, with 50 examples by himself, Walter I. Kennard and Frederick Gamage, was printed as an introductory essay to Les Tours de Force sur l'Echiquier, the 1906 volume of The Christmas Series by Alain C. White.
1 Rg3 Qxb4 2 Qd5#
Qb5 2 Qxb5#
Qc5 2 Qxc5#
Bc2 2 Qxc2#
Bd3 2 Qxd3#
Be4 2 Qxe4#
Bb6 2 Qc8#
f3 2 Qxg4#
fxg3 2 Qf1#
f6 2 Qe6#
gxh4 2 Qxf4#
Ng6 2 Qxf7#(Hide Solution)
This problem shows mate by a lone pawn after the sacrifice of seven pieces. 1 Bg4 Rxg4 2 Bg5+ hxg5 3 Rf6+ gxf6 4 Ng6+ fxg6 5 Qf5+ gxf5 6 Nd5+ Bxd5 7 Rf3+ Bxf3 8 e3#(Hide Solution)
Each White Rook is unpinned in turn, by defenses to the threat. In each case, the piece is sacrificed and the pin-line is opened, now with a Black check. The key is 1 Qg5 with threats of 2 fxe7 and 2 Qg7.
1...e6 2 Rd5+ exd5+ 3 Nd7#
Kxd5 3 Rc5#
1...Nc7 2 Re6+ Nxe6 3 Nc6#
Kxe6 3 Rxe7#
1...Bd4 2 Qc4+ Nxc4 3 exd4#
1...Bc7(5) 2 R(x)c4+ Ke6 3 Rxe7#
1...Bxe3 2 Qxe3+ Be4 3 Qxe4#(Hide Solution)
In this classic breakthrough problem, White queens a pawn after 1 g6 hxg6 2 f6 or 1...fxg6 2 h6 (Hide Solution)
It is seemingly impossible for White to stop the Black pawn. 1. Kg7 h4 (if 1...Kb6, then 2 Kf6 threatening both to get within the 'square' of Black's pawn and to support his own passed pawn and then if 2...h4, then 3 Ke5) 2 Kf6 Kb6 (if 2...h3, then 3 Ke6) 3 Ke5 Kxc6 (if 3...h3, then 4 Kd6) 4 Kf4= (Hide Solution)
This study shows, for perhaps the first time, two different underpromotions. 1. g8=N Bxe3 2 h8=B (not 2 h8=Q? Nd4 3 Ne7 Nc2+ 4 Bxc2 Bxd4+ 5 Qxd4 stalemate) 2...Nd4 3 Ne7 Bd2 4 Nd5 (Hide Solution)
This is a case of Black correction. The key is 1. Rh1 with the primary threat of 2 hxg4#. To avoid this, Black needs to move the Ng4 or Bg6. If the Ng4 makes a random move, 1...Nf3, Nxf2 or Nf6, White plays 2 Be2#, the secondary threat. Black could correct the error of the random move by preventing the double check, 1...Ne5. However, Black makes a secondary error (obstruction of Ba1) and White answers 2 Ng7#. A random move by the Bg6 (Bxc2) permits 2 Be8#, another secondary threat. The secondary Black correction 1...Bf5 prevents the double check but then 2 Nf4#. To prevent the double check and to immobilize the Ne6, Black can reply 1...Bf7, a tertiary black correction but White replies 2 Qf5#.(Hide Solution)
This problem features star-flights, the four flight squares diagonally adjoining the square occupied by a king that does not stand on the edge of the board. The key is 1. Rh2+ and star-flights follow.
1...Kd1 2 Nxc3#
1...Kf3 2 Bh5#
1...Kxf1 2 Bc4#
1...Kd3 2 Qd8#
The try-play shows the Albino task with star-flight refutations, the Albino task being to have a white pawn on the second rank, other than a rook's pawn, is moved, in different variations, in each of four possible ways, two forward moves and two captures, each preceded or followed by a different black move. The task was first achieved by Sam Loyd in 1858. The equivalent using a black pawn is called a pickaninny, first shown by William Anthony Shinkman in 1885.
1 dxc3? Kd1
1 d3+? Kf3
1 dxe3? Kxf1
1 d4+ Kd3(Hide Solution)
This problem features Turton doubling, in which the weaker of the two pieces to be doubled moves first.
1. Bh3 a5 2 Qa6+!
... 2 Qg4 Any 3 Qc8#(Hide Solution)
This is the pioneer problem of the Babson Task, in each of four variations, different promotions by one side (usually Black) are answered by similar promotions by the other side, a kind of reciprocal Allumwandlung (AUW), a German term literally meaning omni-promotion, as a pawn is promoted to a Q, R, B and N. The key is 1.Rxh4
1...cxb1=Q 2 axb8=Q Qxb2 3 Qb3
1...cxb1=R 2 axb8=R Rxb2 3 Rb3 Kxc4 4 Rxf4#
1...cxb1=B 2 axb8=B Be4 3 Bxf4
1...cxb1=N 2 axb8=N Nxd2 3 Nc6+ Kc3 4 Rc1#
1. Nh5+ Rxh5 2 Rxg6+ Kxg6 3 Re6# One of the earliest known model mates, it appeared in a manuscript dated about the 14th century, which quotes problems from a collection made by an Arabian, Al Adli, circa 840 AD. (Hide Solution)
The annihilation of a Pawn. Key- 1. h6
1...Bxh6 2 Rg5 Bxg5 3 Qh3#
Ke3 3 Rg3#
e3 3 Qa8#
1...Bg7 2 Rxg7
1...e3 2 Qe5(Hide Solution)
After the key, 1. h7, the variations show both a pickaninny (with Pd7) and an albino (with Pe2).
1...dxc6 2 Nbxd6+ Kd5 3 e4#
1...d6 2 Rf5+ Kxd4 3 e3#
1...d5 2 Nd3+ cxd3 3 exd3#
1...dxe6 2 Nf3+ gxf3 3 exf3#
This is a Double Indian, meaning that the Indian Theme is shown in two different variations. It is a legitimate Indian device to release stalemate, by giving a move to a piece other than the Black King, as in the second variation. The key is 1. Bh8
1...a2 2 Rf6 Kxb2 3 Rf1#or 1...axb2 2 Rg7 b-pawn any 3 Ra7#