This site now hosts a complete archive of PDF versions of The Problemist Supplement, from 1992 to the current year. This magazine is aimed mainly at newcomers to chess composition, so it is recommended for those who want to find out more about chess problems. You can find the archive here.
White is to play and mate in two moves. Have a go at solving this first and then, when
you are ready, click the button below to see the solution and a commentary explaining
what the problem is all about.
There is set play generated by bSc4 – 1...Sa3+/Se3+/Sb2/Sb6 2.RxS. However, it seems
clear that the fate of bSc4 is to be pinned for a random move by wRb3 threatening 2.Bxc4.
1...Sf4/Qe5 will be met by 2.R(x)e5 so White must concern himself with the defences
1...Qxd6/Rxa4/Sxf6. 1.Rd3? Qxd6/Rxa4 2.Rxd6/Sd8 but 1...Sxf6! 1.Re3? Sxf6/Qxd6
2.Shg5/Sfg5 but 1...Rxa4! 1.Rxf3? Rxa4/Sxf6 2.Sf8/Rxf6 but 1...Qxd6! Key 1.Rb8!
(>2.Bxc4) 1...Qxd6/Rxa4/Sxf6 2.Sd8/Re8/Sf8. This fine twomover demonstrates cyclic
refutation. The relevant feature for this theme is that Black should have three
thematic defences and that White’s tries should fail to each in turn. The mates are
changed throughout the solution – one might think that this should give (3x2) + (1x3)
or 9 mates in all. In fact there are only 7 distinct mates because 2.Sd8/2.Sf8 have been
cleverly transferred to follow different Black defences. The play by the wSs, both in
administering mate and supporting mates on d6/f6, give this work great unity and clarity.