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This week, we return to a genre we have only seen a couple of times before in this
column: the reflexmate. Just to remind you, this is a selfmate, but where either side
must give mate in one if able to do so. Thus, White only needs to put his opponent in
a position where the latter is able to mate in one, in order to solve the problem.
The key is 1.Bd2! with the threat of 2.Qh7, forcing 2…Bxf6#. Black has various
Taking on h6 eliminates the threat most radically, but 1...Bxh6 allows 2.Bc3 Be3#
and 1...Rxh6 2.Bd5 Bxf6#.
Putting a rook on e5 blocks the mating diagonal, but fails to a self-block by White
on d5 or e4, using the freshly-unpinned wS: 1...Rhe5 2.Sd5 Re4# and 1...Ree5 2.Se4
Rd5#. Not to be missed is 1...Se5, which also blocks the mating diagonal and again
unpins the wS, allowing 2.Sg8 Sc6#, the wS having to run away to the only square
that allows the double-check mate.
1...Ke7 shuts off the bR's control of the e-file, but is met by another self-block
on e4: 2.Be4 Bxf6#.
Finally, the checks 1...Qc5+, 1...Qd8+, 1...Qd7+, 1...Rd5+, 1...Re4+ and 1...Rd8+
all fail to 2.Kc3 b1S#
A wonderful combination of self-blocks plus three unpins of the wS — four if
you count 1...Bxh6, though it isn't exploited.
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