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It is unusual for a ten-piece two-mover to gain top honours in a
major magazine. To fully appreciate the problem, first determine
the set play then observe the ingenious transformation effected by
Solution: The king flights have set mates prepared, both involving
pins of the black bishop: 1...Kc5 2.Be3 and 1...Ke4 2.Rf4.
The key is 1.Se3, threatening 2.Qc4, after which both
flights lead to different pin-mates: 1...Kc5 2.Qd6 and
1...Ke4 2.Rb4. There is by-play 1...Sd5 2.Qxd5 and
1...Sxb6 2.Qxe5. The changes work because the key alters the
position in four respects, closing the line d2 - f4, opening the
line b4 - e4, placing a knight guard on c4 and blocking e3. A
remarkable piece of construction.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu on the left.