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.
A problem whose idea was described by helpmate expert Chris Feather as “a remarkable achievement”. Remember that in each solution Black begins and White mates on his second move. Norman Macleod (1927-1991) was arguably Britain’s finest all-round composer.
Solutions: 1.Rxd5 Bh7 2.Rd4 Rc5 and 1.Bxf5 Bf6 2.Bd3 Rg5. Capture of white force is one of the most common paradoxical ideas in helpmates (why should it be that the most helpful thing Black can do is reduce the white force?). Here the unusual motivation for the captures is to allow a second white piece of the same kind to pass over the capture square. A tremendously difficult idea shown with only 16 pieces.
Postscript: Jacques Rotenberg sends an interesting version which saves two units by moving the black king to the board edge.
Norman Macleod (version Jacques Rotenberg)
Helpmate in 2 (2 solutions)
1.Rxg4 Bc2 2.Rg5 Rh4 and 1.Bxe4 Be3 2.Bg6 Rd4
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu on the left.