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.
Something a little easier this week. Asymmetry is an area which has been comprehensively investigated by composers, with two books having been written on the subject. A famous example by T. R. Dawson can be found on this site in the section on Retros under “What are chess problems?”.
The solution will appear here on Friday 4th December.
Solution: The solver’s instinctive response is to try 1.Ra1, since no equivalent move exists on the king’s side, but the correct key is 1.Rb1. After 1...Kf8 the king is easily rounded up by 2.Rb7 Kg8 3.Kf6 Kh8 4.Kg6 Kg8 5.Rb8. The more interesting variation is 1...Kd8, when a mid-board mate must be prepared with 2.d4! The resulting full-length variations are 2...Kc7 3.Ke7 Kc6 4.Kd8 Kd6 5.Rb6 and 3...Kc8 4.Kd6 Kd8 5.Rb8. The try 1.Rh1 fails because the black king has too much space available on the queen’s side. All of the white pawns are necessary to eliminate cooks.
Apparently the problem was not as straightforward to solve as I thought. David Friedgood: A brilliant piece demonstrating that pure difficulty can be beautiful; the asymmetry is a pretty side-issue.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu on the left.