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A fine example of an idea which the composer employed in a number of problems and
which became a standard more-move theme.
An immediate attempt to mate on b8 by 1.Qc7? is easily met by 1…Rb1!
An attempt to prepare the mate by closing the b-file fails because Black can exploit the newly opened a-file: 1.Bb5? (threat 2.Bc6) axb5 2.Qc7 Rxa7!
White needs to gain time to reposition his king. He does this by means of the startling key 1.Rh2! threatening 2.Rxd2 and 3.Bd5 (2.Re2 and 2.Kg6 are additional threats). After 1...Rxh2+ 2.Kg8 the rook must return to cover d5, as 2...Rh8+ 3.Kxh8 allows the bishop to mate. 2..Rd2. Now White can proceed as before: 3.Bb5 axb5 4.Qc7 Rxa7 5.Qc8. Note that 2.Kg6? fails to 2...Rh6+ 3.Kxh6 g4+.
The initial idea, where White allows a check to gain time to make a change in the position which invalidates a successful defence to his mainplan, is called the Lepuschütz theme.
Jacob Hoover: This one was quite a challenge to solve.
Dafydd Johnston: I find it amazing that with so much force, and the black king hemmed in, white is only able to achieve mate in 5 by sacrificing the rook with check for gain of tempo and then the mighty bishop to close the b-file.
Peter Niehoff describes the content as a combination of the Lepuschütz and Dresden themes, but, as we saw with last week's problem by Loshinsky, the Dresden theme involves the substitution of a bad defence by a different piece. Here the good and bad defences to Qc7 are both made by the rook, while the decoyed piece is the a6 pawn. This is the related Hamburg theme.
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