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A three-mover by a talented Finnish composer who died in 1952 at the age of only 38.
The solution will appear here on Friday 23rd September.
Mutual pawn obstruction is the central idea in a problem whose solution features quiet
play (ie non-checking) throughout. The key 1.d6 threatens 2.Rxe5
followed by 3.Rxe4. Black can defend by capturing on f4, unguarding e5, or on f3,
preparing to unpin the rook with 2...f2. In each case the white continuation exploits the
fact that one pawn capture prevents the other pawn capture.
1...exf4 2.d7 and 3.d8Q (2...gxf4?) 1...gxf4 2.Rb1 and 3.Rd1 (2...exf4?) 1...exf3 2.Sc7 and 3.Sxe6 (2...gxf3?) 1...gxf3 2.Sb8 and 3.Sc6 (2...exf3?)
Two continuations reappear after bishop moves:
1...Bxg3 2.d7 and 1...Bxg2 2.Sc7
Dafydd Johnston: A confusing position at first sight, but all becomes clear once we see that the two pairs of black pawn captures and the pair of bishop captures all mirror one another in ruling out a potential defence which white then exploits by choosing between four different mates.
Jacob Hoover: This problem was quite a clever one.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu on the left.