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Experienced solvers know that long more-movers are often easier to solve
than three-movers, because of the need to control Black’s possibilities.
When, as here, Black can
start checking in two moves if left undisturbed, White must proceed with
short threats to keep Black tied up, while aiming to induce the decisive
If the c6 rook was not guarding f6 White could mate in two by 1.Re3+ dxe3 2.Sxf6, so White spends five moves decoying the black bishop to d6.
1.Rf3 (threat 2.Rf4 mate) Bb8 (if 1...Qb8 or 1…Qc7 2.Bxf5 mate) 2.Sc7 (threat 3.Rf4 mate) Bxc73.Rd3 (threat 4.Rxd4 mate) Bb6 (if 3...Be5 4.Sf2 mate; if 1...Rc4 the mainplan is played early – 2.Re3+ dxe3 3.Sxf6 mate) 4.Rc5 (threat 5.Rxd4 mate) Bxc5 (note that the decoy to b6 eliminated Rb4 as a possible defence) 5.Rf3 (threat 6.Rf4 mate) Bd6 and now the mainplan works 6.Re3+ dxe3
Dafydd Johnston: A fine example of a logical problem in which the solution is made up of a series of discrete steps leading to the line-closing decoy of the black bishop and then the final sacrifice to open the line of the white bishop. Very satisfying for the solver.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu on the left.