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After a two-week holiday hiatus, for which due apologies (my thanks to Michael McDowell
for stepping into the breach last week), I return with a splendid orthodox three-mover,
by the British composer most closely associated with excellence in this field (Matthews
wrote the three-mover section in the classic book Chess Problems: Introduction to an
This problem is all about square-vacation. The key 1.Rh3! sets up the threat
of 2.Nc4+ dxc4 3.Re3#
Black has various defences, but each one allows a different means of clearing the
d3-square, for a knight mate on that square.
1...Qc6 Now the queen no longer guards d3, hence 2.Qd4+ Nxd4 3.Nd3 mate 1...Qb6 Again, the BQ no longer guards d3, but this time, 2.Qd4+? fails to
2...Qxd4. However, instead there is 2.Qxc3+ Nxc3 3.Nd3#;
1...Nf6 This blocks the 6th rank, so now 2.Qf5+ exf5 (not check!) 3.Nd3#;
1...Ned6 This has the same error of blocking the 6th rank, but 2.Qf5? does not work
because of 2...Nxf5+. However, instead White now has 2.Qxd5+ exd5 3.Nd3#.
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