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This week we return to the orthodox two–mover, with a problem the late
Lu Citeroni, a great connoisseur of the genre, described as “...the finest Rukhlis
extant and one of the half dozen finest two–movers ever made”. The Rukhlis
theme combines changed and transferred play, of which more when we present
the solution; for the present, suffice it to say that in order to appreciate the
problem, you should look first at the set play.
Starting with the set play, we see that mates are provided for five black defences,
as follows: 1...c-any 2.Sxe3# 1...e2 2.Sb4#; 1...Sc6 2.Rd6#; 1...Sh-any 2.Bf7# and
1...Sf5 2.Rxf5#. However, all of these are changed after the splendid flight-giving
key 1.Se6! (Threat 2.Qd1#): 1...Kd6 2.Sc7#; 1...c-any 2.Rd4#; 1...e2 2.Qd4#;
1...Sc6 2.Sxe3#; 1...Sf5 2.Sb4#
Note that two of the set mates (Sxe3 and Sxb4) are transferred to new defences
after the key, with new mates provided against those original defences. This is the
defining feature of the Rukhlis theme. In this case, the defences which acquire the
transferred mates (ie. 1…Sc6 and 1…Sf5) also themselves have set mates, which makes
this an Ideal Rukhlis.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
Steve Giddins (our Libarian and Archivist) using the 'Contact'
item in the menu on the left.
The next weekly chess problem will appear in the new year.