3rd Prize, Szachy, 1977
Selfmate in 2
One of the most popular “paradox” themes in directmate two-movers is shown here in selfmate form, so look out for two thematic tries.
1.e5? threatens 2.Qd5+ Kxd5, with the variation 1...Rxg6 2.b3+ Kc3, but 1...Sf6! refutes. Similarly 1.exf4? threatens 2.Qd4+ Kxd4 again with 1...Rxg6 2.b3+ Kc3, but 1...Se6! refutes. The key, 1.g7! pins the queen and threatens 2.b3+ Kc3, giving the variations 1...Sf6 2.Qd5+ Sxd5 and 1...Se6 2.Qd4+ Sxd4. This idea, where defences which refute try threats are followed post-key by the moves they originally defeated is called the Dombrovskis theme, after Latvian composer Alfred Dombrovskis, who published the first example in 1958. The paradoxical effect is greatly diluted in a selfmate, because the extra black move allows for a change of motivation in the white move. Here the queen’s motive changes from opening the diagonal to opening the rank. Still, a very clear scheme.
Richard Stein: The key resurrects the threats against what were effective defenses, a theme shown here with great subtlety.