What are Chess Problems? Moremovers
 

 

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Moremovers
Written by Michael McDowell   

The term more-mover refers to a directmate problem in greater than three moves. More-movers, especially longer ones, are often easier to solve than three-movers, because the need to keep the black force under control means that White must proceed with short threats.

(1) Vladimir Pachman

1st Prize, Dobrusky Memorial Tourney, 1954

5K2/p2p2pp/2pQ4/rp4pr/4k1B1/s1b5/1R3P2/2s3S1

Mate in 4

Extra moves allow more scope for aesthetic mates. Pachman combines three very different model mates (see the article on three-movers for the definition of a model mate).

The key 1.Sf3 threatens 2.Sd2+ Bxd2 3.f3+ Ke3 4.Qxd2. 1…Sc4 guards d2, but allows a spectacular model involving the sacrifice of rook and queen: 2.Re2+ Sxe2 3.Qd3+ Kxd3 4.Bf5. After 1…Sb1 the rook is sacrificed again: 2.Rb4+ Bxb4 3.Qxb4+ Kd3 4.Se1.

Such a mate, where no squares adjacent to the king are occupied, is called a mirror mate, in this case a mirror model.

There is one unimportant sideline variation 1…Sc2 2.Rxc2 threatening 3.Rxc3.

(2) Miroslav Havel

Zlata Praha, 1913

8/2Kp4/B7/B2k4/3P4/3R4/8/8

Mate in 5

Havel's miniature displays a perfect echo preceded by matching interferences.

1.Re3 Kxd4 2.Bb6+ Kd5 3.Ba7 d6 4.Kb6 Kd4 5.Kc6.

If 1...d6 2.Re2 Kxd4 3.Kc6 d5 4.Kb5 Kd3 5.Kc5.

Many more-movers elaborate strategic themes more usually found in shorter problems. Two of the best known two-move ideas are the Grimshaw theme, which features mutual interference between two dissimilar line pieces, usually a rook and bishop, and the related Nowotny theme, where a piece plays to the intersection square of two line pieces, leading to the same effects as ordinary interferences.

(3) Y. G. Vladimirov

1st Prize, Magadansk Komsomolets, 1986

4K2b/B3P2S/1Q1PP1S1/1R1p3r/1r1pk1B1/6P1/b1P1PP2/s7

Mate in 4

In Vladimirov's problem 1.Qc5 threatens 2.Qc3 with mate next move, and Black's main defences consist of Grimshaw interferences on c4. After 1...Rc4 White exploits the interference to sacrifice the queen with 2.Qxd5+ Rxd5. Black has been compelled to open the line, and a knight check 3.Sg5+ draws the rook back along the line to open the white rook guard on f5, releasing the bishop for 4.Bf3 mate. This strategic sequence is matched exactly in the companion variation 1…Bc4 2.Qxd4+ Bxd4 3.Sf6+ Bxf6 4.f3.

In the subsidiary variation 1...Rb3 Black abandons the guards on d4 and d5, allowing the Nowotny interference 2.Se5, threatening a pair of queen mates. The rook must return, but after 2...Rb4 a second Nowotny 3.c4 leaves Black helpless.

Decoy of a black piece or pieces is a common feature in more-movers.

(4) A. Mongredien

1st Prize, Chemnitzer Tageblatt, 1926

q3bb1S/4p3/4Pp1p/2Sp1k2/2pP1Pp1/4P3/p7/K6Q

Mate in 5

In 4 the black queen and bishop prevent queen mates at d5 and h5 respectively. The white queen has another potential mating square, c2, but can only attack two of the three squares at a time. 1.Qh2? is easily refuted by 1...Qa4! 1.Qg2 exploits the fact that the black queen cannot guard both c2 and d5 simultaneously, and forces 1...Ba4. 2.Qh2 attacks h5 while keeping control of c2, forcing 2...Qe8. 3.Qh1 forces 3...Bc6 and we are back to the initial position except that the black queen and bishop have swapped their guard duties. White continues 4.Qg2, and Black's bishop is now overloaded. A beautiful example of control from a distance.

Another idea often exploited in more-movers is critical play, where a piece is enticed to play over a square to which a second piece then moves, interfering with the first piece.

(5) K. Nielsen

Skakbladet, 1926

1B6/8/KQpSp3/4k2S/ppP1b3/1r6/8/8

Mate in 4

In Nielsen's problem White must aim to mate with the queen on the a1-h8 diagonal. 1.Qf2? threatening 2.Qf6 mate, is refuted simply by 1...Rf3 or 1...Bf3, so White manoeuvres to force the black pieces to trip each other up.

1.Qg1 (threatening 2.Qg7) forces 1...Bg2 (as 1...Rg3 would be met by 2.Se8+ Kf5 3.Qxg3). Then 2.Qa7 threatens the same mate, and forces 2...Rg3. With both black pieces having crossed the critical square f3 White continues 3.Qf2, leaving Black the choice between 3...Rf3 4.Qc5 or 3...Bf3 4.Qb2 — the Grimshaw theme already seen in 3.

Most longer more-movers fall into a category known as logical problems. The term derives from the fact that such problems have a single thematic line of play with a logical structure. White has a potential mating sequence, called a main-plan, which if attempted immediately will fail. He must first execute a foreplan to cause a change in the position which will allow the main-plan to operate.

(6) Stefan Schneider

2nd Prize, Schach, 1954

8/p1p5/2B5/1Pk2S2/2S1p3/1K5p/3P4/6b1

Mate in 7

In Schneider's problem White would like to play 1.Sg7 for 2.Se6 mate, but after 1...Kd4 the king will escape to d3. 1.d4+ works after 1...exd4 e.p. 2.Sg7, but fails to 1...Bxd4, so White must carry out a five-move foreplan designed to persuade Black to block d3.

1.Se5 threatens 2.Sd7 mate, and forces 1...Kb6, after which 2.Ka4 renews the threat. 2...a6 fails to 3.Sd7+ Ka7 4.Se7 and mate follows on c8, so the king must return to c5. After 2…Kc5 3.d3 threatens Sd7 once more, forcing 3...exd3. With d3 successfully blocked White retraces his steps: 4.Kb3 Kb6 5.Sc4+ Kc5 and now 6.Sg7 mates next move.

Note that the blocking of d3 was the only advantage which White gained from executing the foreplan. This purity of aim is an important artistic standard to which composers of logical problems adhere.

Some problems feature a number of consecutive foreplans, or foreplans within foreplans.

(7) Hans Lepuschutz

Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1936

2r5/P2R4/K6R/Spk3pp/p2p1p1r/P2p4/1p5b/3bs2s

Mate in 6

7 is best appreciated by working backwards. White would like to mate by Rb6 followed by Rxb5, but Black can defend with b1Q. The foreplan which can eliminate this defence requires a foreplan of its own to operate, and this logical sequence is repeated twice.

Mainplan 1.Rb6? (threat 2.Rxb5#)
but 1...b1Q!
First foreplan: 1.Rhd6? (2.Rd5#) If 1...Bb3 2.Rb6,
but 1...Bf3!
Second foreplan: 1.Re6? (2.Re5#) 1…Sf3 2.Red6 Bb3 3.Rb6,
but 1...f3!
Third foreplan: 1.Rf6? (2.Rf5#) 1…Sg3 2.Re6 Sf3 3.Red6 Bb3 4.Rb6,
but 1...Bg4!

Solution: 1.Rg6! (2.Rxg5#) 1...Rg4 (eliminates Bg4) 2.Rf6 (3.Rf5#) 2...Sg3 (eliminates f3) 3.Re6 (4.Re5#) 3...Sf3 (eliminates Bf3) 4.Red6 (5.Rd5#) 4...Bb3 (eliminates b1Q) 5.Rb6 (6.Rxb5#) leaving Black with the choice of 5...Rb8 or Rc6 6.R(x)c6#, or 5...Bc4 6.Sb7#.

(8) Y. G. Vladimirov

1st Prize, Macleod Memorial Tourney, 1994

qs6/rp1p4/pPkP1R2/K7/2P5/B1pP4/2P1P3/8

Mate in 17

8 is an amusing problem illustrating the use of pendulum manoeuvres and interferences to reposition pieces. White would like to play Rf8 and Rc8 mate, but must avoid giving stalemate. By allowing the king to shuttle between c5 and c6 and checking every second move (otherwise Sc6+ frees the Black forces) White is able to reposition his bishop at g1 and e2 pawn at e5 to allow the rook to reach f8 via a discovered check. The solution is worth close study.

1.Bc1 Kc5 2.Be3+ Kc6 3.Bf4 Kc5 4.Rf5+ Kc6 (If 4...Kd4 5.Rd5 mate) 5.Be5 Kc5 6.Bh2+ Kc6 (If 6...Kd4 7.Bg1 mate) 7.Rf6 Kc5 8.Bg1+ Kc6 9.e3 Kc5 10.e4+ Kc6 11.Bh2 Kc5 12.Rf5+ Kc6 (If 12...Kd4 13.Bg1 mate) 13.e5 Kc5 14.Bg1+ Kc6 15.Rf2 Kc5 16.Rf8+ Kc6 17.Rc8 mate.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:11
 
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