The Master of the Task: The Life and Work of Sir Jeremy Morse

Written by John Rice.

When I asked Jeremy about other composers and other problems he particularly admired, he mentioned Loshinsky and his 11-piece 3-fold Grimshaw (Tijdschrift v.d. N.S.B., 1930), a fine piece of construction with a perfect key, and of course Comins Mansfield and his wonderful book Adventures in Composition (1948). The names Jørgensen and Petrovic came up too, as did those of more recent composers of task problems such as George Sphicas and Unto Heinonen. The mutates of Tony Lewis, now sadly no longer with us, were also praised. Among favourites in Jeremy’s library of problem books are Brian Harley’s Mate in Two Moves (1931, rev. 1941), A. C. White’s Tasks and Echoes (1915), and — perhaps more surprisingly — Jean-Pierre Boyer’s Problèmes d’Echecs en deux coups (1983).

With the next problem we move away from the twomover to illustrate other genres.

21. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1978


Mate in 38

No. 21 is a mate in 38, a length record for wK + wB. 1-3.Bc4-xd3-c4+ 4.Bxf1 Ka2 5.Bc4+ 6.Kd1 f3 9.Kd2 f6 10.Kd1 c6 11.Kd2 c5 12.Kd1 f1~ 13.Bxf1 Ka2 14.Bc4+ 15.Kd2 (not 15.Be6? c4 16.Bxc4+ 18.Kd1 f3 19.Kd2 f1~ leading to mate in 39) f2 ... 34.Kd1 f1~ 35.Bxf1 Ka2 36.Bc4+ 37.Kd2 38.Bd3#.

22. C. J. Morse

v London Evening News, 1955



The study no. 22 was originally published with wPb3 on b2, allowing a small dual in the play. 1.Qe8+ Kc7 2.Qb8+ Kc6 3.Qb7+ Qxb7+ 4.axb7 Sa6 5.Ka7 Kb5 6.c3 Ka5 7.c4 Sb4 8.b8S S~ 9.S(x)c6#. It has been established that this S-promotion was shown here for the first time.

23. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1987


Stalemate in 201

No. 23 is another of Jeremy’s compositions selected for the FIDE Album, and thus better known than some of his work. Its 201 moves represent a record for a stalemate problem. The well-known basic matrix was first used by W. A. Shinkman in 1903 and later developed by Otto Blathy. 1.c4+ 2-29.Qh6-xh7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-e1-xb4-e1-e4-e5-f5-f6-g6 -g7-xb7-h7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-g1+ 30.a6 Kb2 31-47.Qd4-e4-e5-f5-f6-g6-g7 -b7-h7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-g1+ 48.Kf8 Kb2 66.Ke8 Kb2 120.Kb8 Kb2 138.Kxa7 Kb2 156.Kb8 Kb2 192.a8Q Kb2 (not …Rh3? 193.Qxc6) 193.Qd4+ 194-6.Qb7-h7-h6+ 197.Qg1+ 198.Qd2 199-200.Bxc6-d7 201.Bxh3=.

24. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1991


Selfmate in 2

No. 24 shows another record: 5 parallel promotions to wB in selfmate form. 1.Sb3 (>b,dxc8S) Qxa8/Qb8/Qd8/Qf8/Qh8 2.bxa8B/cxb8B/cxd8B/gxf8B/gxh8B, and 1...Qe8/Qxc7/Qxb7,d7 2.dxe8S/bxc7/Qb5+.

25. C. J. Morse

London Evening News, 1957


Selfmate in 4

The fine selfmate no. 25 also found favour with the Album judges. 1.Sd2 (-) g1Q,R 2.Sf1+ exf1B/exf1S 3.Qa3+/Qc5+ Bc3/Bd4 4.Qxc3+/Qc1+ Bd3/Sd2; 1...g1B 2.Qe8 Bxh2 3.Qg8 ~ 4.Q(x)g3+ Bxg3; 1...g1S 2.Qa3+ Bc3 3.Sf3 h4 4.Qb3 Sxf3.

26. C. J. Morse

New Statesman and Nation


Selfmate in 8

No. 26, a longer selfmate, is surely very tricky to solve. 1.Qf1+ 2.Bg1+ 3.Be3+ 4.Sg4+ 5.Qg1+ Kxh3 6.Bxf4+ 7.Qf1+ 8.Se3 d2; 5...Rg2 6.Bd2+ 7.Sf2 8.Rxb4 Rxg1.

27. C. J. Morse

v EG, 1984


Self stalemate in 4

The selfstalemate no. 27 is a length record for this genre with wK solus. 1.Ka3 b4+ 2.Ka4 b5+ 3.Ka5 b6+ 4.Ka6 — and any move by Black is stalemate. The stipulation could equally well be “White to draw”.

28. D. H. Hersom & C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 2000


Helpmate in 5

Only 5 moves are needed in no. 28 to achieve 5 black promotions, which equals the helpmate record. Black gets four new Rs and one S. 1.b1R Rxd1 2.c1S Rxe1 3.d1R Rxf1 4.e1R Rxh1 5.f1R Rg2#. According to bernd ellinghoven, this is a unique position: any alteration would make it unsound.

29. C. J. Morse

2nd HM., StrateGems, 2009


Helpstalemate in 7

The record for promotions in helpstalemate is 6; no. 29 achieves only 5, but in striking fashion. The section editor of StrateGems, Radovan Tomaševic, ensured the setting’s soundness by adding the unmoving wQ. 1.a1B Kg7 2.g1R+ Kf6 3.Rb1 Ke5 4.d1R Kxd4 5.d2 Kd3 6.e1B Ke2 7.c1B Kf1=.

30. C. J. Morse

The Serieshelpmate, 1978


Serieshelpmate in 44

No. 30, also to be found in the FIDE Album, was the first setting of 7 promotions in series-helpmate, which is still the record. 1.f1S 2.Sxh2 3.Sg4 5.h1R 7.Rg5 12.h1R 14.Rhg6 19.h1R 20.Rh8 22.Rxb7 28.Kxf5 29.Qf6 32.c1B 33.Bxb2 34.Be5 36.b1B 38.Be6 43.c1B 44.Bf4 e4#. To the delight of the authors of the book, this problem was offered as an original to the survey The Serieshelpmate (A. S. M. Dickins and J. M. Rice, 1978).

31. C. J. Morse

Mention, British Chess Magazine, 1970


Serieshelpmate in 4 Duplex

AUW is seen in the duplex no. 31. Black plays: 1.f1B 2.c1R 3.Re1 4.d1S Rc2#; White plays: 2.Rg2 3.Rh2 4.Kg2 f1Q#.

32. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 2010


Selfmate in 16 Checking zigzag

In a “checking zigzag” Black moves only to check. No.32 shows a wK-Rundlauf in miniature, with a model mate. 1.Rb5 4.Kd3 5.Ke4 6.Re5 7.Ke3 g1Q+ 8.Kd3+ Qe3+ 9.Kc4 Q~+ 10.Kb3 Qe3+ 11.Bd3 12.Re4 13.Kb2 Qe2+ 14.Ka1 15.Bb1 16.Re5 Qxe5#; 7...g1B+ 8.Kf4+ Be3+ 9-13.Bb1 14.Ka1 15.Rh5 Bd4#.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.