Giddens problem chess column

(1) Comins Mansfield
Mate in 2, 1st Pr, Die Schwalbe 1956

The line-up of black rooks and bishops down the h-file is known in problem parlance as the "Organ Pipes", and was first show by the legendary Sam Lloyd in 1859. It offers a matrix of four possible R+B interferences, here on the squares g3 and g4. Of White's four attempts to exploit these interferences, three fail to a single black defence, and are therefore called tries. Thus: 1.g4? has the idea of 1...Bxg4? 2.Qxe4 mate, and 1...Rxg4 2.Qd1 mate, but Black has the defence 1...Nf2! [Likewise, 1.g3? intends 1...Bxg3 2.Qe3 mate and 1...Rxg3 2, Bxb3 mate (because now BLack does not have 2...Bd6), but 1...Nc2! defends.; The third try 1.f4? sets up the Novotny mates 1...Bxf4 2.Qxe4 mate and 1...Rxf4 2.Bxb3 mate, but is refuted by 1...e3!; The key is 1.f3! (threat 2.Qd1 mate or 2.Qe3 mate), after which we have the lines 1...Bf4 2.Qxe4 mate, 1...Rf4 2. Bxb3 mate, plus the by-play variation 1...Kd4 2.Qe3 mate. This superb use of the Organ Pipes to give a fourfold Novotny produced a sensation in problem circles when it appeared, and deservedly won first prize in the prestigious German problem magazine, Die Schwalbe. Comins Mansfield was one of the greatest two-move composers of all time, arguably THE greatest. He is also the answer tro the trivia quiz trick "Who was the first British holder of the GM title?" - he was awarded the GM title for Problem Composition before either postal GM Keith Richardson or OTB GM Tony Miles got their titles!] *

(2) Hans-Peter Rehm
1st Pr, Themes-64, Mate in 4, 1959

White reacts to this by using a Grimshaw. The key is 1.Bh5! Now BLack can only defend by putting something on g4, but then White returns to the try idea and it turns out that the Novotny defence no longer works: [Here, the try is 1.Be8? threatening mates by 2.Bb5 mate and 2.Rc4 mate. However, BLack defends with the Novotny 1...Nc6! the square c6 being the critical intersect square for the WB and WR. Now after both 2.Bxc6 (and 2.Rxc6 Bxe6! Black staves off the masting threats.) 2...Rg5! ] 1...Bg4 [Likewise, after 1...Rg4 White again switches back to the try-move 2.Be8 and this time, after 2...Nc6 he plays 3.Rxc6! and now the Rg4 prevents the previous defence 3...Be6, so White wilkl mate next move with 4.Rc4 mate!] 2.Be8 Nc6 and now 3.Bxc6 forces 4.Bb5 mate next move, since the Bg4 prevents the previous defence with 3...Rg5. *

(3) McDowell & Beasley
23rde Place, 5th WCCT Selfmate in 3, 1996

The key is the waiting move 1.Rh7 Ne6 [1...Ne8 1...Nh5 is the same 2.Rf7+ Nf6 This time, the pinned BN shuts off the WB's attack on the Raq1, so White now needs to shut off his Rg8's guard of g1: 3.Bg7 forcing a bishop move, mating. 3...Bc2# ] 2.Rh5+ Ng5 Now the pinned BN shuts off the Rg8 from controlling g1, so all White has to do is shut off his Bishop's attack on the enemy Ra1: 3.Rg7 forcing a bishop move, mating. 3...Bc2# *

(4) Christopher J Feather
Moultings 3, Helpmate in 2, 2 sols, 1991

1...Re5 [1...Be5 2.Rhxb7 Bc4 3.Ra5# ] 2.Rh1 Rc4 3.Ra1# *

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