(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!] *