Bo Lindgren – problem solutions

5/2/2013 – He was one of the most versatile chess problem composers ever, as David Friedgood told us in a recent article. Bo Waldemar Lindgren (1927–2011) was a friendly, serious character who had many interests, including science, world literature and poetry. David showed us three Lindgren compositions and gave us two problems to solve. Here today are the solutions.

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Bo Lindgren – Swedish grandmaster of composition

By David Friedgood

Bo Lindgren’s father Frithiof was an accomplished problem and study composer and Bo evidently followed in his footsteps with regard to an enthusiasm for composing. However, we suspect that he tended to avoid areas in which his father excelled, such as studies, for some time. Nevertheless, Bo developed into one of the most versatile composers, winning awards in many genres.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Bo on a few occasions, finding him a very friendly, serious character who had many interests including science, world literature and poetry. He composed around 500 problems and a few studies and published an anthology Maskrosor (Dandelions) as long ago as 1978.

The following problem by Bo is a two-mover, all you have to do is to find White’s unique first (“key”) move, which forces mate on the second move, regardless of what Black may do. In this particular problem, there are a number of “tries” – attempts at a key move – which have a similar aim as the key but can all be refuted by Black. Why does the key work and the tries do not?

[Event "1 Pr Sverige SB"] [Site "?"] [Date "1968.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Bo Lindgren"] [Black "Mate in 2"] [Result "*"] [Annotator "David Friedgood"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3N1n1B/3RnB1p/brP3PP/3rN1p1/3kp1K1/1P1PpP2/2R1Pp2/8 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "1"] [EventDate "1968.??.??"] 1. -- {If the knight on e5 could move it would be an immediate mate, except for 1.Nc4, which cuts the line of the rook on c2, giving the black king a flight on c5. White therefore tries to arrange for the knight to give mate, but out of the eight attempts, only one will work!} (1. Kh5 $2 -- (1... g4 $1 { Pinning the knight}) 2. Ng4#) (1. f4 $2 -- (1... exd3 $1 {The white pawn has given up the guard on e4}) 2. Nf3#) (1. dxe4 $2 -- (1... Bxe2 $1 {White's try has opened the line for the bishop to capture on e2, removing the guard from d3 needed by White to mate}) 2. Nd3#) (1. b4 $2 -- (1... Rxb4 $1 {This was the weakest try, attempting to guard c5, but it was easily defeated by a simple capture}) 2. Nc4#) (1. c7 $2 -- (1... Rf6 $1 {Vacating c6 for the knight also opened the line for the black rook to shut off the h8 bishop}) 2. Nec6#) (1. Rd6 $2 -- (1... Rxd6 $1 {Now the black rook is no longer pinned and can interpose on f6}) 2. Nd7#) (1. Be6 $2 -- (1... Nxd7 $1 {The bishop has blocked e6 so the black knight can capture the pinning rook without being punished by 2.Ne6#}) 2. Nef7#) (1. gxh7 $1 {Finally the key, the eighth attempt, which is the only one that is not accompanied by some weakening} -- 2. Ng6#) *

Here's another Lindgren problem for readers to solve, this time a three-mover. Again there is a key move to be found and this time all Black’s defences should be met by mate on White’s third move, at the latest. This problem’s solution has a thematic idea in common with that of the serieshelpmate.

[Event "3 Pr Tijdschrift vd KNSB"] [Site "?"] [Date "1948.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Bo Lindgren"] [Black "Mate in 3"] [Result "*"] [Annotator "David Friedgood"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "b1N1B1K1/Rnk1P2Q/2N4R/4nP2/1P6/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "1"] [EventDate "1948.??.??"] 1. Bh5 {This threatens both 2.e8Q+ as well as 2.e8N+ and mate next move} (1. Bh5 Ng6 2. e8=Q+ {White has to guard c6, so now 2.e8N+ doesn't work} Ne7+ 3. Qhxe7#) (1. Bh5 Nxc6 2. e8=N+ {Now 2.e8Q+ doesn't work for more than one reason!} Kd8 3. Qc7#) (1. Bh5 Nf7 2. e8=R {Avoiding stalemate - Black has just one move:} Kd7 3. Qxf7#) (1. Bh5 Nd7 2. e8=B {Again avoiding stalemate - again Black has just one move:} Kxc8 3. Qxd7# {Another outing for Bo's favourite Allumwandlung theme!}) *

Any queries or constructive comments can be addressed to the author at

Copyright David Friedgood 2012/ChessBase

The British Chess Problem Society (BCPS), founded in 1918, is the world's oldest chess problem society. It exists to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of chess compositions, and membership is open to chess enthusiasts in all countries.

The Society produces two bi-monthly magazines, The Problemist and The Problemist Supplement (the latter catering for beginners), which are issued to all members. Composers from all over the world send their problems and studies to compete in the tourneys run by the society.

The BCPS also organises the annual British Chess Solving Championship, and selects the Great Britain squad for the World Chess Solving Championship. The Society holds an annual residential weekend, with a full programme of solving and composing tourneys and lectures; this event attracts an international participation. Members are also entitled to use the resources of the BCPS library, and the Society book service, which can provide new and second-hand publications.

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