CHESS Magazine quiz

by ChessBase
2/25/2022 – Did you solve the Sam Loyd problem? The key is the move you would least expect! A week ago we showed you a small collection of delightful problems from the January issue of CHESS Magazine. Today we give you the solutions, annotated by Graham Phythian. You can figure out all the variations with the help of the built-in engines in our replay app.

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CHESS Magazine was established in 1935 by B.H. Wood who ran it for over fifty years. It is published each month by the London Chess Centre and is edited by IM Richard Palliser and Matt Read. The Executive Editor is Malcolm Pein, who organises the London Chess Classic.

CHESS is mailed to subscribers in over 50 countries. You can subscribe from Europe and Asia at a specially discounted rate for first timers here, or from North America here.

The puzzles we showed you a week ago were selected and annotated by Graham Phythian, who is a member, librarian and publicity officer of the Chorlton Chess Club, Manchester.

We asked you to try and solve the puzzles, moving the pieces on the diagrams to analyse. In problems 2, 5 and 6 we enabled the engine, so the diagram would actually defend for Black.


Solution: A justly celebrated combination from Horvath-Eperjesi, Budapest 1971. Horvath found the following winning attack: 1.Rd7! Bxd7 2.Qxg7+! Rxg7 3.Rxg7+ Nxg7 4. Nf6+ Kh8 5. Nxf7#.


Solution: 1.Bh1! Kf4 2.Kg2! Ke4 3.Kg3# (discovered check and mate.)


J. R. Harman, New Statesman c.1968. White draws by a lengthy and dextrous repetition of moves. Here is the first iteration: 1.Ng4+ Ke7 (1...Kg6 leads to a quicker repetition of moves after 2.Ne5+ etc, or to the main line) 2. Nf5+ Kd7 3. Ne5+ Kc8 4. Ne7+ Kb8 5. Nd7+ Ka7 6. Nc8+ Ka6 7. Nb8+ Kb5 8. Na7+ Kb4 9. Na6+ Kc3 10. Nb5+ Kd3 11. Nb4+ Ke2 12. Nc3+ Kf2 13. Nd3+ Kg314. Ne4+ Kg4 15. Ne5+ Kf5 16. Ng3+ Kf6 17. Ng4+ etc.


This is from Ilya Maizelis's 'The Soviet Chess Primer' (2014). Here is the shock dénouement waiting for Reginald: 1. Bb8! Rxb8 (forced) 2.Kc7!! Rxb6 (again forced) 3.cxb6 a5 (what else? There are no spite checks, and queening the pawn achieves nothing) 4.b7+ Ka7 5.b8=Q+ Ka6 6.Qb6#.


A classic Kubbel composition from 1940. 1.Nh2 (threat: Ng4#) Ke3 2.Ng4+ Kf4 If 2...Ke4 3.Nf6+ Kf5 (otherwise the black king and queen are forked) 4.Nd7! simultaneously threatens the queen and mate. 3.Qf1+ Ke4 (or 3...Kg5 4.Qf6+ Kh5 5.Qh6#) 4.Nf6+ Kd4 (other moves lose the queen by knight forks) 5.Qd1+ Kc4 (the black king must keep to the light squares) 6.Qxd5+ Kc3 7.Qa8! Kd4 8.Nd5 traps and wins the black queen.


J.Fritz, 'Jeux et Stratégie', August 1988; original composition ca.1960. The key first move is 1.a7! Not 1.Bc3? as Kxa6 2.Bxb4 is stalemate. 1... Nc6. Now, if 1...Ka6 2.Kb8! Nc6+ 3.Kc7! Nxa7 4.b4! and Black loses the knight. 2.Kb7 Nxa7 3.Bc3+! (leaving the knight be, or the b3-pawn falls, along with White's chances of a win) 3...b4 4.Bd4 Nb5 (the only safe place for the knight, but...) 5.Bxb6# The comment from 'Jeux et Stratégie': "Une fin tragi-comique".

Conditional chess problems were all the rage some 150 years ago. (Sam Loyd loved to impose the odd handicapping twist to his creations.) Normal game rules apply, except that choice of moves is restricted by conditions. Read on for clarification...


T.M.Brown, ca.1859. Solution: 1.Nec6+! dxc6 2.dxe3+ fxe3 3.Rh4+ Be4 4.Rhxe4+! dxe4 5.Be5+! dxe5 6.Rxd8+ Nd5+ 7.Rxd5+! cxd5 8.Nc6#. "Conditional perfect", you might say!


Thomas B. & Mrs. F.F.Rowland, ca.1887. There are two ways for Pond to regain his freedom and enjoy the rest of his Christmas without getting fried. The key move is 1.Ke7! after which there are two main variations:

a) 1... Kc5 2. Ke6 Kxb4 3. Kd5 Kxa5 4. Kxc4 Ka4 5. Kxc3 Ka5 6. Kb3#

b)  1... Ke4 2. Kd6 Kd4 3. Kc6 Ke4 4. Kc5 Kf4 5. Kxc4 Ke4 6. Kc5#

There are minor sub-variations, but the themes are the same as the ones given: use the opposition to restrict the black king's movement and force it on to a square where White can deliver the discovered check and mate with rook or bishop: for example, in variation 'b', if 1... Ke4 2. Kd6 Kf4 3. Kc5 Ke4 4. Kxc4 Kf4 5. Kd5#. – Long-term subscribers to 'Chess' may remember this puzzle from Hugh Courtney's Christmas Quiz of 2001. I hope you don't mind my including this tribute to the greatest chess quizmaster of them all.

If you want to experiment with the problems with a chess engine providing countermoves (or advising you on possible continuations) you can make use of our JavaScript replayer. Click on the fan symbol below the board to start the engine.


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