We’re looking at the “Anastasia Mate” this week. Yesterday’s problem should have you ready to solve this position from an actual 19th century game won by B. Richter. There are a good many more pieces and pawns on the board, but the theme is still there.
It is enjoyable to hear from readers, especially when emails come from other countries. Siegfried Hornecker wrote in to respond to our 4 knight promotions problem and to inform us that there were problems with more than four.. One reader cited Chernev’s Chessboard Magic having a 5 knight task, but our European correspondent came up with more than that! In fact, he has a very entertaining free e-book on this at http://chessproblem.net/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=840. Also writing us was Steven Dowd, who lets us know that the Leow composition from the 1846 Illustrated London News had dual solutions, not a good thing by modern standards. Rather than just point out the error, Mr. Dowd then corrected it by putting a White pawn on e2 when the solution would be 1. Nh6! Ke5 2. Bc1 2. .. e3 3. Kb3 Kd4 4. Bb2# 2... Kd5 3. Bb2 Ke5 4. Kc4#. Much thanks to both these gentlemen! Mr. Dowd also sent along today’s problem. It’s a mate in four. He points out that composed problems can have practical applications. This one does. It’s an example of the Anastasia mate. Since we’re getting back to practical positions, this composition is a nice transition to our week’s theme on this type of mate. Have fun!
We’ve been looking at a good many composed problems of late, and we will be ending that very soon to return to more practical game positions. Thus, our last look, from one we found in British Chess Magazine, this week will be one of those “drive you crazy” Friday problems. The diagrammed position is a composition by V. Dolgov in Shakhmaty v. SSSR in 1986. It requires some explaining. Based on past experience, the first thing to point out is that White is moving UP THE BOARD. The Black king is not in check. This is a “task problem.” The composer set out to prove that something special could happen in one of the variations along the way to a win. You, then, have two challenges: to find the win and to find the variation that does something very unusual with four of the moves (that’s a hint of sorts). If you take a close look at the bottom right hand corner, that will surely help you find the first move and will give you a clue to others.
While putting together the last puzzle of the year by taking the last puzzle from an 1846 Illustrated London News, the natural question was “What was the first puzzle of that year?” So, I looked! It was composed by an American champion, Charles Stanley. It is primitive by today’s standards, but it’s still fun to try these oldies.
As this is the last chess puzzle of 2013, here’s a last chess puzzle of 1846, courtesy of the Illustrated London News of 1846. It’s a mate in four by Von S. Leow. There isn’t much to move, so you’re in the ballpark for finding a solution.
One of the big questions amateurs ask when looking at all these mating attacks presented here is “How do you get to these positions?” Here’s a game that will show you one way it’s done. Grandmaster Michael Adams defeats G. Morrison in a very instructive game.