Last time out, we saw a variation of the Legal Mate. The game today was an astounding departure from the usual Legal Mate because here White is castled! You know Black’s first move!
The Legal Mate is one of the most famous in chess. This is from Potter-Matthews, 1868. If you know what the Legal mate is, then you know the first move! However, the follow-up is a bit of a twist.
One nice thing about having a lot of your pieces aiming at the opposing king’s castled position is that you just know a mate or mates have to be there…just like here.
This is a position from a not well-known game by the Grandmaster Tolush over Kotov in the 1945 USSR championship. Tolush brilliantly finished off his opponent in a mating attack. Please note Black’s threat on h3!
The key to solving this puzzle is to look at the pawn on g3 and ask yourself, “What does that pawn do?”
In the “old days” the once great chess magazine, Chess Review, used to put an Announce the Mate series of puzzles. This week, we’ll cover some from the 1960s. They would emphasize finding the “best” mate, which meant finding the shortest.