Wednesday, September 19, 2007

White To Play, & Mate!

Thanks for Angus to sending this delightful puzzle by T. Nissl (1910) in to the blog for publication.


Anonymous said...

Is this definitely the position? At the risk of one of these being the solution 1. Bf6 Rd3 2. Be5 and 1. Bh4 Re1 2. Bf2 both seem to do the trick.


Anonymous said...


1 Bf6 Rd3 2 Be5 does win but there is 2... Rxb3 and Black will live on for longer than he ought to.

After 1 Bh4 Re1 2 Bf2, White isn't threatening Bb6+, if that is what was intended, as it would obscure the rook's line of sight.

There is an elegant mate to be found...


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant 1. Bh4 Rc1 2. Bg3 (when 2... Rc1 3. Bc7+ is a trivial win)

But still if a puzzle's going to be described "white to play and win" it does rather imply that there aren't multiple solutions...

Anonymous said...

If 1 Bh4 Rd1 2 Bg1 then ...Rc1.

You are right and I'm sorry I didn't say. Tom, please could you change the title or add a note to say that it's mate in six?


Campion said...

I believe that the (aesthetic) idea is the line

1 Bh4 Rd1 2 Bg3 Rc1 3 Bf4 Rc2 4 Bg5

and now Black can't keep guard of d2 and d8.

Does this work? and was the original problem published as a `mate in #' or as a `white to play and win'? (If the latter then there are too many cooks, where White `only' wins the rook.)

Anonymous said...


You have it. After Bg5, Black's rook can no longer prevent a bishop check and mate... The bishop has out-manoeuvred the opposing rook by completing a circle and ending up in its starting position.

The puzzle comes from 'Secrets of Spectacular Chess' by Levitt and Friedgood which does specify that it is mate in six. I'm afraid I neglected to inform Tom, who posted the item, of this.

Hope you enjoyed the puzzle all the same.