Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The twelve puzzles of Xmas

Siers, 1953

Mate in five


ejh said...

I'm out much of today and even if I weren't, the electrician is coming round and so the electricity may be off at home. So apologies if I'm not able to confirm or refute any solutions until much later.

Anonymous said...

I have a gut feeling for 1. Bh1 with the nice line 1. ... Kb1 2. Rg8 Kc2 3. Rg2+ Kd3 4. Ke4 5. Rd2#.

But Black doesn't have to play 3. ... Kd3 (or 2. ... Kc2), and I have a spare move 4.

ejh said...

Not quite, not quite...

Anonymous said...

Aha! Don't use the g-file for the first rook.

1. Bh1 Kb1 2. Rh8 Kc1/2 3. Rh2(+) then:

3. ... Kd3 4. Rg2 Ke4 5. Rd2#
3. ... Kd1 4. Rg5 Ke1 5. Rg1#.

2. ... Ka1 3. Rh2 and 4-5. Rg5-g1#.

Martin Smith said...

I'm pleased with myself for solving that one without reference to the commentators; it produced a different experience of the solution. The "aha!" factor kicks in big time.
I'm still struggling with Levitt and Friedgood's categories (reading the book again as we go along) but I think we have here an example of "Depth" i.e. "Subtlety, complexity. A deep move is one which is not obvious (though not necessarily paradoxical) and for which the point is well hidden..."
So 1.Bh1 has depth because it's not until you play 4.Rg2, and then the discovered check, that you see why it was only that B move that works. "Aha!"
Bit of Geometry, too, in the walk of the Black King up the b1-e4diagonal to meet its fate?
But had to pinch myself that the white pawn formation was possible/legal.
That's the four "Elements" then: Paradox; Depth; Geometry; Flow.

ejh said...

Thannks to all for solution and commentary. Problem originally published in Die Schwalbe: I found it in Nunn, Solving in Style, Gambit, 2002, p. 72.