16 September 2011

Sherlock Holmes travels to Rotterdam

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were travelling by train from Basel to Rotterdam for the problemists' congress. They had not been in Germany long when Watson spied a slip of paper on the floor. Written on it was: "Ka8 Bg5,h7 Kd8 Be7 h#2 1.Ke8". Watson took out his pocket chess set and soon said "There's something amiss here. 1.Ke8 is wrong; the correct solution is 1.Kc8 Bf4 2.Bd8 Bb7#. (see diagram 1) Holmes said nothing.


A few hours later, when they were already in Holland, they came back from the restaurant-car and Watson found another slip of paper with a chess problem on it: "Kc4 Pa6 Kc8 Pc5,c6,c7 h#3 1.Kb7". "Again there's something wrong," said Watson immediately. (see diagram 2) "1.Kb7 is a move into check and so impossible. Maybe it's another mistake?" And before long he said: "Yes indeed, you can mate by 1.Kb8 a7+ 2.Kb7 Kxc5 3.Ka6 a8=Q#". Curious. What's your view, Holmes?


Do you have an idea what Holmes answered? Click here to find out.

(After the text in the book Eigenartige Schachprobleme by Werner Keym, page 165. All compositions by Barry P. Barnes, Kl├╝ver Memorial Tourney 1990-93, 1st/2nd Prize.)

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