11 May 2012

Colliding with the masters

This one is about three ideas which not only I had.

The first is the flight task which I already mentioned in a post last year. My aim was to compose a threemover miniature where the black has eight flight squares after the key move. The great Shinkman even managed to use a white queen to accomplish this. The keymove of his 1a gives five more flight squares. Depending on Black's play queen and rook change their functions. Unfortunately, there are several duals on move three. You may judge yourself whether and how much this adversely affects the chess problem. 1. Rc2! (threats 2. Rxg2+ 3. Q#) g1=Q 2. Qxg1+ 3. R# is the solution. My 1b is probably easier to solve, but there are no duals: 1. Rc2! ~ 2. Rg2(+) Kf~/Kh~ 3. Rf1/Rhxh2#. I didn't know Shinkman's composition at that time, that's all I can say.

  1aWilliam A. Shinkman  
Checkmate 12/1901

  1bGerson Berlinger  
Der Tagesspiegel, 1994

The Hinterstellung has always been one of my favourite themes. I once had found the very same position that you see in No. 2. Too bad. 1. Rh2! Kxa4 2. Bc6+ Kxa3/Ka5 3. Bc5/Rh5#.

  2William A. Shinkman  
Checkmate 07/1903

The third part of this post has quite a long history. It starts back in the early 1990s when I bought my first PC. Until then, already a bunch of my chess problems had been published. And there was still a lot in the queue or in the making. All this stuff only existed on paper and I started to collect the data in text files and databases. Of course, from time to time, you buy a new personal computer and transfer some of the files that have accumulated to the new machine.

Apparently, you don't always know what stuff you keep throughout the years, right? So, rather by chance, in Summer 2010, I detected some old ChessBase databases with which I had worked in 1995 for the last time! Quite a nice surprise, as some of them contained ideas and composing attempts where I got stuck. I hope I can further develop those rudementary orthodox moremovers and endgame studies. I've already started doing so with the aim to show a march of the white king from one corner to another, e.g. from a1 to h1 or a8 but not to h8. For some months, I experimented with diferent setups and also discussed the subject with the young Dutch problemist Jokim van den Bos who published his best result in Probleemblad in April 2011. I still was not satisfied yet with my own approaches but had less time on my hand to search further. Some months later, though, I made an important discovery. Look at the following moremover which could be an endgame study as well.

  3Jonathan Levitt  
? 1996

You can also find this composition online on his web site. First the black king is driven across the bottom rank. 1. Bd5+! Kg1 2. Bc5+ Kf1 3. Nd2+ Ke1 4. Nf3+ Kd1! 5. Bb3+ Kc1 6. Ba3+ Kb1 7. Nd2+ Ka1. In the second phase the white king must also make a corner to corner king march. 8. Bc2 Rxh7+ 9. Kg8 Rh8+ 10. Kf7 Rh7+ 11. Ke8 Rh8+ 12. Kd7 Rh7+ 13. Kxd8 Rh8+ 14. Kc7 Rh7+ 15. Kb8! Rh8+ 16. Kxa7 Ra8+ 17. Kxa8 Now, there is nothing left that can delay the mate 18. Nb3#.

After having learnt this, it doesn't seem to make much sense to further look for a corner-to-corner king march, does it?! Anyway, that really discouraged me for a while. Nevertheless, I won't give up until I have found my version of that theme, I promise.

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