I’m thinking of an internationally famous and well respected grandmaster, also an author of several books, born in 1937, and a long time resident of Surbiton. You don’t know his name? Shame on you! His name is John Rice, and, for 60 years, he’s been one of the leading figures in the world of chess composition. Amongst many other things, he’s a former president of FIDE’s Permanent Commission Chess Compositions. In 2015 he was awarded the title of International Grandmaster for chess composition, only the fourth composer in the UK to have been awarded this title. (His son Stephen is equally distinguished in a very different field, that of mediaeval vocal music. There are some of us who care about early music as well as chess problems.)
The January 2019 issue of the British Chess Magazine publishes two original problems by John Rice, both suitable as entry level puzzles for those as yet unfamiliar with the art of chess problems.
This is a two-mover: White to play and mate in 2 moves. There are a lot of near misses, but only one way to force checkmate next move. Even if you’ve never solved a chess problem of this nature before, have a go: it’s not all that difficult.
Last week I left you with a puzzle submitted by Eamon Rashid-Farokhi, who was Black in this position from an online game.
Eamon won by playing 1… Qxa3 2. Bxa3 Bxa3+ 3. Kb1 Nc3+ followed by Nxb5, leaving him with a winning material advantage.