Chess Puzzle of the Week (48)


Last week I left you with this mate in 2 compiled by Richmond Chess Club Vice-President EB Schwann.

One way to approach this sort of problem is to look at the set play: what would happen if it was Black’s move. White would meet d5 with Qe7# and Kd5 with Qb3#, but there’s no immediate mate after either c5 or Kf6. We need to start by considering how to meet Kf6 and spot that if we could play Qh6 in reply it would be mate.

The only route to h6 is via Qd2, which is indeed the solution. 1… d5 is also met by Qh6# (a changed mate from the set play) and 1… Kd5 is now met by another changed mate: Qa2#. Finally, 1… c5 runs into 2. d5# as this is now defended by the queen.

Back at the Roebuck, Ted and Alice had finally solved the problem. “There’s just about time for one more game”, Alice suggested. “The loser buys the final round.” “You’re on”,  Ted replied. “I think it’s my turn to play white.” As closing time approached, this position appeared on the board, with Black, Alice, to move.


“Time to resign, I think”, said Ted. “I’m threatening mate as well as getting another queen. Mine’s a pint of Tribute.” But Alice was having none of this. “Nonsense, Ted! I’m the one who’s mating you. I think you’re going to have to pay up!”

Who was right? What should the result be with best play? You tell me!