Chess Puzzle of the Week (132): Solution

Norbert Geissler
2 Pr Benko MT 2020
H#6 (b) Ka5 – b5

Last week’s helpmate in 6 solves like this (remember that Black moves first):

  1. d4 Kf3 2. d3 Ke4 3. d2 Kd5 4. d1B Kxd6 5. Be2 Kc5 6. Ba6 b4#

Then, starting again, but this time with the black king on b5:

  1. a3 b4 2. Kc4 b5 3. a2 b6 4. a1B b7 5. Be5 b8Q 6. Kd4 Qb4#

To quote the judge of the award, Christopher Jones:

“A minor readjustment of the position of the bK activates a very different sequence, in which … b4 becomes the first move and is followed by a Rundlauf involving promotion to queen. The especially delightful feature of this problem is the exchange of functions of bPa4 and bPd5. Each remains as a static self-block in one solution and promotes to an actively blocking bishop in the other. One ideal mate, one model mate, and only six pieces used – very fine work!”