Chess Puzzle of the Week (149)

Alexander, Frederick Forrest Lawrie
The Fairy Chess Review, Dec 1936
Helpmate in 3

I was standing outside St Mary’s Church, Teddington waiting for a bus on Saturday evening, and thinking about the South African problemist Cecil Alfred Lucas Bull, who had once lived just a few yards away.

When my transport arrived, it wasn’t a bus but a police telephone box which took me back in time to 22 August 1914, where I was able to witness the wedding of Frederick Forrest Lawrie Alexander and Dorothy Mary Richer.

FFL Alexander (no relation to CHO’D Alexander) had a long career as both a player and a problemist, stretching from the 1890s right through to the 1950s. I’ll write a lot more about him in another place another time.

This is a helpmate in three moves. If you’re not used to this type of problem, Black makes the first move and the two players work together to reach a checkmate on White’s third move. So you’re looking for a sequence BWBWBW, finishing in mate.

Rather sweet, I think, and gentler than last week’s puzzle.

Off you go!