Chess Puzzle of the Week (199)

I was going to show you something else, but this morning someone posted this beautiful problem on Facebook. Many leading coaches now see solving both endgame studies and problems of this nature as an invaluable part of your chess training.

White to play and mate in 2 moves, against any black defence.

This was composed about 100 years ago by Comins Mansfield, one of Britain’s – and the world’s – greatest ever problemists and published in the Morning Post in April 1923. It was dedicated to Mrs Edith Elina Helen Baird, herself a distinguished problemist.

To appreciate this problem fully you have to spot the set play (what would happen if it was Black’s move) as well as finding the solution.

Good luck – and do get in touch if you think you’ve cracked it.