Chess

We haven't had a pure, White to play and mate, problem in this space for a while, so here's one retrospectively worth waiting for. Composed by the German problemist Walter Eiche in 1948, it is mate in three.

, , , , , , n n nA,h, , cH, z N n ,H, n ,H, B nH , , ,F, , ,GC ,

The first thing to notice is that Black is very short of moves. Only the g7-pawn can move at all. If White could pass, there would be an easy answer since 1...g6 allows a neat double-check and mate with 2.Bd2! Kd4 3.Bc3! White's difficulty is that any opening move disturbs that pattern.

Not only does one look in vain for a way to preserve the mating configuration, but the second stage of frustration is usually to look for a similar mating pattern elsewhere.

It is easy to convince oneself that the composer's intention must be something on the lines of 1.Rd8 g6 2.Kd7 Kd4 3.Kxe6 mate. Only it's not mate. Black's king sidles off to c5 and the solver goes back to the start.

The next useless idea comes on seeing that Nxh4 threatens Ng6 mate. But what can White do after 1...Kf4? Nothing in the time allotted, unfortunately.

The solver should soon be reduced to the basic template: 1.something g6 2.something Kd4 3.mate. All we have to do is find the somethings that allow a mate at move three. So put the black pawn on g6 and king on d4, and find three white moves to give mate.

Easy, Rc1, e5 and Rc4. Only the pieces don't fit together. You get as far as 1.Rc1 g6 and then can't play e5. The true answer is beautifully hidden. 1.Ra1! and now: 1...Kd4 2.e5! g6 3.Rd1 or 1...g6 2.Ra4!! Kd4 3.Bc3 mate. It's almost the same as the set mate, but the pinned b-pawn and 90-degree reflection make it very hard to spot.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices