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.

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

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice