Chess: Grandmaster Mestel retains his title

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THE 1992-93 British Chess Solving Championship, sponsored by East West Consultants, began with a mate-in-two starter to which 2,944 entries were received. The 2,064 with correct answers were sent the six positions comprising the First Postal Round.

With mates in two, three and four moves, one endgame study, a self-mate (in which White must perversely force Black to deliver mate) and a help-mate (both sides conspire to reach the mating position), the mixture of variety and sheer difficulty resulted in only 500 sending in their solutions. The 153 with perfect or near perfect answers qualified for the next stage and another six of the best, which whittled their number down to 21 for the grand final.

The showdown resulted in a battle between the grandmasters, Jonathan Mestel and John Nunn, and David Friedgood. Mestel retained his title, but Nunn was edged into third place by Friedgood.

Now it is all starting again with a new position as shown in the diagram.

It is White to play and mate in two. Anyone wishing to participate in the later stages of the competition should send the solution (White's first move only) to British Chess Solving Championship, 76 Lambscroft Avenue, London SE9 4PB postmarked no later than 31 May. Also mention the Independent. In addition to prizes for the final stage, there will be a prize of pounds 50 for the first correct answer randomly selected from entrants to this starter position.