Sunday, January 21, 2007
The first time through this "checkmate" problem I made the same mistake that the author made: 1. Rf8+ Rxf8 2. Bc4+ Kg7 3. e8=N+ Rxe8 4. Qf7#. I had just seen an underpromotion and was thinking along those lines (no pun intended).
That was a month ago. I went through it again last week when I was taking a break from the composed checkmates. Seeing this problem again I was stumped. I thought Rf8+ Qxf8! busts the variation, and I was looking to sacrifice the pawn but did not see that either. Fritz confirmed it - not a checkmate problem. Something about it seemed intriguing though. Take a look at this alternate position:
Now e8=Q+ Rxe8 Rc7 essentially forks c1 and f7, threatening mate with either the Bishop or Queen. The awful Qc1+ Rxc1 is the only reply that isn't a quick mate. I don't know of any pawn promotion/clearance sacrifices that are followed by forking two squares with a Rook.
2.Bxb5 is followed by Qe3+ check
3.Kh8 is escaping form all the complications and winning the game.
after 3. ...Qe1+ 4.Bf1
Just two options are there for black in order to delay the mate
a)4. ...Qxf1+ 5.Qxf1 Rb8 6.e8=Q+ Rxe8 7.Rxa7 threatening mate Qf7 also reply to Rf8 by Qc4 and if black plays Re1 then simply captures
b)4. ...Qh6 5.Rg7+ Qxg7 6.Bc4+
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