White to play and mate in two moves. (White moves, Black moves, White then checkmates.) There is only one move White can make which will allow certain checkmate of Black in its next move, so the puzzle is finding that first move. That first move can involve any legal move, including checking the Black King or taking a Black piece. When White’s first move, (the “Key”), is discovered, White in its next move can checkmate Black in 5 ways, depending on where Black moves.
Composed by Mark Avery
The solution is below.
Think you have it? Do you think White’s first move is . . .
the queen moving to:
check the king? No, because Black will either block or take the queen.
e1? No, the rook takes the knight.
h1? No, the rook takes the knight.
g2? No, the rook takes the pawn.
d1? No, the rook takes the pawn.
a1? No, the rook takes the knight.
the knight moving to:
h7? No, the King would move to g5.
e7? No, the King would take the bishop.
the king moving to:
take the pawn? No, the king moves to e5.
d6? No, the rook moves to f3.
the bishop moving to:
take the pawn? No, the rook takes the bishop.
e4? No, the rook would take the knight.
e6 or beyond? No, the roo k moves to f3.
Key: King to e6.
If Black moves the
rook to g3, the queen takes it. Checkmate.
rook to f3, the knight moves to d5. Checkmate.
rook to e3, the queen takes the rook. Checkmate.
rook to take the pawn, the queen moves to e3. Checkmate.
rook on h4 anywhere, the queen takes the pawn on g4. Checkmate.
king to f3, the queen moves to f1. Checkmate.
Other chess problems:
The Samurai. Medium.
The Dog’s Collar. Medium.
Wuthering Heights. Difficult.
The Harridan. Difficult.
Fiddler’s Elbow. Difficult.
Laurel & Hardy. Two puzzles with a surprise. ‘Laurel’ is easy; ‘Hardy’ is difficult.
(Try also the blog, ‘If God played chess’ and answer the questions posed.)