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 3 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 rook moving to take the pawn on d4? No, Black’s remaining pawn moves.
the knight on e2 moving? No, Black’s king moves to d6.
Black’s potential to escape to d5 needs attention. White’s rook on f4 is in a strong position, and is protected by the knight and the bishop, yet the solution requires it to become vulnerable. Key: Rook to f5. Check. If Black moves to . . .
take the rook, White’s knight takes the pawn on d4. Checkmate.
d6, the bishop moves to f4. Checkmate.
e4, the knight moves to g3. Checkmate.
More chess problems:
1. The Straitjacket. Medium
2. The Samurai. Medium.
4. Wuthering Heights. Difficult.
5. The Harridan. Difficult.
6. Fiddler’s Elbow. Difficult.
7. 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.)