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?
If White’s bishop on e3 moves anywhere, the Black knight will move to e3. Then depending on how White checks, the Black king can move to either f3 or f5.
If White’s queen moves to . . .
b7 the Black king will take the bishop.
c4 the Black knight will take the bishop.
d3 the Black king will move to f3. If the bishop on e3 then moves anywhere the Black knight will block the queen’s check.
If the White king moves to g2 or f1 the Black knight will take the bishop and ‘Check’.
If the pawn on c2 . . .
moves to c3 the Black king moves to f3 or takes the bishop.
moves to c4 the Black king moves to f3. Then, if the Queen moves to a4 to check, the Black king takes the bishop. Or, if the Black king is checked in any other way it can move to e2.
If either of the other pawns moves, the Black king moves to f3.
Moving the knight on a5 won’t help.
Moving the bishop on b1 won’t help.
If the White knight on g6 moves anywhere the Black knight takes the bishop.
Hint 1. Three pieces will be in danger. One of them must be sacrificed.
Hint 2. The queen moves first.
The key move: The queen moves to d5. Check.
If the black king takes the queen, the pawn on c2 moves to c4. Checkmate.
If the black king takes the bishop, the queen moves to d3. Checkmate.
If the black king takes the pawn, the pawn on c2 moves. Checkmate.
More chess problems:
1. The Straitjacket. Medium
2. The Samurai. Medium.
3. The Dog’s Collar. Medium.
4. Wuthering Heights. Difficult.
5. The Harridan. 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.)