Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shelby Lyman Slips. Again.

Please correct me if I'm wrong! All chess players make mistakes.

A while ago, I discussed a defective chess problem from Shelby Lyman's Chess column. (Kate Gasser added a comment about another Lyman puzzle, in which he shows how White can win Black's queen; yet White has a mate in two.) I was thinking of waging a minor crusade against mistakes in his problems, but I've let a few go since then. A recent Sunday column spurred me to make this comment. Take a look at the position. Lyman's solution is 1. Bxf8. If ... Kxf8, 2. Rh8 mate. And if ... Qxf8, then 2. Rb7 winning black's queen (with the threat of Rb8). But this solution is wrong. After 2. Rb7, black has 2. ... Rb4, so White cannot play 3. Rb8. (Black's queen now protects the black rook.) White should still win, but White will have to work for it.
Let's go back to the problem position. White should play 1. Be5!! Black can delay Rh8 mate by letting white's rook gobble up his pieces on the seventh rank. That's the real solution to this problem.

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