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Olympic-style Problem Challenge (28.07.2012.)

The British Championship started on Monday at North Shields, with the Westcountry’s only interests lying in Keith Arkell (Paignton), Jack Rudd (Bideford) and Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot). They all had Black in Round 1, but Mackle enjoyed this quick win to settle the nerves.

White: C. Whitfield (2020). Black: D. Mackle (2130).

French Defence – Lasker Var. [C12]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne4 8.Qg4 0–0 9.Bd3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 c5 11.Nf3 Qa5 12.Kd2 The only way to protect his c-pawn. 12…c4 Further squeezing the Q-side. 13.Be2 Qa3 14.h4 Nc6 15.Nh2 b5 16.Qg3 a5 17.Ng4 Threatening the h-pawn. 17…Kh7 18.h5 b4 19.Qe3 Bd7 20.Rhb1 Rfb8 21.Bd1 Ra7 22.Nh2 Kg8 23.Nf3 Ne7 24.g4 Rab7 25.cxb4 axb4 26.Ke1 Ra7 27.Qxa3 Rxa3 28.Ng1 Nc6 29.Ne2 Rba8 30.c3 bxc3 31.Rb7 Be8 32.Rc7?? Nb4 White’s bishop is trapped and his Queenside is bound to collapse. 0–1

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Qe5+! then if 1…Kxe5 2.Rxc5 mate, or 1…Rxe5 2.Nf4 mate.

The Olympic Games proper gets under way today, and to get into the spirit of things here is an Olympic themed 2-mover.

The British Chess Problem Society recently challenged the world’s composers to come up with “an imaginative interpretation of the Olympic symbol, the five interlaced de Coubertain rings by means of a chess compositional theme or form”. For the purposes of this tourney composers could represent the rings by means of a circular or closed chain (A-B-C-D-E-A). The chain could be shown by means of either changed play, try play or a series of linked variations. The sequence had to be confined to 5 stages or component elements and be demonstrated in the written solution by means of the letters A-E.

The judge, Cornwall’s Dr. Christopher Reeves, received 22 entries and deemed this one to be by far the best.

Now here is your Olympic challenge – if you can (a) solve the problem and (b) work out how it complies with the Olympic theme as outlined above, there is a £25 prize available by sending me the correct solution with the most lucid explanation. Entries to R. H. Jones, 40, Phillipps Avenue, Exmouth, EX8 3HZ no later than Saturday 11th August. The solution and winner’s name will be published the following Saturday. It’s not easy, but neither is becoming an Olympic champion.

White to play and win in 2 moves.

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