Die Schwalbe

1 problem(s) found in 2452 milliseconds (displaying 1 problem(s)). [PROBID='P1035267'] [download as LaTeX]

1 - P1035267
Vladimir V. Nabokov
Speak, Memory 1947
1. b8=S? waiting
1. ... dxe6+ 2. Sf7#
1. ... d6+ 2. Sd7#
1. ... d5+ 2. Dc7#
1. ... c5 2. Sxd7, Sf7#
1. ... Kd6 2. Dc5#
1. ... Sd4/xf4,xg3,c1,g1 2. Dxd4/Dd4#
But 1. ... c2!

1. Lc2! waiting
1. ... dxe6,Kd5,Kd6 2. Dc5#
1. ... d6,c5 2. Tf5#
1. ... d5 2. Dc7#
1. ... Sd4/xf4,xg3,c1,g1 2. Dxd4/Dd4#
play all play one stop play next play all
Author's comment: ‘I remember one particular problem I had been trying to compose for months. There came a night when I managed at last to express that particular theme. It was meant for the delectation of the very expert solver. The unsophisticated might miss the point of the problem entirely, and discover its fairly simple, ‘thetic’ solution without having passed through the pleasurable torments prepared for the sophisticated one. The latter would start by falling for an illusory pattern of play based on a fashionable avantgarde theme (exposing White’s King to checks), which the composer had taken the greatest pains to “plant” (with only one obscure little move by an inconspicuous pawn to upset it). Having passed through this “antithetic” inferno the by now ultra-sophisticated solver would reach the simple key move (Bishop to c2) as somebody on a wild goose chase might go from Albany to New York by way of Vancouver, Eurasia and the Azores. The pleasant experience of the roundabout route (strange landscapes, gongs, tigers, exotic customs, the thrice-repeated circuit of a newly married couple around the sacred fire of an earthen brazier) would amply reward him for the misery of the deceit, and after that, his arrival at the simple key move would provide him with a synthesis of poignant artistic delight. I remember how slowly I awoke from an unconscious state of concentrated brooding about chess and in front of me, on the large English chess board of bright yellow and scarlet leather, there was finally the immaculate position, like a constellation just formed. It worked. It was alive.'
Yoav Ben-Zvi: The original source is the Russian Novelist's autobiographical "Speak, Memory" 1947 (section 3 of chapter 14). The problem appears as A315 in Chess Problems: Introduction to an Art" by Lipton, Matthews and Rice, which also quotes part of Nabokov's text in its introduction. Nabokov's words on chess problem composition are profoundly beautiful. (2013-07-02)
Keywords: Brian Stephenson Collection (20196)
Genre: 2#
FEN: 3N3B/KP1p2r1/1Qp1N2b/4k1nR/4BR2/2p3P1/4n3/8
Reprints: A315 Chess Problems: Introduction to an Art 1963
Input: Brian Stephenson, 2004-08-12
Last update: A.Buchanan, 2015-12-22 more...
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Brian Stephenson (1)