The British Chess Problem Society
Retro-Opposition and Other Retro-Analytical Chess Problems by T. R. Dawson
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This study, edited by G. P. Jelliss, and containing all of T. R. Dawson's pioneering work on Retro-Opposition, together with some of his best retro-analytical work of other types, is based on a small manuscript booklet, Seventy Five Retros by Dawson, dated 1st November 1928, found in the British Chess Problem Society Archive. It was published as a printed A4-size booklet in August 1989, and reset in February 1997, but is now available only in this internet version.

In the Introduction Dawson wrote: “The 75 retrograde analyses in this collection comprise all the best of my published work in this field since the publication of Retrograde Analysis in 1915”; and “In the motto problems the foundations of the theory of retrograde opposition are laid and all the known types fully illustrated”. The 68 problems from the original MS are marked: ¤ The 7 problems not included appear in Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters: see note to problem D1082.

A further 64 retroanalysis problems by Dawson are included, plus 3 Fairy Retros at the end, making 135 in all. Following the arrangement of the manuscript booklet, the problems are given in chronological order of composition. The bold-printed D-numbers are those assigned to his compositions by the composer himself and the first date quoted is that of composition. In some cases this date is many years before publication.

A note on T. R. Dawson's Retro-Analysis Compositions:

The index of his collection (in the British Chess Problem Society Library) lists 849 retros,
classified under the code 314 as follows:
3141 Retros ‘per se’ (88)
3142 Retractors (65)
3143 P×P e.p. (251)
3144 Illegal castling (134)
3145 Illegal e.p. (7)
3146 Constructive, i.e. Adding of pieces (78)
3147 Correction of illegalities (10)
3148 Retro-Opposition (111)
3149 Partial Analysis (26)
3140 Conditional (78)
The index to Dawson's retros has 78 gaps, corresponding to blank diagrams (including 23 in the retro-opposition section) so other examples may yet come to light.

Other works containing selections of T. R. Dawson's retroanalytical compositions include: Retrograde Analysis 1915 (68 by Dawson) Caissa's Wild Roses 1935 (29) Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 1937 (36) Caissa's Fairy Tales 1947 (14) Schach ohne Grenzen : Chess Unlimited by K. Fabel & C. E. Kemp 1969 (12)

Notes on Abbreviations and Notations:

An asterisk (*) attached to moves in the retro-opposition studies indicates the thematic tempo change.

K = King, Q = Queen, R = Rook, B = Bishop, S = Knight, P = Pawn
† = Check, ‡ = Mate, - = Moves to, × = Takes, 00/000 = Castles K/Q-side, e.p. = En Passant

The editor has used the stipulation 'White wins' when-ever the illegal try play is of different length to the solution.


(From notes by Dawson in Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement xii 1930)

Retro-analysis consists in examining how a given position arose from the usual game array by strictly legal play — whether to determine who moved last, what the last moves were, what position or positions must have existed in the past, what disturbance of given men was forced, or how many moves some man or men made of necessity.

The fundamentals of the analytical method lie in tracing captures (especially Pawn-captures), checks and check eliminations, irreal regions (where men could not legally stand), and states of retrostalemate (where no last move is available) and perpetual retrogression (where last moves repeat in a cycle or in a futile inability to resolve a closed region). The retro moves (i.e. retractions) may be conditioned by positional motives — opening lines, unblocking squares, cancelling a guard to free a King; or by time motives — racing to free a man against impending retrostalemate.

The information gained in such an analysis may be applied to legalise P×P e.p.; to illegalise P×P e.p. and castling; to justify turn to play; or form of retracted moves, or situation of an added or altered man; or to correct an illegality.


The history of retro-analysis falls into four periods. The initial period, from about 1858 to 1906, was non-systematic and rarely of high quality. It may be associated with F. C. Collins, J. Jespersen, S. Loyd and T. B. Rowland, though at least 100 others made occasional experiments. Five types — correction of illegalities, analytical retractors, e.p. keys, illegal castling, and partial analysis — were discovered.

The second period, 1907-9, covers the studies of A. Batori, W. Hundsdorfer and A. Troitzky, with a few isolated works of others, on e.p. keys. The three great workers thoroughly mastered retro-technique and revealed all the main outlines of e.p. theory in a large number of profound studies. The subject of retro-opposition was discovered.

The third period, 1911-15, comprises the early part of the writer's work, up to the Retro Book. This period saw e.p. theory completed in most of its fine detail, and the introduction of illegal e.p. analysis and synthetic tries.

Modern developments to date have brought H. A. Adamson, G. C. Alvey, C. M. Fox, V Onitiu, J. Schlarko and J. Sunyer into prominence as masters, while Dr Niels Høeg, who had contributed occasional fine studies in both the second and third periods, now gave us a long series of problems of remarkable quality. Many more casual workers have done good work in recent years. The modern period has seen the subject of synthetic tries rapidly widened, and the main outlines of retro-opposition drawn by H. A. A. and the writer. The Høeg retractor has been developed to a position of importance.

Of course, much has happened since, but that is another story. Dawson's pioneering work should be known to all devotees of retroanalysis.

The dedicatees of problems D 1981 and D 1837, A. Lundkvist and F. Lindgren, were successive editors of the chess column in the Swedish newspaper Eskilstuna Kuriren in which many of Dawson's retros were first published. Most other dedicatees are mentioned above.

To assist newcomers to retroanalysis the editor gives here a more detailed outline of the arguments used in solving the first problem below:

(a) Ps e7, g7 show that Bf8 was captured at home. (b) The White Ps show that the other two missing Black men were captured by Pd2×e3 and Pg2×h3. (c) A Black P is missing. This must have promoted to get into position to be captured, or to replace a captured man. It must have come from the a or b file, via c2, to promote at c1, since other possibilities require more captures (to account for the Black P configuration) than there are missing White men. (d) Sequence of events at c1 must have been: 1: d2×e3; 2: Bc1 (now at g5) moves out via d2, c3; 3: c2-c3; 4: Pb3×c2 and promotes at c1; 5: Promoted piece goes to h3 for g2×h3. (e) It takes three moves to retract Bh7 to f1, but then after retracting g2×h3 how did the White Rook escape from h1? It is necessary to uncapture the R at e4 — any other square and Black runs out of Pawn moves before White can get Bf1, Rg1 to retract g2×h3 and provide Black with a piece to move.

D 445 (undated) ¤
Teplitz-Schönau Congress Book 26, p.482 (1923)
(version Pittsburgh Leader 8 vi 1913)

Black plays and helps White to mate in one

1.Pe4×Pf4 e.p. Bc2‡. The last moves must have been 1.f2-4 f5×Re4 2.Rg4-e4, preceded (the move order can be varied a little) by: 2....f6-5 3.Rg1-g4 f7-6 4.Be4-h7 h5-4 5.Bg2-e4 h6-5 6.Bf1-g2 h7-6 7.g2×h3, etc. Obstruction of passage square f3 to Bishop of same colour.

D 801 (15 vii 1913) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 752 (20 xii 1925)

Black plays and helps White mate in 2

1.Pf4×Pe4 e.p. Se4 2.b4×c3 S×c4‡. Last moves 1.e2-4 e4×Rd3 2.Rd1-d3 fS×Re4 3.Re3-e4 f6-5 4.Rd3-e3 f7-6 5.Rd2-3 f5-4 6.d3-4 g6×f5 7.Kd4-c5 Bc4-b5, etc. Clearance of e4-e3 for Rook of same colour.

D 820 (24 x 1913) ¤
Pittsburgh Post 560 (22 xii 1923)
(version L 'Italia Scacchistica 1402, xi 1917)

Black plays and helps White mate in 1

1.Pc4×Pd4 e.p. Kd4‡. Last moves 1.d2-4 Rf5-f6 2.Sf6-g4† Rd5-f5 3.Sf5-h4† Rd3-d5, etc. Twice deferred clearance of d4-3 for adverse Rook.

D 897 (5 iv 1914) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 434 (10 ii 1917)
Caissa's Wild Roses 118 (1935)
Dedicated to A. A. Troitzky

White wins

1.Re2 for 2.Kf2‡. Not 1.00‡ because Black's last move was Kb/c2-c1, preceded by (i) Ke/f2-e1† or (ii) d2/e2/f2-d4/e3/f3†, when WK moved to let QR in to h1/2, or (iii) g2-3†, when Rh1 moved to let Rh2.

D 918 (12 v 1914)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 447 (10 iii 1917)

White mates in 3

1.Rb5 R×g6† 2.B×g6†. Not 1....00 because of opposition between 2Qs and Black Knight h1, compelling K or KR move.

D 1026 (20 iv 1915) ¤
Natal Mercury (10 vii 1915)
Caissa's Wild Roses 111 (1935)

White mates in 2

1.Pg5×Pf5 e.p.†. Last moves 1.f7-5 RfS-e5† 2.Be3-f4† Bd4-h8†, etc. Obstruction of passage square f6 to adverse Bishop.

D 1027 (25 iv 1915) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 381 (7 x 1916)

White mates in 3

1.Pf5×Pe5 e.p.† K×e4 2.B×g6†. Last moves 1.e7-5 e5×Qd6† 2.Qb4-d6† BdS-f7† 3.Sf7-h8 .... Obstruction of e6 to adverse Bishop.

D 1082 (29 vi 1915) ¤
Pittsburgh Gazette-Times 1915 (19 xii 1915)
Caissa's Wild Roses 122 (1935)

Add White Queen so that White may mate in 1

Add Qc2 for Qb1‡. Last moves Kb1-a1, Q×Sc2†, etc. Relief of Black retrostalemate by uncapture on checking line.

Seven other problems with the stipulation ‘Add White Queen so that White may mate in 1’ in the Seventy-Five Retros MS appear together as problems 97-103 in Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters (1937), so are not reproduced here.

[This omission was partly for copyright reasons, since the Dover publication Five Classics of Fairy Chess (1973) which includes CWRC was still in print.]

D 1089 (23 x 1915)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 715 (21 xii 1918)

Add a Black Knight in a corner so White may mate in 1

Add Sh8, S×h3‡. Last moves 1.Sg6-h8 Bc2-d1 2.Sf4-g6 Bd1-c2 3.Se2-f4 Bc2-d1 4.Sc1-e2 Ka1-b1 5.Sa2-c1† Bd1-c2 6.Qc1-a3 Kb2-a1 7.QcS-c1† etc. Not Sa8, opposition on Bc2/d1 wrong. Not Sa1 as Sc2-a1 retrostalemate.

D 1116 (8 iii 1916) ¤
Teplitz-Schönau Congress Book 22 p.480 (1923)
Caissa's Wild Roses 114 (1935)

Black plays and helps White mate in 1

1.Pb4×Pc4 e.p. Sc4‡. Last moves 1.c2-4 h3-2 2.Qc3-c5 h4-3 3.Rc4-c6 h5-4 4.Rc5-c7 Rc6-c8. Telescopic clearance.

D 1134 (13 i 1917) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 582 (21 vii 1923)

Blundering Horsemen

White mates in 2

1.PgS×h6. Black may not 1....000 because of K or R tempo-move, e.g. retract 1.Sf7-h6 Sb3-a1 2.Sd8-f7 Sd2-b3 3.Sf7-d8 Sb1-d2 4.Sd8-f7 Sc3-b1 5.Sf7-dS Sa4-c3 6.Sd8-f7 Sb6-a4 7.Sf7-d8 Sc8-b6 8.Sd8-f7 Se7-c8 9.Sf7-d8 Sg8-e7 10.Sd8-f7 Sh6-g8 11.Rb8-a8* Sf7-h6 12.d4-3 Sh8-f7 13.Sf7-d8 h7-8(S) 14.Sd8-f7 h6-7, etc. Single opposition of Sa1/Sh6 at f7.

This is the first “Motto Problem”.

In the printed booklet the key route: h7-h8-f7-h6-g8-e7-c8-b6-a4-c3-b1-d2-b3-a1 of the promoted knight to a1 was drawn on the diagram.

D 1138 (12 i 1917)
Eskilstuna Kuriren version 461 (7 iv 1917)

White mates in 2

1.Kd2. Not 1.000 because of single opposition in Be8 unpromoting at a8 for Pb6×a7 against Bb8-a7.

D 1140 (13 i 1917)
Funkschach 91 (viii 1925)

White mates in 2

1.Rd1†. Not 1.000† because of single opposition between Bg8-h7 and Rf7-f6 in allowing Black K to f7 to free White Q.

D 1141 (14 i 1917) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 617 (9 xii 1923)

The Check in Passing

White mates in 2

1.Kd2. Not 1.000 because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Kh5-h4 [Tempo*] 2.Kh4-h5 Sf6-b7 3.Kh5-4 Sg8-f6† 4.Kh4-h5 and Sg8 easily passes to e2, freeing Se4. Single opposition of Sh7/Kh4 at f6/h5.

D 1142 (14 i 1917)
Fairy Chess Review 4871 (viii 1941)

White mates in 2

1.Rd1†. Not 1.000† because of single opposition among Kd8-c8, Bc8-d7-e8, Ra8-a7 and Bb8-a7 in trying to open b8 for Sa6.

D 1143 (15 i 1917) ¤
Magyar Sakkvilág F7 (iv 1922)
To the Memory of Breyer Gyula

The Knight in Pawn

White mates in 2

1.Kd2† Not 1.000† because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sc5-b7 Bd1-e2 2.Se4-c5 Be2-d1 3.Sd2-e4 Bd1-e2 4.Sf1-d2 Rb1-a1* 5.e2×Sf1(S). Single opposition of Be2/Sb7 at e2 at moment of unpromotion of Knight.

D 1144 (17 i 1917) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1734 (5 iii 1927)

The Obstinate Priest

White mates in 1

1.Kf2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bb8-a7 Rh5-h6 2.Bc7-b8 Rh6-h5 3.Bd8-c7 Rh5-h6 4.Be7-d8 Rh6-h5 5.Bf8-e7 Rg1-h1* 6.e7×Qf6 Qf2-f6 7.b7-6 f6-7 8.c7-6 f5-6 9.f6×Sg5 Sh3-g5 10.f7-6 g5-6 11.h5-4 g6×Sh7, etc. Single opposition of Rh6/Ba7 in f8/h5 to block Ph4.

D 1145 (20 i 1917)
L'Italia Scacchistica 2114 (xii 1919)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of single opposition between Re6-e5 and Rf6-f7 in allowing Ke5-f4, Rf6-e6, Kd4-e5, etc.

D 1146 (24 i 1917) ¤
L 'Eclaireur du Soir 612 (26 xii 1924)
Dedicated to Marcel Desprès


White mates in 1

1.Ke2‡. Not 1.000‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rf6-f7 Bg8-h7 2.Rf7-f6 Rb1-a1* 3.Rf6-f7 Bb3-g8 4.Rf7-f6 Bd1-b3 5.Rf6-f7 Be2-d1 6.Re6-f6 and Sh6 goes to g1, Qh3 to f1, e2, .... Single opposition compounded of Sh6, Bh7/Rf7 at f7, f6.

D 1151 (1 ii 1917)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 789 (7 vi 1919)

White mates in 2

1.Rf1† Ke8 2.R×g8‡. Not 1.00† because of single opposition in Black K passing d7 or 8 against White Qc1/d1.

D 1155 (11 ii 1917)
Fairy Chess Review 4936 (x 1941)

White mates in 3

1.Kf2 e4 2.Rh1†. Not 1.000 etc because of opposition of Sh7/f8 passing Be8/d7/c8 and Rb8/c8.

D 1156 (12 ii 1917) ¤
Magyar Sakkvilág F185 (ix 1927)

A Tower in Two Ways

White mates in 1

1.Rc2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Re6-f6 Sh7-f8 2.Rf6-e6 Rg1-h1* 3.Re6-f6 Sf6-h7 4.a7-6 and Sf6 goes to d2 or c3, etc. Single opposition of Sf8/Rf6 with double block e6/f6.

D 1157 (12 ii 1917)
Pittsburgh Gazette-Times 3044 (7 vii 1918)
Memorial to D. J. Densmore 41 (1920)

White mates in 3

1.Ke2 d4 or B×c7 2.Ra1†. Not 1.00 etc because of opposition in Sa7/c8 passing Bd8/e7/f8 at e7.

D 1158 (12 ii 1917)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1206 (11 iii 1922)

The Double Crossing

(i) White mates in 1
(ii) a3/c7 at a4/c6 and same

In both 1.000† as K/R need not move against the double opposition in the ‘try’:— 1.Se6-g7 Bc1-d2 2.Sc5-c6 Bd2-c1 3.Sb3-c5 Bg8-h7 4.Sc1-b3 Bh7-g8 5.c2-1(S) Bc1-d2 6.b3×Qc2 d2-3 7.b4-3 Qe4-c2 8.b5-4 Qe5-e4 9.a4-3 Qh8-e5 10.a5-4 Bg8-h7 11.a6-5 h7-8(Q) 12.a7-6 h6-7 one turn too late. But instead retract: (i) 5....Bg8-h7 6.b3×Qc2 Qd1-c2 7.b4-3 Qa4-d1 8.b5-4 Qd4-a4 and as the try, but White's KBg8 is now properly placed. (ii) 5....Bg8-h7 6.b3×Sc2 Sa3-c2 7.b4-3 c2-3 8.b5-4 Bc3-d2 9.c7-6 Bh8-c3 etc — in time.

D 1160 (9 iii 1917) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 597 (15 ix 1923)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 122 (1937)

The Captive Queen

White mates in 3

1.Kd2 Ba7 2.e8(Q)†, 1....else 2.Ra1†. Not 1.00 because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rf6-f7 Rg1-h1* 2.Ba7-b8 Qf7-g8 3.Bb8-a7 Qe8-f1 .... Double opposition of Qg8/Rf7, Qg8/Bb8 at f7, e8.

D 1161 (16 iii 1917) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1271 (9 ix 1922)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 154 (1937)

The Double Exit

White mates in 2

1.Sd3††. Not 1.00† because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rc7-c6 Qb5-a6 2.Rc6-c7 Qa6-b5 3.Rc7-c6 Qa7-a6 4. Rc6-c7 Qb8-a7 5.Rc7-c6 Rg1-h1* 6.Rc6-c7 Qc7-b8 7.f7-6 Qd8-c7, etc, unpinning Sb4 by Q to c3. Single opposition of Qa6/Rc6 with double block at c6/c7.

D 1412 (14 iv 1917)
Fairy Chess Review 6599 (xii 1945)

White mates in 1

1.Kd2‡. Not 1.000‡ because of tempo to alter opposition in Bh5 passing Rf5/4 or Re6/7 on way to unpromote at a/c8.

D 1426 (11 ii 1918) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 978 (2 x 1920)
Dedicated to Dr Niels Høeg

White mates in 3

1.Pg5×Pf5 e.p.† Sc2 2.B×c2†. Last moves 1.f7-5 c2×Bb3† 2.Kf5-g6 K-g8 3.Q-h6†, etc. Line cover of b3-g8 to allow uncapture against adverse King.

D 1435 (17 ii 1918) ¤
Cas 346 (19 xi 1922)

White mates in 1

1.Pc5×Pb5 e.p.‡. Last moves 1.b7-5 h2-3 2.b6×Ra5 etc. Not 1.b6-5, leading to perpetual retro. Block of passage square b6 to Pawn of same colour.

D 1464 (24 xi 1918) ¤
Western Daily Mercury 2419 (14 ii 1919)
Caissa's Fairy Tales 58 (1947)

Add White Knight so that White may play and mate in 1

Add Sb3 and Qa5‡. Not S on any Black square, e.g. d2 (for c3‡) because of no tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bh7-g6 Sf3-d2 2.Bg8-h7 Sh4-f3 3.Bh7-g8 Sg6-h4 4.Bg8-h7 Sh8-g6 5.Bh7-g8 [Tempo*] 6.Bg6-h7 h7-8(S) 7.Bh5-g6 h6-7 8.Bg6-h5 h5-6, etc. Single opposition of added S/Bg6 at h7 at moment of unpromotion.

D 1466 (25 xi 1918) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 976 (2 x 1920)
Dedicated to Dr Niels Høeg

Remove one White man so White may play and mate in 1

Remove White Q and Rg8‡. Relief of Black retrostalemate by allowing uncapture on line of check; last moves Kg-h8, R×Bg4† ....

D 1467 (27 xi 1918) ¤
L'Alfieri di Re F32 (20 ii 1922)

Add White B so that White may play and mate in 1

Add Bd7 for e7‡. Not Bc8 for lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sf7-h8 Bd7-c8 2.Sh6-f7 Bc8-d7 3.Sg8-h6 Bd7-c8 4.Se7-g8 [Tempo*] 5.Sc8-e7 and passes on to h5, freeing Rg6. Single opposition of Bc8/Sh8 at c8.

D 1471 (5 xii 1918) ¤
Chess Amateur F37 (vi 1920)
Caissa's Wild Roses 113 (1935)
Lovingly inscribed to my wife

White mates in 1

1.Pe5×Pd5 e.p.‡. Last moves 1.d7-5 Sd5-e3† 2.Se3-g4† g4×Sf5† 3.Sd6-f5†. Block of passage square d6 to S of same colour.

D 1483 (27 i 1919) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 977 (2 x 1920)
Caissa's Wild Roses 105 (1935)
Dedicated to Dr Niels Høeg

White retracts last move and mates in 1

Retract 1.Bc3-h8 (and Bg7‡) preceded by Kg7-f8 Bb2/b4×c3†, etc.

D 1501 (24 iii 1919)
Fairy Chess Review 5017 (xii 1941)

White mates in 2

1.Kd2†. Not 1. 000† because of single opposition in Sg8 unpinning Rf2, this Rook to reach e8, against Bd8-e7-f8.

D 1502 (25 iii 1919) ¤
Národni Listy R1 (22 vii 1928)

The Double Oscillator - I

White mates in 2

1.Ke2†. Not 1.00† because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.f7×Se6 Sg5-e6 2.Kc1-b1 Sf3-g5 3.Rd2-d3 Rg1-h1* 4.Rd3-d2 Sd2-f3 5.e6×S/Qd5 Sb1-d2 6.Rd2-d3 Ra1-2, etc. Single opposition compounded of uncaptured Knight against Rd3 and Kb1 at d2.

D 1507 (10 v 1919) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1016 (18 xii 1920)

The Knight's Dilemma

White mates in 1

1.Rc1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sb6-a8 Sa6-b8 2.Sc8-b6 Sb8-a6 3.Sd6-c8 Sa6-b8 4.Se4-d6 Bf4-d2 5.Sd2-e4† Be5-f4 6.g6-5 Bh8-e5 7.g5-4 h7-8(B) 8.g4-3 h6-7 9.h7×Qg6 Qe8-g6 10.g6-5 e7-8(Q) 11.g7-6 e6-7 12.g5-4 e5-6 13.g6-5 e4-5 and Black is in retrostalemate. By retracting 3....Rg1-h1* instead of Sa6-b8 we have 14.a6-5 e3-4 15.e4×d3, etc. Single opposition of Sb8/Sa8 at a6/d2, blocking Pa5.

D 1510 (11 v 1919)
Fairy Chess Review 7062 (xii 1946)

White wins

1.Ke2† Rb1 2.R×b1‡. Not 1.000‡ as last moves, apart from K/QR may have been 1.Rb6-b5 Ba7-b8 2.Rb5-b6 Bb8-a7† 3.Rc5-b5 Ba7-b8 4.Rc4-d5 Bb8-a7† 5.Rd4-c4 Ba7-b8, etc, in perpetual retro.

D 1514 (16 v 1919) ¤
Tidskrift F2 (v 1924)

The Twice Pin

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Se5-g6 Bc1-d2 2.Sc4-eS Rg1-h1* 3.Sd2-c4 a2-3 4.Sf1-d2 Se2-g3 5.Sg3-f1† Bd2-c1 6.h5×Rg4 Sc1-e2 7.h6-5 Sd3-c1 8.h7-6 Sf2-d3 9.Sh5-g3, etc. Single opposition of Bd2/Sg6, d2.

D 1515 (19 v 1919) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 864 (7 ii 1920)
In Memory of J. Allander

The Triple Home-coming

White mates in 2

1.Kd2†. Not 1.000† because of retrostalemate after trying to retract: 1.Bd5-g2 Ba7-b8 2.Bc4-d5 Bb8-a7 3.Ba6-c4 Ba7-b8 4.Bb7-a6 Bb8-a7 5.Bc8-b7 Ba7-b8 6.b7-6 Bd4-a7 7.Kg1-h1 Bc3-d4 8.Kh1-g1 Bd2-c3 9.Kg1-h1 Bc1-d2 10.Kh1-g1 d2×Be3 11.Bd4-e3 c5-6 12.Bf6-d4 c4-5 13.Be7-f6 c3-4 14.Bf8-e7, White in retrostalemate, one move too late for e7×Sd6 to free K-corner.

D 1516 (21 v 1919)
Fairy Chess Review 7490 (xii 1947)

White mates in 1

Opposition in obtaining Be2 to f1, Pe2×Bd3, Bd3 to c8, Pd7×Se6 and Se6 to d1 to unpin Bb2 to c1 for Qd1-b3. So 1.Kf4‡. Not 1.00‡.

D 1527 (31 viii 1919) ¤
Natal Mercury 2953 (14 i 1921)
Caissa's Wild Roses 104 (1935)

White retracts last move and mates in 1

Set: Sd6‡. Retract 5e5-f7 and Bd3‡. Not retraction of K to e7, e8, g8 or of Bf2 to g1, all pinning Sf7. Not P×S, b5, b7, d7 all stopping mate.

D 1568 (14 xii 1919) ¤
Pittsburgh Post 954 (28 xii 1924)

Making Sure of It

White retracts last move and mates in 2

Retract Sb5-a3 (preceded by b3-2 Sc3-b5† etc) and mate in 2 by 1.Sb5-a3.

D 1577 (10 i 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5075 (ii 1942)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡. Single opposition in Sh6 unpromoted at g8 (for h6×Sg7) against Bf8/g7.

D 1621 (29 viii 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5243 (viii 1942)

White mates in 2

1.Kd2† Qf1 2.R×f1‡. Not 1.000† etc because of single opposition in getting Sf1 for Kg2 and then Bg1.

D 1622 (29 viii 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5322 (x 1942)

White wins

1.Sd2† Qb1 2.Q×b1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in trying 1.Be8-d7 a6-7 2.a7×Sb6 Sd5-b6 3.Bd7-e8 Se3-d5 4.Rf2-c2 Sc2-e3† 5.Rf5-f2 a5-6 6.Rd5-f5 a4-5 7.Be8-d7* f5-6 8.Rd8-dS f4-5 9.Bd7-e8 f3-4 10.Ra8-d8 f2-3 11.Bc8-d7 one turn too late for d7×c6. (The original stipulation was ‘White mates in two’.)

D 1624 (30 viii 1920) ¤
Western Morning News and Mercury
2767 (24 xii 1921)
Caissa's Wild Roses 117 (1935)

Home Sweet Home

White mates in 2

1.Rd1. Not 1.000 because of retrostalemate after retracting: 1.Kd7-c8 Bf7-e8† 2.Kd6-d7 Be8-17 3.Kc5-d6 f4×Rg5 6.Sd7-f8 e3×Rf4 7.Rf5-g5 Bg5-h6 8.Rf8-f5 Bf6-g5 9.Rh8-f8 Bc3-f6 10.Rf8-f4 Bd2-c3 11.Se5-d7 Bd7-e8 12.Rb8-f8 Bc1-d2 13.f7×Qg6 Qd3-g6 14.Kb4-c5 Qd1-d3 15.Sg6-e5 d2×Be3 16.Bc5-e3 Bc8-d7 17.Bf8-c5 Bd7-c8 18.e7-e6 Bh3-d7 19.Kc5-b4 Bf1-h3 20.Kd6-c5 g2×Bf3 21.Bg4-f3 h4-5 22.Bc8-g4, White in retrostalemate, one move too late for d7×c6.

D 1625 (31 viii 1920) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1319 (20 i 1923)

The Gallopade

White mates in 1

1.Ke2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of retrostalemate after retracting 1.Rh5-f5 h6-7 2.Rh2-h5 Sf1-d2 3.Rd2-h2† Sh2-f1 4.g5-4 Sg4-h2 5.e6-5 Se5-g4 6.e7-6 Sd7-e5 7.g6-5 Sb6-d7 8.f5-4 Sa4-b6 9.Sd1-b2 Sb2-a4† 10.Sf2-d1 h5-6 11.Sh3-f2 h4-5 12.Sg1-h3 h3-4 13.g2-1(S) h2-3 14.h3×Sg2 Sf4-g2 15.h4-3 Se6-f4 16.h5-4 Sc7-e6 17.h6-5 Sa8-c7 18.h7-6 a7-8(S) 19.f6-5 a6-7 20.f7-6 a5-6. Black in retrostalemate, one move too late for a4-5 a5×b4 ...

The diagram in the printed version is overprinted with the linked routes: d2-f1-h2-g4-e5-d7-b6-a4-b2, b2-d1-f2-h3-g1-g2, g2-f4-e6-c7-a8-a7.

D 1626 (31 viii 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5439 (ii 1943)

White mates in 1

1.Ke2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in trying 1.Sf1-h8 Ba4-b3 2.Sh6-f7 Bb3-a4 3.Sf5-h6 Ba4-b3 4.g4-3 Bb3-a4 5.Sg3-f5 Ba4-b3 6.Sf1-g3 Sf3-d2 7.Sd2-f1† Bb3-a4 8.e6-5 Se5-f3 unpromotmg at a8 for Pa7 to a4, one turn too late; or if Black S goes via b3 (to save g4-g3) he is in opposition to White B and loses the tempo.

D 1629 (15 ix 1920)
Manchester Weekly Times (25 xii 1920)
Chess Amateur (ii 1921)

White mates in 1

1.Bf2‡. Not 1.000‡ because of opposition between Sd4 covering at f2 and Bh4 escape via e3 to b8.

D 1631 (17 ix 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5569 (vi 1943)

White mates in 1

1.Ke4‡. Not 1.00‡ because if 1.Sc5-a6 Ba7-b8 2.Se4-c5 Bb8-a7 3.Sg3-e4 Ba7-b8 4.Se2-g3 Bb8-a7 5.Sg1-e2 Ba7-b8 6.h2×Qg1(S) Qf1-g1 7.h3-2 Qe2-f1 8.h4-3 Qe4-e2 9.h5-4 Qa8-e4 10.h6-5 Bb8-a7* 11.g7×Ph6 a7-8(Q) 12.e6-5 a6-7 13.d7-6 a5-6 14.a6×Sb5 S-b5 one turn too late to free a3 or b3.

D 1632 (19 ix 1920) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 800 (15 viii 1926)
Dedicated to W Pauly, 50th year

Three Caws

White wins

1.R×c2†. Not 1.00‡ because of three K/R tempos, e.g. retract 1.Rc3-c2 h5-6* 2.Rc2-c3 Sc3-a4 3.e6-5 Sd5-c3 4.Rc3-c2 Sb4-d5 5.Rc2-c3 h4-5* 6.Rc3-c2 Sc2-b4 7.e7-6 Sa3-c2 8.Rc2-c3 Rf1-h1* 9.Sc3-b1 Sb1-a3† 10.Se2-c3 h3-4 11.Sg1-e2 h2-3 12.g2-1(S) a4-5 13.g3-2 a3-4 14.g4-3 g3×f4 etc. Double opposition Sa4/Rc2 at c2 and c3.

D 1635 (21 ix 1920) ¤
L'Eclaireur du Soir 690 (22 xii 1925)

Encore à Contre Temps

White mates in 2

1.Rd1†. Not 1.000† because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bh6-g5 Se3-c2 2.Bg5-h6 Sg4-e3 3.Bh6-g5 Sf2-g4 4.Bg5-h6 Rb1-a1* 5.Bh4-g5 b2-3 6.Bg3-h4 Se4-f2 7.Bh2-g3†, and B goes to c1, unpromoting, etc. Single opposition of Sc2/Bg5 at f2/h4.

D 1636 (24 ix 1920) ¤
Skakbladet F13 (vi 1923)

The Caged Rook

White mates in 2

1.Ke2†. Not 1.00† because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.e6×Sd5 Sf4-d5 2.Rd2-d3 Se2-f4 3.Rd3-d2 Rg1-h1* 4.Re3-d3 d3-4, and Rook goes to a8, etc. Single opposition of uncaptured Knight with Rd3 at e2, e3.

D 1656 (27 xii 1920) ¤
Tidskrift, 6534 (viii 1923)

One Key to the Lock

White mates in 1

1.R.f1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rd2-c2 Sb3-a1 2.Rc2-d2 Sd4-b3 3.Rd2-c2 Sf5-d4 4.Rc2-d2 Se3-f5 5.Rd2-c2 Sd1-e3 6.Rc2-d2 Rg1-hi* 7.Rc1-c2 c2-3 8.Ra1-c1 and unpromotes, etc. Single opposition Sa1/Rc2, d1, c1.

D 1657 (31 xii 1920) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1759 (18 vi 1927)

The Cross Pin

White mates in 1

1.Qf1‡. Not 1.000‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bg2-f3 Sf2-d3 2.Bf1-g2 Rb1-a1* 3.Bg2-f1 Sh5-g3 etc. Single opposition of Sd3/BfB at f2, g2.

D 1658 (31 xii 1920)
Fairy Chess Review 5637 (viii 1943)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡ Not 1.00‡ because of opposition of Bf5/g6, Sg8/h6 in disengaging f5 for Kf5-f4, Sc2-e3†, Rf4-e4†, etc.

D 1659 (31 xii 1920) ¤
Deutsches Wochenschach 16877 (15 iii 1925)
Dedicated to E. Busekist

White mates in 2

1.Kf2†. Not 1.00† because of retrostalemate after retracting 1.Qb1-c2 Sg1-f3 2.Rc2-c3 Sh3-g1 3.Rc3-c2 Sf4-h3 4.Rc2-c3 Sd5-f4 5.Rc3-c2 Qa1-a2 6.Rc2-c3 Sc3-d5 7.Qa2-b1 Sb1-c3† 8.Rc3-c2 g3-4 9.Kc2-c1 Rd1-d2† 10.g6-5 Sd2-b1 11.Qb1-a2 Se4-d2 12.Qc1-b1 Sf2-e4 13.Qe3-c1 Rb1-d1 14.Qg5-e3 Sd1-f2 15.Qh6-g5 Qa2-a1 16.Qc1-h6 Ra1-b1 17.Qb1-c1 Sf2-d1 18.Kc1-c2† Sd1-f2 19.Rc2-c3 Sf2-d1 20.Rd2-c2 Sd1-f2 21.Kc2-c1. White in retrostalemate or perpetual retro, one move short of Kc3-c2, etc.

D 1663 (2 i 1921)
Aftonbladet 799 (28 xii 1930)

Closing the Doors

White mates in 1

1.Rd1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in Black Knights unpinning Se3 against Bf2/g1.

D 1664 (5 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 5713 (x 1943)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition of unpinned Se5 and White Q. Try: 1.a4-3 Sc7-e8 2.a5-4 Sa8-c7 3.a6-5 Sb6-a8 4.a7-6 Sd7-b6 5.Sc6-e5 Se5-d7† 6.Sb4-c6 Qg1-h2 7.Sa2-b4 Qh2-g1 8.Sc3-a2 Qg1-h2 9.Sd1-c3 Qh2-g1 10.Sf2-d1 and White Q is not placed for Qf1-g1.

D 1665 (7 i 1921) ¤
Tidskrift F1 (v 1924)
Caissa's Wild Roses 127 (1935)
Dedicated to Dr Niels Høeg's Trollschack Column

The Thrice Pin

White retracts last move

Retract Be1-d2 (no mate). Not retract 000 (no mate) because of K/R tempo — with several variations depending on how White and Black Knights unpin Se3 and Sg4 by play on c1, d2, e2, e3, g4. In the main-play Se3 is replaced by Black Se3 and then by White Se3, and finally Black Knights going to d2, e2 fail by one tempo at third unpin on e3. Double opposition among Knights a8, e3/e7, g4 compounded with Bd2.

D 1666 (8 i 1921) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1570 (23 v 1925)

Church & State — I

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bb2-c1 Sa3-b1 2.Ba1-b2 Sb1-a3 3.a2-1(B) Rg1-h1* 4.a3-2 f5-6, etc. Single opposition compounded of Sb1/Bc1, Rf4, with block of Pf6.

D 1667 (9 i 1921)
Eskilstuna Kuriren (10 xi 1928)

A Wavering King — I

White mates in 1

1.Ke2‡. Not 1.000‡ because of opposition in Se4 playing to g1 with Black Kh1 for cover of White Q if f3×Qg2.

D 1668 (10 i 1920)
Cas 330 (8 x 1922) version 233 (1 i 1923?)

White mates in 2

1.R×g7 and Rh×g8‡. Not 1....000 because of opposition between Sg8 (unpinned by White Knight uncaptured at c5) and White Rooks.

D 1669 (13 i 1921) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1142 (22 x 1921)

Knight's Square Inhospitality

White mates in 1

1.Rd1‡. Not 1.000‡ because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bh2-g1 Qg1-f2 2.g7-6 Qf2-g1 3.Sg6-h8 Qg1-f2 4.Sf8-g6 Qf2-g1 5.Sh7-f8 Qg1-f2 6.Sg5-h7 Qf2-g1 7.Sh3-g5 Rb1-a1* 8.Sg1-h3 Sd5-e3 9.Se2-g1†, etc. Single opposition compounded of Qf2/Bg1, Sh8, at g1.

D 1673 (19 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 5775 (xii 1943)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in 1.Sb3-a1 Qd3-d2 2.Sa5-b3 Qd2-d3 3.Sc6-a5 Qd3-d2 4.Se7-c6 Qd2-d3 5.Sf5-e7 Qd3-d2 6.d6-5 (opposition tempo is not here — this opens d5) Qd2-d3 7.d7-6* Sd5-e3 8.Se3-f5† Sc7-d5 9.e7-6 Sa6-c7 10.a4-3 Sb8-a6 11.a5-4 b7-8(S) 12.a6-5 b6-7 13.a7-6 b5-6 14.g6-5 b4-5 one turn too late for b2-4, b3×c2, etc.

D 1674 (20 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review version 5836 (ii/iv 1944)

White mates in 2

1.Rd1† Ke8 2.Q×c8‡. Not 1.000† etc because of opposition of uncaptured White Knight and Kd8/e8. Try: 1.g4-3 h5-6 2.Ke8-d8 h4-5 3.h5×Sg4 Sh6-g4 4.Kd8-e8 Sf5-h6 5.Ke8-d8 Sd4-f5 6.Kd8-e8 Ra2-a1* 7.Ke8-d8 Se6-d4 8.Sd6-c8 etc.

D 1675 (22 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 5899 (iv 1944)

White mates in 1

1.Kd2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition of Rc3 and uncaptured Black Knight. Try: 1.d4-3 e4×Sf5 2.Sg3-f5 e3-4 3.Se4-g3 Rd3(c2)-c3 4.Sd2-e4† Rc3-c2(d3) and Black Bishop cannot come out.

D 1676 (22 i 1921)
Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement 57 (xii 1930)
1st Prize, Retro Tourney

White mates in 1

1.Qd1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition among the four Knights, Qa4/b3, Ra4/5, Kc2/1 and Rb1/c1. If it were Black's move, we could resolve the tangle by retracting 1.Sh4-f3 g7-6 2.Sg2-h4 Sg6-h8 3.Se3-g2 Sh4-g6 4.Sd1-e3 Sf5-h4 5.Qb3-a4 Sg3-f5 6.Qa4-b3 Sf1-g3 7.Se4-d2 Sd2-f1† 8.Sc5-e4 Kc2-c1 9.Sb3-c5† Rc1-b1 10.g3-4 Kb1-c2 and say 11.Se3-d1 Sd1-b2† 12.Sc5-b3 Rc2-c1 13.Sf5-e3, etc, without disturbing White King or Rook. [Text from PFCS.]

D 1677 (23 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 5991 (vi 1944)

White wins

1.B×b2† Q×b2 2.Q×b2‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition. Try: 1.Rc2-3 Rg1-h1* 2.Rd2-c2 h5-6 3.Qc2-b1 h4-5 4.Qc3-c2 h3-4 5.Kc2-c1 h2-3 6.Sd1-b2 Bb2-a3 7.Kb1-c2 Qa3-a2† and by zigzag play we extricate Sd1 via c3, White B and Q via e3, and release a3-4.

D 1678 (25 i 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 2213 (ii 1936)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 157 (1937)
In Memory of C. M. Fox

Breaking Threads

White mates in 3

1.Q×c3 R×a3 2.Sb3†. Not 1. or 2.00† because of two consecutive oppositions with entirely different actors: (1) Qb3, Ba3, Ra4; (2) Ra1, Qb1, Kc1, Sd2. Retractions: 1.Rb4-a4 Qa4-b3 2.Rb3-b4 Bb4-a3 3.Ra3-b3 Qb3-a4 4.Ra4-a3 Ba3-b4 cyclically, always with the opposition wrongly set for a3-2. [Full solution occupies half a page in the sources quoted above.]

D 1717 (4 ix 1921) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1572 (23 v 1925)

Church & State — III

White mates in 3

1.e6 Rh4† 2.K×h4 ... 3.Qb8‡ and not 2.... 00 because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bc2-b1 Sf1-h2 2.Bd1-c2 Sh2-f1 3.Be2-d1 Sf1-h2 4.a7-a6* Sh2-f1 5.Bf1-e2 b5-6 6.Bg2-f1 Sf1-h2 7.Bh1-g2 Sh2-f1 8.Rg8-h8* Sf1-h2 9.h2-1(B) b4-5, etc. Double opposition of Sh2/Bb1 at f1, h2.

D 1718 (5 ix 1921) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1303 (2 xii 1922)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 155 (1937)

The Double Exit

White retracts last move and mates in 1

Retract Sd5-b4. Play Sf6‡. Not retract 00 (for Rh8‡) because of K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.00 Rc6-c7 2.Qd8-e8 Rc7-c6 3.f2-3* Rc6-c7 4.Qc7-d8 f5-4 5.Qb8-c7 Rc7-c6 6.Qa7-b8 Rc6-c7 7.Qa6-a7 Rc7-c6 8.Qb5-a6 Rc6-c7 9.Rg1-h1* Rc7-c6 10.Qc6-b5 f6-5 11.Qd5-c6 and on to d2, etc. Double opposition of Qe8/Rc7 at c7 and c6.

D 1719 (5 ix 1921) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1571 (23 v 1925)

Church & State — II

White mates in 3

1.d6 Ra4† 2.K×R etc, and not 2.... 000 because of K/R tempos. If White moved last, play could have been: 1.Sc1-a2 Bb2-a1 2.Sa2-c1 Bc1-b2 3.g5-6 Bd2-c1 and covers at a7 to free White K — or: 1.Sc1-a2 a2-1(B) etc. Single opposition of Sa2/Ba1 twice, at a2, c1.

D 1741 (29 x 1921)
Fairy Chess Review 6059 (viii 1944)

White helps Black mate in 2

1.Q×h7 Qa2 2.Rf1 Qd2‡. Not 1.00 Be3† 2.Kh2 R×h6‡ because of Bc1/White-S opposition in the try: 1.Be3-c1 Sb2-d1 2.Bg1-e3 Sc4-b2 3.Be3-g1 Sa5-c4 4. Bc1-e3 Sc6-a5 5.Bb2-c1 Se7-c6 6.Qa2-g8 Sg8-e7† 7.Bc1-b2* b5-6 8.Qb1-a2 b4-5 9.b2-1(Q) a2-3 10.b3-2 Rh2-h1 11.a4×Bb3 Bd1-b3 12.a5-4 Be2-d1 13.Ba3-c1 Bf1-e2 14.Bb2-a3 e2×Bd3 and Bd3 goes to c8 for d7-6.

D 1757 (15 i 1922)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1893 (1 xii 1928)

The Wavering King — II

White retracts his last move and helps Black mate in 1

Retract Kf2-g1 for Ke1, P×c1(Q)‡. Not retract 00, etc, because of opposition in White Sa8 trying to unpin Be3 or Sc1, or covering at d2 for Black K to unpin Sc1 (compare 1667 and 1982).

D 1766 (20 i 1922)
The Problemist 517 (iii 1930)
A. C. White's Problems of My Friends 159 (1931)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of double opposition in try 1.Rf1-e7 Sc8-a7 2.Re7-f7 e2-3 3.Rf7-e7 Se7-c8 4.c3-2 Sf5-e7 5.Re7-f7 Sh6-f5 6.c4-3 Sf7-h6 retrostalemate.

D 1787 (23 vi 1922)
Zadachi i Etudi F81 (iv 1929)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in Sa8 unpinning Se6 against Bd8/e7.

D 1788 (24 vi 1922)
Fairy Chess Review 6430 (vi 1945)

White helps Black mate in 1

1.Rb1 P×b1(Q)‡. Not 1.000 Pa1(Q)‡ because of opposition of Black K crossing d8 or g7 against Qc3/d2 to unpin White Q.

D 1791 (28 vi 1922)
The Problemist 370 (v 1929)
Honourable Mention, 9th Tourney, Retros

White has just moved into check! Retract.
Then Black retracts and helps White mate in 1

Retract Ka1-a2, 00. Play Kd8 Bc7‡. Not Kb1-a2 because of double opposition in White K passing Black Q c6/d7 at d1 and h3 on way to c6.

D 1837 (9 x 19220 ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1346 (14 iv 1923)
Caissa's Wild Roses 112 (1935)
Dedicated to F. Lindgren

The Steeplechase

White mates in 1

1.Pd5×Pc5 e.p.‡. Last moves 1.c7-5 Sc5-d3† 2.Kc4-d4† Sc6-a5† 3.Sa5-b3† Sb3-c5† etc. Block of passage square c6 to adverse Knight.

D 1861 (29 xi 1922)
Fairy Chess Review 7350 (viii 1947)

White retracts and plays 000

Retract Qg1-f1 (which leaves Black free for Rf/g5-d5) for 000. Not f5-6, because of opposition between Black K trying to cross d3 to e4 to free Rd5 against White Q g1/f1.

D 1862 (29 xi 1922)
Fairy Chess Review 8440 (xii 1949)

White retracts and helps Black mate in 1

Retract Rd2-d1, Play Rc2, Q×Q‡. Not retract 000 because of deferred opposition in Black K trying to reach b3, with Qh1 at g1, for Qe2-f1, Qe3-g1†. Black K may lose a tempo on f4-e3-e4 but must cross d3 when White Q is at f1.

D 1866 (6 xii 1922)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 2706 (29 iii 1939)

The Footpath

(3 Black R)
Black helps White mate in 2

1.Rg8 Bh8† 2.Kf7 P×g6‡. Not 1.00 f6 2.Kh8 f7‡ because of double opposition in White K passing h5 and entering e6 against Bf7/g6.

D 1915 (7 iii 1923) ¤
Chess Amateur F624 (xi 1924)
Caissa's Fairy Tales 25 (1947)
Dedicated to the prizewinners of the
Klüver-Theme Retro Tourney

(i) Retract last move and mate in 1
(ii) Retract 23 moves and mate in 1
(iii) Ra1 at a3 and as in (i)

(i) Retract Bd3-h7 for Pe4‡ (Set: Sd3‡).

(ii) Retract 1.Bd3-h7 g6-5 2.Bc4×Pd3 g7-6 3.a6-7 d4-3 4.a5-6 d5-4 5.a4-5 d6-5 6.a2-4 a3×Rb2 7.Sd5-e7 a4-3 8.Sc3-d5 a5-4 9.Qc1-d1 a6-5 10.Sd1-c3 a7-6 11.Sd3-e1 Ke1-f1 12.Sb4-d3† and now Sc3‡ (Set: Sd3‡).

(iii) Retract 1.Bd3-h7 (preceded by g6-5 2.Bc4×Pd3 g7-6 3.Ka2-b1 d4-3 4.Qa1-d1 d5-4 5.Kb1-a2 d6-5 6.Sd3-e1, etc.)

D 1962 (17 v 1924)
Chess Amateur (Last Fairy) F1730 (vi 1930)
Caissa's Wild Roses 129 (1935)
K. Fabel's Am Rande des Schachbretts (1947)
Schach ohne Grenzen (1969)
To my dear Wife

“Three Kisses

Who wins?

Black mate in 2 by 1....R×e6. Not White mate in 4 by 1.B×Q† K×B 2.a8(Q)† K×Q 3.Kc7†, due to triple opposition in retractions: 1.Sh6-g8 Rf5-f6 2.Sg8-h6 c4-5* 3.Sf6-g8 c3-4 4.Se4-f6 Rf6-f5 5.Sc5-e4 Rf5-f6 6.Se4-c5 c2-3* 7.Sc5-e4 Sf6-d7 8.Sd7-c5† Sg8-f6 9.Rf6-f7 a new ‘oscillator’ Sh6-g8 10.Rf7-f6 Sg8-h6 11.Rf6-f7 Sh6-g8 12.a5-4* Sf7-h6 (aiming for unpromotion at h8, releasing h5×g4) but Black is in retrostalemate.

D 1964 (13 v 1923) ¤
Národny Listy R2 (22 vii 1928)

The Double Oscillator — II

Who mates in 1?

Black, b1(S)‡. Not White (R×a7‡) because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sh4-g2 h2-3 2.Sg6-h4 Rc6-c7 3.Sh8-g6! Rc7-c6 4.Sf7-h8 Rb8-a8 5.Sg5-f7 Ra8-b8 6.Sh3-g5 Rc6-c7 7.Sg1-h3 Rc7-c6 8.g2-1(S) [Tempo*] 9.h3×Sg2 Se1-g2 10.h4-3 Sd3-e1 11.h5-4 Se5-d3 12.f5-4 Sc6-e5 13.Bb8-a7 Sa7-c6† 14.f6-5 Rc6-c7 15.Bc7-b8 Rb8-a8 16.Bd8-c7 Rc7-c6 17.Be7-d8 Rc6-c7 18.Bf8-e7 Rc7-c6 19.e7×Qd6 Qd1-d6 20.f7-6 d6-7, etc. Single opposition compounded of Ra8, Rc7/Sg2, at c6, b8.

D 1965 (14 v 1923) ¤
Essener Anzeiger 541 (14 iii 1926)

The Pendulum

Who mates in 1?

Black by Sc3‡. Not White by R×B‡ because of opposition between Black K and Rc7/c6 in unpinning Sa7.

D 1966 (17 v 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 4406 (28 xi 1939)
Caissa's Fairy Tales 98 (1947)


Who wins?

Black, 1....Q×c7† 2. K×d5 S×f6† 3.P×f6 Pe4† 4.K×e4 Q×c6† 5.Kd3 Q×c4† and mate in 3. Last moves must have been 1.Rf7-f6 Sf6-g8 (this choice of turn to play has set a first opposition in ‘free phase’ Sg8/h6 cannot ‘lose a move’ on Rf7/f6 otherwise) 2.c3-4 Sh5-f6 3.Rf6-f7 Sg3-h5 ... Sb4-c2 8.Rf7-f6 Sa6-b4 9.Qd8-c7 Sc7-a6† 10.Qe8-d8 Rf6-f5 (second opposition) 11.c2-3 Rf5-f6 12.Rf6-f7 a4-3 13.Qf-e8 a5-4 14.Qg8-f7 a6-5 15.Rf7-f6 just in time, and White Q may unpromote at h8 to release h5×g4.

D 1967 (18 v 1923) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 618 (21 xii 1923)

Two Checks in Passing

Who wins?

Black, Rc8††‡. Not White S×d6 etc, because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Se3-c4 Ke8-d8 2.Sd5-e3 Kd8-e8 3.Sf6-d5 Ke8-d8 4.Sg8-f6† Kd8-e8 5.Sh6-g8 Ke8-d8 6.Rf6-f7 Kd8-e8 7.d3-4* Ke8-d8 8.Sf7-h6 Kd8-e8 9.Sh8-f7† Ke8-d8 10.h7-8(S) Kd8-e8 11.h6-7 Ke8-d8 12.h5-6 Kd8-e8 13.h4-5 h5×Sg4 14.Sh6-g4 Ke8-d8 15.Sf7-h6 h6-5 16.Sd8-f7 h7-6 17.Qc8-b7 Bb7-a6, etc. Double opposition of Sc4/Kd8 at f6, e8 and f7, d8 compounded with Rf7.

D 1969 (19 v 1923) ¤
Hamburgische Correspondent 431 (28 xii 1924)
Caissa's Wild Roses 128 (1935)

And drags at each remove a lengthening chain

Who mates in 1?

White, B×c7‡. Not Black (S×h7‡) because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Ba7-b8 Bb8-c7 2.Rc7-c6 Rc6-d6 3.f3-4 Rd6-e6 4.Re6-e7 Se4-g5 5.Re7-e6 Sg3-e4 6.Re6-e7 Sf5-g3 7.Re7-e6 Sh6-f5 8.Re6-e7 h4-3* 9.Re7-e6 Sf5-h6 10.Re6-e7 Se7-f5 11.Sh6-g8 Sg8-e7† 12.Re7-e6 Re6-d6 13.Sg4-h6 Rd6-c6 14.Rc6-c7 Bc7-b8 15.Se3-g4 Bb8-c7 16.Sc2-e3 Bc7-b8 17.Sb4-c2 Bb8-c7 18.Sa6-b4 Bc7-b8 19.f2-3* Bb8-c7 20.Sc7-a6 h5-4 21.Sa8-c7 Bc7-b8 22.Bb8-a7 h6-5 23.a7-8(S) one move too late because of lost tempo. Double opposition.

D 1970 (20 v 1923) ¤
Magyar Sakkvilág F186 (ix 1927)

Two Towers in the Way

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of two K/R tempos, e.g. retract 1.Rc6-c5 Sf3-h2 2.Rc5-c6 Sd4-f3 3.Rc6-c5 Rg1-h1* 4.Rc5-c6 Sc6-d4 5.h4-3 Sb8-c6 6.Rc6-c7 Sa6-b8 7.Rc7-c6 g2-3* 8.Rc6-c7 Sc7-a6 9.h5-4 Sa8-c7, etc. Double opposition of Sh2/Rc5 and Sh2/Rc7 at c5 or c6 and c7.

D 1973 (21 v 1923) ¤
Svenska Dagbladet 681 (20 xii 1924)

Passing Pins

Who mates in 2?

Black, 1.Sc7†. Not White (R×c6†) because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rf7-f6 Sg1-h3 2.Rf6-f7 Sf3-g1 3.Rf7-f6 Sd2-f3 4.Rf6-f7 Sb3-d2 5.Rf7-f6 Sa5-b3 6.Sc5-b7 Sb7-a5† 7.Rf6-f7 d2-3* 8.Rf7-f6 Sf6-d7 9.Sd7-c5† Sg8-f6 10.Rf6-f7 Sh6-g8 11.Rf7-f6 [Tempo*] 12.Rf6-f7 Sf7-h6 13.c5-4 Sh8-f7, etc. Double opposition of Sh3/Rf6 and Sb7/Rf5 at b7, f6 and d7, f6.

D 1974 (22 v 1923) ¤
Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond
5028 (viii 1928)
Dedicated to J. Hartong

The Bridge of Sighs

Who wins?

White, Rd7††‡. Not Black (1.R×b6†, etc) because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rf7-f6 Qd8-e8 2.Rf6-f7 Bg8-h7 3.Rf7-f6 f3-2* 4.Rf6-f7 Bf7-g8 5.g2-3 Be8-f7 6.Rf7-f6 Bd7-e8 7.Rf6-f1 Qe8-d8 8.[Tempo*] Qf7-e8 9.d2-3 Qg8-f7 and so Qh1 etc. Double opposition of Bh7/Rf6 and Qe8/Rf6 both at f7.

D 1976 (22 v 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 6267 (ii 1945)

White mates in 2

1. Rf1† etc. Not 1.00† because of opposition in Sa8 covering at f5 to free Black K to e5.

D 1977 (23 v 1923)
British Chess Magazine 6666 (iii 1945)
Caissa's Fairy Tales 93 (1947)

White mates in 4

The only untie which would preserve Black 00 is for the Black Knight f1 to pass over e3 against the oscillating Ke6/f5, and then after White has opened the gate b6-7 to pass over d8, still against the White K, to f7, unpinning Sg6, etc. With only the tempo at b7-6 White is unable to set both oppositions correctly, so: 1.B×g6† h7×g6† (1....Kf8 2.Qh6†) 2.Ke6 B×g4† 3.R×g4. Not now 3...00. [Text from CFT.]

D 1979 (24 v 1923) ¤
Chemnitzer Tageblattes 216 (20 xii 1925)


Who mates in 1?

Black, S×c8††‡. Not White R×f8‡ because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Rf6-f5 Sh6-g8 2.[Tempo*] Sf5-h6 3.d3-2 Se3-f5 4.Rf5-f6 Sc2-e3 5.Rf6-f5 Sa3-c2 6.Rf5-f6 Sc2×Pa3! 7.Rf6-f5 Se3-c2 8.Rf5-f6 b2-3* 9.Rf6-f5 Sf5-e3 10.a4-3 Sh6-f5 11.Rf5-f6 Rf6-f7 12.a5-4 Sf7-h6 13.a6-5 Sh8-f7 14.a7-6 Rf7-f6, etc. Double opposition of Sg8/Rf5 at f5 or f6.

D 1980 (24 v 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 7137 (ii 1947)

Blundering Bishops

How near to h8 may White mate in 3 with Black's help?

1.Bd6† Kf7 2.Re7† Kg8 3.Rg7‡. Not 1.R×f4 00 2.f6 Kh8 3.f7‡ because of double opposition between Black Bs and White K in Ba2 to f1, Bg1 to e7, to free Be5.

D 1981 (26 v 1923) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1450 (22 iii 1924)
Dedicated to A. Lundkvist

Triple Barriers

White retracts a move which leaves him unable to mate in 1

Retract Rd2-d1, no mate. Not retract 00, no mate, because of K/R tempo in (i) Sa3 getting to e2 to let g1-e3 or (ii) Sa3 getting to f2 to let Bh2-g3 or (iii) Sa3 unpromoting at g8 and providing Black Bg6 to go to e2. Single opposition of Sa3/Ke4 with three entries at e2, f2 or g8.

D 1982 (26 v 1923)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1896 (8 xii 1928)

A Wavering King — III

White mates in 2

1.Re5†. Not 1.000 because of double opposition in Sd3 passing d6 and unpromoting at e8 for White P back to e4, against Black K.

D 1983 (26 v 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 6145 (x 1944)

White mates in 1

1.Rf1‡. Not 1.00‡ because of opposition in Sc2 unpinning Sg5 at g5, and this S then unpinning White SgS at f4.

D 1984 (28 v 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 6189 (xii 1944)

White mates in 1

1.Bf2‡. Not 1.000‡ because of opposition in Sb8 to f1 for Black K second rank.

D 1985 (28 v 1923) ¤
Tidskrift 6535 (viii 1923)

Two Keys to the Lock

White retracts his last move and helps Black mate in 1

Retract Rc1-f1. Play Kf1 R×c1‡. Not retract 00 for Kf1 Rc1‡ because of K/R tempo in (i) Sg5 playing to d1 to let Rc2-c1 or (ii) Sg5 unpromoting at g8 to give Black Knight g7 to go to d1. Single opposition of Sg5/Rc2 at d1/c1 or g8/c2.

D 1986 (29 v 1923)
Gambit p.163 (v 1929)
2nd Prize, §FII, US National Federation Tourney

Triple Brass

White retracts his last move and helps Black mate in 1

Retract Rf1-d1 for Kd1 R×f1‡. Not retract 000 for Kd1 Rf1‡ because of opposition in Se2 unpromoting at c8 and Black Sc7 freeing Rf2; or in deferred retrostalemate in getting Pd7×e6 back.

D 1987 (3 vi 1923)
Tijdschrift von den Nederlandschen Schaakbond 5147 (iii 1929)

Ships that Pass in the Night

Add a White Knight so White may mate in 1

Add White Sa4 for Q×b2‡. Not Whte Sb6 (d6, e5) for S×c4‡ because of opposition between Sa6 and added S in unpromoting at f8/g1.

D 1989 (3 vi 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 6351 (iv 1945)

Who wins?

Black mates in 4 by 1.Q×b7† K×b5 2.S×d6† Ka4 3.Q×a7† etc. Not White P×a8(Q)‡ as the last moves were; 1.Bh7-g8 Sf8-d7 2.Bg8-h7 Sh7-f8 3.a2-3 Sg5-h7 4.B- Sf3-g5 5.B- Sd2-f3 6.B- Sb1-d2 7.B- b2-1(S) 8.Bh7-g8 a3×Q/R/Sb2 and opposition in this Q/R/S unpromoting at h8.

D 1990 (4 vi 1923)
The Problemist 356 (v 1929)
1st Prize, 9th British Chess Problem Society Tourney - Retros

White and Black retract and Black mates in 1

Retract Rf1-g1 Rg1-g2 for R×b1‡. No other retractions because of double opposition in Sd4 unpinning Se1, which unpins White S again.

D 1993 (6 vi 1923) ¤
Chess Amateur F886 (viii 1926)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 158 (1937)
Dedicated to W. Pauly on his 50th year

Thrice Halted

Who mates in 1?

Black, Qd8‡. Not White R×Q‡ because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sg8-h6 Rf6-f5 2.Sh6-g8 b2-3* 3.Sf5-h6 c2-3 4.Sd4-f5 Rf5-f6 5.Sb3-d4 Rf6-f5 6.Sc5-b3 Rf5-f6 7.a4-3* Sf6-d7 8.Sd7-c5† Sg8-f6 9.Rf6-f7 Sh6-g8 10.[Tempo*] Sf7-h6 11.a5-4 Sh8-f7, etc. Triple opposition of Sh6/Rf5, Sh6/Rf6 and Sd7/Rf7 at f6 or f5, f6 and f7 respectively.

D 1996 (7 vi 1923)
The Problemist (v 1936)

Who mates in 1?

Black, S×c6‡. Not White R×a7‡ because of opposition in Sa1 passing h6 or h7 to g8 or f8 for Rh8-h7, Ph7-h5, Ph6×g7.

D 1997 (8 vi 1923)
Revista Romana de Sah 344 (v 1934)

The Valorous Knight

Who mates in 1?

Black, Qb8‡. Not White because of double opposition in Se3 passing a6 and a7 to reach c8.

D 1998 (14 vi 1923)
London Evening News (6 viii 1932)

Round the Bandstand

Who mates in 1?

White, Q×f7‡. Not Black, R×e5‡ because of opposition in Sa7 passing g6-h8-f7, en route to a8! (via a1 perhaps).

D 1999 (14 vi 1923) ¤
Funkschach 689 (30 v 1926)
Dedicated to W. von Holzhausen on his 50th year


Who mates in 1?

Black, S×a3‡. Not White Rf1‡ because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Kg1-h1 Bb2-a3 2.Kh1-g1 Sf6-g4 3.Kg1-h1 Sd5-f6 4.Kh1-g1 Sb6-d5 5.Kg1-h1 Sa8-b6 6.Kh1-g1 a7-8(S) 7.Kg1-h1 a6-7 8.Kh1-g1 a5-6 9.Kg1-h1 a4-5 10.Kh1-g1 a3-4 11.a4×Sb3 Sd4-b3 12.Kg1-h1 Se6-d4 13.Kh1-g1 Sf4-e6 14.[Tempo*] Sh3-f4 15.a5-4 Sg1-h3 16.h7-6 Rf1-f2, etc. Single opposition of Sg4/Kh1 at a8/g1.

D 2000 (16 vi 1923)
Fairy Chess Review 6709 (ii 1946)

White mates in 2

1.Rf1†. Not 1.00† because of triple opposition in Sd2 passing c4 then d3 and reaching f2 correctly to unpin g3. Pawn-capture system: Black: ab/ba, c7-1. White: dc/cd, fg, g×fP-f8.

D 2007 (16 vi 1923) ¤
Funkschach 869 (15 viii 1926)
Dedicated to W. Pauly 50th year

Twin Cavaliers

Who wins?

White, 1.P×c8(Q)‡. Not Black (1.R×a7‡ etc) because of lack of tempo (i) in Sh7 passing Re6 and unpinnng Sb7 or (ii) in passing Re6 and unpinning Sa7 — both White Knights colliding with Rc6. Double opposition of Sh7 unpinning Sa7 or Sb7 with blocks at e6 and c6, or e6 and d6 respectively.

D 2008 (16 vi 1923) ¤
Chess Pie No 2, p.4 (vi 1927)

The Hall of Victory

Who mates in 1?

Black, 1.P×e1(S)‡. Not White (1.S×a2‡) because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bh2-g1 Bf2-e1 2.Ke1-d1 Bg1-f2† 3.Sh8-g6 Kc2-d3 4.Sf7-h8 Kd3-c2 5.Sh6-f7 Kc2-d3 6.Sg4-h6 Kd3-c2 7.f7-6* Kc2-d3 8.Sf2-g4 Kd3-c2 9.Sh1-f2† [Tempo*] 10.Kd1-e1 Bf2-g1 11.Bg1-h2 Be1-f2 12.h2-1(S), etc. Double opposition compounded of Kd3, Be1/Kd1, Bg1, Sg6 with entry at f2 and h2.

[The printed diagram has diagonal lines sloping down from d6, and around the outside of cells g1-g3, to help picture the Hall.]

D 2061 (22 x 1923) ¤
Chess Amateur F623 (xi 1924)
Dedicated to Hans Klüver

White retracts his last move and mates in 1

Set: Sc4‡. Retract Qe6-b6 (preceded by c6-5; Bg3-c7 c7-6; Q×Be6) and Qb3‡.

D 2158 (30 vi 1924)
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1633 (19 xii 1925)


What is the earliest checkmate?

Black mate in 2 by 1.S×h4†. Not White Sf6‡ because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bh1-f3 Bh3-f1 (the X) 2.Bf3-h1 [Tempo*] 3.Bh1-f3 Bf1-h3 4.h2-1(B) g2-3 5.g3×Bh2, etc.

D 2193 (29 x 1924)
Fairy Chess Review 6815 (vi 1946)

Who mates in 1?

Black, R×c6‡. Not White because of opposition in Kc8, Ba8, Be7 arriving at c8, d7, f8 together for Ke7-d6.

D 2195 (30 x 1924) ¤
Chemnitzer Tageblattes 383 (15 viii 1926)
Dedicated to W. Pauly on his 50th year

A Five-fold Event

Who mates in 1?

Black Rc8‡. Not White Rc5‡ because of lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Sh5-g7 Sc5-d3 2.Sg3-h5 Sd3-c5 3.Sh1-g3 Sc5-d3 4.Sf2-h1 Sd3-c5 5.Sg4-f2 Sc5-d3 6.Sh6-g4 Sd3-c5 7.Sg8-h6 Sc5-d3 8.Se7-g8 Sd3-c5 9.Sc8-e7 Bb8-a7 10.Sa7-c8† Sc5-d3 11.Rc8-c7 [Tempo*] 12.Rd8-c8 Bc7-b8 13.Sb8-d7† Sd7-c5† 14.Rc8-d8 Bd8-c7, etc. Single opposition compounded of Sd3, Ba7/Sd7, Sg7, Rc7 with critical block at c7.

D 2196 (1 xi 1924) ¤
Chemnitzer Tageblattes 493 (25 xii 1926)

The Holiday Respite

Demonstrate a mate in 1

Black Sd2‡, it being his move. White unable to move now by lack of tempo, e.g. retract 1.Bf1-h3 Sf2-h1 2.c7-6* Sh3-f2 3.g6-5 Sf4-h3 4.Bh3-f1 Sd5-f4 5.Sc6-b4 Sb4-d5† 6.Se7-c6 Sf1-h2 7.Sd5-e7 Sd2-f1 8.Sf4-d5 Sf1-d2 9.g7-6* Sd2-f1 10.Bf1-h3 f5-6 11.Sh3-f4 f4-5 12.Sf2-h3 a6-7 13.Bh3-f1 Sf1-d2 14.Sh1-f2 Sd2-f1 15.h2-1(S) [Tempo*] 16.Bf1-h3 a5-6 17.h3-2 h2×g3, etc. Triple opposition of Sh1/Bh3 at h3, and Sb4/Sh2 at f1 and h2.

D 2198 (4 xi 1924)
Fairy Chess Review 6897 (viii 1946)

Who mates in 1?

Black, R×d7‡. Not White R×c7‡ because of opposition between uncaptured Black Sd4 and Sf8/h7, Bf7/g8 in unpinning White Q. Try: uncaptured Rd4 may get to unpin White Q but White Q has no tempo left to get across g8 to h8.

D 2199 (5 xi 1924) ¤
Chess Amateur F819 (v 1926)
Caissa's Wild Roses in Clusters 223 (1937)
Dedicated to Niels Høeg 50th year

The Church across the Way

White plays and helps Black mate in 1

1.Ba2 S×d3‡. Not 1.00 h2‡ because of deferred K/R tempo, e.g. retract 1.Ra7-c7 Ba2-b1 2.Ra8-a7 Bb1-a2 3.Ra1-a8 Ba2-b1 and now the free Rook has entered a tempo-net: 4.Rc1-a1 Bb1-a2 5.Rc2-c1 Ba2-b1 6.[Tempo*] Sb1-d2 7.Rd2-c2† and Sb1 goes out to a8, etc. Deferred opposition of Bb1/Rc7 with b1ock b1.

[The printed diagram is marked with lines delineating the church, with arched doorway at c1-c2, and triangular roof above surrounding Rc7.]

D 2291 (11 ix 1925)
London Evening News (24 xii 1938)

Who wins?

White, 1.Sf3† K×f2 2.Qg1† K×e2 3.Qe1† K×d3 4.S×b4‡. Not Black R×d1‡ as Sa6 may not unpromote at a8 at once, since after a4-5, a5×Bb4, White is in retrostalemate. Hence Sa6 has to go to f1 to let Se1 unpromote at a8, with Qe1-d1 tempo. The opposition of Sa6 and Black K decides turn to play.

D 2295 (16 ix 1925) ¤
Chess Amateur F759 (xi 1925)

Show Black K made at least 50 moves

Retract 1.Sg1-h3† 2.Ra1-c1 3.Rb1-b2 4....18.Kc1...a8 19.Rb2-b1 20.Kb1-c1 21.Bh5-d1 Ke2-f1 22.Sf3-g1† g7×Bf6 23.Qc1-h1 Kf1-e2 24.Se1-f3† 25.Qd1-c1 26.Qg4-d1 27....31.Sf1...e1 32.Kc1-b1 33.Rb1-2 34.Kb2-c1 35....36.Re4...e1 37....38.Re3...a1 Kg1-h1 39.Sg3-f1 Kf1-g1 40.Se2-g3† Ke1-f1 41.Kc3-b2 Kd1-e1 42.Kd3-c3 Kc1-d1 43.Sg3-e2† Kb1-c1! 44.Be7-f6 Kb2-b1 45.Bc5-e7 Ka3-b3 46.Bd4-c5† Kb4-a3 47.Re1-3 Kc5-b4 48.Bb2-d4† Kd6-c5 49.Ra1-e1 Ke7-d6 50.Bc1-b2 Kd8-e7! 51.b2-3 and one more Black K move to e8 = 50 in all.

D 2316 (2 xii 1925)
Chess Amateur p.157 (ii 1927)

Black to play. Indicate a move Black must have played.

As Black is now going to play an odd-numbered move, White must have played an odd number, and so must have played Rh1-g1 an odd number of times. Black therefore played Sh3×Rg1, though it cannot be said with which Knight.

D 2396 (4 vii 1926) ¤
Eskilstuna Kuriren 1783 (22 x 1927)

Twice Knightly

Who mates in 1?

Black, Qb7‡. Not White R×a4‡ because of lack of tempos (i) in Sa5 passing Rd8 and unpinning Sb6 or (ii) passing Rd8 and unpinning Sa7. Both White Knights colliding with White Rook. Double opposition, blocks d8, c8.

D 2467 (22 ii 1927) ¤
Chess Amateur F1000 (v 1927)

Position 48 moves ago?

As diagram.

D 2515 (15 vi 1927) ¤
Chess Amateur F1069 (ix 1927)
Ultimate Themes 125 (1947)
Dedicated to V. Røpke
Prize §§I/IA, Røpke Theme Tourney

Retract the last move and mate in 1

Retract Qc1-a3 (Not Be3-b6) and play Se5‡. The EXACT 38 last moves must have been 1.Qc1-a3 d4-5 2.Kb2-b3 b3-4 3.Sb4-d3 d3-4 4.Sc6-b4 d2-3 5.Sd8-c6 f6-7 6.Sf7-d8† f5-6 7.a3-2 f4-5 8.a4-3 f3-4 9.a5-4 f2-3 10.a7-5 a6×Rb7 11.c2-1(Q) a5-6 12.c3-2 a4-5 13.c4-3 a3-4 14.c5-4 a2-3 15.c7-5 c6×Qd7 16.Qc8-d7 c5-6 17.Bd7-e8 c4-5 18.Sd8-f7 Kf7-g6 19.Sc6-d8† Kg6-f1!

D 2747 (19 viii 1928)
Fairy Chess Review 6965 (x 1946)

Who mates in 1?

Black, Be7‡. Opposition in placing Rh8 at h7, Rg8 at h8, Kb7 at a8, Qb8 at b7, Kd8 at e8, prior to Se7-c8, Kd8-e8, Sg8-e7, Ke8-d8, Be7-f8, Kf8-e8, Bg5-e7 etc, with a further 30-move untie.

D 3673 (5 xii 1934)
Fairy Chess Review 7223 (iv 1947)

White mates in 1

1.Qf1‡. Not 1.000‡ because of opposition after e6×Sd5 in this Knight reaching g1 against Black K to allow Qf1-h3.

D 3843 (1 iv 1936)
Fairy Chess Review 7430 (x 1947)

Who helps the other mate in 1?

Last moves 1.Be7-f8 Kh8-g8 2.Bf8-e7 Be7-d8 3.Kf7-e6 Bd8-e7 4.Ke8-f7 Kg8-h8 5.Be7-f8 Sf8-h7 6.f2-3 Se6-f8 etc, unpromoting at a1. So 1.K×f8 P×d8(Q)‡. Not 1.Q×h5 R×f6‡.

D 3919 (25 xii 1936)
Fairy Chess Review 6731 (iv 1946)

Who mates in 1?

White, S×f5‡. Not Black R×a6‡ because of opposition between Knights c7/g7 in letting out Black King.


This last-minute addendum follows the text of an article by T. R. Dawson in Chemnitzer Tageblattes, 1926, but only the main problem referred to there is quoted here, instead two other examples are inserted to give a glimpse of Dawson's other work in the ‘Fairy Retro’ field.

Ordinary retroanalysis is simply a process of deductive reasoning, based on the ordinary LAWS of the game, which proves a desired FACT about a given position. It has hitherto been a serious crippling factor in the subject that the number of demonstrable facts was very limited. Retro composers proved that positions were illegal, that one player must just have moved, or that past events in the play were so-and-so. The definite AIMS of retroanalysis were thus quite limited — establishing of constructive tries, turn to play, analytical retractors, illegal castling, legal P×P e.p. To a composer passionately fond of retro work as I am, this narrow circle of possibilities was a grievous vexation. It may be concluded therefore with what satisfaction in recent years I have realised that the field may be fully generalised so that its potentialities become infinite. This expansion takes place in two distinct ways, one much more important than the other. The less important widening of the field arises from the introduction — in Fairy Chess — of NEW LAWS of play. Every new law, every new piece, used in chess immediately implies new arguments in retro-analysis. Those familiar with the subject will immediately recall (for example) that a proof of the LEGALITY of castling, which is totally impossible in ordinary chess, is simple in the domains of ‘Maximummers’ and ‘Free Chess’. The introduction of ‘Must check’ or of a ‘Grasshopper’ supplies much new detail of proof. And so on endlessly. But this expansion leaves unfilled the chief desire of retro workers. It does not give new aims for the proof. We travel round the same circle even if we have many new vehicles to carry us round it.

Bolton Football Field (21 xii 1912)

Black having just made his 24th move
White mates in 2

Mate in 2 by 25.00 (legal). Last moves could be 24.Ka8 e6 23.Kb8 e5 22.Kc8 e2-4 21.Kd8 d5 20.R(f6)×Sb6 d2-4 19.Rf8-f6 c5 18.Rh8-f8 c2-4 17.Ra7 b5 16.a6 a5 15.Sa1-b3 b2-4 14.Sb3×Ra1 a2-4 13.Sc1-b3 Sc8-b6 and so on symmetrically.

Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement 2212 (ii 1936)
In memory of C. M. Fox

Triple Salute

Grasshoppers are promoted Pawns
Helpmate in 2

1.Pd4×Pc4 e.p.††† K×c3† 2.g5 Ph5×Pg5 e.p.††† and mate. White's last move can only have been c2-4, not Ke3-d2 (illegal ††† at e3). Three triple checks!

Chemnitzer Tageblattes 218 (1925)
Caissa's Wild Roses 125 (1935)

Any Black man on its first move may take 2 turns as one
White mates in 2

Black must have moved Ra8, Sb8, Bf8 or Sg8.
If Ra8: 1.Kd2 (not R×a4×d4).
If Sb8: 1.Ke2 (not S-c6×d4).
If Bf8: 1.000 (not B×d6×a3).
If Sg8: 1.Kf2 (not S-h6-g4).
Four-choice partial analysis.

The problem 218 however offers a new aim, and because of that is one of the most original problems I ever composed. Its origin lies in the following consideration — that the two most important retro aims (illegal castling and P×P e.p.) are founded absolutely on two quite special conditions of ordinary chess. Because of the complicated law that castling must be the first move of K and R, and the complicated law about P×P e.p., retro-analysis gains its chance to establish the necessary special privileges. If, therefore, we define new special privileges, each such definition introduces a new retro aim in establishing the stated privilege in a given position. Problem 218 is a complex illustration of this generalisation.