Chess, October 2011

Peter Copping and Enrico Paoli

This month I am going to introduce two strong players who also composed. The first of these is Peter F. Copping, a strong player in the 1950s and 1960s, whom some readers may remember. As a composer he was best known for highly strategic three-move chess problems and he edited the three-move section of The Problemist from 1968 to 1982. Our first study is a rare one by Peter, in which he collaborated with a co-composer.

Peter Copping & H. Schenk

2-3 Prize=, Problem, 1968


White to play and win

An exciting position, with both kings open to attack. It turns out that White can only win this by tempting the black rook off the c-file, sacrificing his own rook in the process. 1.Qf5! Guarding h3 and threatening 2.Bg6+ Kg7 3.Qf7+ Kh6 4.Qh7+ Kg5 5.Rd5+ Kf4 6.Qh6+ Kf3 7.Bh5+ Kf2 8.Rf5+ Kg3 9.Qxe3+ Kh4 10.Qf4+ Kxh3 11.Qg4# 1...Rc1 So Black pins the white rook. 2.Bg6+ White checks anyway and forces the black king to dance around the white bishop. 2...Kg7 2...Kg8 3.Qf7+ Kh8 4.Qh7# 3.Qf7+ Kh6 4.Qh7+ Kg5 5.Qh5+ Kf6 5...Kf4 6.Qg4+ Ke5 7.Qf5# 6.Kg2! Playing 6.Qf5+ brings on 6...Kg7 and the dance goes on forever. On top of this, Black threatens mate by 6...Rxd1+ 7.Qxd1 Qxh3+ 8.Kg1 Bc5+ 9.Qd4+ Bxd4# 6...Rxd1 Black has other, more pedestrian, ways to succumb - 6...Rc5 7.Rf1+ Ke6 8.Qg4+ Kd6 9.Rd1+ Rd5 10.Rxd5+ Kxd5 11.Qd7+ Bd6 12.Bf7+ Ke4 13.Qe6+ Kd3 14.Qxd6+ Kc2 15.Qxb4 1-0; 6...Qc5 7.Rxc1 Qxc1 (7...Qxh5 8.Bxh51-0) 8.Qf5+ Kg7 9.Qf7+ Kh6 10.Qh7+ Kg5 11.h4+ Kf6 12.Qf7+ Ke5 13.Qxe7+ 1-0 7.Qf5+ So, White cracks the whip and the dance starts again, but this time it isn’t perpetual as the black rook has left the c-file, allowing the following finish. 7...Kg7 8.Qf7+ Kh6 9.Qh7+ Kg5 10.h4+ Kf6 10...Kg4 11.Qh5+ Kf4 12.Qf5#; 10...Kf4 11.Qh6+ 1-0 11.Qf7+ Ke5 12.Qxe7+ Kd4 12...Kf4 13.Qg5# 13.Qxa7+ winning by a skewer on the black queen as now the black rook can’t intervene. It appears, though, that a skewer on the black rook also wins by 13.Qd8+, 13.Qd7+ or 13.Qd6+. This unsoundness can be easily cured by shortening the solution by one move.

Enrico Paoli, the Italian master player, who died in 2005 not far short of his hundredth birthday, was well known as the founder of the famous tournament at Reggio Emilia, and as an arbiter. But he had other talents too – as a composer of and writer about, endgame studies. For solving this month, here’s one of his successes.

Enrico Paoli

8th HM., De Barbieri MT., 1947


White to play and win

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