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Second Time: Let’s mate from Zmatlik

Libor Havlíček st. | February 6, 2012 – 11:535 Comments | 1,212 views
Second Time: Let’s mate from Zmatlik

Following mating problems are great training examples for advanced players. These problems come from chess book written by Professor Karel Zmatlik.

First chess book from Karel Zmatlik was published in 1908. Professor Zmatlik wrote is as a member of Chess club Dobrusky, after Oldrich Duras refused to write it due to lack of time. Oldrich Duras was at that time a well-known grandmaster who won chess tournaments in Vienna and Prague.

Zmatlik’s chess book underwent different modifications; second edition was published in 1915, third in 1924. That was a time when radical opinions on openings, theory and games themselves appeared and this book wasn’t able to catch these changes in time. Changes cannot be seen in fourth edition from 1927 either. Finally, fifth edition from 1934 became a complex that brought in information about theoretical knowledge at that time.

The author was well aware of these conditions and mentioned that before publishing sixth edition in 1947. Development of theory changed the content of the book, not only the offered theoretical content. It changed endings, combinations, amount of detailed pedagogical comments and selection of chess games as well.

The following five mating combinations did not appear in the later editions:

Position 1.

Author: A. Troicki

White to move and mate in 4 moves

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Positon 2.

Author: Samuel Loyd

White to move and mate in 4 moves

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Position 3.

Author: Philip Stamma

White to move and mate in 3 moves

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Or in a similar way:

Here Philip Stamma, who was orginally from Syria and lived in Paris, created an examplary position, where it’s possible to give different mates with the same motive.

And we can continue:

Since after l… Nc8 it is possible to mate in 2nd move  2. Nb7, we have to assume that Zmatlik made a mistake (Chessbook from 1915, page 30)

The clean solution for mate after third move would be:


Position 4.

Author: Ercole del Rio

White to move and mate in 4 moves

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Position 5.

Author: Ercole del Rio.

White to move and mate in 7 moves!

This old-fashioned problem was created and published by the author with purpose of mating in seventh move! This position serves for training purpose, since white can mate after exposed check followed by double check. This problem ends with smothered mate, which was called “checkmate étouffé” (Ercoleho del Rion and Ponziani were Italians from first half of 19th century).

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