Reduce speed now
Sheep on Blea Moor Road, Yorkshire Photo © Steve Daniels (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Reduce speed now


Years ago, as I was doing a driving tour of castles in Wales, I suddenly found my car surrounded by hundreds of sheep as a farmer was moving his herd from one pasture to the next.

That passing experience remains a fond memory and serves as a reminder that we don't always need to rush. 

There are times when it's more entertaining to slow down.

This etude, which is an elaboration of a semi-famous "don't mate in 1" problem by Karl Fabel that Martin Gardner printed in Scientific American, is one of those times.


In this position it's easy to find mate in 1.

The trick is to slow down, reduce your speed now and find mate in 3.

Mates in 1, 2, 4, 5 or any other number of moves don't count.

In this position, finding a mate in 3 is much harder than finding mate in 1. There're lots of ways to mate in 1. To figure out the solution, you need to understand the position at a deeper level and to realize how Black must move in response to your moves as White, a skill that carries over well to real games.