Nov 10, 2008, 8:15 PM |

Chess problems emphasize fantasy and artistry far more than over the board chess and usually more than studies.In chess problems ,the material advantage of one side is of no consequence.The entire objective is for white to play and mate in a certain specific number of moves against the best defense of Black,or fewer moves against an inferior defense.There are also special sorts of problems in which White is to play and force Black to mate him in a certain moves (selfmate) or where Black plays and cooperates to allow White to mate him (helpmate).Then there are problems in which new rules and pieces are introduced.All of these unorthodox types constitute what is known as Fairy Chess.
Our example is by Dutch composer T.C.L.Kok. The pawn structure stamps this as a contrived position rather than one likely to have arisen in actual play,but it is legal position since it cannot be shown to have come about by play.Here Whites task , to play and win,seems very simple at first glance --he is two bishops ahead with a passed h6 pawn to boot.However,if on his first move he plays BxP Black is stalemated,whereasif he plays 1.h7 ,then 1... gh2,and now 2.h8(Q) g3 and Black is again stalemated after any White move except 3.QXh2+ gh2 and again stalemate. What else can be tried? White cannot move his King and the possible moves by his B do not seem to have any point.So how does White win?