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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate

May 31, 2016

Today, is the first of my next series of daily puzzles, having now chosen the next puzzle book which I shall be using.

It is a 1981 book by Dragoslav Andric, “Matni Udar” which I bought when back packing in Zagreb in 1982: where the book was published.


Whilst I have had the book for over thirty years, I have never dipped into it, because it has the annoying structure that the solutions are (i) right below each problem; and (ii) there is no indication of who is to play and win!

However, I would prefer not to use modern, engine checked, puzzle books, and instead want to continue with older books, in the hope that there might be surprises such as cooks. So, Matni Udar it is.

Presuming the language is Croatian, and using Google Translate, Matni Udar might mean “bearing strike”.  Or it might mean “Mate strike”, or more likely “Check Mate” making my own guess of what Matni means. I will go with Check Mate for the moment, and hope a reader or friend will clarify.

The author, Dragoslav Andric, 10/11/1923-27/5/2005 was a writer, dramatist and poet: some details of his life are here and here; born in Serbia; he has a Wikipedia page but I can’t work out how to translate it into English. He has 26 games on . Teasingly, the website says one of his games is in an Irving Chernev anthology:


I will, over time, work through his page and Megabase, and try to find out which, and more of him as a player. and should find out which game Chernev used, as I learn more about Dragoslav. [Update: the ‘bolt from the blue’ game is this one]

Today’s puzzle is the cover picture

White to play and win



For today’s solution, I merely give the full cover page.



Even the cover gives me a surprise: I have known Labourdonnais name since I was a child, but, checking on Megabase 2012 (and finding no games) and then googling, I find his real name was Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais. My childhood memory/wording must have been an English abstraction of his real name, or perhaps my false memory.

I have not found the game from which the cover problem is taken, but nor have I looked hard. If I find it, I will include it later, on an update of this page.


From → Chess

  1. The most forcing immediate threat looks to be rxf6. The best option for black looks to be kd8 after rxf6, as qxf6 leads to mate pretty quickly. If rxf6+ qxf6 the next forcing move is nd6+. After nd6+ black has two options, take with the queen or play kd8. If black takes with the queen, mate is forced in a few moves with qd8+ qe8, qf6+ qf7, qf7++. If black plays ke8 after nd6 white has qd7+ kf8, and then we transpose into the same mating sequence as above, qd8+ qe8, qf6+ qf7, qf7++.

    Ok I see now that none 0f the above is valid because of the knight on d5 which I totally ignored 😀 I’m going to leave the above analysis so people can understand my thought process and the importance of taking every piece into account. After a little more analysis, the correct solution is: ne6+ ke8, qd8+ bxd8, rf8+ rxf8, and the final move of this little beauty, ng7++. This works because taking checking on d8 and f8 both forced blacks pieces to occupy those possible escape squares for blacks king (can’t take with the king because the knight on e6 covers both), while simultaneously removing both defenders of the checkmate square, g7. The rook on a7 covers the 3 other possible flight squares; d7, e7 and f7. A very fine puzzle, thanks to allanbeard for uploading this it’s a very nice version of a smothered mate:)

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  1. A very nice chess puzzle! White to move. Try to solve before you look to the solution. I also provided my own analysis and explanation in the comment section. – gapawa

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