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MatPlus.Net Forum General The "Which Route" theme

### The "Which Route" theme

Mecislovas Rimkus
2nd HM 5th FIDE World Cup 2017

(= 2+8 )

H#6

1.Qb8 Rxb4
2.Kc7 Rxa4
3.Kb6 Ra2
4.Ra3 Kb2
5.Ka5 Kxa3
6.Qb6 Kb3

(1.Qc7? Qd6? Qf6+? Qd4+? Qe3? Qf2?)

This problem reminded me of an old one of mine:

Michael McDowell
The Problemist 1983

(= 3+9 )

h‡6

1.Qa4 Re2
2.fxe2 f4
3.Kc7 f5
4.Kc8 f6
5.Rhc7 f7
6.Qe8 fxe8Q

(1.Qc6? Qc8? Qe2? Qe4? Qg6?)

Are there any other examples of the idea?

I've found many splendid examples, but I'll only post one here, because I want to write an article on the subject!

Chris Feather, Scrapings 2001
(= 2+8 )
h#6
1.Qf1 h4 2.Bc2 h5 3.Bg6 hxg6 4.Rg8 gxh7 5.Rg1 h8Q+ 6.Qh3+ Qxh3#

It's not surprising that these examples use the Queen which paradoxically - because of its strength - is easier to control than lesser pieces.
Here's one that features the knight:

neal turner
Suomen Shakki 1990
(= 3+3 )
h#4

Nice one Neal! The wSe7 and bPe3 prevent moves to those squares, the wK prevents Sb6 or Sf6, and the wQ's move along the c-file stops 3.Sc7 and 3.Sc3.

Thanks Geoff.
Have you considered another take on the idea - instead of no solution from the alternative route, we get a new solution:

neal turner
The Independent 1989
(= 4+4 )
h#3 2 sols

Clever! The bBa2 has 2 paths to g4, with each choice preventing a white move: 1.Bb3 Bd5 (not 1...Sxb3?) and 1.Bd5 Sb3 (not 1...Bxd5?).

Fadil pointed me to a very interesting article published long ago in Problem 21-22 in the year 1954. The author J. B. Santiago wrote it in French. The title could be translated to English as "Unexpected path theme". Among published problems we quote one inspiring example showing more than spectacular path.

J. B. Santiago
British C. F. 1945
(= 4+4 )

h#4
1.Ba2 d4+ 2.Ke6 e5 3.Bb1 Bh7 4.Bf5 Bg8 #

The article can be found here.

http://problem64.beda.cz/silo/problem_21-22_1954.pdf

It appears first in Croatian, then in French.