Congratulations to Gord Mackenzie who correctly solved this week’s puzzle and picked up a $50 gift certificate from the grandmasters over at ThinkGeek.
White to move. Mate in four.
This is a chess problem concocted by Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany … better known as Lord Dunsany. He was a prolific writer, penning more than 80 books, including many fantasy tales and poems – including the source for our puzzle’s title, “The Spirit of the Bog”. But Dunsany was also a chess nut and he came up with this problem in the early 1930s.
Contrary to some e-mails we received, the black king and queen are not misplaced. We aren’t looking at an opening board (minus white’s pawns); rather we are looking at an end game from black’s perspective where material has swapped sides, thus, the reversal of files of black king & queen. So, while there are a couple variations to this problem, the solution is:
1. Nc6 Nf3
2. Nb4 Ne5
3. Qxe5 Nc3
If your answer involved a variation on this puzzle or your notation was made from the other perspective, it was counted as correct. Thanks to everyone who submitted a solution. Come back on Monday when Dave Giancaspro will attempt to put your cerebellum in check … in four moves or less!