Helpmates with switchbacks

I received very interesting article 'Oboustranne navraty kamenu v pomocnych matech' (Switchbacks by both sides in helpmates) by Vaclav Kotesovec as a supplement to Sachova skladba 60/1998. Here I present a few examples from it that interested me in some way.

Jean Oudot
4th prize Schach-Echo 1969

1.Sf6 Bxf4 2.Sg4+ Bg5#
1.Sh6 S5xf4 2.Sg4+ Sh5#
1.Sh2 S3xf4 2.Sg4+ Sh3#

Three solutions with double switchback are unified by play of the same black knight.

h#2 (6+15)

Attila Benedek
1st HM 128. TT Probleemblad 1972

1.Re7 Bxd3 2.Rf7+ Bf5#
1.Sf6 Bxd3 2.Sd7+ Bf5#
1.Sf4 Bxd3 2.Sg2+ Bf5#
1.Bb8 Sxd3 2.Ba7+ Sc5#
1.Sb6 Sxd3 2.Sd7+ Sc5#
1.Se3 Sxd3 2.Sg2+ Sc5#

Task, double switchback 6 times.

h#2 (6+13)

Roman Fedorovich
3rd prize Milovanovic MT 1981

1.Sxd4+ Kxd5 2.Sc2 Ke6#
1.Rxd4 Sxd5 2.Rg4 Sb6#

Double switchback without unpinning of white pieces.

+++ Composition In the Spotlight (CIS) No. 2 +++

Spotlight comment by Juraj Lörinc:

Today I would like to turn your attention to running composition toruney - Tadashi Wakashima 50 JT with closing date 30.4.2003. It's theme is switchback in h#2 and fairy h#2 (it means there 2 sections), it will be judged by jubilee. Entries should be sent to Kohey Yamada, Daiichiseimei Hachiman'yama-ryo 412, 4-33-21, Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 156-0057 (e-mail

It was shortly after CCM start that I received a magazine with article by Václav Kotesovec about switchbacks by both sides in helpmate. I decided to select this h#2 for you, but in search for inspiration for Wakashima JT it may be interesting as well to look at all other problems on this page. Don't forget that it is enough to have just one switchback.

Among orthodox twomove mechanisms with double switchback the most usual is the one with unpinning of white pieces that in turn create batteries. Here, however, there is no unpinning, but Black has two ways to annihilate wpd4 (opening wB line). They in check-nocheck dual avoidance manner choose white piece that annihilates bpd5. Then both pieces return to their initial positions. Black returns are analogously motivated - direct as well as indirect unguarding of mating white battery, white are motivated differently - wS must reguard a4, wK must close line of wp guarding battery line. It is interesting that Ke6 is the only possible opening of royal battery anyway.

h#2 (7+11)

Josif Kricheli
3rd prize Sredba na Solidarnosta 1972

1.Sg5 Rgxe4 2.Sh7+ Rg4#
1.Bb1 Rexe4 2.Ba2+ Re1#
1.Kd4 Sxe4 2.Kd5+ Sc5#

Very elegant position with 3x double switchback.

h#2 (7+10)

David Wertheim
3rd prize Israel Ring Tourney 1970

black begins: 1.Sxf6 Sxe6 2.Se4 Sf4#
white begins: 1.Sxe2 Sxc4 2.Sf4 Se4#

Well unified play in duplex, rather too much pawns to avoid officer Nachtwachters.

h#2 (10+11)

Bosko Miloseski, Zlatko Mihajloski
3rd place Liga Problemista 1982

1.Kb4 Kxg4 2.Rc3 Rh4 3.Kc4 Kh5#
1.Kc3 Jxc6 2.Rb4 Rxc7 3.Kc4 Se7#

3-move mechanism.

h#3 (9+12)

Shlomo Seider
3rd prize Schach-Echo 1978

a) 1.Kb3 Sc5 2.Kxb2 Sxd3 3.Kb3 Sc5 4.Kc4 Sa4 5.Kd3 Sb2#
b) 1.Kc5 Bc2 2.Kxb5 Bxd3 3.Kc5 Bc2 4.Kc4 Ba4 5.Kd3 Bb5#

Very well unified play with nice geometry in h#5!

h#5 (8+6)
b) white Ba4

Theodor Steudel
feenschach 34/1976

1.d4 b4 ... 4.d1B b7 5.Bb3 b8Q 6.Bd5 Qb2#

Probably the longest helpmate with double switchback or round trip.

h#6 (2+7)

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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