Mates by neutral units 1

You might have noticed that for a long time there were almost no problems with neutral units shown on CCM - and those using them were with no diagram or had turned white or black units representing them. The reason was simple - I was too lazy to prepare their pictures, and for a long time. However quite recently, just a few months ago, I have drawn them and inserted all the missing diagrams.

It did not mean, however, that I made no studying of neutral units in my own composing career. Quite opposite, I find them very suitable for many unusual ideas. Just look at a few my problems using them already published on CCM: What do they have in common? I guess you have found it. In all of them there are (at least) two mates given by the move of a neutral unit. Such a move must be in a sense irreversible. And that is the thing that all of the problems shown below have in common too.
Krasimir Gandev
Venelin Alaikov

3rd Prize feenschach 1976

1.Bf5! th. 2.nQxc6(nPc7)#
1...nQh7 2.nRxe1(nRh8)#
1...nQa7 2.nRxe2(nRa8)#
1...nRe6 2.nSxe6(nRa8)#
1...nRe7 2.nQxe7(nRh8)#
1...nSe4 2.nSxc3(nPc7)#
1...nQf7 2.nQxc4(nPc7)#
1...nQg7 2.nQxc3(nPc7)#
1...nQxc6(nPc2) 2.nRxc2(nPc7)#

Irreversibility of the mating move is ensured by the capture of a neutral unit, reborn somewhere on the 7th or 8th rank. Pawn from c7 or rooks from a8 or h8 check and cannot move away.

#2 (3+5+7)
7 neutral units

Erich Bartel
Problemkiste 1990

a) 1...c8nN 2.Ke5 dxc8nZ(nNc1)#

b) 1...c8nNE 2.Kxg5(nNg8) dxc8nAN(nNEc1)#

Mating moves in this helpmate consists of two irreversible elements - promotions of pawn and rebirth of captured unit. Any of these might move away if it was not the double check. There is a flaw in the position, pity that nANh2 does not take any part in the b) position, bK is mated too close to it. Fiary AUW.

h#1,5 (1+1+7)
nightrider h8, zebra d8, e7
nonstop equihopper b2, antelope h2
7 neutral units
b) h8 -» g5

Lev Grolman
Georgij Jevsejev

Die Schwalbe 2000

1...nGg1 2.nGe1 nGxb4#
1.nGg1 nGe1 2.fxe1nG nGxb4#

1...nNg2 2.nNe1 nNexc2#
1.nNg2 nNe1 2.fxe1nN nNexc2#

One of very sophisticated problems with neutral units. In the set play thematical neutral piece runs to the mating square where it mates as it becomes pinned. However the point lies in the absence of waiting move for Black - so he starts the same way, White then follows - moves change the colour. In the second black move, possible waiting move appears. And it is immediate phenix - neutral pawn promotes just into the piece it has right now captured. Well done.

h#2* (5+11+8)
0+2+4 grasshopper, 0+1+2 nightrider
b) nRc5

Marcel Tribowski
idee & form 1996

1.nBxb4(nBf8) nRxg7(nRa1) 2.nKc3 h7 3.nBg6 h8nB#

1.nSf1 g8nB 2.nBxh7(nBc8) nKc4 3.nKxb4(nKe8) nSxg3(nSg1)#

1.nBh4 b8nB 2.nBbxg3(nBf8) g5 3.nKc3+ nKxb4(nKe1)#

Neutral king with all other pieces neutral too can be checked by pawns only as otherwise it would be selfcheck. Yes, this is true only under orthodox rules. However in Anticirce it is possible to arrange checking by other units too, it is just necessary to block respective rebirth squares. Here we see 3 such mates, attained by three different ways. In the first there is usual promotion, in the second white moves away nS from the Circe square of checking bishop, this move beeing capture and thus irreversible. In the third solution we see capture by nK, transporting him directly into the middle of a mating net.

h#3 (0+0+11)
Anticirce type Cheylan
11 neutral units

Jorge Joaquin Lois
4th Prize feenschach 1978

1.d2 nEh8 2.Ke5 g4 3.nEg6 d4#

1.Kf5 nSd2 2.Kf4 nEh4 3.nSfe4 g4#

Less usual move that cannot be taken back: double step of mating pawn. Once he mates directly and cannot move 1 square back beacuse of the antibattery, once he moves into antibattery and cannot retreat at least one square because of direct check. Thematical use of equihoppers.

h#3 (1+1+7)
0+0+3 equihopper
7 neutral units

Manfred Rittirsch
dedicated to Walter Wittstock
1st Prize The Problemist 1988

a) 1...nSg4 2.f5 nKg6+ 3.nKh7 nBd4 4.g5 fxg6 e.p.#

b) 1...nQb8 2.nKf6+ nKe7 3.g5 nBh4 4.f5 gxf6 e.p.#

And finally another problem with neutrals only. Here the mating moves are e.p. captures, both are at the same time moves along pin lines.

h#3,5 (0+0+7)
b) e3 -» f8

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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