Birthday Presents from GM Benko

CLOCT2013Grandmaster and composer Pal Benko celebrated his 88th birthday earlier this month and passes on some birthday gift problems to US chess readers. In the October 2013 cover to the left, he was featured for his 85th birthday in a feature you can read in our magazine archives (if you are logged on as a member.) Solve and enjoy and wish Pal a Happy Birthday! 1.)Am.‘A’ is for Amiens, France, my birthplace. It is a gothic problem, as famous as the Gothic cathedral of Amiens.
Mate in 3 Show Solution
  1. Bg5  h4    2.Re2  Kxf3    3. Bh5  mate  
2.) Not to be mistaken with the Eiffel Tower, the problem below  is shaped in the number ‘1’, and it is a four move solution. This is meant to represent July 14, when the French Revolution is celebrated.
Mate in 4 Show Solution
  1.Bc5  Kc3  2.Bc4   Kb2  3. Bb4  Ka1   4.Bc3 mate
3.) The number ‘7’ stands for the month of my birthday, July.
Mate in 7 Show Solution
  1.N4f3   Kg2     2. Be3  Kg3     3. Kg5  Kg2   4.Kg4  Kh1   5. Nf1   Kg2 6. Ng3 h2    7.Ne1 mate 
4.) Sometimes my birthday is mixed up with July 14th, though I was actually born on July 15th. You will see this reflected in the number of solutions in this problem and the next.
Helpmate in 2, White to move, then Black should put up an imaginary man which can move to h2 that helps white to give a one move mate on h2. How many different men can black place to allow for this helpmate on h2? Show Solution
  1.Rh3+  Nf1-h2   2. Rxh2 mate    ( 1 mate)
5.) Trick 2 Same stipulations as 4.)
Show Solution
  1. Rh4  Qh3-h2+  , or  1. Rh4   Rh3-h2 ,or   1.Rh4+ Bh2 ,or 1. Rh4+  Nf1-h2, or  1. Rh4  h3-h2    (5 mates)  
6.) I became 88 on July 15. You can find the number ‘8’ in the problem twice. It is also a mate in 2 and I was born in 1928.
      Helpmate in 2 , Black moves (2 twin solutions) Show Solution
1…Re7   2.Kd4   Nf6   3. Ng7 mate ,or   1….Nf6+  2.Kf4   Rd5  3 . Ng7 mate
Also see GM Benko's latest for US Chess, on problems in honor of Independence Day, posted earlier this month.