Last week we invoked memories of King Tut, presenting two chess compositions in which the black king is mated, surrounded by eight black pawns. You can find the solutions at the end of this column. This week we present a slightly different "King Tut motif. " Entombing the king in chess studies is usually done at the edge of the chessboard and often leads to spectacular stalemates. It can save draws in tournament games.
A simple king tomb was created by the Austrian chess master, theoretician and writer Johann Berger in his important work on endgames, Theorie un Praxis der Endspiele, published in 1890.
The German composer Hans Geiger also used the King Tut motif. Can the black king find a safe retreat? What can white do about it? The hint? Troika! Published in the Deutsche Schachzeitung in 1920, the idea was later tackled by other composers, including Richard Reti.
The dazzling study by the French chess master, composer and journalist, Frederic Lazard, could be called "double-entombing" since both kings get buried during the solution. Created 65 years ago, this work leaves even today's computers wondering what is going on. It is a victory of human spirit. Bravo, Monsieur Lazard!
L'Italia Scacchistica, 1946
Solutions appear next week.
Solutions from the last column King Tut in Chess Puzzles:
Note that in the replay windows below you can click either on the arrows under the diagram or on the notation to follow the game.