And… a puzzle from 1876. White to move.
NB: I may hold comments with puzzle solutions a little longer than others so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.
The composer was Charles Alexander Gilberg.
His introduction to a collection of problems Crumbs from the Chess-Board: A Selection From The Problems Composed By Charles A. Gilberg. New York, 1890, is delightful. NB: Caïssa (originally called Scacchia) is a personification of chess or the “goddess” of chess which was coined in 1527 in a Latin poem in iambic hexameter by Hieronymus Vida.
As a recreation for the idle hours of life, the wide and varied domain of chess, but more especially that branch so aptly termed the Poetry of the game, has been to me during the past thirty years an unfailing source of delightful entertainment—a perennial banquet, indeed, that has never suffered the appetite for its social and intellectual fare to languish. Votaries of every clime and country have contributed the fruits of their genius and industry to the repast, and many warm and valued friendships have been cemented by kindred tastes and sympathies. But how few, alas, of the early companions remain to share the feast ! The empire of earthly pleasures is frail and uncertain, and its curfew must toll for us all. While lingering at a somewhat late and protracted dessert with an ever unsated yearning for Caissa’s bounty, I have gathered up some of the crumbs that have fallen from my table, which I wish to offer as a souvenir to the friends who still abide to minister to my enjoyment. If, to them, these morsels will serve to impart an occasional gleam of pleasant recollection, the aim and ambition which were the impelling influences that led to this collection will be fully gratified. In the following pages the conventional terms of White and Black have been retained, but the forces of the chess-board are respectively presented in Red and Blue. With the exception of a few of the older compositions included in this selection, that have been reset and remoulded, all have passed through the ordeal of public scrutiny, and I trust that it may not be unreasonable to hope that they will successfully maintain an unblemished integrity against all further analytical research.
C. A. G.
Some wonderful wine with your puzzles would also help the traditional Benedictine monks in southern France at Le Barroux. You can get a discount by using my code.