Daily Rome Shot 585, etc.

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.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. FrankWalshingham says:

    Knight to F4

  2. PostCatholic says:

    Unusual statue for your blog. I’m sure the Vatican doesn’t consider Cola di Rienzi (sp?) a saint.

    [Is there a point here?]

  3. waalaw says:

    Nf4, threatening Qe6++ and forcing either

    Kxd4 (not Rxd4 because R@d6 is still needed to
    block Qe6++)

  4. There are a couple things in the puzzle solution that we can hardly imagine! It is a brilliant composition.

    Our solution is…

    1. Qf1 which protects the rook and controls the f file.

    If black’s queen takes the rook, white’s queen recaptures with mate.

    If black’s knight comes to d6, white’s Q goes to f6 and mate.


    1. … KxN+ Black’s King can take with check! However…

    2. Qf5# You block the check with checkmate!

    It’s a triple pin!

    The bishop is pinning the rook on d5.
    The rook is pinning the queen.
    The rook on h6 is pinning pawn on g6.

    Crazy stuff!

  5. PatS says:

    Found this on the statue, not sure what to make of it from this short description (is he an anti-Papist or an early proto-reformer)? I didn’t know the guy.

    This bronze statue by Girolamo Masini was placed just to the left (east) of the Cordonata Stairway up to Capitoline Hill in 1871. It commemorates Nicola Gabrini, popularly known as ‘Cola di Rienzo’; his father’s name was Lorenzo.
    Cola was an Italian politician who said he wanted to restore the greatness of ancient Rome. On May 20th, 1347 he summoned the people to a ‘parliament’ on Capitoline Hill where he denounced papal power and the nobility. He declared himself to be the “Tribune of the Plebs (People)”; the first office in ancient Rome that was open to the common people (plebeians).
    In the 19th Century, Cola became a romanticized hero-symbol for supporters of liberal nationalism and Italian unity.

  6. Kentucky Gent says:

    I decided to pass on this puzzle. It reminds me of the puzzle from the Meltwater Champions Finals, which I just want to forget.

  7. PostCatholic says:

    Only a comment. No offense intended. Out of curiosity, though, do you know anything about the unusual pediment? I searched online and learned it was made of “ancient marble fragments” but I wonder if you or your readers know more; often you do.

  8. jaykay says:

    PostCatholic: I too was struck by the obvious conflation of old and new elements in the statue base, and – here we are, from the very source itself:

    ” Il basamento è stato realizzato dall’architetto Francesco Azzurri (1827-1901), utilizzando alcuni rilievi marmorei antichi provenienti in parte dalla scalinata dell’Ara Coeli”.

    So, they used “some ancient marble reliefs (which) came partly from the staircase of the Ara Coeli”.


    The reason for taking material from this source is probably because of this connection with Cola:

    “Built by Lorenzo di Simone Andreozzi at the expense of the Roman people as a thanksgiving to the Virgin for having saved the city from the plague, it would have cost 5,000 florins and was inaugurated, according to legend, by the tribune Cola di Rienzo”.


  9. PostCatholic says:

    Jaykay, thank you very much for that research. It is such an unusual base and so different from others of its time. It really does add something to the statue that those who erected searched for elements that connected it to the subject. Who was allegedly very fat, by the way, and this depiction is “generous” in ways he wasn’t.

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!