Solving the 'double whammy'

Solving the 'double whammy'

SG's puzzle torture camp

Solving the 'double whammy'

Actual conversation with a friend [a player, but not so much a problemist]:
When I retire, I might try to learn how to compose problems.

What kind are you making?

Oh, just mate in 2 or mate in 3s. I kinda like these Double Whammies too, they might be easier to create.

Oh, ok. #2/3 is a good place to start. But what is a `double whammy`?

White makes 2 moves in a row to mate Black. 1st move cannot be a check (or allowing White to be in check). The Cafe Chess newsletter featured these a few weeks ago in a couple of issues.

ahh. those are also called `series` problems. but they`re usually longer than 2 moves. 🙂

I think they mentioned Triple Whammies and Quadruple Whammies in the article, but Doubles were all they gave. I solved them all but a couple took me 30 minutes, which is about the time I get bored with a problem if I haven`t solved it by then.

They actually called them `whammies`?
I`d never heard of any series problems shorter than 4-5 moves [and those usually had more than one solution]. So, off I went to google...

...and the first one on the page is:

So basically white takes two turns in a row. He can`t check black until the last turn. The goal is to mate the black K on the 2nd move.

Right away I recognized this as the work of a chessplayer - obviously made to resemble a real game, even though most of the pieces have no bearing on the solution.

The Bishops have h7 and h8 locked down, so a Queen battery on the h-file won`t work. Time to use the power of the `whammy` to get away with things we could never do in a real game:

A problemist is used to something more like this:
M Tomasevic/R Tomasevic
Problemkiste 07/1988

"109x whammy" [doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, so...]
series mate in 109 moves

Experience makes most of the first moves obvious. There are black pieces forming a 'chain of protection' - Rg5 protects Ng1 which protects Rh3 which protects Bh1, etc. - the wK must methodically eliminate them in that order. Mainly, the challenge is keeping an accurate move count: it takes 18 moves to kill the g5 Rook, so we write down 18.Kxg5; then back to g1 which gives 37.Kxg1, etc. Eventually the pieces will be eliminated, probably resulting in the promotion of the white f-pawn. Then the hard work of finding an actual mate begins. Because I'm already late to work, I'll let interested readers take it from there. 🙂

For the the readers interested in only the shorter 'whammies', here are some from the chess cafe article:

white to move - 'double whammy'

white to move - 'double whammy'

white to move - 13x 'whammy' (Damn you SG!)

'double whammy'
This one took my friend 30 minutes to solve. Can you improve on his time?

...and more at

Please PM solutions so that everyone can solve. Thanks.

Posted to SG's puzzle torture camp

Show Comments (6)
Comments (6)

  • Posted 2663 days 8 hours and 54 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Solving update:
    tvochess - 3 for 3 on double whammies.
  • Posted 2663 days 13 hours and 11 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Solving update:
    Jack Bertram - 5 for 5.
    tvochess - 2 for 3 on double whammies.
    RJHinds - 0 for 4.
  • Posted 2663 days 13 hours and 15 minutes ago
    Kingstalker is as crazy as you are and I hate you both.
    Thread 148160
  • Posted 2663 days 21 hours and 32 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Knightstalker47 is now 5 for 5 after fixing 2 solutions. Well done!
  • Posted 2663 days 21 hours and 37 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Knightstalker47 islikethisclose to the 109x. Only one move slow...
  • Posted 2663 days 22 hours and 47 minutes ago
    Standard memberSwissGambit
    Greenpawn34 got all the double whammies.
    Knightstalker47 got the 13x and 2 of 3 double whammies. I am still reviewing his solution to the 109x whammy.
    Last Post
    30 Oct '13
    Blog since
    09 Jul '10