There is actually 8 solutions if you swap the Rooks about.
By the fact you are on this site does
tell me you enjoy solving these things so expect
and look for the unexpected.
That is why some of you are getting it so quick.
There will be people out there cursing me
(and you when you show it to them.)
Average players chess players can only work with the tools they have.
Pattern recognition plays a big part in playing
combinations and SEEING combinations.
"Before you play it - first you must see it."
I think that quote belongs to Jacob Aagaard
the current British Champion. (forgive me if I'm wrong).
So when certain positions arrive on the board we can
see there is a combination there or we are alerted by our
memory which has a store of such patterns.
The more you study the more patterns you store,
the better you become.
I could fill a book with all the combinations I have
played over the past 30 years - sound combinations.
Not one did I invent at the board. Each one can be traced
back to an idea I had played against me or saw in a book.
If you are honest you to will realise that every trick you
ever pulled off at board was downloaded by you from your
memory because of something had seen before.
Not the exact position but the idea - the pattern.
Do you think you would have found Phildors Legacy.
The smothered mate. If you had never seen the idea before.
I mean found it during a game. Not as a set problem when you
know there is something there.
So when an average player is confronted with this problem
the first thing he does (unknow to him perhaps, but he is
doing it) his mind is scanning his memory for a 2 rook 1 Knight
mating pattern. There is none.
So he has to invent one. This is where the struggle comes in
and why your brain releases 'the joy' chemical once you have
solved it. You really do feel good after you have solved it.
Less experienced younger players do not yet have a store of patterns
and their mind is not used to scanning patterns.
They approach it as they do there games - hit or miss,
suck and see, guess work. Inspiration. They will get it.
Having been told there is no mating pattern our average
player will do what he does in his games.
There is no combination here and moves on.
Failure to recognise a cobmination is due to a lack of patterns.
But they have been told there is a mate there and go back again
to try and find it. Frustration creeps in.
They shuffle the bits around and around getting angry.
I've seen it - you will see it - perhaps you have just experienced it.
I include myself as an average player - I toiled, I got frustrated.
Don't give up - you have never seen the position before.
It's like asking you to name a face of someone you don't know.
Don't post the solution just yet - give a few others the
chance to get 'the joy'.