Greetings from DENMARK (from TD 100) by Lars Larsen Tilbage til forsiden

Pin-lines in threemovers
by Lars Larsen, International master in composition 1973

Immediately after I received the honorable offer of joining the group of writers for our magazine jubilee issue, I decided to write about threemovers exclusively.
This neglected genre remains the apple of my eye. Neglected, yes. Any problem editor knows how difficult it is to secure just a few good threemovers in each issue. Also, one wonders why an original threemover idea so rarely is picked up by other composers, or defined and illuminated in an article.
In the 1930'es, while following the Aljechin-Euwe match excitedly, I started getting inspired by K.A.K. Larsen's weekly column in MAGASINET. Twomovers amused me; but they were not enough. I needed the threemovers. For me they had an aura of combinatorial game endings, where a quiet first move prepared the deathblow with a strong, even somewhat robust second move, e.g. by pinning or capturing.

Diagram 1
Lars Larsen
V. 2 HO Magasinet 1944
#3 C+ 9+11

White employs these means in his "quiet" second moves in diagram 1 after the opening move.

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This "easy" unpin idea virginally lurked in my brain for more than a year. When I finally put the idea on the board, it was a piece of cake. The two side variations almost made themselves.

The problem brought me a beautiful cardboard diploma, as did all my winning problems in MAGASINET. This I enjoyed, while at the same time remembering K.A.K. Larsen's remark in MAGASINET's #3 jury report from the previous year: "On several occasions Lars Larsen almost made it to the top. But all his problems were flawed".

Diagram 2
Lars Larsen
2. Pr. DSK's 27. TT 1944
#3 C+ 8+9

Yes, I had much to learn yet. DSK's 27th theme tourney required model mates on bK's original square. Diagram 2 has one model mate only, but the second move is quiet. When the bishop interferes with a bR, white may unpin it.

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Diagram 3
Lars Larsen
De Waarheid 1966
#3 C+ 10+9

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I first saw mutual interference between bQ and bB (on e4, like here, but without capture) in a #3 by Åkerblom in 1939. Arthur Madsen wrote me: "Well done! I haven't seen a Wurzburg-Plachutta with half-pin before".

Before the next act with unpins, we shall see a self-pin idea, which occurred to me during the last week of 1999. This strategy is characterised by a man (usually black) which pins itself by capturing. But diagram 4 presents an addition deserving notice.

Diagram 4
Lars Larsen
Schach-Aktiv 2000/4
#3 C+ 13+13

The key 1. Rd8 is thematic, as it establishes a pin-line. White threatens 2. Qxf6 3. Sc6#. 1. - Qxd5, self-pin, because 2. Bf4+ Kd4 3. Sxf5# follows. 1. - Bxd5 2. f4+ 3. Qe6# is analogous.
I am always fond of side variations, including these: 1. - Sxd5 2. Qd6+ 3. Sc6#; 1. - Bxa7/Ba5 2. Qxc7+/Bf4+ (1. - Sd7 2. Q/Re6+). I found this idea with bK moving onto the pin-line after the black capture only once when searching in the Breuer book.

Diagram 5
G.H. Drese
1. Pr. Die Schwalbe's 119. TT. 1957
#3 C+ 9+9

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Corresponding pin mates.

Along diagram 5 I wrote "30.12", meaning that this is the last Danish problem from the 20th century.
The unpins disappeared for a while, but now they are brought back (along with the quiet white second moves). And this time Black unpins a black man. It doesn't sound very original, but still I hope the reader will study and use this #3 idea. I will certainly keep working on it. Briefly my thoughts are these: After the first move unpin follows a quiet white second move forcing the black man to leave the thematic line. White then mates, exploiting the opened thematic line.

Diagram 6
Lars Larsen
Tidskrift för Schack 2000/6
#3 C+ 13+7

White starts crudely, but thematically with 1. Qa5, threatening 2. Qxc3 (not 2. Shxf6? Sxe8!). Now Black can unpin Bc5 in two ways. 1. - Sb5 2. Shxf6 thr. 3. Sg4#. The unpinned bishop moves: 2. - Be7, and White exploits the pin 3. d4#; 2. - Bd4 3. exd4#; 1. - Sd5 2. Sf4 (3. Sg6/Sd3#) Bd4 3. Qxd5#. (White exploits the line opening). Side variation: 1. - Sxe8 2. fxe8Q+ Re7 3. Qxe7#; 1. - Sb4 2. Qxc5+.

In my note books I have never written anything but the stipulation and the key under my 700 threemovers; still I always see the complete content of a problem, when I revisit it. When you have developed your idea and finished your composition, small flaws (if any) cannot destroy the creative enjoyment. In this regard there is - no liberation. (This is an untranslatable Danish word play: liberation=unpin).