Walter Grimshaw

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Walter Grimshaw (12 March 1832 – 27 December 1890) was a 19th-century British composer of chess problems. In 1854 he won the first ever chess problem solving competition in London. He is perhaps best known for giving his name to the Grimshaw, a popular problem theme.

Sample compositions[edit]

Walter Grimshaw (1850)
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
e8 black rook
g8 black rook
a6 white bishop
d6 white knight
b5 white pawn
d5 black king
g5 black knight
b4 white king
e4 black pawn
f4 white pawn
g4 black bishop
c3 white queen
f3 black pawn
h3 black knight
c2 white pawn
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to mate in 5

This is one of his problems, a mate in five (white moves first, and must checkmate black within five moves against any defence) first published in the Illustrated London News in 1850. The key is 1.Bc8 which threatens 2.Qc5# or Qd2#. To defend, black plays 1...Bxc8 white plays 2.Qf6 (threatening 3.c4#) and now a Grimshaw interference comes into play: black can defend by cutting off the white queen from the defence of d6 with 2...Ne6 or 2...Be6, but this interferes with the rook's guard of e5, and so allows 3.Qe5#. If instead black plays 2...Re6, this interferes with the bishop's guard of f5 which is significant after 3.Qd4+ Kxd4 4.Nf5+, because the knight cannot be captured. Instead, there follows 4...Kd5 5.c4#.

Walter Grimshaw (1852-1854)
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b7 black knight
g7 white king
a6 black queen
b6 black pawn
c6 white bishop
h6 black pawn
d5 white rook
h5 white pawn
e4 black king
f4 black pawn
h4 white knight
c3 black pawn
h3 white pawn
c2 white pawn
e2 black pawn
f2 white pawn
g1 white rook
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to mate in 3

The second example is one of Grimshaw's better-known problems, a mate in three composed for a competition organised by the Chess Players Chronicle, 1852-54. The key is the paradoxical 1.Rf1, sacrificing a strong white piece. This carries the threats 2.Nf3 (leading to various mates delivered by the d5 rook) and 2.f3+ (leading to knight mates on f5 or g2). Black's obvious defence, 1...exf1Q is answered by 2.Nf3 Kxf3 3.Rd2#. After 1...f3 (giving black a flight at f4), white plays his rook back to where it came from (a switchback) to take advantage of the newly opened fourth rank: 2.Rg1 any 3.Rg4#.

External links[edit]