I remember seeing a particular chess problem awhile ago on YouTube, but I can't find it. The problem's theme was something about caging in the Turkish king, and the video mentioned it as being old.

Regarding details of the problem, here are two. It ends in a smothered mate with eight black pawns surrounding the Black king. In the course of the solution, all of the Black pawns are forced into place by White.

Here is example I've made of the general concept.

[FEN "8/2pKN3/Q3ppp1/2ppk1p1/4pR2/3P1P2/4N3/8 w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. Qd6+ cxd6 2. Rf5+ gxf5 3. d4+ cxd4 4. f4+ gxf4 5. Ng6#

Does anyone know the problem and its source?


2 Answers 2


    [Title "Carl Ferdinand von Jänisch, Der eiserne Käfig des Tamerlan, 1849"]
    [FEN "4N3/P2p1Np1/3Qp1R1/2pR4/2p1kpp1/b2bp2B/q3PP2/3K4 w - - 0 0"]

1.f3+ gxf3 2.exd3+ cxd3 3.Bf5+ exf5 4.Re6+ dxe6 5.Nf6+ gxf6 6.Rd4+ cxd4 7.a8=B Qd5 8.Bxd5+ exd5 9.Qe5+ fxe5 10.Ng5#

It's problem 59 in Max Lange: Handbuch der Schachaufgaben, Leipzig 1862, p. 79. Google Books.

It was published on p. 427 of the 1849 Schachzeitung. Google Books.

The chess puzzle can also be found with the search term tamburlaine's iron cage, e. g. Suren's YouTube video.


Is it this one?

[Title "Herbert Grasemann. Deutsche Schachblätter 1950, 2nd Prize"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "8/8/8/5B2/6QN/3prp2/3r1p2/3bbk1K w KQkq - 0 1"]

1.Qh3+ Ke2 2.Qf1+ Kxf1 3.Bh3+ Ke2 4.Bf1+ Kxf1 5.Nf5 Ra2 6.Ng3#

Dickin & Ebert, in their 100 Classics of the Chessboard, no. 55, call it "Back into Clink".

If not, if the bK really is surrounded by 8 pawns and no pieces, then perhaps it was one of the problems as located by this PDB query:



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