This week’s puzzle is a chance to enter a national contest where FT readers traditionally perform strongly. White in the diagram, playing up the board, is to play and checkmate in two moves, against any black defence.

The puzzle is the first stage of the annual Winton British Solving Championship, organised by the British Chess Problem Society. This competition is open only to British residents, and entry is free. The prize fund is expected to be at least £1,200, plus awards to juniors.

To take part, simply send White’s first move to Nigel Dennis, Boundary House, 230 Greys Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 1QY or by email to winton@theproblemist.org.

Include your name, home address and postcode and mark your entry “Financial Times”. If under 18 on August 31 2019, give your date of birth.

The closing date is July 31. After that, all solvers will receive the answer and those who get it right will also be sent a postal round of eight problems, with plenty of time for solving.

The best 20-25 entries from the postal round plus the best juniors will be invited to the final in February 2021 (subject to Covid-19). The champion will qualify for the Great Britain team in the 2021 world solving championship, an event where GB is often a medal contender.

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The starter problem is tricky with an unusual twist. Obvious checks and captures rarely work. Double check your answer before sending it. Good luck!

NB: There is no Chess solution this week as our column focuses on the national competition above

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