# Catching up to my foe

Until then it had been a century's vain of work
Spent inside those Russian winter days
At last made in the early eighties

But a friend of mine had recently stolen
A new, similar work that is just as golden
So outside I chased him in the night
Challenge self-made to catch him in four minutes plight

So I walked straight forward and came across him
He saw me, had to make a quick choice then
Four paths before in front, he had to decide
Which to take and which to leave behind

But I had calculated the possibilities of each
After my move, in three blocks I would always reach
And at a dead end, my friend I would catch
Give a quick punch and grab back my sketch

Only one matched one, or else my challenge to forsake
In which I had delivered one man's bane

In the end, this is a story to be told
Although not accurate, as if plated in gold
Who am I, and what is my famous work?
Please note I refer not to its horrible predecessor
And who's bane did I deliver at last?
Explain each and every line as much as you can!

Hint:

Allumwandlung

• I think we deserve a hint... Feb 26, 2020 at 19:10

You might be referring to

Leonid Yarosh's problem in Shakhmaty v SSSR, March 1983, the first chess problem satisfying the Babson task.

That's the answer to the lines "Who am I, and what I my famous work?".

Other clues:

Until then it had been a century's vain of work

The Babson task was proposed by Babson in 1884, almost a century earlier.

Spent inside those Russian winter days
At last made in the early eighties

Yarosh was a Russian, 1983 is in the early eighties

So I walked straight forward and came across him

Refers to the key, 1. a7 (a pawn moving forward)

Four paths before in front, he had to decide

Black has four thematic responses, the four promotions of pawn a2

Challenge self-made to catch him in four minutes plight

It's a mate-in-four problem.

After my move, in three blocks I would always reach

After all Black responses, White can mate in three