Leonid Kubbel was a prince among composers. I first saw an endgame study by him way back in 1970s. I still remember my awe and wonder seeing how the Black monarch was chased and mated with a lone knight. Ever since I became a fan of Kubbel. But then his admirers are legion. Great players like Smyslov, Timman and Nunn have been connoisseurs of his art. In his brief life he is said to have composed more than 1500 endgame studies and problems. The 1984 edition of his work (Leonid Kubbel by Vladimirov and Fokin) lists 466 endgame studies and more than 400 problems.
Although I had this Russian book for nearly two decades I never paid attention to the problems section. Recently when I had a look I was in for a surprise. Some of these problems are indeed beautiful. Here is an example. See if you can figure it out.
White to move and mate in two moves
Time: 5 minutes