Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Puzzles from Chessbase

It is many years now that Chessbase, beyond presenting chess news and persons and games, beyond advertising chess software and books, also gives a series of puzzles, one per day, starting on December 25th thru New Year Day.
See all previous presentations here.

This year, the world champion on chess problem solving John Nunn edited the Christmas puzzles 2010, that have already started appearing. After the completion of the series, you may send the solutions there, and the best solver will receive the new book [1001 Deadly Checkmates] by John Nunn.

Puzzle 1 (25/12) : (William Shinkman, 1890) Two black rooks are sacrificed on the same square
Puzzle 2 (26/12) : (Andrei Selivanov, 1st Prize, Albino 2004) Same moves one row up
Puzzle 3 (27/12) : (Michel Caillaud, 1st Commendation, The Problemist 1995/6) f3 is the last and first move of the solutions
Puzzle 4 (28/12) : (Yuri Sushkov, 1st Prize, Smena, 1998) Same mates from b5, b6 and b7
Puzzle 5 (29/12) : (Mirko Degenkolbe, Rolf Wiehagen, 1st Prize, Die Schwalbe 2008) Roundtrip of Ba2

Solutions of puzzles 1-5 : http://www.chessbase.com/puzzle/christmas2010/chr10-sol1.htm

Puzzle 6 (30/12) : (Dieter Kutzborski, 1st Prize, Schach-Aktiv 2007) Foreplan to close diagonal a1-h8 which, after 7.e6 Qb8, is opened again
Puzzle 7 (31/12) : (Michel Caillaud, 1st Prize, 23rd T.T. Problemkiste 2002-3 (version)) An excellent allumwandlung
Puzzle 8 (01/01) : (Kostas Prentos, 1st Prize, Oakham Proof Game Tny 2009-10) Roundtrip of the white queen

Solutions of puzzles 6-8 : http://www.chessbase.com/puzzle/christmas2010/chr10-sol2.htm

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas tree, 2010

As we have said, this time last year, we name "Christmas trees" the problems which have symmetric positioning of pieces, narrower towards the top. The Russian Ilya Schoumoff had published a collection of "chessgraphs" (problems that remind us of some pattern) in a book issued in 1867.

Today we shall see a newer problem, from around 1877 (!), which was borrowed from the new book (in Greek language) by Panagis Sklavounos [Greek chess players in the 19th century]. The book contains a great wealth of historic details and if this interests you, you should acquire one copy.

The composer of the following problem is Joseph (Giuseppe) Liberalis (* Corfu 1820, + Zante 1899), son of the Italian chief-musician of the band of the 32th British infantry regiment in Corfu Domenico Liberalle and of the Greek Cathrin (Ecaterini) Miliorati coming from Zante. Joseph had studied music and worked as chief-musician in Corfu. In 1852 was married to Ecaterini Hariati from Zante and they lived in Zante for 18 years. Then he went to live in Patras. (These are only headlines - read the full story in the book by Sklavounos).

Problem 473
Ιωσήφ Λιμπεράλης (Giuseppe Liberali)
Nuova Rivista degli Scacchi, 12/1877
White plays and mates in 3 moves
3b4/3B4/3s4/3k4/2q1S3/2P1R3/1S1P1B2/2K1Q3 (9+4)

The key has a peculiarity, not uncommon 130 years ago. Today, different rules of compositions prevail.

I will append here the solution in a few days.

Wishes for merry festivities to all!

20101228 : The solution
Key : 1.Rd3+! (checking key : acceptable if this is the only way to show the theme)
1...Qxd3 2.Sf6+ Bxf6 3.Qe6#
1...Qd4 2.Rxd4+ Ke5 3.Bg3# / Sd3# (dual of continuations : undesirable)
1...Ke5? 2.Bg3# (short variation : weakness)

Putting aside the technicalities, we salute this composition by a very distant Greek chess-and-musique composer.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Online solving in occasion of International Chess Composition Day organized by Society for Chess Composition and Puzzles Zagreb.
Compositions for solving will be published at website „PZR Zagreb“ (http://pzrdig2.bloger.hr/) and „Chess Composition & Puzzles“ (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chess-Composition-Puzzles/191057181368?ref=mf) 21.12.2010. at noon, 12:00 CET (Central European Time).
Please send your solutions to e-mail address pzrdig2@gmail.com til noon (12:00 CET) 4.1.2011. Preliminary results will be published on 5.1.2011.
Thank you and best regards!

20101221 UPDATE :


Please solve this problems as soon as you can and send your solutions to e-mail address: pzrdig2-at-gmail.com

(please switch the letters '-at-' with symbol '@' ) Don't send your solution as comments to this website! Closing date: January 4th 2010 at noon, 12:00 hours CET (Central European Time) Don't forget to write your name, town and country!
The solutions for problems A, B & C should consist only the first moves of White.
The solution for problem D should consist the first move of White and variations (defences by Black and the 2nd moves of White) with mates in the third move.
The solution for problem E should consist the first move of White and variations (defences by Black and the moves of White til his 7th move) with mates in the eighth move.
The solution for problem F should consist the first move of white. Please find the place for BK. White to move and mate in two.
Welcome and thank you for compeeting!

Solver Killers :)) Special category with two problems for those who enjoy really hard puzzles!
G) White to move and mate in three. Please find place for BK, the key and the variations of threemover.
H) PG - The shortest proof game in exactly 24 moves (24moves by White and 24 moves by Black).
I) h2-#2 In Help-direct-poblem black helps white to reach a position, when (white moves, and) black cannot prevent from a standard y-mover. In Help-direct-mate h2-#2 black starts, and after a next move of white and black there should be a standard two-mover on the board.

Happy holidays and best regards!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Circe, in simple steps

Today we host a presentation of the fairy chess condition Circe, prepared by the awarded composer Themistocles Argirakopoulos.
Read the text and the examples. You will find that they are really simple and pretty.


One of the most popular conditions of the fairy chess is Circe. In its initial form, was described by P. Monreal and J. P. Boyer in 1968. Since then, Circe and its many variations, have often offered pleasant moments to the friends of the chess compositions. (See here, here and here).

What is the peculiarity of Circe?
Let us forget the way we capture a piece when playing Over-The-Board chess, because if Circe is active, the captured piece will not find easily its way into the box of the chess pieces. In any capture (King excluded) the captured piece will be reborn on its "initial" square. If that rebirth square is occupied, only then the capture is final and the captured piece is removed from the chessboard.

How the rebirth-square is specified?
For Queens and Bishops there no difficulty - their initial square is unique. For the other pieces, it is specified by the color of the square where the capture has taken place if the captured was Rook or Knight, or by the column where the capture has taken place if the captured was Pawn (or fairy chesspiece). For example, a black Rook captured on a7 is reborn on h8 (since it has been captured on a black square) while if it was captured on c2 the rebirth would happen on a8. If we capture a white Pawn on d6 then it will be reborn on d2.
It is important to remember that castling with a reborn Rook is allowed.
It is crucial to observe that the move is not considered finished when we put the capturing piece on the board, but when all the Circe-effects are completed.
Detail : Since we consider that fairy pieces have originated by promoted pawns, their rebirth-square is the promotion-square of the file where the capture took place. If we capture a white Grasshopper on a4, it is reborn on a8.
Circe does not allow us to capture of a piece, when the reborn piece checks our King.

We note a Circe-rebirth inside square brackets. The symbols that annotate a move (like ! ? + e.p.), are written after the brackets. For example, if a white Knight captures the black Queen on h1, we do not write simply 1.Sxh1 but we append the rebirth (plus a black Queen on d8) in brackets : 1.Sxh1 [+bQd8] .
If a Pawn from g7 captures the bQh8 and then is promoted to a Rook that gives check, the move is written more complicated : 1.gxh8=R [+bQd8] + .

Example of self-protection
One of the effects that diversify Circe from the usual chess, is that the pieces have sometimes the ability to protect themselves. Remember that the moves are not completed when we put the capturing piece on a square. We must first examine the possibility of the captured piece to be reborn somewhere on the board and then we can characterize our move as being legal, giving check or mate, or defending. For example, the most usual Circe-mate is probably the following :

Position 472_01
Let us suppose that the white Queen was on g1 and played 1.Qg4+

The first reaction on usual chess would be 1...Kxg4 where the black has the unique move to capture the unprotected Queen and then it is safe. Wrong! Since black has captured a white piece, we must examine what happens if it is reborn. The square d1 is free, and thus the white Queen is still in the game! It is reborn on d1. So, if the bK captures the wQg4, we will have the following situation :

Position 472_02
The black King exposes itself to check! That means, it can not capture the wQ on g4, and thus the white move was giving mate 1.Qg4#

Allumwandlung (AUW)
Having the ability of "self-protection" on mind, we can use less material to a mate formation. And talking about "less material", why do not we use a Pawn that would be promoted to a piece? And furthermore, the defences of the black could come from promoted pieces also! The idea is substantiated in AUW form, that is, we will try to make the 4 possible promotions in the variations of the composition.

But how, exactly, can this happen? In all probability White should queen a Pawn in one variation and promote it to Rook in another. In a different situation it would be difficult for us to form a mating net since we do not wish to load the position with many pieces. We also choose to compose a helpmate in two moves.

Should we see what happens with a wP in the seventh row? With the W1 (=first white move) it is promoted and with the W2 it delivers mate. This sounds simple! If the promoted piece is a Queen, it could be nice to be on d-file when checkmates, in order to be self-protected. Well, let us promote this wPd7 to Queen on d8. The checkmate can be delevired from squares d2 thru d7. (Not from d1 because, if wQd1 is captured on d1, the rebirth square would be occupied! Not a big nuisance, though...)

A wRd1, if captured there, can be reborn on h1 and can control a1-g1 from there. That is good! But how can we block squares around the black King? Let us suppose it stands on e1. A bKe1 can be threatened from a wQd2 or from a wRd1. We will need a black Pawn on the 2nd row, which will be promoted with move B1 to Knight or Bishop (in order for us to achieve the AUW theme) and with move B2 will block a flight-square.

Position 472_03

With the queen on d2, the square f1 must be blocked with a black piece, and if this piece is promoted only bQ or bR can reach f1 in one move... (so forget the AUW).
Should we threaten mate with a rook on d1? We need to block two squares :

Position 472_04

On e2 can stand a bishop and a knight on f2. We prefer this formation since they can capture on d1, but Circe will send the rook to h1 with check, so the capture is not a legal defence. As we see it we need two black pawns. One to be promoted and one on e2 or f2 to watch patiently the action...
With a little counting, we see that promotion to a black bishop and placing it on e2 in two moves is no good. That is, with a pawn on f2, only a pawn on d2 can be helpful :

Position 472_05
1.d1=B d8=R 2.Be2 Rd1#

But things are now very tight for one, uniquely defined, mate by the queen in the other variation.
Let us try to leave a pawn on e2 but block f2 with a knight. The promotion must take place on file-d or on file-h. If we try with a bPd2, the pawn on e2 closes lines in the other variation where we promote on d1 to bishop, which would be extremely difficult to get near the action. So we start with a promotion on h1 and if need arises, we will think of something different...

Position 472_06
1.h1=S d8=R 2.Sf2 Rd1#
since Circe does not allow capturing of the rook by Black!

Splendid, we have a working variation. And we know that in the other variation we must promote to wQ and bB. The queen will check from file-d. Since d1 and d2 are not suitable, let us try a little higher. This means that the black king must be relocated. Moving it towards the "interior" of the chessboard, more flights must be controlled by the White. Again, the black pawns must help for the formation of the mating net. Let us place the black king on e3...

Position 472_07
There is a nice picture of mate...
all it needs is to bring the white queen on d4!

Satisfaction! It seems we have succeeded. And we must not forget to leave the white king somewhere on the chessboard! But ... on f3 can equally well go a black queen, yes? The mate is still valid.

Position 472_08

Well, this can give an active role to the white king! wK must not allow 1.h1=Q. So, we place it on h7 :

Position 472_09

1.h1=S d8=R 2.Sf2 Rd1#

Position 472_10
and twin : bKe1->e3 (bK must be relocated from e1 to e3)
1.h1=B d8=Q 2.Bf3 Qd4#

Our compliments to mr Klaus Wenda, who in 1985 was awarded 2nd recommendation from feenschach magazine with this problem (WinChloe 245497). (The difference is in the position of the white king, where the composer does not allow the promotion of bPh2 to queen, by not allowing to it to step on f3. The solutions, as the reader can easily certify, are identical.)

Position 472_11
Klaus Wenda, Feenschach 1985, 2nd commendation
h#2, Circe, twin : bK->e3

We can easily find similar examples in the problem databases, as the following (WinChloe 123172)

Position 472_12
Per Bjørn Grevlund, Stella Polaris 1973
h#2 Duplex, Circe
1.g1=B d8=R 2.Bf2 Rd1# (Black plays first, White wins in 2)
1.d8=S g1=Q 2.Se6 Qg5# (White plays first, Black wins in 2).

Note : The white pawn on h5 stops undesirable effects, as 1.Kg5 g1=Q+ 2.Kh5 Qg5# (bQ is self-protected because its rebirth square is d8).

Pictures of Mate with Circe condition
We saw that things are a little different when Circe desides to haunt our chessboard. Which are really the pictures that will allow us to mate the adversary King, those Circe-specific pictures that do not appear in an ordinary OTB game?

Let us start with something simple. A white Queen on the firts line, alone and unprotected by other white pieces, can achieve a valid mate, because the black King can not capture the wQ since it is reborn on d1 and checks the bK from there. That means the move of the bK exposes it to check! Thus the move does not agree with the laws of chess.

Position 472_13

Something more interesting is shown in the next picture, where the bK seems to be relatively safe. Or is it?

Position 472_14
1.Rxh7 [+bSg8]#

The Knight was captured on a white square, thus it is reborn on g8 and the wR is self-protected, because if it is captured on h7 then it is reborn on h1 checking the bK.

Position 472_15

Now, another picture where the white Bishop is self-protected : Only the bK can capture on g2, but that means that it is exposed to check from the reborn on f1 bishop! Of course, if there was a piece on f1 (not a white pice that can control g2), then the bK is not mated but can capture the wB which would leave the chessboard.

Position 472_16

Let us put some more pieces on our chessboard. We suppose that black in a help-mate game chooses to castle. Then we have this interesting continuation :

Position 472_17
1.O-O Sxh6 [+bPh7]#

In the next position White mates in two moves.

Position 472_18
1...Kg1 2.Bf2#
1...Kxe1[+wBc1] 2.Bd2#

One of the variations has got a very peculiar picture.

Position 472_19

Mate it is!

In the next bizzare position there exists a simple mate in one move. (Did you see it? We do not care if the wR and the wS seem to be captured with many ways...)

Position 472_20


Another significant difference of Circe from OTB chess is the possibility of the castling. If your King is still unmoved but your rooks are roaming around the chessboard, you definitely have abandoned the idea of castling...
But Circe allows castling with a reborn rook! It is a desirable effect. Can we form such a situation? Why not? We could maybe try to show both O-Ο and Ο-Ο-Ο in two variations. We choose again help-mate in two moves. The black King stands unmoved on e8. We leave empty the a8, h8 squares to be clear that the rooks have been moved, and that they might be reborn there. A white bishop can be useful in the diagonal a1-h8. (The h8 will be empty after Ο-Ο, and it is not easy to put a black piece there (but not impossible!). We could start like this :

Position 472_21
1.Rc3 Bxc3 [+bRh8] 2. O-O

We can add white pieces and discover a mate somewhere, but what will be the function of the wB in the second variation, where we aim for Ο-Ο-Ο? We also think that the bR can be captured on f6, and that means we have more things to take care of ...
Well, we need additional material for White, and we have to aim at king's wing and queens's wing simultaneously. We will move wB some steps up the diagonal for sure. A white Rook is better idea than a white Queen. The rook will offer enough power to mate but not the excessive power of the queen, which in a helpmate has many chances to introduce many cooks (undesirable solutions) into our problem.
The wR will initially mate the bK on g8. But if wR is already on file g, castling is not allowed. Also, White must find a way to control f7, h7 squares. We could add pawns there, but we prefer to keep the position light. One idea is to put a white rook on f6, and capture a bR only on c3, but it does not allow castling, neither holds h7. If it is placed on the 7th row? It is supported by the wB, but h8 is not controlled. A black piece should go there after the castling.
But Black has finished its two moves! One by the rook to go where it must be captured, and another one the castling.
Ok, we shall send a black piece to h8! We will put a bR on g7, and then the wR can placed on file g. Let us try this :

Position 472_22

Two black rook will be captured on black squares and will be both rebornd on h8, the first to take part to the castling and the second to block the square h8.
i.e. 1.Rc3 Bxc3 [+bRh8] 2. O-O Rxg7 [+bRh8]#
But again, one rook can be captured on f6, and we still do not threaten anything thinking the variation Ο-Ο-Ο. Let us see it differently...

Position 472_23

The white pieces are threatening both file g and diagonal a1-h8. After the queen's-side castling, the bK will be on c8.
We examine the squares a8,b8, from which we can mate the bK. On a8, not easily, because it is white and we do not have white-squared bishop to control b7. If the white king takes control of b7, then the wB would sit unemployed, which is a great drawback for any problem.
But on b8? A wR there with the proper support will be what is needed. The b8 square is on file b2-b8 (which is cut by diagonal b2-h8) and on diagonal g3-b8 (which is cut by file g3-g8). We intentionally noted that the cuts are on the squares b2, g3.
We plan to put our pieces, wB and wR, there and they should move in each mentioned file and diagonal in two variations. Since the pieces are not queens, the solution would be the pieces to exchange places in the twin!
It is necessary for bRc6 also to change position. It must be captured on black square from a piece on b2, bishop or rook.
The b3 square is suitable. The bR on b3 is captured by wRb2, or it moves to c3 where it is captured by wBb2. It can not be placed further to the right to be captured there (on file-e it is captured with check, on g3 there is a wR blocking the way). We could place wRg1 and bRg3, but this breaks our twinning idea. But if the bR captures the wB on b2, Rxb2[+wBc1], and the be captured by the reborn bishop Bxb2[+bRh8], we would have an undesirable dual. So, we have discovered a nice square for the wK! Square c1. If the wB is captured on b2, it can not be reborn and gets out of the problem!

Position 472_24

Final Position.

Position 472_25
h#2, Circe, Twin with white pieces exchanging places.
1.Rc3+ Bxc3 [+bRh8] 2.O-O Rxg7 [+bRh8]#
1.Rd7 Rxb3 [+bRa8] 2.O-O-O Rb8#

Question : Could we compose a similar problem without the twinning mechanism? With some rearrangement of white pieces, addition of a black pawn and with a little help from my good friends and able composers this can be done!

Position 472_26
h#2, Circe, 2111

We leave the 2 solutions to the reader. He/she is now familiar with the idea! (bRb3 is captured on b3 and c3).

A better position was published in 2002 by Zdenek Oliva, and we give him our compliments! (WinChloe 118771)

Position 472_27
Zdenek Oliva, Problemkiste 2002
h#2, Circe, 2 solutions
1.Rc6 Kxc6[+bRa8] 2.O-O-O Se7#
1.Rd4 Bxd4[+bRh8] 2.O-O Sh6#
(But he could place bPh7 on h6 to have one more Circe-effect : 2.O-O Sxh6[+bPh7]#)

The presentation stops here. We think that the message has been given.
Circe is simple, so try it!

(Editing / translation : Manolas Emmanuel)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Distinctions for this blog

I translate from the (Greek language) blog kallitexniko-skaki (=artistic chess) to English all the posts with non-local interest, forming this way the blog chess-problems-gr.blogspot.com.

If you visit the web page of the British Chess Problems Society [here] and follow the path - who has designed the pages : click (left) on [Brian Stephenson's pages] - click (up) on [Chess Composition] - click (left) on [Links] - click (right) on [Chess Composition], you find the blog chess-problems-gr in the third position
1. First : The World Federation for Chess Composition WFCC,
2. Second : The British Chess Problem Society BCPS,
3. Third : Our Chess-problems-gr, with comment "A blog from Greece (in English) about chess composition - very warmly recommended!" (Thanks!!),
4. Fourth : The American The Good Companions,

Yesterday I learned that the blog chess-problems-gr has got a distinction, together with other chess blogs, from the company onlinecomputersciencedegree.com, which is using the blog in their offered lessons. We have a badge to advertise it. Thanks. (It has been discontinued since September 2012).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

C20101130 : Composition Contest Archakov MT

A competition on creation of the chess compositions devoted in memory of Volgograd master Vladimir Archakov (1938-2005).

Sections : #3 (judge - V. Sychov, Belarus), h#3 (judge - A. Semenenko, Ukraine).

Compositions must be send up to 30.11.2010 to e-mail: rosini@t-k.ru

The publication of results will be in 2011 in the newspaper: "Molodoj" (Volgograd, Russia) and on a site: http://www.efrosinin.t-k.ru.

Dispatch of results to foreign participants only by e-mail!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Adventure in composition

In this post we try to show with examples the adventure in the composition of a chess problem.
The new and very productive composer Diyan Kostadinov, coming from Bulgaria, proposed during the World Congress in Crete a composition contest with a new fairy piece, the KoBul King. (Ko Kostadinov, Bul Bulgaria).
The KoBul King acquires the abilities of moving and capturing of the last captured friendly piece. (If Black captures a white Rook, then the white King continues to be a royal piece but moves and captures exactly like a rook). The white King returns to its normal situation when Black captures a white Pawn.
We have now a piece that is controlled by the opponent, thus nice problems with tactical play can be composed.

The crucial fact today is that there exists no software to check compositions with the new piece, so we have an opportunity to work as we used to work many years ago : only with our minds.

We decide to compose a helpmate in two moves.
Idea : In a helpmate problem, black is moving first.
B1 : [The black KoBul King bKK will go to a square].
W1 : [The white KoBul King wKK will capture a Bishop and will become instantly KKB (KoBul King Bishop)].
B2 : [The KKB will move someplace else...].
W2 : [...where will be threaten by the wB (but the bKKB will not be able to capture the wB, because wKK will be transformed instantly to wKKB and will capture the bKKB) thus will be mated].
There will be also a second variation with Rooks

Let us see the Plan A.

(Problem 471 Plan A)
Emmanuel Manolas,
original (please do not copy), 07/10/2010,
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+4)

Desired solutions :
1.KKg4 KKxc2(bKK=KKB) 2.KKBd7 Bf5#
1.KKg5 KKxe1(bKK=KKR) 2.KKRc5 Re5#
Seems to be good. The white pieces do not stay idle in the variation where they have not the first role. In the first the wR holds e8, in the second the wB holds c4.
Unfortunately there is a cook :
1.KKf3 KKxc2(bKK=KKB) 2.KKh1 Be4#
Let us move all the pieces one place left to help bKKB escape. See Plan B.

(Plan B)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+4)

The desired variations, slightly modified, still work.
Unfortunately the cook remains because wRd2 holds h2 (But how did that escape from our keen eye?) :
1.KKe3 KKxb2(bKK=KKB) 2.KKBg1 Bd4#
Let us move the position one file left, hoping that bKKB will manage to escape. See Plan C.

(Plan C)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+4)

Besides the desired solutions, a new cook has appeared :
1.KKe4 KKxa2(bKK=KKB) 2.KKa8 Bd5#
So, if we can not correct the problem moving the pieces to the left, let us try to move the initial position A one file to the right. See Plan D.

(Plan D)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+4)

Unfortunately this placement has got six solutions as normal helpmate, totally undesirable for our goal, to compose a KoBul Kings helpmate.
1.Kh4 Kf3 2.Ra1/Rb1/Rc1/Rd1/Re1/Rg1 Rh2#
Will we be forced to add a white pawn to the initial position, to stop bKK from going to f3? Let us see Plan E.

(Plan E)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (5+4)

It does seem safe, doesn't it?
Would you say that the following is a cook?
1.Rxe2(wKK=KKR)+ KKRxe2(bKK=KKR) 2.KKRf1 KKRxc2(bKK=KKB)#
NO, it is not! Black continues with 3.bKKxg2(wKK=KK)! without fear of threat.
It seems safe, but the idea of putting a white pawn was not good, because we should try first to find a better arrangement of pieces adding black pawns.
Let us see Plan F. It is Plan B with a bP on h5 and the bK on h4. We expect it to have the two desired solutions starting with keys 1.Kg3 and 1.Kg5.

(Plan F)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+5)

We the amount of experience we have by now, it is easy to see the cook (the cooks) in this edition.

1.Ra1/Rf1/Rg1/Rh1 KKxb2(bKK=KKB) 2.KKBe1 Rf2#

What would you say about putting a bP on f2? See Plan G.

(Plan G)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (4+6)

Is seems to be ok, but it is not economical. And that white pawn on b4 could be removed. But wait a moment! The black pawn on f2 can stop the move Kh4-e1, but it can also be promoted. And here is the new cook :

1.f1=S Kxb2(bKK=KKB) 2.Sg3 Bf6#

Let us turn the chessboard 180 degrees to avoid promotions, and also replace the white pawn. See Plan H.

(Plan H)
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (3+6)

We expect to have only the desired solutions with keys 1.Kb6 and 1.Kb4.
For a moment we thought we saw a new cook :
1.b6 Rxd8(bKK=KKR) 2.KKRc6 Rc8#
Luckily there is 3.KKRxe6(wKK=KKB)+! and the bK is completely safe.

But we cannot escape so easily! See this cook :
1.b6 Bc4 2.KKc6 Rc7#

Last try : We move bPb7 to c6. See Plan Ι.

(Problem 471 Plan Ι)
Emmanuel Manolas,
original (please do not copy), 07/10/2010,
h#2 2111 KoBul Kings (3+6)

Solutions :
1.KKb5 KKxf7(bKK=KKB) 2.KKBe2 Bc4#
1.KKb4 KKxd8(bKK=KKR) 2.KKRf4 Rd4#

(Five from nine pieces are on white squares, so the problem will be discernible when printed. We do not flip it left/right).

Mr Christian Poisson has promised that in the next edition of his software WinChloe, it will include the condition KoBul Kings (Rois KoBul?). We will check then to see if this problem we composed today is cooked or not.
With computers we lost a great part of the adventure of composition, but cooked problems have ceased to be published any more.

I hope that I have relayed to you a part of the fascinating process of chess problem composition. The friends composers Themis Argyrakopoulos (from island Ios) and Kostas Prentos (from Thessaloniki) had crucial role in cook-hunting.

Now the problem will be sent to a composition contest to be judged, and maybe receive a distinction.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WCCC-53 WCSC-34 bulletin

The bulletin of World Congress on Chess Composition is ready.
You may download it from here.

In the photo we see Kostas Prentos (standing), Emmanuel Manolas, Themis Argirakopoulos. (This photo was sent by Dimitris Skyrianoglou, member of the Greek National Team of Solving Chess Compositions).

We sum up here the twelve Greek succesful entries in the WCCC 2010, in Crete.

13th SABRA Tourney
3rd Honourable Mention : Kostas Prentos
Commendation : Kostas Prentos & Diane Barnard (USA),

8th Romanian TZUICA Tourney
1st Section, orthodox : 2nd Honourable Mention : Kostas Prentos

Good Zug Tourney
4th Honourable Mention : Kostas Prentos

Champagne Tourney
Section A : 1st Honourable Mention : Kostas Prentos

1st Bulgarian Wine Tourney
1st-3rd Prize : Kostas Prentos,
1st-3rd Prize : Vlaicu Crişan (Romania) & Kostas Prentos,
5th Prize : Themis Argirakopoulos & Kostas Prentos.
Special Prize : Emmanuel Manolas
1st Honourable Mention : Themis Argirakopoulos
Commendation : Themis Argirakopoulos & Emmanuel Manolas

Metaxa Tourney
Honourable Mention : Ioannis Garoufalidis

Monday, October 25, 2010

Composers' results in WCCC 2010, Crete

In this post we shall see the themes and the composers' prizes in the composition tourneys held in Crete, during WCCC 2010.

Congress Long Composing Tourney, Judge : Chris Feather (Great Britain).

Theme : Helpmates in 3 to 4 moves are required with at least two phases (solutions or twin) without set play, without zeroposition, no duplex. Fairy pieces are allowed, but fairy conditions are not. In the diagram White has at least a King, a (normal) Queen, and one more piece normal or fairy, and any number of additional normal pieces/pawns.

Prize : Chris Handloser (Switzerland).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (2) Aleksandr Semenenko & Valery Semenenko (Ukraine) & Gennady Chumakov (Russia), (3) Ofer Comay (Israel).
Commendations : (1) Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia), (2) Fadil Abdurahmanović (Bosnia - Hercegovina) & Mike Prcic (USA) & Zvonimir Hernitz (Croatia), (3) Evgeny Fomichev (Russia), (4) Mark Erenburg (Israel), (5) Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia).

Congress Quick Composing Tourney - #2, Judge : Christopher Reeves (Great Britain).

Theme : In an orthodox two-mover, either a white try fails to a black promotion, or the black promotion is the only move without set mate in an initial position with incomplete blocus. In a phase of play (or in more phases) this black promotion (to the same square but not necessarily to the same piece) is answered with a white mate.

Prizes : (1) Paz Einat (Israel), (2) Jorma Paavilainen (Finland).

Congress Quick Composing Tourney – h#2, Judge : Živko Janevski (FYRO Macedonia).

Theme : In a helpmate two mover, a white line piece aims towards the bK and there is between them a piece (black or white). A black thematic piece is placed with the first black move (B1) onto this line, either nearer to the bK, or nearer to the white line piece, resulting to two solutions.

Prizes : (1) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (2) Vito Rallo & Mario Parrinello (Italy).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Gerard Smits (Netherlands), (2) Johan de Boer & Gerard Smits (Netherlands), Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia).
Commendations : (1) Fadil Abdurahmanović (Bosnia - Hercegovina) & Marco Bonavoglia (Italy) & Zvonimir Hernitz (Croatia) & Mike Prcic (USA), (2) Bjørn Enemark (Danemark), (3) Janne Syväniemi & Kenneth Solja & Harri Hurme (Finland).

13th SABRA Tourney, Judge : Menachem Witztum (Israel).

Theme : Creation and opening of a white line, as follows : Move B1 : A black unit X captures a white piece on the line. Move W1 : A white line piece comes on the line. Move B2 : The black piece X moves.

Prizes : (1) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (2) Abdelaziz Onkoud (Morocco), (3) Paz Einat (Israel), (4) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (5) Aleksandr Semenenko & Valery Semenenko (Ukraine), (6) Michal Dragoun (Czech Republic).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Vasil Dyachuk & Valery Kopyl (Ukraine), (2) Emanuel Navon (Israel), (3) Kostas Prentos (Greece), (4) Gerard Smits (Netherlands), (5) Bojan Vučković (Serbia), (6) Kenneth Solja & Janne Syväniemi (Finland), (7) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (8) Aaron Hirschernson (Israel), (9) Valery Gurov & Boris Shorokhov (Russia).
Commendations : (_) Jean Hayman (Israel), (_) Fadil Abdurahmanović (Bosnia - Hercegovina) & Zvonimir Hernitz (Croatia) & Mike Prcic (USA), (_) Abdelaziz Onkoud (Morocco), (_) Mike Prcic (USA) & Zvonimir Hernitz (Croatia) & Fadil Abdurahmanović (Bosnia - Hercegovina), (_) Živko Janevski (FYRO Macedonia), (_) Kostas Prentos (Greece) & Diane Barnard (USA), (_) Michael Barth (Germany), (_) Valery Kopyl (Ukraine), (_) Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia).

8th Romanian TZUICA Tourney, Judges : Vlaicu Crişan & Eric Huber (Romania).

Theme : Help-selfmates (hs#n) or help-selfstalemates (hs=n) with at least two phases, where the last black move is made by the King or a royal unit. All fairy conditions and pieces are allowed.

1st Section : orthodox
Prizes : (1) Dieter Müller & Michael Barth & Franz Pachl (Germany), (2) Petko Petkov (Bulgaria).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Paz Einat & Ofer Comay (Israel), (2) Kostas Prentos (Greece), (3) Mark Erenburg (Israel), (4) Valery Gurov & Boris Shorokhov (Russia).
Commendations : (1) Dieter Müller (Germany), (2) Abdelaziz Onkoud (Morocco), (3) Gerard Smits (Netherlands).

2nd Section : fairy
Prizes : (1) Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (2) Michal Dragoun (Czech Republic).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (2) František Sabol (Czech Republic), (3) Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia).
Commendation : Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria).

Good Zug Tourney, Judge : Dan Meinking (USA).

Theme : New fairy condition “CapZug” = Obligation for capture is the only possible continuation without double threat (Capture ZugZwang). Helpmates CapZug (hx=n) are required, from 5 semi-moves and more (n>=2.5).

Prizes : (1-2) Geoff Foster (Australia) & Arno Tüngler (Germany), (1-2) René J. Millour (France), (3) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Cornel Pacurar (Canada) & Arno Tüngler (Germany), (2) Michael Barth (Germany), (3) Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia), (4) Kostas Prentos (Greece), (5) Geoffrey Caveney.
Commendations : (1) Cornel Pacurar (Canada) & Arno Tüngler (Germany), (2) Eric Huber (Romania), (3) Dieter Müller (Germany), (4) Pierre Tritten (France), (5) Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (6) Michael Barth (Germany).

Champagne Tourney, Judge : Michel Caillaud (France).

Theme : To celebrate the fourth Congress in Greece in a short time, the tourney is devoted to number 4, and there will be two sections (Α) Proof Games, or (B) Any other kind of Retro Problems.

Section A :
Honourable Mentions : (1) Kostas Prentos (Greece), (2) Ivan Denkovski & Gligor Denkovski (FYRO Macedonia), Marco Bonavoglia (Italy).
Commendations : (1) Allan Bell (Ireland) & Jonathan Mestel (Great Britain), (2) Marco Bonavoglia & Marco Guida & Mario Parrinello & Vito Rallo (Italy).

Section B :
Prize : Paul Raican & Vlaicu Crişan (Romania).

10th Moskovskaya Matreshka Tourney, Judge : Valery Gurov (Russia).

Theme : Helpmates h#2 without fairy elements. Between bK and a white line piece there are two pieces X and Y of any color. The twin is made by exchanging places of the pieces X and Y.

Prizes : (1) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (2) Jean Haymann (Israel), (3) Vasil Dyachuk & Valery Kopyl (Ukraine).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Viktor Zaitsev & Aleksandr Bulavka (Belarus), (2) Aaron Hirschenson & Menachem Witztum (Israel), (3) Aleksandr Semenenko & Valery Semenenko (Ukraine).

3rd Arves Jenever Tourney, Judge : Marcel Van Herck (Belgium).

Theme : Studies, where the mate is made by a pinned piece/pawn, without double check.

Prizes : Oleg Pervakov (Russia).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Mark Erenburg (Israel), (2) John Nunn (Great Britain), (3) Evgeny Kopylov & Oleg Pervakov & Andrey Selivanov (Russia).
Commendations : (1) Sergey Borodavkin (Ukraine), (2) Vitaly Kovalenko (Russia), (3) Andy Ooms & Eddy van Beers (Belgium) & Dolf Wissmann (Netherlands).

10th Japanese Sake Tourney, Judge : Tadashi Wakashima (Japan).

Theme : New fairy condition “Half-Check”. The check is initially considered half, but if the threat is present in the next move by the same piece, then it is a full check. Helpmate two-movers are required.

Prizes : (1) Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (2) Mark Erenburg (Israel), (3) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (4) René J. Millour (France), (5) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria), (6) Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia).
Special Prize : Michel Caillaud (France).
Honourable Mentions : (1) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (2) Mark Erenburg (Israel), (3) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria), (4) Aleksandr Bulavka (Belarus), (5) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (6) Mark Erenburg (Israel).
Special Honourable Mention : Michel Caillaud (France).
Commendation : (1) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (2) Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia), (3) Vlaicu Crişan (Romania), (4) Michael McDowell (Great Britain), (5) Gerd Reichling (Germany).

1st Bulgarian Wine Tourney, Judge : Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria).

Theme : New fairy piece “KoBul King”, where the King moves like the last captured friendly piece, and returns to normality when a friendly pawn is captured. Two-movers orthodox #2 and helpmate h#2 are required, with only exception their KoBul Kings.

Prizes : (1-3) Mario Parrinello (Italy), (1-3) Kostas Prentos (Greece), (1-3) Vlaicu Crişan (Romania) & Kostas Prentos (Greece), (4) Ricardo Vieira (Brasil), (5) Themis Argirakopoulos & Kostas Prentos (Greece).
Special Prize : Emmanuel Manolas (Greece)
Honourable Mentions : (1) Themis Argirakopoulos (Greece), (2) Dieter Müller (Germany).
Commendation : Themis Argirakopoulos & Emmanuel Manolas (Greece)

Uralsky Problemist Tourney, Judge : Andrey Selivanov (Russia).

Theme : Selfmates in 2 to 6 moves without white pawns.

Prizes : (1) Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (2) Evgeny Fomichev (Russia), (3) Vitaly Kovalenko (Russia).

Ukraine Tourney, Judge : Yakov Rossomakho (Russia).

Theme : Orthodox two-movers #2 with record expression of different classic themes of tactical content.

Prizes : (1) Kiril Stojanov (Bulgaria) & Nikola Veliky & Vasyl Markovtsky (Ukraine), (2) Paz Einat & Ofer Comay (Israel), (3) Chris Handloser (Switzerland).

Metaxa Tourney, Judge : Pavlos Moutecidis (Greece).

Theme : Selfmates in at least 6 moves are required with two white queens on the initial diagram and up to 9 units in total. No fairy conditions and/or pieces are allowed.

Prizes : (1) Andrey Selivanov (Russia), (2) Andrey Selivanov (Russia).
Honourable Mention : Ioannis Garoufalidis (Greece)
Commendation : Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The new president for WFCC (ex PCCC) said...

The permanent committee for chess composition (PCCC) of the "Federation International des Eschecs" (FIDE) is now a Federation and has the title "World Federation for Chess Composition" (WFCC).
The statute rules have been modified (to conform with Suisse law).
After the elections for presidency (four years of service) we have :
President : Harry Fougiaxis GRE
1st Vice President : Hannu Harkola FIN
2nd Vice President : Georgi Evseev RUS
3rd Vice President - Treasurer : Thomas Maeder SWI
Two more officers are going to be elected soon in newly established positions, an auditor and a reserve auditor.

As the new president of WFCC mr Harry Fougiaxis said to us, he has the impression that the elected team has uniformity and a willingness to help the world of chess composition.

First plans for action
1. Registration of name and statute rules of WFCC in Verne, Suisse.
2. Improvement of relations with FIDE.
3. Coordination and restructuring in the work subcommittees of ex-PCCC, (Solving - FIDE album - Studies - WCC Tournament etc).
4. The titles (GM of FIDE for chess solving, GM of FIDE for chess composition) will continue to be supported by FIDE.

Some perennial problems have already been spotted (like the delayed preparation of the FIDE Albums) and there are ideas for useful usage of internet.

You have read (in world exclusiveness) the first "press conference" of the new president of WFCC, mr. Harry Fougiaxis.

Some Results from the WSCS 2010

Some results from the Championship in Chess Problem Solving, which took place this year in Crete, Greece. Judge in the Solving events was mr. Axel Steinbrick.

You may find all the problems of the solving tourneys and their solutions here.

Solvers and Points (max=60) in the Open Solving event
1. Evseev 60
2. Vuskovich 60
3. Zude 59
4. Selivanov 58
5. Comay 56.5
6. Nunn 55
7. Murdzia 54.5
8. Tummes 54
9. Fomichev 52.5
10. Kovacevic 51.5
17. Prentos 49
48. Papastavropoulos 33.5
72. Papathanassiou 23
75. Skyrianoglou 21
78. Konidaris 18
82. Manolas 7.5
83. Efthimakis 6

Countries and Points (max=180) in the Championship WSCS Tournament
1. Poland 130
2. Russia 129.5
3. Germany 128.5
4. Great Britain 126.5
5. Serbia 118
6. Belgium 113
14. Greece (Konidaris - Papastavropoulos - Prentos) 91
20. Greece B (Efthimakis - Manolas - Skyrianoglou) 44.5

Solvers and Points (max=90) in the Champioship WSCS Tournament
1. Nunn GBR 71
2. Murdzia POL 69.5
3. Pfannkuche GER 64.0
4. Evseev RUS 63.5
5. Van Beers BEL 61.5
6. Selivanov RUS 61.5
7. Vuckovic SRB 61.5
8. Kopyl UKR 61.0
9. Piorun POL 60.0
10. Viktorov RUS 59.5
11. Zude GER 58.0
12. Fomichev RUS 56.5
19. Prentos GRE 52.5
48. Papastavropoulos GRE 34.0
56. Skyrianoglou GRE 28.0
65. Papathanassiou GRE 20.0
68. Manolas GRE 16.5
69. Konidaris GRE 13.5
70. Efthimakis GRE 5.0

In the "Machine Gun" contest 30 two movers are presented on a screen for 1 minute each and the solvers must find and write the key. The perfect score would be +30-0 (thirty correct by +1.0 and no wrong answers by -0.9) but it is not approachable.

Solvers, Given Answers and Points (max=30) on "Machine Gun" solving contest
1. Mestel J +10-2 8.2
2. Kovacevic M +10-5 5.5
3. Selivanov A +8-3 5.3
4. Caillaud M +7-2 5.2
5. Mukoseev A +10-6 4.6
6. McDowell M +7-3 4.3

Solvers and Points (max=45) in the "Open Fairy Solving" contest
1. Juraj Loerinc 32.5
2. Vlaicu Crisan 27.5
3. Eddy van Beers 27.25
4. Boris Tummes 26.5
5. Thomas Maeder 26

In the "Solving Show" a new presentation program was used, created by Ioannis Garoufalidis, Judge - composer - solver - programmer - physics teacher.

In this type of competition take part the top solvers of the WSCS tournament. It is a knock-out procedure. Each pair of solvers sees for a short time a problem and one of the solvers proposes the key-move. If his answer is correct, then he gains a point, otherwise the opponent gains a point. The first who achieves a predetermined score of points (initially 3) is the winner. The next pair steps in and the spectacular event goes on. In case of an unsolved problem, the audience can take part.
Almost a hundred two-mover problems and two and a half hours were needed to complete this competition.

Final results in the "Solving Show" competition
1. Araz Almammadov AZR
2. Marek Kolcak SLO
3. Arno Zude GER
4. Dmitri Pletnev RUS

For composition contests we will have news soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inactivity or not?

Of course not!
We do not post frequently this last period but there is much work done in the backstage.

First, I've prepared the translation in Greek of the Award for the composition content Manolas-60 JT. I believe that is useful for Greek-speaking friends of this blog to easily read an Award. Most of the awards I have seen are written in languages I do not understand and I try machine translation (very funny) or I see only diagrams and solutions, losing the enlighting comments of the Judges.

Second, there are new fairy conditions in the composition contests of the World championship this year in Crete, Greece. Read here for Half-Check, KoBul Kings, CapZug and who knows what new will be born from the imagination of the composers.

Half-Check : The check from a piece is "half" and if it is still preserved by the same piece in the next move, then it is "full". If it cannot be stopped then, it is mate.

KoBul Kings : The Kings take the move/capture properties of their last friendly piece captured, and become normal kings again when a friendly pawn is captured.

CapZug : In given number of moves we must bring the opponent side to a situation to capture something, while it is not under check.

In front of the new conditions all the composers are equivalent (newbie, tenderfoot?). So the new composers must rush!

We prepare our problems, and if someone needs explanations or cooperation, here we are!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Manolas-60 JT Preliminary Award

The Preliminary Award for Manolas-60 Jubilee Tourney is ready.

You may find a copy in .pdf form here

Many thanks to all participating composers.

Manolas-60 JT 2010

Section A (direct mate #3) Award
1st Prize : Arieh Grinblat & Evgeni Bourd (Israel)
2nd Prize : Leonid Makaronez (Israel)
3rd Prize : Alberto Armeni (Italy)
1st Honourable Mention : Ing. Miroslav Svítek (Czech Republic)
2nd Honourable Mention : Manos Pantavos & Nikos Pergialis (Greece)
3rd Honourable Mention : Evgeny Fomichev (Russia)
1st Commendation : Valery Kopyl (Ukraine)
2nd Commendation : Vladimir Kozhakin (Russia)
3rd Commendation : Joaquim Crusats (Spain)
4th Commendation : Carlo de Grandi (Greece)
Special Mention : Christian Poisson (France)

Section B (helpmate #3) Award
1st Prize : Christer Jonsson (Sweden)
2nd Prize : Carlos Lago (Argentina)
Honourable Mention : Evgeny Fomichev (Russia)
Commendation : Stefan Milewski (Poland)
Commendation : Nikos Pergialis (Greece)
Commendation : Menachem Witztum (Israel)

Section C (selfmate #3) Award
1st Prize : Evgeny Fomichev (Russia)
2nd Prize : Ivan Soroka (Ukraine)
Honourable Mention : Alberto Armeni (Italy)
Commendation : Ivan Soroka & Vitaliy Shevchenko & Ivan Borisenko (Ukraine)
Commendation : Soroka Ivan (Ukraine)
Commendation : Gunter Jordan (Germany)

Section D (fairy #3) Award
Prize: Juraj Lörinc & Ladislav Salai Jr. (Slovakia)
Honourable Mention: Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia)
1st Commendation: Ioannis Garoufalidis (Greece)
2nd Commendation: Alberto Armeni (Italy)
3rd Commendation: Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia)
4th Commendation: Juraj Lörinc (Slovakia)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Chess and machines

I noticed a post about [Computer Chess Algorithms] which contains a chronological list of evolutionary steps of the chess-playing-machines.
Apart from the historical content, a judgement of the facts by the blogger reaches the conclusion that [If you play in deep positional style, the computer might not be able to evaluate well the position] and you might win.

Sunday, August 29, 2010



The Azerbaijan Chess Composition Commission announces an International Composing Tourney 'Bakhtiyar Rustamov-50' for helpmates in two (free theme).
Judge: Bakhtiyar Rustamov (Baku, Azerbaijan).
Prize fund: $500.00 (U.S.).
Deadline: 31.10.2010. The preliminary award - 2010.
Entries (max 3 per author) should be sent to: bestechi@mail.ru

Baku, Azerbaijan. 29.08.2010.


Комиссия по шахматной композиций Федераций Шахмат Азербайджана объявляет международный конкурс по составления задач на кооперативный мат в 2 хода (H#2) посвященный 50-летию Бахтияра Рустамова .
Судья: Бахтияр Рустамов (Баку, Азербайджан).
Призовой фонд: 500 $ ( долларов США) .
Последний день присылки: 31.10.2010.
Предварительное присуждение турнира будет опубликован - к концу 2010 года.
Задачи (не более 3-х от одного автора) с пометкой "ЮК Б.Рустамов-50 " высылать по адресу:
E-mail: bestechi@mail.ru
Баку, Азербайджан. 29.08.2010.

Friday, August 27, 2010

C20101028 : Tourney AN & YB

Tourney AN & YB

3# - theme free
Judge: Dejan Glišić
studies - theme free
Judge: Siegfried Hornecker
Send to: Ben Jelloun Youness Younessbenjelloun(AT)gmail.com
Closing date: 28.10.2010

Joueur De Club : Échiquier Rochefortais-France-
Joueur de Club F.U.S -Rabat-Maroc-
Président de Club D'échecs et développement de la FST de Fès.
Problémiste International d'échecs,
Directeur de la magazine :A.N&Y.B (Problèmes) .
Webmestre : www.fes-echecs.azweb.org
Chroniqueur Pour le club Français T.A.E
Adress: N°6 Rue 9 Hay Salam Ainkadous FES -Maroc-


On occasion of 9th Warsaw Solving Grand Prix the Mazovian Chess Society announces the
international tourney in following section:
#3 – judge Leopold Szwedowski
h#2 with 8 pieces – judge Eugeniusz Iwanow
s#3 – judge Waldemar Tura
Zeropositions, fairy pieces and conditions not allowed.
In each group there are 3 prizes.
Closing date: October 25th 2010.
Award will be ready by November 21st 2010.
Problems (on diagrams or in notation) with the complete solution send to:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WCCC-53 and WCSC-34 in Crete, 2010

The 53rd World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) will take place in Hersonissos of Crete, Greece, October 16 thru 23, 2010.

The official page of 53-WCCC is hosted here.

In parallel, the 34th World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC), specifically from Tuesday 19-10-2010 thru Wednesday 20-10-2010.

The official page for 34-WCSC is hosted here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dedication for Manolas-60

The well-known all over the chess-world and very productive composer Moutecidis Pavlos has sent a more-mover selfmate in 18 moves problem, with dedication for the 60 years of Manolas Emmanuel (aka Alkinoos). We thank him warmly.

The problem is a “Miniature” since has no-more than 7 pieces.
Also it is “Aristocratic” since it lacks Pawns.
The theme of the problem was set in the composition contest "Jubilee Tourney Moutecidis-75", 2005-2006 : [Selfmates in 8 to 20 moves. All the white and black pieces move in the course of the solution. White pieces only, can also be captured, instead of moving.]

(Problem 470)
Moutecidis, Pavlos,
Dedication : "Manolas-60"
Selfmate in 18 moves.
s#18 (5 + 2)

White plays and forces Black to mate in eighteen moves. In the problem appears the [Moutecidis-mate] (which will be given by the black Rook, as is evident from the diagram).

The solution has one variation, where the bK makes a long journey with forced moves.

The readers may attempt to solve the problem without seeing the solution, which is written at the end of this post.

Hint : The key is not checking. Castling is allowed.

Solution of the problem 470, by Moutecidis Pavlos:
Key : 1.Be4! zugzwang.
1...Kg1 2.0-0-0+ Kh2 3.Bf5 Kg2 4.Qf1+ Kh2 5.Qe2+ Rg2
6.Qe5+ Rg3 7.Se4 Kg2 8.Qb2+ Kf3 9.Rf1+ Ke3 10.Qf2+ Kd3
11.Rd1+ Kc4 12.Qc5+ Kb3 13.Be6+ Ka4 14.Bd7+ Kb3 15.Sd2+ Ka2
16.Qa5+ Ra3 17.Be6+ Ka1 18.Qc3+ Rxc3# (Moutecidis-mate)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Solving Contest S.O.Patron, 2010

In Saturday, July 24 2010 and time 18:30, a Solving Contest, was organized in S.O.Patron (Chess Club of Patras), with chess problems selected by Mr. Ioannis Garoufalidis.

Six problems were presented to solvers (1 two-mover, 1 three-mover, 1 more-mover in 4, a study, a help-mate four-mover, a self-mate three-mover) with a time limit 2,5 hours.

The final ranking of the solvers : Spiliadis Athanassios 14.0/30.0, Terzis Philippos 05.0, Sboukis Konstantinos 5.0, Sboukis Athanassios 05.0, Stamatopoulos Apostolos 04.0, Leftheriotis Aimilios , Stamatopoulos Georgios, Kontogiannis Georgios.

Here follow the problems and their solutions. Each problem takes 5 grades and we show in square brackets how many grades are given to the key, to the threat and to each variation.

(Problem 463)
Heinonen, Unto,
First Prize, ST 2002,
Mate in 2 moves.
#2 (9 + 10)

Key : 1.Qg5! [5.0] ( > 2.Qd8# ) c5 / f6 2.Rd5# / Re6#

(Problem 464)
Chocholouš, Jiři,
Second Prize, Tidskrift för Schack, 1903,
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 (6 + 11)

Key : 1.Be3! [1.0] ( > 2. Rf3 ( > 3.Qf4# ) ) d4 3.Qxd4# [1.0]
1...Rf2 2.Rxf2 [1.0] d4 3.Qxd4#
1...c5 2.Bxc5 [1.0] bxc5 3.Qb8#
1...Bxa6 2.Rf5+ [1.0] Kxf5 3.Qf4# / Qe7#

(Problem 465)
Juchli, Josef,
Augsburger Abendzeitung, 1885,
Mate in 4 moves.
#4 (8 + 11)

Key : 1.Ba8! zugzwang [1.0]
1...Sa3 ~ 2.Sc6+ Ke4 3.Sa5+ [0.5] Ke5 4.Sxc4#
1...Sg1 ~ 2.Sc6+ Ke4 3.Sd4+ [0.5] Ke5 4.Sxf3#
1...h2 2.Bxg2 Sf3 3.Sc6+ [0.5] Ke4 4.Rd4#
1...c3 2.Sc6+ Ke4 3.Sb4+ [0.5] Ke5 4.Sxd3#
1...b5 2.Bd5 Kd4 3.Sc6+ [0.5] Kc5 4.Be3#
2...exd5 3.Re7+ [0.5] Kd6 / Kd4 4.Bb4# / Be3#
1...f7 ~ 2.Sc6+ Ke4 3.Se7+ [0.5] Ke5 4.Sg6#
1...Bh7 2.Sc6+ Ke4 3.Sd8+ [0.5] Ke5 4.Sxf7#

(Problem 466)
Michelet, Paul,
BCM, 2010,
White plays and draws.
= (4 + 3)

Key : 1.Se3+ [1.0] Ke5 / Kf4
2.Be4! [1.0] Kxe4
3.Sd1!! [2.0] Bxd1
4.Ka3 d1=Q/R? = stalemate
4...d1=B? = draw, since both bishops are white-squared
5.Kb2 Sd2
6.Kc1 [1.0] = draw, since one light piece will be captured

(Problem 467)
Feather, Chris,
Broodings, 2008,
Helpmate in 4 moves. Two solutions.
h#4 (4 + 5)

1.Sxe6 Bd8 2.Sg7 e6 3.Ke5 e7 4.Kf6 e8=Q# [2.5]
1.Sxf6 exf6 2.Bh7 f7 3.Kf5 f8=Q+ 4.Kg6 Sf4# [2.5]

(Problem 468)
Zabunov, Vladimir N.,
Selfmate in 3 moves.
s#3 (12 + 12)

Key : 1.Re8! [1.0] ( > 2.Qe7+ Kxc6 3.Qc5+ bxc5# )
1...Sxe3 2.Rg4+ Rf4 3.Sf5+ [1.0] Sxf5#
1...c3 2.Rf5+ Rf4 3.Rd5+ [1.0] Qxd5#
1...Rh7 2.Rxf6+ Rf4 3.e7+ [1.0] Bxf6#

Friday, July 30, 2010

Local : Meeting of composers (7)

Alkinoos's note : I do not translate here all the posts from my original blog (kallitexniko-skaki in Greek language). Those posts containing local news only, not problems, are omitted. As an exception today, I give you the seventh meeting of the Greek problemists and a funny moment in the adventure of composition.

The seventh meeting of problemists was scheduled for Friday's evening 30/07/2010.
Mr Manolas Emmanuel was the host, welcoming in his home the company of Themis Argyrakopoulos, Ioaennis Garoufalidis, Panagis Sklavounos, Harry Fougiaxis.
We spoke about some of the problems which were submitted to the composition contest (JT Manolas-60) that ended July 12.
We examined the abilities of the special available software (WinChloe, Fancy+Popay) to represent and analyze these problems.

I relay to you a funny moment in this meeting. Using one of the programs, I put on a chessboard various fairy and normal pieces at random, creating the following position:
(Problem 469)
Manolas Emmanuel


The piece on c5 is an Imitator. After each move of a white or black normal piece, the Imitator makes its move similar in direction and distance. If the Imitator finds an obstacle in its move or goes out of the board, then the move of the normal piece is illegal.

One of the composers asked "What else is needed?" and I said "A Stipulation. I will put Helpmate in 4 moves".
You can imagine the surprise and laughter when program WinChloe examined it and found one solution only!!
Total time for composition : under half a minute!

1.Kf7[Imb6] Kh7[Imb5]
2.Kf8[Imb6] Kg6[Ima5]
3.Kg8[Imb5] Sc1[Imd4]
4.Kh8[Ime4] Kh7[Imf5]# (The white King boldly attacks. The black King can not capture the wK, because the Imitator trying to make the similar move is stopped by the Pawn).

After the conversations, we had a nice dinner in a friendly nearby delicacy-restaurant of Nea Smirni.