Monday, April 30, 2012

Time for cross...

The elections for Greek government are closing in (May 06, 2012) and (almost) everyone here is thinking which candidate member of parliament should be voted (this is expressed with a small cross in front of the candidate's name).

I think about the cross of the election, too, so I composed a simple helpmate three-mover.
(Do you suppose I am monomaniac? I will seek advice.)

8/8/3k4/3b4/1bpKps2/3Q4/3r4/8 w

Manolas Emmanuel

h#3 (two solutions)

1.Be6 Ke3+ 2.Ke5 Qf1 3.Rd5 Qxf4#

1.Bf7 Kxe4+ 2.Ke6 Qc3 3.Rd7 Qe5#

Orthogonal - Diagonal transformation.

(Note : After Problem-509, 20 + 36 problems were published here (which supposedly have the numbers 510 - 565), so today's is Problem-566).

Monday, April 23, 2012

KoBulchess TT1 Award

International Judge Diyan Kostadinov has published his Award for the 1st Thematic Tourney 2012 of his site.
It is admirable that the award is ready only 22 days after the deadline for the entries! Many thanks!

There were submitted 74 problems by 17 authors from 11 countries.
The list of the awarded composers follows:

Section A1 (no fairy pieces, no miniature form)

Prizes : (1) Petko Petkov, (2) Jacques Rotenberg, (3) Themis Argirakopoulos, (4) Vlaicu Crizan, (5) S. K. Balasubramanian

Special Prize : Emmanuel Manolas & Kostas Prentos

Honourable Mentions : (1) Themis Argirakopoulos & Kostas Prentos, (2) Themis Argirakopoulos, (3) Manfred Rittirsch, (4) Emmanuel Manolas, (5) Themis Argirakopoulos, (6) Juraj Lorinc, (7) S. K. Balasubramanian & K. Seetharaman

Commentations : (1) S. K. Balasubramanian & K. Seetharaman, (2) Emmanuel Manolas, (3) S. K. Balasubramanian, (4) Velko Aleksandrov, (5) Luis Miguel Martin

Section A2 (no fairy pieces, miniature form)

Prizes : (1) Kostas Prentos & Emmanuel Manolas, (2) Vlaicu Crisan, (3) Themis Argirakopoulos 

Special Prize : Juraj Lorinc

Honourable Mentions : (1) Julia Vysotska, (2) Themis Argirakopoulos

Commentations : (*) S. K. Balasubramanian & K. Seetharaman, (*) Emmanuel Manolas

Section B (with fairy pieces)

Prizes : (1) Petko Petkov, (2) Julia Vysotska, (3) Julia Vysotska & Petko Petkov, (4) Themis Argirakopoulos

Special Prize : Pierre Tritten

Honourable Mentions : (1) Emmanuel Manolas, (2) Eric Huber, (3) Themis Argirakopoulos

Commentations :(1) S. K. Balasubramanian, (2) Vlaicu Crisan

The Greek composers (Themis Argirakopoulos, Emmanuel Manolas, Kostas Prentos) are noted with italics.
Congratulations to all composers!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

ECSC, Kiev 2012

The 8th EUROPEAN CHESS SOLVING CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 was held this year in Kiev Ukraine,  20-22 April 2012.

The official page for finding participants, results and problems (there are already posted the awards for compositions) is here :

For OPEN, the results are
1 Valery Kopyl UKR
2 Piotr Murdzia POL
3 Aleksandr Bulavka BLR
19       Kostas Prentos           GRE

For European Championship 2012 (individuals) we have
1         Piotr Murdzia             POL 70,75
2         Vladimir Podinić        SRB 70,50
3         Bojan Vučković         SRB 65,00
49       Kostas Prentos          GRE 34,25

For European Championship 2012 (teams) we have
rank, Country, points, time
1, Serbia, 190,25, 1046
2, Poland, 189,25, 1050
3, Russia, 177,50, 1074
4, Ukraine 1, 176,25, 1066
5, Azerbaijan, 168,00, 1061
6, Lithuania, 154,00, 1076
7, Great Britain, 148,75, 1077
8, Finland, 148,50, 1067
9, Slovakia, 143,50, 1077
10, Ukraine 2, 141,75, 1077
11, Belarus, 134,75, 1064
12, Slovenia, 120,50, 1079
13, Romania, 113,50, 1075
14, Israel, 83,25, 1080

Monday, April 16, 2012

Program Popeye

The program Popeye solves chess problems. It was created by Philippe Schnoebelen in Pascal language and operating system MS-DOS in 1983. Later it was transcripted in C language and was maintained and improved by many programmers, (as Elmar Bartel, Norbert Geissler, Thomas Maeder, Torsten Linss, Stefan Hoening, Stefan Brunzen, Harald Denker, Thomas Bark and Stephen Emmerson).

The program Popeye has got many interfaces in order to be used in other operating systems. I use it through program Fancy (by Marek Kwiatkowski). I open Fancy, place easily the pieces on the chessboard, specigy the kind of problem and the valid conditions and the twin positions, and then Popeye is called. Popeye shows a page with the data from Fancy (I can edit this page) and proceeds to the solution. The solution is written on a text file, which can also be edited.

Some notes here :
(1) The program Fancy (in edition 2.9), besides Popeye 4.51, can call other solving programs, as is Stockfish 1.6.3 JA (for solving studies). The creator of Fancy has declared that edition 2.9 is the last one, so we do not expect any improvements.

(2) The program Popeye accepts many commands (see It has happened in composing competitions (as in the World Conference in Crete 2010 with the condition CapZug, see here), to be given instructions for modification of commands, so the program can cope with the new kind of chess compositions.

(3) A way of using Popeye is presented by the new composer Julia Vysotska analytically here.

(4) The software programs Popeye and Fancy can be downloaded from the internet free of charge.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Program Alybadix

The over-the-board players have specialized software programs for their training and the storing of their games. I have purchased, years ago, the program Fritz 11 (by ChessBase) and it is very good for me, beyond any expectation. (I use it mainly for checking studies, to avoid wrong placing of the pieces).
There are internet services for players in real time and also internet databases with millions of games and searching abilities (by player, by tourney, by opening etc.).

In the realm of chess composition, the creation of a good software application meets obstacles...

(1) The pieces are not six, but over a thousand (in fairy chess) and new pieces are invented continuously.
(2) The chessboards may have another shape (for example, cylindrical).
(3) The aim of the game may change as well as the rivalry. Examples [Black plays 18 moves and then White checkmates], [White forces Black to give mate in n moves], [Black helps White to mate in n moves]. 
(4) The conditions of gaming may be different (Madrasi with paralysing pieces, Circe with reborn pieces, KoBul kings changing way of moving and capturing).
(5) The flow of the game may be different. Examples : [Find the 25 moves needed to reach this position], [White takes back eight moves and then mates in three].

... and many other things ... you understand the difficulties.

One of the first programs was Alybadix, made by Ilkka Blom (address : Ilkka Blom, Salmikatu 27 A 16, FI-65200 Vaasa, FINLAND, e-mail : and he is still looking after it, (see
The program solves problems of many categories (selfmates, multimovers, etc) very fast. (Still, if the number of moves is large, the time needed for a solution climbs up).
The program is not expensive and the opinions about it very favorable.

In its page you will find Demo edition (and many goodies) and a collection (by Eduardo Sadier) of 123006 #2 problems in text-form readable by Alybadix. You will download free APwin v2012 (by Paul H. Wiereyn) to execute Alybadix in Windows environment.
In order to have an idea of the Alybadix speed, note that it can solve all the problems of the Sadier collection in less than 30 minutes!