Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Goodbye 2016

I will close this December wishing health and success to all composers.

Let us hope that the New Year 2017 will bring joy and happiness to everyone.

Two compositions of mine, belonging to fairy chess, are published in the Romanian e4e5 magazine, Nr.34, December 2016, p. 559.

The first is a helpmate threemover with fairy condition Circe : Black plays first and helps White to mate. In the meantime, any captured unit is reborn on its initial square (initial as in the start of a chess game).

The second is a directmate twomover with fairy conditions Circe and Madrasi, and also two fairy pieces Nightriders. We spoke previously about Circe.
Madrasi is a condition of paralysis : When two pieces of same type and different colour (wR and bR, wQ and bQ, etc) are threatening each other, then they are paralysing each other, until the end of threat.
The Nightriders are pieces of linear way of moving, with Knight steps.
In this composition all the tries and all the white moves during solution are done by the white king.

Emmanuel Manolas (GRE)
e4e5 Nr.34, 12/2016, p.559
(6 + 7)
h#3, Circe

1.Bxh3(+wRh1) Rxh3(+bBc8) 2.Bf5 Kxb7(+bRa8) 3.Rxa2(+wBf1) Bxe2(+bPe7)#

Black sacrifice with the key. Reciprocal captures bBf1 and wRh3. Openings and closings of lines. Selfblocking.
In three moves the bBf1 must go to f5, and the wBa2 must go to e2.

Emmanuel Manolas (GRE)
e4e5 Nr.34, 12/2016, p.559
(15 + 12), (Nightriders d7 + c5)
#2, Circe, Madrasi

Tries :
{1.Kxb3(+bRa8)+? a1=R!},
{1.Kxb4(+bPb7)? [2.Qf1#] Qxa7!},
{1.Kxc5(+bNc1)+? Ne5+!},
{1.Kxd5(+bRa8)? [2.Rh1#] Bxh7(+wPh2)!},
{1.Kxd4(+bBf8)+? Bh6!}.

Key : 1.Kxc3(+bQd8)! [2.Qf2# / Qd1# / Qe1# / Qc1#]
1…a1=Q/B+ 2.Kxb3(+bRa8)#

Themes Durbar (All white moves are made by the wK) and royal Option (Tries and Key are made by the wK). 
This active wK stops the Madrasi paralysings, capturing black pieces in its field. Only one from six capturings is succesful, while the rest five are tries with different treatments.
There are also other effects, as exposition of the wK to check, indirect Self-pin and unpins, Reciprocal pins, Crossed checks.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What time is it?

In the Over-The-Board game of chess usually they count the strength of the pieces with measure unit the one (1) pawn.
(Of course this is quite simplistic, since the strength of a pawn is greater as the pawn gets near its promotion line, but we can overlook it for now).

The Bishop and the Knight have worth three pawns each,
the Rook has worth five pawns,
the Queen has worth nine pawns.
The King has infinite worth, since the game ends when it is certain that the King will be dead in the next move.

If you have postponed it, now is the time to learn chess! You will have only advantages.

(I have found this picture in the internet, without the name of the artist. It is a great work!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Small Studies, by Panagiotis Konidaris

There is a good work about studies, by Panagiotis Konidaris, published in Greek. Mr Konidaris is a writer and chess-player from the island Meganissi, near Lefkada, Greece.
The studies are compositions (that is they are not necessarily endings of actual OTB games, but they are created by a composer), aiming to show some hidden features of game endings.
Here the composer and solver Konidaris has selected some memorable studies for presentation, explaining the solutions in a pleasant way. I will not translate the text, but I believe that you can see the studies and their solutions.

First part, here :

Second part, here :

Third part, here :

Fourth part, here :

Fifth part, here :

Sixth part, here :

Monday, October 31, 2016

15th Greek Solving Contest

The contest was held in parallel in Athens and Patras.

The problems were selected by Ioannis Garoufalidis.

Problems :
First Round.
Second Round.

Solutions :
First Round.
Second Round.


Solvers who participated :

01. Sidiropoulos N
02. Papastavropoulos A
03. Mendrinos N
04. Konidaris P
05. Masouros P
06. Anemodouras L
07. Skyrianoglou D
08. Fougiaxis H
09. Spiliadis A
10. Manolas E
11. Pountzas C
12. Petridis E
13. Kollias I
14. Moutzouris I
15. Vlachos E
16. Kalyva K
17. Vaggopoulos A
18. Christodoulou S
19. Aggelis P
20. Christodoulou G

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Greek Championship in Solving, announcement

The Greek Championship solving contest for 2016 was announced (in Greek, on 2016/10/01) here [].

The date of the event is October 30, 2016 and the place is two cities, Athens and Patras.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Playing with Composition

In this post we will start from a nice miniature by our friend Nikos Pergialis and we will enhance it with more variations.
A miniature has up to 7 pieces.
Adding pieces to it, the problem will not be a miniature anymore, which was a limiting factor for old chap Nikos, but it will get more variations, which is my goal.

Nikos Pergialis (GRE)
(3 + 4)
Try : {1.Qb4? [2.Qe1# / Qxd4#], 1…Bb2 2.Qxb2#, 1…Bf2 / Be3 2.Qb2# / Qc3#, 1…Bc3 2.Qxc3#, 1…Rxb5!}

Key : 1.Sc3! [2.Qb2#],
1…Bxc3 2.Qxc3#,
1…Rb5 2.Qxa2#

The key is quasi-sacrificial. It closes one line allowing one mate, and also supports the wQ for the second mate. There are three mates in total.

The pieces are relocated two columns to the right.
A wRb6 was added, to keep bK from escaping to the second column.
A wBb1 was added, to allow promotion of bPc2 to knight, stoping the threat. A bRa1 was need to stop some duals from occuring. When bPc2 captures, the wQ mates from square d1.
A bPe4 can capture the wQ with check, but then a wSe5 mates.
The bQ can deter the threat, but then wRh7 mates. The presence of this rook offers a try, which allows us to see the Pseudo-Le Grand theme.

Emmanuel Manolas (GRE) (after Nikos Pergialis)
(7 + 7)
Tries : {1.Rxh8? [2.Rh1#], 1…Bd2 2.Qxd2#, 1…Be3 2.Qxe3#, 1…Bh4 2.Qd2# / Qe3#, 1…Rxb6 / Rf6 / Rh6 2.Qxc2#, 1…exd3+ 2.Sxd3#, 1…Bh6!},
{1.Qd4? [2.Qg1# / Qb2#], 1…cxb1=Q 2.Qd1#, 1…cxb1=R 2.Rxc6# / Qd1#, 1…Rxb6!}

Key : 1.Se3! [2.Qd2#],
1…Bxe3 2.Qxe3#,
1…Rxb6 / Rd6 2.Qxc2#,
1…Qd8 2.Rh1#,
1…cxb1=S 2.Qd1#,
1…exd3+ 2.Sxd3#

The problem works with similar mechanism, as the previous one, only it has now 14 pieces and there are six different mates. 

There is also the Theme Pseudo-Le Grand : "Two threats (A, B) in two phases, reappear crosswise as mates after different black responses (a, b) in these phases".
In the present problem the relevant moves are as follows
1.Rxh8? [2.Rh1# (A)] Bh4 (a) 2.Qd2# (B), 1…Bh6!
1.Se3! [2.Qd2# (B)] Qd8 (b) 2.Rh1# (A)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Solving Contest "Zappas" Cup

1st  Cup "Zappas"
on Solving Chess Problems
On Sunday, September 25, 2016 (time 11.00-13.30) the 1st Cup "Zappas" on Solving Chess Problems will be held, which is dedicated to the greatest Greek composer of chess problems Vyron Zappas (one of the few Grand-Masters in composition). After the succesful Greek Cup events, which are held in the start of each year, aim of the Cup "Zappas" is to give one more opportunity to Greek solvers to test their strength and also to gain its place in the Greek calendar of Artistic Chess.
Just like the Greek Cup, the Cup "Zappas" is a contest which:
a) is addressed to experienced and/or new solvers
b) it will be held at the same time in many Greek cities, with common themes and grading, in order to give the opportunity to more chess players to be aquainted with the world of Artistic Chess.

In the contest, 12 problems will be given, from all the "official" categories (ie. two of each category: orthodox two-movers, orthodox three-movers, orthodox more-movers, helpmates, selfmates and studies) and the contestants will try to solve as many as they can in the time of 2,5 hours. Half of the problems (one of each category) have been chosen in such way as to be solvable even from inexperienced -in this area- chessplayers, while the other half is in international competitions's level. Of course very useful, upto necessary, would be for the amateur solvers to be previously informed about the kind of problems that they will handle, the way of writing the answers, the conditions etc.
For this purpose there is material in the page

Specifically for Greeks: a) Description of all the official categories and the way of writing down the solutions,
b) Special report for Helpmates and Selfmates,
c) internet sources to find problems,
d) The eloquent report of mr Panagiotis Konidaris "The Conspiracy of the Solvers" [],
e) More refined and scientific presentation of Artistic Chess, for everyone interested to for those keen to deepen the topic.

Brief description
The problems are distributed printed on diagrams. Each solver places the position on a chessboard which is available for him (he may use his own chessboards) and he tries to find the solutions moving, if he likes, the pieces. He writes down the answers in a special sheet.

Grades, awards, Elo
The answers of all the solvers in the country will be gathered and will be graded by the "central" organiser so, as to be created a unified ranking table. The results will "count" for the International Elo (for Chess Solving, of course). The first in the ranking as well as the first young solver [Attention! For defining "young" we will follow the rule of WFCC, which includes anyone who has not closed, up to the end of 2016, his 23th year] will be awarded with cups, while the next two will receive medals. The first woman will also receive a medal. The local organisers may optionally rank (unofficially) their local solvers and give awards to them.

Start time
The Start time (11:00 p.m.) will be followed very strictly for obvious reasons (need for simultaneous opening in all cities). We recommend to those who have no experience of such competitions, to come much earlier ; (30-40 minutes) to solve comfortably any questions.

Cities where contests will be held :

Patras: Pampeloponisiako Stadio, Patron-Clauss 91-93, Contact: Anastasios Alexandrou, tel. 6975-926236 and 2610-438224, email:

Aegaleo (Athens): Iera Odos and Soutsou 1, square Iroon Politechniou (older name: Davaki), tel. 210 5910421. Contact: Dimitris Skyrianoglou, tel. 6973-039006, email:

Thessaloniki: Chess Deparment ARIS, Alexandrou Papanastasiou 154 and Mattheou, Stadium "Kleanthis Mikelidis". Contacts: a) Vagelis Vidalis, tel. 6972-906316, email: and b) Theodoros Akritidis, tel. 6936-513971

Chania: Omilos Antisferisis in Chania, Andrea Papandreou (older name: Dimikratias) (inside the National Stadium). Contact: Nikos Sgouros, tel. 6978-777543, email:

Preveza: Contact: Andreas Athanasiadis, tel. 6973-240377, email:

Ermoupoli Syros: Afroditis 2 (offices of Chess Club of Syros). Contact: Mihail Keramiotis, tel: 6937-313878, email:

Ptolema'ida: Komninon 6 and Trapezountos 38. Contact: Kostas Alexiou, tel: 6977-757507 and 24630-21070 (17:00-21:00 Mon-Fri), email:

Samos: a) in Vathi Samos (Maniakio). Contact: Dimitris Dhaglis, tel: 6946-951431, and
b) in Karlovasi Samos (Building Algorithmos, Scholi Thetikon Epistimon of Aegean University). Contact: Nikos Rokopanos, tel. 6934-685843, email:

Drama: Office of Chess Club Dramas (25th Martiou 2a). Contact: Christos Dhermitzoglou, tel: 6945-499800, email:

Agios Kirikos, Ikaria: Contact: Savvas Kyriakou, tel: 6932-478386, email:,

Responsible for the organization is mr Dimitris Skyrianoglou (tel. 6973-039006, email:
The selection of the problems and the grading will be done by the multi-Champion of Greece in Solving mr Kostas Prentos.
For every matter not described in this announcement, there is a committee which can decide, with members messrs Nikos Mendrinos, Harry Foygiaxis and Dimitris Skyrianoglou.

Athens, September 12, 2016

Zappas Cup, the problems

The first "Byron Zappas Cup" Solving Contest took place today, 25-ix-2016, in many cities of Greece simultaneously.

The selection of the 12 problems was made by the multi-champion of Greece mr Kostas Prentos.
Warm congratulations to all organisers and solvers!

The problems :

Their solutions :

Photos from Athens (by Dimitris Skyrianoglou) and Syros island (by Michalis Keramiotis) :

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Solving contests in Greece, in the near future

Dear friends
I would like to inform you about Solving Contests that have been programmed in Greece:
a) Cup "Vyron Zappas" on Sunday morning, September 25, 2016. It will be held in many cities at the same time, in the style of the Greek Cup which we have every January. The announcement in next post.
b) Greek Championship on Sunday morning, October 30, 2016. It will be held, at the same time, in Athens and Patras.
c) 4th Greek Cup on Sunday morning, January 8, 2017, in many cities at the same time. Just like the three past years...
d) ISC (International Solving Contest) on Sunday, January 29, 2017 (circa 11.00 - 15.30) in Athens, Patras (and -maybe- in other cities).

Happy solving!
Nikos Mendrinos

Monday, September 05, 2016

Composer Cooperations (6)

It is very probable that there exist more compositions with recent cooperations, and if any Greek composers want to inform me, I will update this post. I select two of the cooperating teams for today.

Fadil Abdurahmanovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Ioannis Kalkabouras (GRE) 17.11.2015, no.269
8/8/2b5/8/8/2Ppk2p/pp5P/3sK2R (4 + 7)
h#4, 2 solutions

1.Sf2 0-0 (Rf1??) 2.Kd2 Kxf2 3.Kc2 Ke1 4.Kb1 Kd2#

1.Kf3 Rf1+ (0-0??) 2.Kg2 Rf3 3.Kxh2 Kf1 4.Kh1 Rxh3#

In one variation the castling is a good move, in the other it is not effective. The "wrong" moves are noted with double question mark.

Emmanuel Manolas (GRE) and Ioannis Kalkavouras (GRE)
3rd Hon. Mention, Moskovski Concurs 2016 
8/3p4/k2r2PK/1r6/3ss3/p4bb1/2S1p3/6q1 (3 + 11)
h=10, Helpstalemate
Fairy condition : Circe

1.Ka7 Sxa3 2.Ka8 Sxb5 3.Kb8 Sxd4 4.Kc8 Sxf3 5.Kd8 Sxg1 6.Ke7 Sxe2 7.Kf8 Sxg3 8.Kg8 Sxe4 9.Kh8 Sxd6 10.Kg8 g7=

It is a help-stalemate. Initially the Black helps a lot for his pieces to be captured, and at the end the White helps a lot tryin to avoid winning! 

The comment of the judge : "Circe, with nine pieces captured without rebirth! The essence of the problem : marching towards a stalemate trap, the bK passes from the rebirth squares of the black pieces, allowing the wS to capture all these pieces which would inhibit the stalemate, without any of them being reborn".

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Review from Belgade

As we had said [], from Saturday 30/07/2016 thru Saturday 06/08/2016, in Belgrade of Serbia was held the World Congress for Chess Composition (WCCC).

It contained OPEN solving contest, World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC) and many Composition Tourneys.

The results are (usually) published in one bulletin pdf file [link?] when they are prepared. Until then, one can find at the official page of the congress [] the information which is collected and posted.

The closing ceremony is here : [].

I would like to say that the Metropol Palace Hotel is excellent, and the personnel of the Serbian organisation committee was very kind and helpful.
Belgrade is a green city with large parks and also a large river Savvas meeting the larger river Danube.
The closing evening party in the river boat was sheer magic.
Here you may see some videos : 1, 2, 3

The awards from all the composition tourneys are not yet known, but we are glad that the Greek Kostas Prentos (USA) continues to collect first prizes and bottles of drinks, (Champagne and Sake tourneys).
Update : There was a Commendation for Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) in the 5 days Tourney, Group A, orthodox two-movers.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Handbook of Chess Composition

The Handbook of Chess Composition, 7th edition, contains much of the historical detail that you always wanted to know!
Persons, places, titles, rules ... everything!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

59th World Congress of Chess Composition, Belgrade 2016

The 59th World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) will be hosted by Serbia, in Belgrade, from July 30 to August 06, 2016.

The official internet page is

Here is a presentation by the Serbian Committee [].

You can find there information about registration (now that I am writing this post, there are 197 participants), about hotels, about schedule of events, etc.

There are solving contests, one open []
and the 40th World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC) [],

and composing tourneys [for example].

There also organised, for the first time, contests for young solvers and composers, under 18 years old.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Variantim, call for composers

Variantim is a chess magazine from Israel, published three times a year.
The well known composer Paz Einat has send the following message:

Dear friends,
We are inviting you to send us original problems for publication in Variantim, the official publication of the Israeli Chess Composition Society. We will especially appreciate orthodox direct-mate problems.
The magazine is published regularly three time a year and has rich content including articles, tourney awards, columns on problems from around the world, studies and Israeli success abroad. The magazine is written mainly in English and is, thus, accessible to many readers from around the world. The printed magazine is sent out to our subscribers while a PDF version is sent to many composers worldwide so your problems will be viewed by many composers.
Attached you will find PDF files of the last two Variantim issues.
We thank you in advance for your contribution.

Дорогие друзья,
Мы приглашаем Вас отправить нам оригинальные проблемам для публикации в журнале Variantim, официальное издание израильского общества шахматной композиции. Мы будем особенно ценить ортодоксальные проблемам прямого Мата.
Журнал издается регулярно три раза в год и имеет богатое содержание, включая статьи, награды турнирах, статьи для проблемам со всего мира, и следование израильского успеха. Журнал написан в основном на английском языке и, таким образом, доступным для многих читателей со всего мира. Распечатанный журнал рассылается нашим подписчикам в то время как PDF версия отправляется многими композиторами по всему миру, так что ваши проблемы будут рассматриваться многими композиторами.
В приложении вы найдете PDF-файлы последних двух выпусках Variantim.
Мы Заранее благодарим за ваше выступление.



Monday, June 13, 2016

13-ESSNA solving contest

13th Open Solving contest "Championship of Attiki".
It is organised by the Union of Chess Clubs Of Attiki Prefecture (around Athens, Greece).
Place : Chess Club of Aegaleo.
Time : Sunday, June 12, 17:00 - 20:00.
Judge (and program selector) : Ioannis Garoufalidis

The problems :

The solutions :

Ranking of solvers :

Photos from the event

(by Dim. Skyrianoglou)

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Proposal for a Theme Pergialis

We propose today a new theme, which will have the name of the Greek composer Nikos Pergialis.

Theme Pergialis : The wQ pins a piece, which is the only pinned black piece, and the threat is a pin-mate from another white piece. In the variations the wQ delivers at least four mates from different directions to the immobile bK, the one mate being by capturing the pinned piece.

Nikos Pergialis

Pergialis Nikos (GRE)
(8 + 8)

Key : 1.Qe6! [2.Re4#]
1…Sxe2 2.Qxe2#
1…Qh8 2.Qxd5#
1…Bf6 2.Qc6#
1…b4 2.Qa6#
1…Sb3 2.axb3#
1…Bc5 2.Sa5#
1…Rxf4 2.Rxf4#

Theme Pergialis. Direct pin. Pin mates (2.Re4#, 2.Rxf4#). Four mates by the wQ. Black correction (Be7-c5 corrects Be7-f6). 

Pergialis Nikos (GRE)

(8 + 7)

Key : 1.Qe5! [2.exd4#]
1…Sxb5 / Se6 2.Qxd5#
1…Bxe3 2.Qd6#
1…Qxe4 2.Qxc7#
1…dxe3 2.Qc3#

Theme Pergialis. Direct Pin. Pin mate (2.exd4#). Four mates by the wQ. Reciprocal captures (dxe3, exd4). 

Pergialis Nikos (GRE)

(5 + 6)

Key : 1.Qe4! [2.Rc3#]
1…Qh3 2.Qxd4#
1…Sd5 2.Qd3#
1…Se2 2.Qe6#
1…Sxb5 2.Qc6#
1…Ba5 2.Sd6#

Theme Pergialis. Direct Pin. Pin mate (2.Rc3#). Four mates by the wQ. Black correction (1...Sd5 corrects 1...Se2).

Pergialis Nikos (GRE)

(8 + 8)

Key : 1.Qb7! [2.Rc4#]
1…Sc2 2.Qxd5#
1…Sc6 2.Qb1#
1…Rxc1 / Rd1 2.Qxh7#
1…Rc8 2.Qe7#

Theme Pergialis.  Direct pin.  Pin mate.  Four mates by the wQ.  Anti-Dual Sc2 and Sc6.                   

Pergialis Nikos (GRE)

(10 + 11)

Key : 1.Qh5! [2.Re4#]
1…Sd3 2.Sxd3#
1…c2 2.Re3#
1…Re2 / Rg5 2.Q(x)e2#
1…Rg4 2.Qxf5#
1…g5 2.Qh8#
1…Qxb4 2.Qe8#

Theme Pergialis. Direct pin. Pin mate (2.Re4). Four mates by the wQ. Black correction (1...Rg4 corrects 1...Re2 / Rg5).

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Deadline for FIDE Album

Next Wednesday, 01/06/2016, is the deadline to send your selected problems, of the three years 2013-2015, for publication to FIDE Albums.

Information here :

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Solving Championship 13-ESSNA, Attiki prefecture

Sunday 12 JUNE 2016 at 15 h 00

Tournament Venue
Aigaleo at Chess Club S.O Aigaleo (Iera Odos and Soutsou 1 near Square Iroon Polytenxneiou)

Format of the competition
12 compositions in a single 3-hour session
(same as in the Open solving tournament during the WFCC congress).

16:45                registration
17:00 - 20:00  competition
20:15                prize giving

Tournament Director
Ioannis Garoufalidis

Cup for the first winner, medals for second and third winner first non Attiki solver and first junior

Registration and further information
Tel +30  6938792281

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Cooperations of composers (5)

We will see here the result of a cooperation of Ioannis Kalkavouras and Emmanuel Manolas, aiming to the composition of a helpmate in three and a half moves (that is, White plays first) with the following restrictions :
(a) The White has got only a Bishop and a Knight.
(b) The white pieces, B and S, will form with pericritical moves a battery which will fire with double check.
(c) The black in two variations makes different castling and is mated in the eighth row.
(d) No replacements of pieces (for twinning) is allowed.

Frank Fiedler
Gaudium, 2013
Source: WinChloe, no. 487666

r3k2r/8/8/4b3/8/4S1q1/8/1K1B4 (3 + 5)
h#3, 2 solutions

1.0-0 Sd5 2.Bh8 Bb3 3.Qg7 Sf6#
1.0-0-0 Sf5 2.Bb8 Bg4 3.Qc7 Sd6#

Here is shown the idea in simple form. The wB could be positioned on e2. 
The wK, to avoid checks by bR and bQ, could be only on columns b and e. But, with wKb5 the solutions are 1507, with wKe6 the solutions are 1283 and with wKe4 the solutions are 32. The wK is very well placed on b1! 
The white movements are not pericritical, they simply form the battery.
If we force the restriction h#3,5, then many unwanted solutions appear, 68 in total.

Anatoly Styopochkin
JT Feoktistov-50, Shakhmatnaya Kompozitsiya 1998-2000, 1st Honourable Mention
Source: WinChloe, no. 161976

r3k2r/s7/1p2B3/p2S2q1/4p3/3b4/8/b2K4 (3 + 10)
h#3.5, 2 solutions

1…Bg8 2.0-0-0 Bh7 3.Kb7 Bxe4 4.Ka6 Sc7#
1…Bc8 2.0-0 Ba6 3.Bh8 Bc4 4.Qg7 Sf6#

The nice movements of the wB are pericritical and the bishop forms the battery in both variations. But the two mates do not happen on the eighth row

Ioannis Kalkavouras and Emmanuel Manolas

r3k2r/8/8/3Sbp2/4b1B1/4Ksq1/8/8 (3 + 8)
h#3.5, 2 solutions

1…Bh3 2.0-0 Bf1 3.Bh8 Bc4 4.Qg7 Sf6#
1…Ke2 2.0-0-0 Se3 3.Bb8 Sxf5 4.Qc7 Sd6#

In one variation the white battery is formed by the wB moving clockwise, and in the other by the wS moving anti-clockwise.
The two mates appear symmetrical in the eighth row (vertical mirror, echo mates(0,4)). 

Friday, April 15, 2016

OPEN, 12 ECSC 2016, Athens

Open Tourney during 12 ECSC (European Chess Solving Championship) 2016, in Glyfada Athens.

The problems :

The solutions :

The results (updated 17-04-2016) :

12th ECSC, Athens 2016 - Participants

(Last update : 08/04/2016)

Elmar Abdullayev
Ilham Aliev
Araz Almammadov
Misratdin Iskandarov
Lutfiyar Rustamov
Jamala Rustamova
Rana Rustamova
Bahruz Rzayev
Rashad Zeynalli

Aleksandr Bulavka
Liubou Sihnevich
Mikalai Sihnevich

Eddy Van Beers

Czech Republic
Michal Dragoun
Miloslav Vanka

Harri Hurme
Terho Marlo
Jorma Paavilainen
Henry Tanner

Alain Villeneuve

Kathleen Loßin
Sven-Hendrik Loßin
Andreas Rein

Great Britain
David Hodge
Michael McDowell
Colin McNab
Jonathan Mestel
John Nunn

Themis Argirakopoulos
Harry Fougiaxis
Ioannis Garoufalidis
Panagiotis Konidaris
Alexis Kostouros
Stamatis Kourkoulos-Arditis
Emmanuel Manolas
Panagiotis Masouros
Nikos Mendrinos
Iasonas Moutzouris
Anastasis Papargyriou
Andreas Papastavropoulos
Evaggelos Petridis
Chrysanthos Pountzas
Nikos Sidiropoulos
Panagis Sklavounos
Dimitris Skyrianoglou
Athanasios Spiliadis

Mordechay Chovnik
Tatiana Chovnik
Dmitrijus Chocenka
Martynas Limontas
Viktoras Paliulionis
Vidmantas Satkus
Vilimantas Satkus

Hans Uitenbroek
Peter van den Heuvel
Dolf Wissmann

Piotr Górski
Ryszard Królikowski
Jakub Marciniszyn
Piotr Murdzia
Kacper Piorun

Dariana-Gabriela Didiliuc

Natalia Degtyareva
Nikolay Esaulkov
Aleksandr Feoktistov
Evgeny Kopylov
Anatoly Mukoseev
Oleg Pervakov
Andrey Petrov
Dmitry Pletnev
Andrey Selivanov
Marina Skorobogatova
Yulia Skorobogatova
Evgeny Viktorov

Marjan Kovačević
Miodrag Mladenović
Živojin Perović
Vladimir Podinić
Bojan Vučković

Emil Klemanič
Marek Kolčák
Richard Králik
Oto Mihalčo
Tomáš Peitl

Marko Klasinc
Klemen Šivic

Volodimir Aridov
Khristina Artseva
Valery Kopyl
Yanina Kopyl
Valery Krivenko
Volodimir Kurilenko
Valeriya Smolianaya
Oleksy Solovchuk
Stanislav Vasiliv

12th ECSC, Athens 2016 - Announcement

Announcement (08-01-2016)

12th European Chess Solving Championship
15-17 April 2016 in Glyfada (Athens), Greece


The Greek Chess Composition Committee, in co-operation with the Greek Chess Federation, has the honor of inviting the European national teams and individual solvers to participate in the 12th European Chess Solving Championship. The event will be held from Friday, April 15th (arrival) to Sunday, April 17th, 2016 (departure) at the “Oasis Hotel Apartments” in Glyfada, a cosmopolitan suburb of Athens.

The hotel features 70 rooms and fully equipped apartments with private balcony. There are a gourmet restaurant, a bar, a coffee shop, a comfortable lounge and a swimming pool. The hall(s) of the events will be inside the hotel. The hotel is only 20 min. drive from the center of Athens and Piraeus and 25 km away from the Athens international airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, which is very well accessed by public transportation or taxi. Parking space is available in front of the hotel.

Further info can be found on the hotel site,

Prices per person per day (bed and breakfast included):
 Single room: 55 €
 Double room: 40 €

Prices include tourist tax and VAT, breakfast, free access to the hotel health and recreation facilities, as well as all regular solving tournaments. Lunch or dinner is optional and costs 12 €. All payments should be made to the organizers, upon arrival, in cash (€). The participation fee for those not staying in the hotel or not making their reservation through the organizers is 50 €.


Public bus (X96)
The Express Bus X96 departs right outside the arrival level of the Main Terminal Building at the Exit 4 of the airport. There are only one-way tickets and cost 5 €. Tickets are available from the bus drivers or from the ticket kiosk at the bus departure area. Express Bus X96 runs 24 hours every 20-30 minutes. The bus needs 35-45 minutes to reach the hotel. The bus stop that you will get off is called "4th station of Glyfada". The hotel is located just next to the bus stop.

By road
Drive along the main motorway Attika Road that connects the airport with Athens. Turn at the junction signaled for "Koropi - Markopoulo". From there, follow the signs for Glyfada. As you drive along the Koropi Avenue in Vari (Bari), turn right at the end, where you will see a signpost for Glyfada.

By taxi
You will find easily a taxi outside the terminal building. For taxi fares, check the site

For information the tram station is 150 meters away from the hotel on the way to the beach. Metro, tram and bus tickets in Athens cost 1,40 € one-way.

(Google map)


Friday, April 15, 18:00 – 18:15: Captains’ meeting
Friday, April 15, 18:30 – 21:30: Open solving tournament
Saturday, April 16, 09:30 – 13:00: Championship day 1
Saturday, April 16, 19:00 – 20:30: Solving show
Sunday, April 17, 09:30 – 13:00: Championship day 2
Sunday, April 17, 16:00 – 17:00: Closing ceremony

Director of the open solving tournament will be Ioannis Garoufalidis (GRE) assisted by Harry Fougiaxis. Director of the ECSC will be Ivan Denkovski (MKD) assisted by Ioannis Garoufalidis and Harry Fougiaxis.

Registrations should be sent to the chief organizer Harry Fougiaxis no later than April 1st 2016.

All the information about the event will be published on the site

(The invitation as PDF document)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Theme Elmgren

(Initial date of this post was 21/12/2015)

In this post we will see the Theme Elmgren under a different light. This theme is named after the Swedish composer Bertil Elmgren, born 25/05/1912.

In this theme, all the black pieces (3 or more), with a possible exception of the bK, are actively refuting white tries!
A try is an attempt by the White to win, but the Black has a unique defense.
The White has at least three such tries, and all the black pieces take their turn to refute.
With more black pieces on board, the probability all of them refuting a try diminishes, making it more difficult for the composer to achieve an Elmgren.
Likewise, the more the black pieces, the more are the tries, making the problem relatively more difficult for a solver.

Having all the black pieces struggling in defense, symbolizes a common battle where no one stays behind the trenches, waiting to see what will happen!
There are no idle pieces, simply blocking a flight or stopping an unwanted second solution.
Everything is useful and active!

I have published in this blog some problems containing the Elmgren theme.

15/10/2011, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_497

16/11/2012, Pergialis Nikolaos, problem_625

27/01/2013, Retter Yosi, problem_687

07/06/2014, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_771

27/12/2014, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_792,

We shall see now some rare compositions with theme Elmgren, with at least five black pieces refuting white tries.

5 black pieces

Termaat Nicolaas I. J.
2nd Prize, Probleemblad 1951

1s6/SQ2pb2/1P6/P1S4R/2kp2B1/K1P2R2/1P1P4/2s5 (12 + 6)

Tries: {1.Sd3? [2.Rc5#] Sb3!}, {1.Se6? [2.Rc5/Qd5#] Bxh5!}, {1.Sa6? [2.Rc5#] Sd7!}, {1.Se4? [2.Rc5#] dxc3!}, 1.Sb3? [2.Rc5#] Sd3!}, {1.Sd7? [2.Rc5#] e5!}.

Key: 1.Sa4! [2.Rc5#]
1...Bxh5 2.Be6#, 1...Bd5 2.Qxd5#, 1...e5 2.Qxf7#, 1...dxc3 2.Qe4#, 1...Sb3 2.d3#, 1...Sd3 2.b3#, 1...Sd7/Sa6 2.Q(x)a6#

Themes Option and Elmgren.

Burbach Johannes J.
Shakend Nederland, 1981

4Q3/8/3p4/1pp1Ppp1/4P3/RPP1kPPR/4SSP1/3KB3 (14 + 6)

Tries: {1.c4? [2.b4#] b4!}, {1.b4? [2.c4#] c4!}, {1.exf5? [2.exd6#] d5!}, {1.g4? [2.f4#] f4!}, {1.f4? [2.g4#] g4!}.

Key: 1.Qxb5! [2.Qd3#]
1...c4 2.Qb6#, 1...fxe4 2.Sg4#

Theme Elmgren.

6 black pieces

Manolas Emmanuel (GRE)
dedicated to Kostas Prentos

rB6/1sK1S2P/2P2p2/1R1Pk1P1/6R1/1B4P1/6bQ/6r1 (12 + 6)

Tries: {1.Sg6+? Kf5!}, {1.Bc2? [2.Sg6#] Sc5! (The square d5 is guarded by three white pieces Rb5 Bb3 Se7. One leaves making the try-move, one will leave to make mate, so the Black shuts off the third guardian : Theme Zappas simple)}, {1.d6+? Sc5!}, {1.Re4+? Kxe4!}, {1.Kxb7+?/Kd7+? Rxb8+!}, {1.Qxg1? [2.Qd4#] Be4!}, {1.Qxg2? [2.Re4#/Qb2#/Qe2#/Qe4#] Rxg2!}, {1.Qh6?/h8=Q?/h8=B? Rf1!}, {1.h8=S? [2.Shg6#/Sf7#] fxg5!}.

Key: 1.Rf4! [2.Sg6#]
1...Be4 2.Qb2#, 1...Bxd5 2.Qe2# (horizontal-diagonal transformation)

Theme Elmgren (here the bK is also refuting tries). In the phases {1.h8=S?} and {1.Rf4!} there is Anti-Dual with moves Be4 and Bxd5. (There are some more technical merits to examine: changed mates in two phases, a pin-mate, Urania, Bartolovic, Dombrovskis paradox, Anti-reversal, Anti reversal-menace).

Witt Andreas
Commendation, Die Shwalbe 2005

4s1R1/4p2R/4pQ2/4Bsb1/B1P4r/K2SP3/2S5/1k6 (10 + 7)

Tries: {1.Bh2? [2.Qa1#/Qb2#] Rd4!}, {1.Bg3? Bxf6!}, {1.Bf4? Sd4!}, {1.Bd6? e5!}, {1.Bc7? exf6!}, {1.Bb8? Sxf6!}, {1.Rxe8? [2.Rb8#] Bxe3!}, {1.Kb3? [2.Sa3#] Sd4+!}.

Κλειδί : 1.Ba1! [2.Qb2#] (line opening Bristol)
1...Rd4 2.Rh1#, 1...Bxf6 2.Rg1#, 1...Sd4 2.Qf1#, 1...e5 2.Qb6#, 1...exf6 2.Rb7#, 1...Sxf6 2.Rb8#

Theme Elmgren. Multiple captures of the bQf6. 

Upgrade on 12-01-2016

Motivated by this post, the Italian composer Alberto Armeni decided to compose a problem with more than 6 black pieces, all refuting tries. He has initially set the record to 8 pieces, which we were glad to present here, but then he created a task with 11 pieces (see Problem-814 below).

8 black pieces

Armeni Alberto
International Composing Tourney "e4-e5" 2015-2016, section 2#
Source: (with click on the blue 24)

1s5b/3B1PP1/p4Rr1/2Bk4/3P4/1pK1R1rb/pP2PS2/2Q2S2 (13 + 9)

Set play : {1...Sc6 2.Bxc6#, 1...Rxg7/g5 2.Rd6#, 1...R6g4 2.Rd6/f5#, 1...Rxe3+ 2.Sxe3#, 1...R3g4 2.Rf5# / Re5#, 1...Rg2/g1 2.Re5#, 1...Bg2/xf1/f5 2.R(x)f5#}

Tries : {1.Sxg3? [2.Re5#] Sb8xd7!}, {1.g8=S? [2.Se7#] Bh8xf6!}, {1.Kb4? [2.Re5# / Qc4#] a6-a5+!}, {1.f8=Q? [2.Qd6#] Rg6xf6!}, {1.Qc2? [2.Qxb3# / Qe4#] b3xc2!}, {1.Rd3? [2.e4#] Rg3xd3+!}, {1.Rxg6? [2.Rd6#] Bh3-e6!}, {1.Kxb3? [2.Qc4#] a1=S+!}, {1.Ref3? [2.e4# / Se3#] Rxf3+!}, {1.Rxg3? [2.e4# / Se3#] Rxg3+!}, {1.Sd3? [2.Sb4# / Sf4# / Re5#] Rxe3!}, {1.Qd1? [2.Qxb3#] a1=S!}

Key : 1.Kd3! [2.Qc4#]
1...Rxe3+ 2.Sxe3# 
1...Bf5+ 2. Rxf5#.

Theme Elmgren.  

Update on 11-04-2016

The composer Alberto Armeni has created a tak for theme Elmgren, with 11 black pieces!

Task with 11 black pieces

Armeni Alberto
“Problemas”, April 2016, problem n. 174, page 350

2b5/p2p3R/1p1Qp3/5p2/5Pp1/3p2Kp/r2S3R/b2S2kB (8 + 12)

Tries: {1.Bb7? / Ba8? Bc8(x)b7!}, {1.Qxb6+? a7xb6!}, {1.Bc6? d7xc6!}, {1.Qc5+? b6xc5!}, {1.Bd5? e6xd5!}, {1.Be4? f5xe4!}, {1.Sf3+? / Bf3? g4xf3!}, {1.Re2? d3xe2!}, {1.Rg2+? h3xg2!}, {1.Rf2? Ra2xd2!}, {1.Qd4+? / Qe5? Ba1xd4! / Ba1xe5!}.

Key: 1.Bg2! [2.Rh1#] hxg2 2.Rxg2#

Theme Elmgren. Task with 11 black pieces defending tries.