Sunday, December 07, 2008

Greek Compositions in the World Congress 2008, Jurmala

The 51st World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) took place in Jurmala of Latvia, 30 August - 06 September 2008.
The Greek colors in the area of composition were represented by the composers mr Kostas Prentos from Salonica and mr Panagiotis Konidaris from Meganissi Lefkadas.

Champagne Tourney (Champagne is a beverage from France)
Judge : the French Michel Caillaud, GM in composition and GM in Solving, who has specified the following theme:

Theme : Retroanalytic problem where a piece is pinned in two different lines.
Group A : Shortest Proof Games (SPG).
Group B : Any other kind of Retro problem.
Mythical conditions are allowed (at most two in any phase of the problem).

In Group A, Second Prize was awarded to a composition by Kostas Prentos, who is champion of Greece in Solving chess problems, for a long series of years.
In Group B, a Prize was awarded to a composition by four composers, the Romanians Vlaicu Crisan and Eric Huber and Paul Raican and the Greek Kostas Prentos.

(Problem 266)
Kostas Prentos,
Second Prize, Champagne tourney group A, Jurmala 2008
Position after the 19th move of the Black. Which were the moves of the game?
SPG 19 (13 + 16)

"SPG 19" means "Shortest Proof Game in 19 full moves (white and black)". We must start the chess game from the initial position of the 32 pieces and reach the position of the diagram in 19 moves.

1.Key : e4! h5
2.Be2 h4
3.Bh5 (pin line 1 : h5-f7-e8) a5
4.Qg4 a4
5.Se2 a3
6.0-0 axb2
7.a4 Rh6
8.Ra3 Rg6
9.Rf3 f5
10.d3 Kf7 (pin line 2 : f3-f5-f7)
11.Bg5 Ke6 (pin line 3 : g4-f5-e6)
12.Sd2 Ke5
13.Rb1 fxe4
14.Sc1 Kd4 (pin line 4 : g4-e4-d4)
15.c4 Kc3
16.Sdb3 exd3 (pin line 5 : f3-d3-c3)
17.Qe4 Kc2 (pin line 6 : e4-d3-c2)
18.g4 Kd1
19.Kg2 d2

Judge's comment : A record presentation of 6 different pin-lines for the thematical Pf7 cannot be ignored by the judge. The first pin shows some strategical play with unpinning; the following are of the shielding type, accompanying black king in its walk, some of them being hardly exploited (f3-f5-f7 is of little use as King has to escape g4-f5-e6 before fxe4 is played).

(Problem 267)
Vlaicu Crisan, Eric Huber, Paul Raican (Romania) & Kostas Prentos (Greece)
Prize, Champagne Tourney group B, Jurmala 2008
We retract 7 moves and then Mate in 1 move. Condition [Circe assassin].
-7 Proca Retractor, #1 Circe assassin (5 + 8)

Here are some needed explanations :

-n Proca Retractor : White takes back n legal moves. Black is not helping, but selects moves that will bring difficulties to the plan of the White. After the retraction of the moves, the solution proceeds forward.
This specification took its name from the composer Zeno Proca (1906-1936).
(A different type of retractor is Hoeg Retractor, where a helpful Black decides if the black move was a capture and chooses the type of the white piece that were captured. This specification took its name from the composer Dr. Niels Hοeg (1876-1951)).

Circe assassin : The captured piece appears on its square of regeneration even if the square was occupied. The piece that had occupied the rebirth square is lost. If the occupier before the capture is a King, he is in check. (See here and here for the condition Circe).

The solution starts with moves backwards :

-1.Sc5-b3 Bb1-a2+ (The Sb3, which were pinned on b3 closing the threat of Ba2, returns to c5. The Ba2, which was checking since Ba2xe6(+wPe2) assassinates the white King, returns to b1)

-2.e5-e6 Bc1-b2+ / Ba3-b2+ (The Pawn e6 returns to e5. The Bb2, checking from there since Bb2xe5(+wPe2) assassinates the white King, returns (let us say) to c1)

-3.Se6-c5 Rb6-b5+ (The Sc5, which were pinned on c5 closing the threat of Rb5, returns to e6. The Rb5, which was checking since Rb5xe5(+wPe2) assassinates the white King, returns to b6)

-4.Kf2-e2 g4-g3+ (The Ke2 returns to f2. The pawn from g3 (from where was checking) returns to g4)

-5.Sd8-e6 Rb5-b6+ (The Se6, which were pinned on e6 closing the threat of Rb6, returns to d8. The Rb6, which was checking since Rb6xf6(+wPf2) assassinates the white King, returns to b5)

-6.f5-f6 Ba2-b1+ / b2-b1=B+ (The Pawn f6 returns to f5. The Bb1, which was checking since Bb1xf5(+wPf2) assassinates the white King, could be a Pb2 promoted to Bishop on b1, but let us say that is a black Bishop which comes from a2)

-7.Sf7-d8 (The Sd8 returns to f7).

And now the solution proceeds with forward moves for [Mate in 1 move] :

1.Key : Kg3!# ([2.Kg3xh3(+bPh7)] with instant assassination of the bK)
The black King is mated! The squares h6, h8 are guarded by the wSf7 and the square g6 is observed by the wPf5. Also 1...Kg7 2.Kxg4(+bPg7) and 1...Kg8 2.KxSg2(+bSg8).

Judge's comment : Nice use of Circe Assassin condition with typical pins and mating move. White Knight is pinned on 3 different lines.

Sixth Tzuica Tourney (Tzuica is a beverage from Romania)
Judges : the Romanians Vlaicu Crisan and Eric Huber, who proposed the following theme :

Theme : Helpselfmates (hs#n) or Helpselfstalemates (hs=n) with Orthogonal / Diagonal Transformation (ODT).
All fairy conditions and pieces are allowed

(Problem 268)
Kostas Prentos,
Second prize, Tzuica Tourney, Jurmala 2008
Helpselfmate in 4 moves.
hs#4 2111... (6 + 7)

Notes :
Helpself - problem is a help-problem in the initial n-1 moves (Black plays first and helps), which becomes self-problem in the last move (Black is forced to play). The final goal is mate (for hs#n problems) or stalemate (for hs=n problems).
ODT : Orthogonal / Diagonal Transformation : That which happens on rows and columns, happens again on diagonals.

Key : 1.Re7! (blocks a future flight) Rh8 (prepares a Rook – Bishop battery)
2.Bg8 (covers, to allow the King to take position) Bd5
3.Ke8 Bxg8 (the battery is complete, with annihilation of the white piece)
4.Qc6+ (the Queen gives check) Be6# (the battery is activated)

Key : 1.Bb5! (blocks a future flight) Bh1 (prepares a Bishop - Rook battery)
2.Rg2 (covers, to allow the King to take position) Rg8
3.Kc6 Rxg2 (the battery is complete, with annihilation of the white piece)
4.Qf8+ (the Queen gives check) Rg7# (the battery is activated)

Judge's comment : Reciprocal black batteries obtained in a very economical setting. In each solution the white piece shielding the wK is captured by its black counterpart, creating a battery. The black battery is activated by wQ checks. Mates are model and are achieved by simple (not double) check. An amazing achievement by the Greek composer for his first helpselfmate problem!

8th Sake Tourney (Sake is a beverage from Japan)
The Japanese Sake Tourney this year is dedicated to the memory of Masazumi Hanazawa
(1944-2007), who was one of the pioneering composers in Japan.
Judge : Tadashi Wakashima from Japan, who proposed the following theme :

Theme : Fairy Helpmate#n (n <= 4). Exact Echo. Zeroposition is not allowed.

Note : Zeroposition is an initial position, from which (with small changes) twin problems are produced.

(Problem 269)
Kostas Prentos,
First Prize, Sake Tourney, Jurmala 2008
Helpmate in 3 moves. Transmuted Kings. Four solutions.
h#3, 411111, Transmuted Kings, (2 + 2)

Note : When the Transmuted Kings are threatened by a piece, they move and capture in a way similar with the movement of the threatening piece. (If the wK is threatened by a bR leaves his square moving like a wR).

Key : 1.Rc3-c1! Re8-e7 2.Rc1-a1+ Ka8-h8 3.Ra1-g1 Re7-h7#

Key : 1.Rc3-b3! Re8-h8+ 2.Kh1-a1 Rh8-h7 3.Rb3-b1 Rh7-a7#

Key : 1.Rc3-c7! Re8-e1+ 2.Kh1-h8 Re1-b1 3.Rc7-h7 Rb1-b8#

Key : 1.Rc3-c8+! Ka8-a1 2.Rc8-c2 Re8-b8 3.Rc2-h2 Rb8-b1#

Judge's comment : Most suited to the spirit of the tourney. What is the most surprising is the fact that this could be done without any artificial twinning. I just love it!

Quick Composing Tourney, Helpmates section
Judge : The Greek Harry Fougiaxis, who proposed the following theme :

Theme : In a helpmate two-mover, with W1 (=first white move) a black piece is unpinned. Fairy conditions and pieces are allowed.

(Problem 270)
Kostas Prentos & Panagiotis Konidaris,
First-Second Honourable Mention, Quick Composing Tourney, Jurmala 2008
Helpmate in 2 moves. Two solutions.
h#2, 2111, (6 + 9)

Key : 1.Sf3-h4! (blocks a flight) Be7-b4 (unpins bRf6, covers bRa4)
2 .Rf6-f5 (the unpinned piece blocks a flight) Rg2xg3# (captures the pinned bSf3)

Key : 1.Bb1-g6! (blocks a flight) Rg2-b2 (unpins bSf3, covers bBa1)
2.Sg3-f5 (the unpinned piece blocks a flight) Be7xf6# (captures the pinned bRf6)

Judge's comment : Surprising and aesthetically very pleasing shut-offs in the W1 moves, but the black play (comprising of square blocks only) even if accurate is less sophisticated.

(This post in Greek language).

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