Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nikos Pergialis (2)

We will see here some more of the compositions by the 'rembetis' Nikos Pergialis. We have limited our selection to directmate chess problems. As you will note, he likes to create problems having few pieces. In some of the problems he has cooperated with Mr Manos Pantavos.

The two-mover problem-235 has theme Dombrovskis.
The two-mover problem-236 has a good key and theme Pawn – Bishop Grimshaw (also known as Pickabish).
The two-mover problem-237 has theme Fleck.
The two-mover problem-238 has Quaternary Black Correction.
The three-mover problem-239 has theme X-flights and shows three model mates.
The two-mover problem-240 has theme 'changed mates' in a Zagoruyko frame of four phases.

(Problem 235)
Nikos Pergialis & Manos Pantavos,
[Skaki gia Olous], issue 11, May 2005,
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 9 + 2 )

The problem contains the theme Dombrovskis.

Tries : {1.Qf5+? Kd4!}, {1.Qd6+? / Se4? S(x)d6!}, {1.Qd8? / Sh1? / Bh2+? Kf6!}, {1.Sg4+? Kf4!}.
Thematic tries :
{1.Kg7? [2.Bh2# (A)] Kf4! (a)},
{1.g3? [2.Sg4# (B)] Kf6! (b)}.

Key : 1.h4! (zz, zugzwang).
1...Kf4 (a) 2.Bh2# (A)
1...Kf6 (b) 2.Sg4# (B)
(non thematic variation 1...S~ 2.Qd6#)

(Problem 236)
Nikos Pergialis, 2008
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 5 + 7 )

Tries : {1.Sc6+? Kd5!}, {1.Kg6+? / Kf7+? e5!}, {1.Rc4+? Kxc4!}.

Key : 1.Qa8! [2.Qe4#]
1...Rh4 2.Qa1#
1...exf5 2.Qd5#

1...c6 2.Qa4#
1...Bc6 2.Qa7#
In the last two variations we observe a Pawn – Bishop Grimshaw intersection, which has the specific name Pickabish intersection.

(Problem 237)
Nikos Pergialis, 2000
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 6 + 6 )

Tries : {1.Qc1? Rxg6!}, {1.Qd6? h4!}, {1.Sc3~? c3!}.

Key : 1.Sd1! [2.Se3# / Qh3# / Qg3# / Qf3#]
1...c3 2.Se3#
1...f4 2.Qh3#
1...Rxg6 2.Qg3#
1...h4 2.Qf3#

The key introduces four threats but only one can be applied in each variation. The separation of the threats is the theme Fleck.

(Problem 238)
Nikos Pergialis, 1979
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 8 + 2 )

Tries : {1.Rxd7? [2.Rc7#] Kxd7!}, {1.Rd6+? Rxd6!}, {1.Rdd5? [2.Rdc5#] Rxd5!}.

Key : 1.Ke6! (zz).
1...Ra7 / Rb7 / Rc7 / Rd6+ 2.R(x)d6#
1...Rd8 ( 2.Rd6? . Διόρθωση πρώτου βαθμού) 2.exd8=S#
1...Rxe7+ ( 2.Rd6? / exd8? . Διόρθωση δεύτερου βαθμού) 2.Sxe7#
1...Rd5 ( 2.Rd6? / exd8? / Se7? . Διόρθωση τρίτου βαθμού) 2.cxd5#
1...Rxd4 ( 2.Rd6? / exd8? / Se7? / cxd5? . Διόρθωση τέταρτου βαθμού) 2.Sxd4#

The bR moves in a Cross form and in four destinations is captured : Theme Grab. With each successive move the bR tries to "correct" all the weaknesses, which seem to be created by its unavoidable move.  Thus we have Quartenary black correction, with only ten pieces!

(Problem 239)
Nikos Pergialis & Manos Pantavos, 2000
Mate in 3.
#3 ( 6 + 1 )

Key : 1.Qh7! (zz).
1...Kb4 2.Qd3 (zz).
____2...Kxa5 3.Qb5#
____2...Kc5 3.Qc4#
1...Kxd4 2.Qd3+
____2...Kc5 3.Qc4#
____2...Ke5 3.Qe4#
1...Kd2 2.Qd3+
____2...Ke1 3.Qe2#
____2...Kc1 3.Qc2#
1...Kxb2 2.Qc2+
____2...Ka3 3.Qb3#
____2...Ka1 3.Sb3#

We see here the theme X-flights and the bK gets mated on the squares e1 – c1 – a1 – a3 – a5 – c5 – e5. Interesting construction with a flight-giving key, sacrificing a Knight.

(Problem 240)
Nikos Pergialis, 2000
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 6 + 6 )

Tries :
{1.Rxc5? [2.Rc6#] (1...b4 / dxc5 2.Qxb4# / Qg6#) 1...Kxc5!},
{1.Rc4? (zz, 1...d5 2.Qg6#) 1...b4!},
{1.Qxb5+? (1...Kxb5 2.Rb2#) 1...axb5!},
{1.Qe1? (zz, 1...d5 / c4 2.Qe6# / Qe3#) 1...b4!}
Thematic tries :
{1.Qb2? (zz, 1...d5 / c4 2.Qf6# [A] / 2.Qd4# [B]) 1...b4!},
{1.Qc1? (zz, 1...d5 / c4 2.Qh6# [C] / 2.Qe3# [D]) 1...b4!},
{1.Qg1? (zz, 1...d5 / c4 2.Qg6# [E] / 2.Kxf3# [F]) 1...b4!},

Key : 1.Qb4! (zz)
1...d5 2.Qxc5# [G]
1...c4 2.Qxd6# [H]
(non thematic variation 1...cxb4 2.Rc6#).

We observe that two black defenses (here 1...d5 / c4 ), always the same, and in various phases of the problem (here the last three tries and the post-key play) are answered with changed mates by the White. This is a Zagoruyko 4x2 (four phases by two variations) frame of presentation of the changed mates theme.

{This post in Greek language).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Theme Dombrovskis (2), Task

We have already given the definition of the theme Dombrovskis : After the key at least two defenses, which had stopped succesfully some threats after try-moves, are answered with exactly the same threats of the tries.
The moves of the White (written here with Capital letters) and the moves of the Black (written here with small letters) are transposed from one phase to another :
Phase after a try : 1.X? [2.A#] a!,
Phase after a try : 1.Y? [2.B#] b!,
Phase after the key : 1.Z! [2.W#]
1...a 2.A#
1...b 2.B#

This post is written in memoriam of the great Greek problemist Dimitris Kapralos, who has created many excellent compositions.

We will see here a task with four Dombrovskis variations.

(Problem 234)
Dimitris Kapralos,
Third Prize, 148 Thematic Tourney, Probleemblad, 1985
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 10 + 8 )

Tries : {1.Se6+? Kxc6!}, {1.Qe6? [2.Qxd5#] Bc6!}, {1.Bc3? (zz) Bb5!}, {1.Rb6? / Qc8? / Qh8? / Qh5? / Bb4+? Kd4!}, {1.Bb6+? Kb5!}, {1.d4+? Kxd4!}, {1.Qf1? / Qh7? / Qg4? / Qh4? e4!},
{1.Qd7? [2.Se6# (A)] Kd4! (a)},
{1.Rb4? [2.Bb6# (B)] Bb5! (b)},
{1.Sf5? [2.Bb4# (C)] d4! (c)},
{1.Qxf3? [2.Qxd5# (D)] e4! (d)}.
In relation to the theme, we examine the last four tries and then we compare them with four of the variations in the solution below.

Key : 1.Qf5! ( zz ).
1...Kd4 (a) 2.Se6# (A)
1...Bb5 (b) 2.Bb6# (B)
1...d4 (c) 2.Bb4# (C)
1...e4 (d) 2.Qxd5# (D)
non-thematic variation : 1...Bxc6 2.Se6#.

(This post in Greek language).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Theme Dombrovskis (1)

The theme Dombrovskis shows a paradoxical reversal of movements.
First we see tries, which have threats, which are refuted with some defenses.
Then the key brings a different threat. If this new threat is answered with the defenses used after the tries, the mates are achieved with the (corresponding to the defenses) same moves that were refuted previously as threats of the tries.

Let us describe it with football terms : If a shoot is done, the goalkeeper dives and catches the ball. If the goalkeeper dives first, then the shoot can become easily a goal.

Symbolizing with Capital letter a white move, and with small letter a black move, we have :
1.X? [2.A#] a!,
1.Y? [2.B#] b!,
1.Z! [2.W#]
1...a 2.A#
1...b 2.B#

Theme Dombrovskis : In the post-key play at least two defenses, which have refuted some threats of the tries, are subdued with exactly the same threats of the tries.

This theme is named after the composer Alfred Dombrovskis, born 1923-04-19 in Aizpute of Latvia, who was the first to present it.

Theme Dombrovskis in directmates

(Problem 224)
Marjan Kovacevic,
Myllyniemi Jubilee tourney 1980,
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 11 + 9 )

In this problem the half-pin of the black Bishops is used (when one of them moves, the other remains pinned).

Tries : {1.Sf5-d6+? Bb4xd6!}, {1.Bd5-c4+? Bb3xc4!}, {1.Qh5-f7? Sh8xf7!}, {1.Qh5-h2? Bb4-d6!}, {1.Qh5-h7? Sh8-f7!}, {1.Sf5-e7? Se1xd3!}, {1.Sa2-c3+? Bb4xc3!}. We especially observe the next two tries and correlate them with the solution :
Try : {1.Bd5-e4? [2.Sf5-d6# (A)] Bb3-d5! (a)}
Try : {1.Sf5-e3? [2.Bd5-c4# (B)] Bb4-d6! (b)}

Key : 1.Qh5-e8! [2.c6-c7#]
1...Bb3xd5 (a) 2.Sf5-d6# (A)
1...Bb4-d6 (b) 2.Bd5-c4# (B)

In the next problem-225, (which we have taken from the page for three-movers of the British Chess Problem Society BCPS), we note that the contemporary composers extend a two-move-theme, as is theme Dombrovskis, to a three-move-mechanism.

(Problem 225)
M. Keller,
First Prize, Schweizerische Schachzeitung 1985,
Mate in 3.
#3 ( 11 + 9 )

The straightforward attack does not prove fruitful :
Tries : {1.Rf6-f5+? g6xf5!}, {1.Rf6xd6+? Kd5xd6!}, {1.Qg1xd4+? Kd5xd4!}, {1.Sf1-e3+? d4xe3!}. We observe closely the following tries :
Try : {1.Ba5-b6? [2.Qg1xd4# (A)] Sd2-f3! (a)}
Try : {1.Ba5-c7? [2.Rf6xd6# (B)] Sd2-e4! (b)}
If the wQ captures bBh1 with check, the Pawn bPf4 can interfere supported by the Knight bSd2.
Try : {1.Qg1xh1+? f4-f3!}
Could we remove this Knight?
Try : {1.Sf1xd2? c2-c1=Q!}.
We should rather remove the Pawn. Let us use wRf6.
Try : {1.Rf6xf4? Bh1-e4!}.

Finally, the actual play starts when we capture the bPf4 with the wPg3.
Key : 1.g3xf4! [2.Qg1xh1+ Sd2-f3 (a) / Sd2-e4 (b) 3 Qh1xf3# / Qh1xe4#]
1...Sd2-f3 (a) 2.Qg1xd4+ (A) Sf3xd4 / Kd5xd4 3.Sf1-e3# / Rf6xd6#
1...Sd2-e4 (b) 2.Rf6xd6+ (B) Se4xd6 / Kd5xd6 3.Re8-e5# / Qg1xd4#
1...Bh1-e4 2.Ba5-c7 [3.Rf6xd6#] Sh5xf6 3.Sh7xf6#
1...Bh1-f3 2.Ba5-b6 ~ 3.Qg1xd4#
1...Bh1-g2 2.Qg1xg2+ Sd2-e4 / Sd2-f3 3.Qg2xe4# / Qg2xf3#
1...d4-d3 (very weak, 2.Bb6 / Qb6 / Se3+ all lead to mate in the third move).
1...Sh5xf4 2.Rf6-f5+ g6xf5 3.Sh7-f6#
1...Sh5-g3 2.Rf6-f5+ Sg3xf5 / g6xf5 3.Sh7-f6# / Sh7-f6 #

Theme Dombrovskis together with theme Arguelles

(Problem 226)
Byron Zappas,
Third Honourable Mention, “U.S.P.B.” 1988,
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 7 + 12 )

Tries : {1.Se4-c3+? Qg3xc3!}, {1.Se4xd6+? Qg3xd6!}, {1.Bd4-c3? / Be2-d3? Qg3(x)d3!}, {1.Rc4-c5+? Kb5-b4!}, {1.Qh3xf5+? g6xf5!}, {1.Qh3xg3? Sh1xg3+!}. Let us give special attention to the next two tries :
Try : {1.Bd4-e3? [2.Se4-c3# (A)] Qg3-e5! (a)}
Try : {1.Bd4-e5? [2.Se4xd6# (B)] Qg3-d3! (b)}.

Key : 1.Qh3-h8! [2.Qh8-e8#]
1...Qg3-e5 (a) 2.Se4-c3# (A)
1...Qg3-d3 (b) 2.Se4xd6# (B)

We know the theme Dombrovskis and we have shown it in this solution. What is the Theme Arguelles?

Theme Arguelles : A black line of influence is neutralized with energetic and with pathetic interference.

The bQg3 has two lines towards the arrival squares of wSe4, namely c3 and d6.
In the tries Be3? / Be5? the interference of wBd4 to these lines of the bQ is energetic.
In the actual play, after the defenses Qe5 / Qd3, the interference of wBd4 to the lines of action of the bQ is pathetic.

Since the interference, in problem-226 by Zappas, happens for two black lines, we have double application of the theme Arguelles.

Theme Dombrovskis in Selfmate

(Problem 227)
S. Seider,
Second Prize, Bulgaria 1300 Years Tourney 1982-83,
Selfmate in 2.
s#2 ( 13 + 9 )

Tries : {1.Sd6-e4+? / Sd6-f5+? / Sd6-e8+? / Sd6-c8+? / Sd6-b7+? Re7-c7!}, {1.Rh4-e4+? / Qg2-e4+? Sg3xe4!}, {1.Se3-g4+? Ke5-f4!}, {1.Qg2-d5+? e6xd5!}.
A good plan is to check bKd5 with one of the Knights on c4, forcing bBa2 to capture it, allowing the bQa1 to check-mate wKa3. Since the two Knighs fire batteries when they move, let us try to dismantle these batteries.
Try : {1.Ba7? [2.Sdc4+ (A) Bxc4#], not 1...Kxd6 2.Sec4+ Bxc4#, but 1...Rc7! (a)}
Try : {1.Rf2? [2.Sec4+ (B) Bxc4#] Se4! (b)}

In the actual play the White is threatening something different, which can be answered with the previous defenses of the Black, but unfortunately these defenses break the batteries of the White and the Knights are free to act :
Key : 1.Qc6! [2.Qc5+ Bd5#]
1...Rc7 (a) 2.Sdc4+ (A) Bxc4#
1...Se4 (b) 2.Sec4+ (B) Bxc4#

Expanding Theme Dombrovskis to three variations

At the web page of the mathematician K. R. Chandrasekaran from India, I have spotted a Dombrovskis problem with three variations. It sounds complicated, but I present it here for you to see how simple it really is.

(Problem 228)
K. R. Chandrasekaran,
First Commendation, I.C.P.S. II Composing Tourney, 1995,
Mate in 2.
#2 ( 8 + 5 )

Tries : {1.Qb8xe5+? Kf4xe5!}, {1.Qb8-d8? Rd4xd8!}, {1.Se3-d5+? Rd4xd5!}, {1.g2-g3+? Kf4xf3!}, {1.Bf2-g3+? Kf4xe3!}.
We give special attention to the following tries :
Try : {1.Qb8-h8? [2.Qh8-h6# (A)] Bg6-h7! (a)}
Try : {1.Qb8-b3? [2.Bf2-g3# (B)] Rd4-d3! (b)}
Try : {1.Bf5-g4? [2.g2-g3# (C)] e4xf3! (c)}

Key : 1.Qb8-b6! (zz).
1...Bg6-h7 (a) 2.Qb6-h6# (A)
1...Rd4-d3 (b) 2.Bf2-g3# (B)
1...e4xf3 (c) 2.g2-g3# (C)
non-thematic variations : 1...Bg6-~ 2.Qb6-h6#, 1...Rd4-~ 2.Bf2-g3#.

The judge B. P. Barnes has noted that the problem has remarkable economy, and should be used as an example.

(This post in Greek language).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Emmanuel Manolas (1)

Mr Emmanuel Manolas (a.k.a. Alkinoos) writes :

"I learned chess in my fourteens (rather late) when a known detergent here in Greece gave as a promotional gift a plastic chess and a leaflet of playing rules.
My first chess book, bought in 1964, was [To Alphavitario tou Skakisti (=The Alphabet book of the Chess-player)] by Eftyhis Vardoulakis, (Athens, 1958).

In 1969, when I entered the Polytechnic School of the University of Patras (Greece), I participated in the chess championship of the university and I won without a defeat. (I have never received my prize, a cup sent to me by the Chess Union of Students (based in Athens)).

In 1970, I won the Youth Cup of Western Greece, in a tourney held by [Fysiolatrikos Patron]. In the championship of the university, where I was responsible for carrying out the games, many better players participated (Hatzithomas, Tsourinakis, et al.). I noticed then that my academic grades were lowering, because my occupation with chess matters was too intense. I discontinued playing chess, I dealed for a while with postal chess and finally I turned to chess problems. I was solving problems in newspapers and magazines, I took part in solving contests and also I tried to compose chess problems.

When I was General Secretary of the [S. O. Patron (=Chess Club of Patras)], I started teaching lessons of 'artistic chess' to children. (See problem-233 composed in 1983 by the young chess-players Maroulis and Skoularikis, after these lessons).

The magazine [To Mat] (issue 26, 15-01-1984), edited by Triantafyllos Siaperas, honoured me by dedicating the problems column to my compositions. (You may see them below).
After the Chess Olympiad 1984 in Thessaloniki, I abandoned chess.

In 2006, I started to write some articles about chess problems in the Internet Wikipedia (Greek language). In order to write for contemporary matters, I tried to find old friends and so I met again with Harry Fougiaxis, who had become in the meantime an international maitre (IM) in composition.
He motivated me and I participated in our national solving contest 2007. I observed there that the solvers were only 20 from all over Greece, very few in comparison with a local chess tourney, planned to start in the same place after the solving contest, with 160 small players.
I enhanced then my old chess problem notes, and I asked from various chess clubs to make one of their rooms available for chess problems lessons. Only [Panionios of New Smirni] gave permission, but the participation was minimal.

In 2007 I gave book-form to my notes, and I started to give away copies to friends, but I was sure that something better should be done.

In 2008 I started to publish the blog [http://kallitexniko-skaki.blogspot.com]. It seems now that it was a good move. After six months I count more than 5000 discrete visitors from all over the world, and many of them repeat their visits more than 200 times. (You read the english language version [http://chess-problems-gr.blogspot.com] of this blog).

I hope that the young problemists will find these posts useful and that better days for the 'artistic chess' will come."

Exercise 6. The solutions are written after the problems.

(Problem 230)
Emmanuel Manolas,
chess magazine [To Mat], 1984
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 ( 11 + 8 )

From which diagonal does the Queen give mate?

(Problem 231)
Emmanuel Manolas,
chess magazine [To Mat], 1984
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 ( 3 + 8 )

Square e2 is just promising, but d5 is critical.

(Problem 232)
Emmanuel Manolas,
chess magazine [To Mat], 1984
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 ( 8 + 7 )

Interesting mate pictures from all the pieces.

(Problem 233)
Emmanuel Manolas, George Maroulis, Fotis Skoularikis
original, 29-10-1983
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 ( 7 + 4 )

The problem is a Meredith with a Plachutta key.
Mr George Maroulis (born 17-08-1971) was 12 years old then. The Greek Chess Federation gives for him 'ELO 2105'.
Mr Fotis Skoularikis (born 15-02-1970) was 13 years old then. The Greek Chess Federation gives for him 'ELO 2115'.
They have learned chess earlier, they became better players.

Solutions of the problems

(Problem 230) Emmanuel Manolas, chess magazine [To Mat], 1984, Mate in 3 moves.
Before we make a move we observe that if the Knight goes north [1...Sc5 / Sb6], then the wQ can mate from the diagonal a1-d4 (2.bxc3+ Kxc3 3.Qb2#).

There are two tries : {1.bxc3+? Sxc3!}, {1.Qb1? [2.Qg1#] Rg8!}.

Key : 1.Qa1! [2.Qg1#]
1...Qe6 / Qxe7 2.Qg1+ Qe3 3.Qxe3# (The wQ mates from the diagonal g1-d4)
1...Bxf4 2.Qg1+ Be3 3.Qg7# (The wQ mates from the diagonal h8-d4)
1...Rg8 2.bxc3+ Sxc3 3.Qa7# (The wQ mates from the diagonal a7-d4)
1...cxb2 2.Qg1+ Kc3 3.Sd5#

(Problem 231) Emmanuel Manolas, chess magazine [To Mat], 1984, Mate in 3 moves.

Tries : {1.Qxh7+? Kxh7!}, {1.Qg7+? Kh5!}, {1.Be2? / Be6? f3!}.

Key : 1.Bg8! [2.Qxh7#]
If 1...Bxg8 2.Qg7+ Kh5 3.Qxg6#
If 1...Kh5 2.Qd5+ (The wQ has moved to d5 and the wB should be able to move to e6).
____2...Kh6 / g5 3.Q(x)g5#
____2...Kg4 3.Be6#

(Problem 232) Emmanuel Manolas, chess magazine [To Mat], 1984, Mate in 3 moves.

Tries : {1.Sb5? axb5!}, {1.Bf8+? Kd4!}, {1.Qb3? Kd6!}.

Key : 1.Qa4! [2.Qa5+ Kd4 / Kd6 3.Sxe6# / Bf8#]
If 1...Sc3 2.Bf8+ Kd4 3.Sc6#
If 1...Sa3 2.Qa3+ Kd4 3.Qxe3#
If 1...Kd6 2.c5+ Kxc7 / Ke7 / Kxe5 / Kxc5 3.Qd7# / Qh4# / Qf4# / Bf8#
Theme X-flights of the bK. All the white pieces give mate.

(Problem 233) Emmanuel Manolas & George Maroulis & Fotis Skoularikis, original, 29-10-1983, Mate in 3.

Tries : {1.Rd6+? Rxd6!}, {1.Sxg6? [2.Rd6#] Bxd7!}.

Key : 1.Se6! [2.Rd6# / Be3#, Plachutta intersection]
If 1...Rg6xe6 2.Be3+ Rxe3 3.Rd6#
If 1...Re7xe6 2.Rd6+ Rxd6 3.Be3#

(This post in Greek language).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nikos Pergialis (1)

Mr Nikos Pergialis (28.02.1931 - ) is a creator – performer of rebetiko songs, with great history in this kind of music. He is also good chess player and very good chess problem composer.

I remember him walking around the tables and watching the games back then (end of sixties), when the Greek Chess Federation (E.S.O.) was on Akadimias street, opposite the church [Zoodohou Pigis].

Various persons have written about Nikos Pergialis, the very richly talented "rebetis", and this is easily ascertained with an internet stroll...

_Panos Geramanis in the newspaper [Ta Nea (=the news)] (07-07-2003),
...Nikos Pergialis is an artist with a double capacity. He composes and sings rebetiko songs but parallely makes problems and exercises for chess (Mate in two or three moves, etc). He is considered one of the few authentic and pure "rebetes" and he has deep knowledge of the artistic...

_the chess column of the newspaper [Rizospastis (=root-breaker)] (10-10-2004),
...one very beautiful and strategic problem based on theme Albino, by the known composer of chess problems and artist of rebetiko songs Nikos Pergialis. Well, white plays and...

_Kosmas Kefalos in the magazine [Skaki gia Olous (=chess for all)] (issue 11, May 2005),
four pages interview (...one easy problem has no value. The solver must try hard... and ...there were four loves in my life (1) my Mother (2) the Woman (3) the Rebetiko (4) the Chess...) with photos and nine orthodox problems by Pergialis.

_the column [Diktio (=net)] in the newspaper [Ta Nea] (14-4-2008),
[Anadromi Nota (=reverse musical note)] - nights with rebetiko songs, (for the oldtimers - to remember, for the youth - to know, for the memory of the rebetiko pioneers - to be honoured, for those who wrote and sung while the establishment of that era prosecuted them and disdained them), are organised today and tomorrow by the "ultimate rebetis" Nikos Pergialis, in the [Mezedopolio (=delicacy shop) Nota (=musical note)] (Varnava square, Pagrati, tel. 210-7015169). Pergialis is a living part of the history of rebetiko in our land. He first listened to Markos Vamvakaris, Stratos, Batis and the rest pioneers of the genre, while he was still a baby in the arms of his father, who has died during [Katohi (=occupation of Greece by the Germans 1941-1945)]. Pergialis later has sung at the side of Markos Vambakaris, and also of Papaioannou, of Pagioumtzis, of Bagianteras, and of several others. In today's and tomorrow's performance together with Pergialis will appear Maro Lytra, Nikos Tagas, and the great hand of the bouzouki stroke Kostas Vamvoukos. This is actually the culmination of the musical performances, which have kept company to the friends of the genre all this winter and will be repeated next winter. In the summer Nikos Pergialis will be in Ikaria to entertain the local people and the summer travellers of this Aegean island, while he will hold an active role at the international chess tourney [Ikaros], since the multi-talented artist, besides being a composer and performer of songs, is also a composer of chess problems and strong chess player! ,

_the web page of [ΑΕΚ] about the formation of its chess team (28-2-2008),
...It is a notable fact that in the roster of our association belong chess-players, who are recognisable in areas beyond chess. Specificly, in our team belong the actor Takis Papamattheou, the "rebetis" Nikos Pegialis, the painter Nicolas Sfikas...,

_Dionyssis Anninos in the newspaper [Eleftheros Typos (=free press)] (4-6-2008) a problem by Pergialis.

I met Nikos Pergialis (on Sunday 10-08-2008) in the area (President hotel) of tourney [Acropolis] by his request. He thanked me for the post (Symmetry, 22-05-2008) presenting one of his problems. He told me about his life and about some great persons of the chess composition, as is Dimitris Kapralos, who are not widely known. He showed to me a nice Duplex problem (see it below) and he promised that he will give me soon a set of his problems for publication. When I receive the problems, I will post them. He also wrote down some verses he composed about chess :

(Ine to kathe provlima tou pnevmatos pegnidi (=every problem is a play of the mind).
Kathe idea zografia, kathe pessos stolidi! (=every idea is a picture, every piece is an ornament)

In the meanwhile, I have noticed in another blog [Neos Palamidis (=new Palamedes)], 14-08-2008, a nice presentation of Nikos Pergialis, with cellphone photos and an orthodox problem.

It is a good thing that the splendid work of the artist (in song and in chess) Nikos Pergialis is recognised from more persons.

(Problem 229)
Nikos Pergialis, 2007,
Duplex in 2.
h#2 duplex ( 3 + 3 )

The Duplex problem has a difficulty in construction, because is a two-directions helpmate.
(1) Black plays and helps White to mate.
(2) White plays and helps Black to mate.

In Pergialis's miniature all the pieces on board have an active role. The two solutions are :

(1) Key : 1.Qd4! Re6 2.c5 Sc7#
(2) Key : 1.Kb4! Qa1 2.Rb3 c5#

(This post in Greek language).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Brazil, Chess Solving Championship 2008

The champion of Brazil, after the recently held Championship in Chess Problem Solving 2008, is Mr Robert Stelling.
(He is a friend of our blog and we are friends of his web-pages. He is known to Greek Solvers after his participation to the 50th World Congress 2007 in Rhodes (a famous Greek island)).

You may see the problems of the championship here and their solutions here. There are also photographs of the winners here.

(In problem 7 by Vukcevic the bPa4 was omitted and the problem was excluded from the contest. These things can happen.)

(This post in Greek language).

Friday, September 05, 2008

51st WCCC and 32nd WCSC in 2008 at Latvia

The 51st World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) and the 32nd World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC) are taking place this year in the city Jurmala at Latvia.

Official web page is http://wccc-2008.info/ .

You may see there the programme Aug 30 – Sep 06, 2008, the composing tourneys (deadlines are still open only for the participants, but see what themes are asked by the judges for the submitted problems), the countries (32 for the time being) that participate and the delegates. (The page also reports that the local weather is rainy and windy, not exactly warm weather as is usually expected at the end of August in the northern hemisphere).

The Greek team : Harry Fougiaxis, Panagiotis Konidaris, Nikos Mendrinos, Kostas Prentos.

As [Greek national team of solvers] we have Prentos, Mendrinos, Konidaris. We have full confidence in them and we wish wholeheartedly to them the Best of Successes!

03/08/2008 : You may see at the site of Milan Velimirovic, here, the ongoing contests in Jurmala, changing by the hour. The problems are published and, after the end of the contest, the solutions are also published.

In the Open Solving Contest our Kostas Prentos (GRC) finished in place 6. By our calculations he has gained a norm of Grand Maitre in Solving Chess Problems.

05/09/2008 : For the 32nd WCSC, with 92 solvers, Mr Panagis Sklavounos has the latest news...
"Mr Nikos Mendrinos has returned in Greece and announced the final results (since the web page of Milan Velimirovic is not updated as promised).
90.0 points : Piotr Murdzia (POL) (222 minutes - First) and Georgy Evseev (RUS) (252 minutes - Second).
89.5 points : Michael Pfannkuche (DEU) (308 minutes - Third).

Greek solvers
68.5 points : Kostas Prentos (GRC) (rank 53),
65.0 points : Nikos Mendrinos (GRC) (rank 60),
46.5 points : Panagiotis Konidaris (GRC) (rank 79).

From the 24 countries (having team of three solvers)
178 points : Russia (5h 12m - First) and Germany (5h 59m - Second).
172 points : Poland (Third). "

You may watch here live the Solving Show, September 3rd, 21:00 Riga time (GMT +2:00).
Results of the competition :
1 / 8 Final : (Rumyantsev - Sivic, 0 : 3), (Leontiev - Dragoun, 3 : 0), (Kovacevic - Comay, 3 : 2), (Mestel - Zude, 3 : 1), (Evseev - Pogorelov, 3 : 2), (Podinic - Tummes, 1 : 3), (Pfannkuche - Nunn, 0 : 3), (Feoktistov - Villeneuve, 1 : 3).
1/4 Final : (Sivic - Leontiev, 2 : 3), (Kovacevic - Mestel, 3 : 2), (Evseev - Tummes, 3 : 0), (Nunn - Villeneuve, 3 : 1).
Semifinal : (Leontiev - Kovacevic, 4 : 2), (Evseev - Nunn, 2 : 4).
Small Final : (Kovacevic - Evseev, 4 : 2)
Final : (Leontiev - Nunn, 1 : 5).
Winners : 1. Nunn, 2. Leontiev, 3. Kovacevic .

(This post has been updated many times).

(This post in Greek language).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Compositions by friends of this blog (1)

Problems composed by friends of this blog (1)

This blog is available for the presentation of the works (preferably) of the Greek composers, but we do not exclude compositions sent to us from foreign friends.
Today we present problems by Themis Argyrakopoulos, Ioannis Garoufalidis and Joaquim Crusats.

Mr Themis Argyrakopoulos is one of the good Greek solvers (having ELO 1775, as the World Comittee WCCC has announced in 2008). From the problems that we will study here, we will see that he is a very capable composer.

His first publication was in the Finnish [Suomen Tehtavaniekat] with two helpmates, which are very interesting.
We note here that in the helpmates the Black plays first and helps White to reach his goal (in the helpmates the win, in the helpstalemates the draw).

(Problem 220)
Themis Argyrakopoulos,
Suomen Tehtavaniekat, No 4-5/2003
Helpmate in 5 moves. (Two solutions)
h#5 2.1.1... (5+7)

Key : 1.Ke5! Kg1 2.Be4+ Bc1 3.b1=B Bb2+ 4.Kf4 Sh6 5.Qe5 Bc1#
Key : 1.Qg7! Sf6 2.Ke7 Bf4 3.Kf8 Bxg3 4.Bg6+ Kh2 5.Bf7 Bd6#

(Problem 221)
Themis Argyrakopoulos,
Suomen Tehtavaniekat, No 4-5/2003
Helpmate in 6 moves.
h#6 (2+6)

Key : 1.Ba7! c5 2.Kb7 c6+ 3.Ka8 c7 4.c1=B c8=B 5.Bf4 Bxg4 6.Bb8 Bxf3#

Mr Ioannis Garoufalidis is also one from the good Greek solvers (having ELO 1922, as the World Comittee WCCC has announced in 2008). His compositions are impressive, and he is interested in selfmate more-movers.
Here we will see a selfmate six-mover. In a future post we will see selfmates with more moves.
We note here that in selfmates the White plays first and forces Black to give mate.

(Problem 222)
Ioannis (John) Garoufalidis,
The Problemist (?)
Selfmate in 6 moves.
s#6 (12+4)

Black is very tightly pressed, comes often in a zugzwang (zz) situation and it seems unable to give instantly mate to White. If the black pawn g5 is promoted, maybe the Black will have increased possibilities.

There are many tries {1.Bf8~? / Be8~? / a8=~? / e7? / e5? / Rg3~? / h3? / Sf1~? (zz) g4!}, {1.Sh5+? Kxh5!}, {1.Qxg6+? hxg6+!}.

The solution follows :
Key : 1.Rf3! (zz) g4 2.Rf4 (zz) g3 3.a8=Q (zz) gxh2 4.Qb8 (zz)
if 4...h1=Q 5.Rh4+ Qxh4 6.Qg5+ Qxg5#
if 4...h1=S 5.Sh5+ Kxh5 6.Sg3+ Sxg3#
if 4...h1=R 5.Rh4+ Rxh4 6.Qf4+ Rxf4#
if 4...h1=B 5.Rf3 (zz) Bxg2 6.Rh3+ Bxh3#

The problem is an allumwandlung (AUW), that is it has four promotions of the bP. In four variations of equal length, the promoted piece is forced to give mate. The whole impression is exceptional.

Mr Joaquim Crusats lives and creates in Catalonia, Spain. For his compositions, mainly multimover orthodox problems, he prefers cooperating with other composers.
He is a friend of this blog and, thanking him, we present next a moremover (ten-mover) problem of his.

(Problem 223)
Joaquim Crusats,
Problem Online, 15.10.2007, problem n. C0017
Mate in 10 moves.
#10 (9+9)

Tries {1.Sxg5? / Sf6? Kb5!}, {1.Be2+? fxe2!}.

Key : 1.Bxf3! [2.Be2#] gxf3 2.Sxc3 g4 3.Sxa4 Kb5 4.Kb3 Ka6 5.c3 (zz) Kb5
6.c4+ Ka6 7.Sc3 a4+ 8.Kb4 a3 9.Sb5 cxb5 10.cxb5#

(This post in Greek language).