Thursday, December 22, 2011

From the MT Malgorzata Grudzinska

We have received recently the results from the Fourth Memorial Tourney dedicated to the memory of Malgorzata Grudzinska, who has left unexpectedly 19 years old.

Among the awarded composers there are two of the young and productive Greek composers, whose compositions we present here.

Section Helpmates #2 with condition Circe, miniatures


T. Argirakopoulos
3rd Honourable Mention

h#2, Circe, twin b) wB<->wR
a) diagram
1.Rxb2[+wBc1] Bxb2[+bRh8] 2.0-0 Rxg7[+bRh8]#
b) wBb2 <-> wRg3
1.Rd7 Rxb5[+bRa8] 2. 0-0-0 Rb8#

Section Helpmates #2 with condition Circe


Kostas Prentos
First Commendation

h#2, Circe, 2111
1.Bb8 Bd2 2. bxc3+ Bxc3[+bPc7]#
1.Ra8 Rd8 2.Sf8 Rxf8[+bSb8]#

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Manolas Emmanuel (5), Problems from Jesi, part 2

We continue with the rest of the compositions with which I participated in various composition tourneys in Jesi, Italy, during the World Chess Compositions Congress.
When a composition has a defect or it happens that the judge dislikes it or it is weaker than the compositions of other composers, then it does not take a distinction. We do our best to create a very nice position but, as it happens in life, this is not always possible. Some of the compositions, when we examine them later without pressure (and with more experience), can be improved. This is something that the experienced judges see or feel, and that is why their opinion is useful.
In a previous post we saw five compositions, let us see now and the rest of them.

11th Japanese Sake / 3rd Brazilian Cachaça Tourney

Theme : Series selfmate / selfstalemate, (ss#n, ss=n), with Reversible Promotion. Neither fairy pieces nor other fairy conditions are allowed except for Maximummer.

In a Series self(stale)mate of n moves, the White alone makes n-1 moves without checking and in the last move the immobility of Black is raised and the Black achieves the goal (mate or stalemate).
We know that a white pawn starts from the second line and is promoted in the eighth line (for black : seventh and first, respectively). With the condition of Reversible Promotion, a white promoted piece stepping on the second line (for black : seventh) becomes pawn again.

k7/7P/p2pp3/K1ppp3/P1p5/8/1s2p3/1r3bb1 w
Kostas Prentos - Manolas Emmanuel
First Honourable Mention
ss#18, Reversible Promotion, Maximummer, 2 solutions

1.h8=B 2.Bxe5 3.Bxb2=P 4.b4 5.bxc5 6.c6 7.c7 8.c8=B 9.Bd7 10.Bb5 11.Bxc4 12.Bxe2=P 13.e4 14.e5 15.exd6 16.d7 17.d8=B 18.Bb6 Bxb6#
1.h8=S 2.Sg6 3.Sf4 4.Sxe2=P 5.e4 6.exd5 7.dxe6 8.e7 9.e8=S 10.Sxd6 11.Sxc4 12.Sxb2=P 13.b4 14.bxc5 15.c6 16.c7 17.c8=S 18.Sb6+ Bxb6#

The Japanese Judge Tadashi Wakashima commented : "Very nice presentation in two solutions of three promotions and two reversals (wB in the first solution and wS in the second one).".
The price was accompanied by a bottle of Japanese Sake.

8/q3r2P/1b4p1/pb6/2p3p1/2p2k1p/1s1r1p1P/5K2 w
Manolas Emmanuel
Third Honourable Mention
ss#27, Reversible Promotion

1.h8=B 2.Bxc3 3.Bxb2=P 4.b4 5.bxa5 6.axb6 7.bxa7 8.a8=R 9.Rd8 10.Rxd2=P 11.d4 12.d5 13.d6 14.d7 15.d8=S 16.Se6 17.Sf4 18.Sxh3 19.Sf4 20.h4 21.h5 22.hxg6 23.g7 24.g8=Q 25.Qxc4 26.Se6 27.Qd3+ Bxd3#

The Japanese Judge Tadashi Wakashima commented : "Allumwandlung with two pawns".
The price was accompanied by a bottle of Brazilian Cachaça.

I worked several days to make this problem. The computer software were not of real help because the moves were too many and the time needed was too much (about 45 hours). At the end the very fast solver Kostas Prentos helped me with the validity checking, and I thank him.

The plan of White, to check with the Queen at d3 forcing bBb5 to capture it giving mate, has some obstacles. First there is no Queen, second many black pieces (Qa7, Bb6, Sb2, c4, Rd2, Re7) can intervene to a threat of mate from d3, and furthermore bK has a flight f4. And the bBb5 cannot guard d3 because bPc4 stands in the way.
The pawn bPg6 is needed for column change of wPh2 going to be promoted at g8, but if it was positioned at g5, a second unwanted solution appears with 1.h8=S.
The key should not be promotion to Queen because the second move 2.Qxc3 would check the bK.
Similarly for the move 8.a8=R, if we had a promotion to Queen it would check the bK. And then only the path Ra8-d8-xd2=P is valid, not via a2!
The Queen will be needed at the end and also a piece to guard f4. If the pawn wPh2 should be freed, we observe that bPh3 can be captured only by a Knight without giving check to bK!

In the fourteenth move the Knight cannot capture the rook (14.dxe7?) and also solve the problem in 27 moves. So bypasses it and postpones the closing of the line of bR (and also guarding f4 from there) for later. How much later?
Before e6 is occupied, the Queen must pass over it, 25.Qg8xc4, and only then 26.Sf4-e6.
Finally in this composition we have the four promotions (=allumwandlung), Bishop, Rook, Knight, Queen.

8/1Pq5/8/8/4p1pp/4r2k/3spr1p/3bbs1K w
Manolas Emmanuel
Third Commendation
ss#27, Reversible Promotion

1.b8=B 2.Ba7 3.Bxe3 4.Bxd2=P 5.d4 6.d5 7.d6 8.dxc7 9.c8=R 10.Rg8 11.Rxg4 12.Rxe4 13.Rxe2=P 14.e4 15.e5 16.e6 17.e7 18.e8=R 19.Rxe1 20.Rxf1 21.Rxf2=P 22.f4 23.f5 24.f6 25.f7 26.f8=Q 27.Qf3+ Bxf3#

The Japanese Judge Tadashi Wakashima commented : "Three promotions and three reversals by a single pawn".
Here I have gathered the maximum number of obstacles (without promoted black force) to the White plan.

Thematic Tourney «The Urals Problemist» - 2011

Theme: Selfmate (s#3-5). Recovery of the initial white or black battery.

7b/7p/3S1k1P/2P4P/4R3/pp2pPQ1/p4p2/Kb3r2 w
Manolas Emmanuel
Version, Dedicated to Andrey Selivanov

Tries : {1.f4? [2.Qg6+ hxg6 3.Re6+ Kxe6#] Bg7!}, {1.Re8? [2.Qf4+ Bf5#] e2!}
Key : 1.Re5! [2.Qf4+ Bf5#] e2 2.Qh4+ Kxe5 3.Qe4+ Kf6 4.Qe7+ Kxe7#

The Dedication is because the Judge Andrey Selivanov found that the initial position I submitted {7b/8/3S1k1P/2P3RP/Q7/pp2p3/p4p2/Kb3r2 w} had a flaw (unprovided check 1...Kxf5+ in the set play). The version here is corrected.

I hope that I have given you an idea of the creativity frenzy that exists during the world chess composition congress. Think about several other composing tourneys I did not participated and the important fact that there were many composers there better than me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Manolas Emmanuel (4), Compositions from Jesi, part 1

In Jesi, Italy, I participated in some composition tourneys, sometimes with success sometimes without a distinction. I would like to present to you these compositions of mine. Two posts will be made.

Quick Thematic Tourney (time : three hours)

a) Theme: Orthodox two-mover where at least two variations have the mating move starting from (or ending to) the same square.

6s1/8/3SK3/8/1P1k3B/1R6/2P5/3rb3 w
Manolas Emmanuel


Tries : {1.Bd8? Bxb4!}, {1.Rh3? Bg3!}

Key : 1.Rf3! zz
1…Sh6 / Se7 / Sf6 2.B(x)f6#
1…Bxh4 / Bg3 / Rd2 2.c3#
1…Bxb4 / Bc3 2.Bf2#
1…Bd2 / Ra1 / Rb1 / Rc1 / Rd3 2.Rxd3#
1…Bf2? 2.Bxf2# / c3# (dual)

Black correction. The move 1...Βc3 corrects the moves 1...Βxh4 and 1...Rd2. The move 1...Βd2 corrects the moves 1...Βxb4 and 1...Βc3.
Mirror mates.
No distinction.

b) Theme: Helpmate with two solutions (or twin), where in one a pawn A makes a single step and a pawn B makes a double step, and in the other the pawns exchange roles.

1q2s3/8/2pkp3/K7/5P2/8/B2PP3/8 w
Manolas Emmanuel

h#2, a) diagram, b) wBa2->f2

a) 1.Kc5 e3 2.Sd6 d4#
b) 1.Kd5 d3 2.Qd6 e4#

Selfblock. Model mates. Dual avoidance.
No distinction.

Azerbaijan Study Tourney

Theme : Sacrifice (with or without check) of a white chessman (piece of pawn) on a square guarded by two black chessmen.

6S1/p2pPb2/P1kq2S1/P5B1/P1pP4/4r2p/2R4P/6K1 w
Manolas Emmanuel

= (White plays and draws)

1.e8=Q (thematic) Rxe8
(1.e8=R? Qxg6 2.Rxe3 Bxg8 -+ or 2.d5+ Kd6 3.Rxe3 Qxg5+ 4.Kf2 Qf4+ 5.Rf3 Qd2+ 6.Kf1 Qxc3 7.Rxf7 Qxd3+ 8.Kf2 c3 -+)
(1.Rxc4+ Bxc4 2.e8=Q Rxe8 3.S8e7+ Kc7 4.Bf4 Bd3 5.Bxd6+ Kxd6 6.Kf2 Be4 -+)
2.S8e7+ (thematic) Rxe7
3.Sxe7+ Kc7
4.Rxc4+ Bxc4
5.Bf4 Qxf4
6.Sd5+ Bxd5 =

The Judge decided that the thematic moves were not sacrificies and gave no distinction.
Later he send this problem to be published : [Olympiya Dunyasi No62 13-15.09.2011, problem 721].

Second Bulgarian Wine Tourney

Theme : Helpmate two-movers with at least a Chameleon-piece (of type Q-S-B-R-Q). Other fairy pieces or conditions are not allowed.

3b4/5p2/3r2Rq/5k2/5SS1/8/7P/6K1 w
Manolas Emmanuel
h#2, 6 solutions, Chameleons wSf4, wSg4, bRd6, wRg6, bQh6, bBd8

1.Qh6-g5=S Sg4-f6=B 2.Sg5-e4=B Rg6-g5=Q#
1.Qh6xh2=S Sg4xh2=B 2. Rd6-d3=Q Sf4xd3=B#
1.Qh6-h4=S Rg6-e6=Q+ 2.Kg5 Sg4-h6=B#
1.Bd8-e7=R Sg4xh6=B 2.Re7-e4=Q Rg6-g5=Q#
1.Ke4 Rxd6=Q 2.f5 Sf4-g2=B#
1.Kxf4 Sxh6=B+ 2.Kf3 Rg6-g2=Q#

The Judge Diyan Konstadinov wrote [Six different solutions, but with Not homogeneous play].

METAXA Tourney Jesi (Italy) 2011 in memoriam Albert H. KNIEST

The Greek Judge Pavlos Moutecidis (who has started the custom with local wines to accompany the prizes) asked the following.
Theme : Selfmate Maximummer with set play. No limit on the number of moves. The total number of pieces should not exceed 10. Other fairy conditions or pieces are not allowed.

1q3k1K/8/8/3pp3/1r6/1P6/8/8 w
Manolas Emmanuel
(original, please do not reprint)

s#11, Maximummer

Set play : 1…Rh4#
Key : 1.Kh7! [2.Kh8 Rh4#]
1…Rh4+ 2.Kg6 Ra4 3.bxa4 Qb1+ 4.Kg5 Qh7 5.a5 Qb1 6.a6 Qh7 7.a7 Qb1 8.a8=R+ Qb8 9.Kh6 Qe8 10.Ra6 Qa4 11.Rg6 Qh4#
It is a Miniature, it has switchbacks of pieces, underpromotion, Pelle movement (done by a pinned piece).
It contains the theme white Chernous ("A white piece A theatens the black King. A black piece is self-pinned to stop the threat. Then the White unpins B, the piece A self-blocks the white King and the black B delivers mate"). (The theme Chernous has reversed colours).
No distinction.

I will post the second part very soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Official results from Jesi

In Jesi, Italy, was organised this August the 54th World Congress on Chess Composition (WCCC) together with the 35th World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC), (see here the web page of the organisers and here the web page of the World Federation on Chess Composition (WFCC)).

In these web pages you can find the official Bulletin, where one can see the final results of the Solving and Composing contests. For the composition contests we have already posted a first part (here) and for the solving contests we have the following :

(A) Top results of the Open Solving Contest

1. PIORUN Kacper, 60, 169'
2. EVSEEV Georgy, 60, 176'
3. COMAY Ofer, 59.5, 134'
4. Van BEERS Eddy, 59, 178'
5. NUNN John, 57, 174'
6. MUKOSEEV Anatoly, 56.5, 169'
7. VUCKOVIC Bojan, 56.5, 180'
8. TUMMES Boris, 55, 174'
9. MESTEL Jonathan, 54, 172'
10. MURDZIA Piotr, 54, 177'
15 MENDRINOS Nikos, 51.5, 178'
27-28 PRENTOS Kostas, 45.5, 180'
92 MANOLAS Emmanuel, 5, 180'

93 solvers have participated.

(B) Top personal results of the World Chess Solving Championship

1. PIORUN Kacper (POL), 83, 337'
2. NUNN Jphn (GBR), 80, 288'
3. MURDZIA Piotr (POL), 80, 319'
4. ZUDE Arno (DEU), 77, 300'
5. Van BEERS Eddy (BEL), 76, 314'
6. PAAVILAINEN Jorma (FIN), 76, 323'
7. PODINIC Vladimir (SRB), 75.5, 307'
8. EVSEEV Georgy (RUS), 75, 337'
9. SELIVANOV Andrey (RUS), 74, 340'
10. POGORELOV Volodymyr (UKR), 72, 320'
24. PRENTOS Kostas (GRE), 65, 330'
44. MENDRINOS Nikos (GRE), 56, 358'
76. MANOLAS Emmanuel (GRE), 18, 321'

83 solvers have participated.

(C) Top team results of the World Chess Solving Championship

1. POLAND, 164, 631'
2. UNITED KINGDOM, 154, 629'
3. SERBIA, 152, 602'
4. UKRAINE, 151, 650'
5. RUSSIA, 151, 656'
6. FINLAND, 148, 663'
7. ISRAEL, 145, 625'
8. BELGIUM, 140, 644'
9. GERMANY, 136.5, 664'
15. GREECE, 122, 688' (Prentos Kostas, Mendrinos Nikos, Manolas Emmanuel)

20 national teams have participated.

(D) Presentation of the games and solution of problems by John Nunn

This year's second Champion presented details and photographs from the Solving contests and described the method of solving some problems in two articles in the web page He writes elegantly and his observations are very penetrating.
Read the Presentation and the Solutions.

Some photographs from Jesi are also posted here.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Bringing back Checkmate (4)

Mr Steve Giddins continues his articles in Chessbase about chess compositions. In his August 16th article he describes interferences : He selects very nice problems as examples.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jesi addio! Are you ready for Japan?

The World Conference for Chess Composition has ended today.
Selected results are published below but you can always see the page of WCCC here, which is repeatedly updated.

I can say that the WCCC will be held in [September 22 - 29 2012, Quality Hotel Kobe Portpia Island, Japan].

I am happy to say that I have recently tasted the Brazilian Cachaça, on the bottle of which is written [43% Vol.].

Congratulations to all the winners!!

Update for the composition tourneys

1. Quick Thematic Tourney

Judge: Marco Guida (Italy)
A section: Orthodox #2
Theme: Two-phase (at least) problems with one special square, from which start (or to which end) the mate-giving white moves.
Prizes: (1) V. Dyachyk - V. Kopyl (Ukraine), (2) J. Rice (U.K.).
Honourable Mentions: (1) U. Avner - M. Erenburg (Israel), (2) P. Einat (Israel), (3) D. Mueller (Germany).

B section: Helpmate #2
Judge: Antonio Garofalo (Italy)
Theme: Two-phase (at least) problems, where one or more pawns move with single or double step in various phases.
Prizes: (1) M. Marandyuk - V. Kopyl, (2) D. Mueller, (3) M. Witztum, (4) M. Parinnelo, (5) M. Erenburg, (6) O. Solovchuk - M. Marandyuk.
Honourable Mentions: (1) P. Einat, (2) R. de M. Vieira, (3) H. Axt, (4) N. Predrag, (5) J. Paavilainen.
Commendations: (1) A. Heir, (2) B. Gadjanski, (3) R. Riva, (4) M. Caillaud, (5) A. Semenenko - V. Pogorelov, (6) K. Solja.

2. 4th Jenever Thematic Tourney (ARVES)

Judges: Marcel van Herck (Belgium) - Harold van der Heijden (the Netherlands)
Theme: Study with black and white promotion to Bishop.
Prizes: (1) D. Gurgenizde - I. Akobia (Georgia), (2) Y. Afek (Israel), (3) A. Jasik (Poland).
Honourable Mentions: (1) J. Timman (Netherlands), (2) D. Gurgenizde (Georgia).
Commendation: Y. Afek (Israel).

3. 1st Azerbaijan Study Tourney

Judge: Ilham Aliev (Azerbaijan)
Theme: Sacrifice of a white chessman (piece or pawn) on a square guarded with two (at least) black chessmen.
Prizes: (1) E. Kopilov - O. Pervakov (Russia), (2) O. Pervakov (Russia).
Special Prize: D. Gurgenizde (Georgia).

4. 2nd Bulgarian Wine Tourney - WCCC Jesi 2011

Judge: Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria)
Theme: Helpmate 2# with one (at least) Chameleon piece of the type (Q-S-B-R-Q), without other fairy elements.
Prizes: (1) Ricardo Viera, (2) Vlaicu Crisan - Cornel Parcurar - Paul Raican, (3) Cornel Parcurar, (4) Mario Parinello, (5) Mark Erenburg.
Special Prizes: (*) Eric Huber - Vlaicu Crisan, (*) Tadashi Wakashima, (*) Julia Vysotska.
Honourable Mentions: (1) Hans Uitenbrock, (2) Aleksandr Semenenko, (3) Michal Dragon, (4) Mario Parinello.
Commendations: (*) Dieter Mueller, (*) Emmanuel Manolas, (*) Allan Bell, (*) Bjork Enemark, (*) Vito Rallo.

5. Champagne TT, Jesi 2011

Judge: Michel Caillaud (France)
Theme: Promotion of same-file pawns.
A section: SPG
Prizes: (1-2) Per Olin, (1-2) A. Frolkin - K. Prentos, (3) G. & I. Denkovski.
Honourable Mentions: (1) A. Bell - J. Mestel, (2) Per Olin.
Commendations: (1) Bjorn Enemark, (2) Jonathan Mestel, (3) Lubomir Siran.

B section: Retro
Places: (1) A. Frolkin - K. Prentos, (2) Igor Vereshchagin.

6. 11th Japanese Sake - 3rd Brazilian Cachaça Thematic Tourney

Judge: Tadashi Wakashima
Theme: Series Self(stale)mate (ss#n or ss=n) with Reversible Promotion. Only allowable fairy element : condition Maximummer.
Prizes: (1) O. Comay - M. Erenburg (Israel), (2) Michel Caillaud (France), (3) V. Crisan (Romania) - C. Pacurar (Canada).
Special Prize: A. Bell (Ireland) - M. Caillaud (France)
Honourable Mentions: (1) K. Prentos - E. Manolas (Greece), (2) Vlaicu Crisan (Romania), (3) Emmanuel Manolas (Greece), (4) Oleg Pervakov (Russia).
Commendations: (1) Diyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (2) Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia), (3) Emmanuel Manolas (Greece), (4) Alexandr Semenenko (Ukraine), (5) Bosko Miloseski.

7. 14th Sabra Thematic Tourney

Judge: Menachem Witztum
Theme: Helpmate h#2 with a special line-opening.
Prizes: (1) Francesco Simoni - Mario Parinello - Marco Guida, (2) Hemmo Axt, (3) Aleksandr & Valery Semenenko, (4) Luis Miguel Martin, (5) Mario parinello, (6) Paz Einat.
Honourable Mentions: (1) Jean Haymann, (2) Uri Avner, (3) Hemmo Axt, (4) Dieter Muller, (5) Kostas Prentos, (6) Emmanuel Navon - Jean Haymann, (7) Paz Einat, (8) Abdelaziz Onkoud, (9) Aleksandr & Valery Semenenko.
Commendations: (*) Uri Avner, (*) Valery Gurov, (*) Michel Caillaud, (*) Hannu Harkola, (*) Michael McDowell, (*) Nikola Stolev, (*) Julija Vysosca, (*) Diyan Kostadinov, (*) Harri Hurme - Kenneth Solja, (*) Mario Parinell - Marco Guida.
Dedicated to participants of this tourney : Shaul Shamir.

8. 9th Romanian Juica Thematic Tourney

Judges: Vlaicu Crisan - Eric Huber (Romania)
Theme: Two-phase (at least) help-self(stale)mates (hs#n or hs=n) with three (at least) pairs of pieces which mutually change function during the solution.
A. Orthodox section:
Prizes: (1) Borislav Gadjanski (Serbia), (2) Ricardo de Mattos Vieira (Brazil).
Honourable Mentions: (1) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria), (2) Dieter Mueller (Germany).
Commendations: (1) Menachem Witztum (Israel) (2) Kostas Prentos (Greece)

B. Fairy section:
Prizes: (1) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria), (2) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria).
Honourable Mentions: (1) Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria), (2) Mario Parinello (Italy).
Commendations: (1) Mario Parinello (Italy), (2) Juraj Loerinc (Slovakia).

9. Long Thematic Tourney

Judge: Francesco Simoni (Italy)
Theme: Helpmate h#3, where black unpins a black or white piece, but creates at the same time a direct or preventive interference.
Prizes: (1) Michel Caillaud, (2) A. Semenenko - V. Pogorelov - A. Solovchuk, (3) Ofer Comay.
Honourable Mentions: (1) Hemmo Axt, (2) Mario Parinello.
Commendations: (1) Menachem Witztum, (2) R. Viera - M. Witztum, (3) Eugene Fomichev, (4) Tony Lewis.

10. The Ural's Problemist TT, Jesi 2011

Judge: Andrey Selivanov (Russia)
Theme: Selfmate s#3-5 with recovery of an initial black or white battery.
Prizes: (1) V. Kopyl - M. Marandyuk Ukraine), (2) W. Tura (Poland), (3) U. Avner (Israel), (4) E. Fomichev (Russia), (5) O. Pervakov (Russia).
Honourable Mentions: (1) D. Kostadinov (Bulgaria), (2) H. P. Rehm - K. Widlert (Germany), (3) M. Barth (Germany).
Commendation: (1) D. Mueller (Germany).

11. Moskovskaya Matreshka TT, Jesi 2011

Judge: Valery Gurov (Russia)
Theme: Helpmate h#2, where the first white move (W1) creates a weakness, which is liquidated by the second black move (B2).
Prizes: (1) Marco Guida - Mario parinello - Francesco Simoni, (2) Emmanuel Navon - Jean Haymann, (3-4) Menachem Witztum, (3-4) Kjell Windlert - Hans Peter Rehm.
Special prize: Ricardo de M. Vieira.

12. 23rd Spisska Borovicka TT

Judge: Peter Gvozdjak
Theme: Two-movers of every kind, with one retiring defense. (A black piece attached to its king goes away to defend).

13. Metaxa TT, Jesi 201

Judge: Pavlos Moutecidis (Greece)
Theme: Selfmate s#n Maximmumer With set play. No limit on the number n of moves, but the pieces must not exceed 10. No other fairy elements are permitted.
Honourable Mentions: (*) Harri Hurme (Finland), (*) Jorma Paavilainen (Finland), (*) Nikola Predrag (Croatia).

Monday, August 08, 2011

BCPS 2012 composition Ty

Announcement: BCPS 2012 Tourney

To coincide with the 2012 London Olympic Games, the British Chess Problem Society is announcing a composition tourney.
The three top prizes in each section will receive medals.
The closing date is 31.10.2011 and the awards will be made by the time of the Games.
No more than 3 compositions per composer per section.
The sections are:
A. Two-movers. Theme: Olympic symbol. Judge: Christofer Reeves
B. Three-movers. Theme: Relative with Batteries. Judges: Don Smedley & Jim Grevatt
C. Moremovers. Theme: Relative with Batteries. Judge: Jörg Kuhlmann
D. Helpmates. Theme: Twins h#n h#(n+2), n=1/2, 1, 1 1/2, 2, etc.. Judges: Chris J. Feather & Michael McDowell
E. Selfmates. Theme: s#3 with Bivalve. Judge: Uri Avner
F. Fairy. Theme: h#2-4 or s#2-4 or hs#2-4 where effective defenses in helpmate/selfmate become illegal self-check by arrival (not by departure). Judge: Cedric Lytton
G. Studies. Theme: Free, in a specific frame. (Caution: different address). Judge: John Roycroft

Analytical direction and examples you will find in this document :

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bringing back Checkmate (3)

Friends of chess-problems, please read this article, third in a series.
Steve Giddins writes now about Grimshaw and Nowotny intersections.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tourney : Ikaros 2011

Read about the International chess tourney in island Ikaria, Greece.

Select Language : Greek, English, French, German, Russian.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bringing back checkmate (2)

Friends of chess-problems, please read this article, second in a series.
Steve Giddins writes in a very enjoyable manner about helpmates and selfmates.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Champion of Greece, Nikos Mendrinos

The 10th Greek Championship for Solving Chess problems took place today in the Chess Club Ambelokipi in Athens, Greece.
The solvers had to solve 18 problems (9 problems per 2 hours).

Results :
1. Nikos Mendrinos, Champion of Greece, points 68 (with 90 as maximum)
2. Kostas Prentos, p. 64
3. Andreas Papastavropoulos, p. 62,5

4. Panagiotis Konidaris, p. 55
5. Panagis Sklavounos, p. 53
6. Spiliadis Athanassios, Champion Junior, p. 50,5
7-8. Papathanassiou P., p. 47,5
7-8. Skyrianoglou D., p. 47,5
9-10. Manolas E., p. 45
9-10. Anemodouras L., p. 45
11. Alexandrou, p. 40
12. Petridis, p. 36
13. Mitsakis, p. 34 (3 hours 58 minutes)
14. Delikanakis, p. 34 (4 hours)
15. Pagkali Maria, Champion in Women, p. 15 (3 hours 57 minutes, participated only in the second round)
16. Kapnia D., p. 15 (4 hours )

These details was gathered by the judge (end selector of the problems) Ioannis Garoufalidis.

We note that Kostas Prentos was holding the first position in the first nine Champioships.

Monday, June 06, 2011

A collection of studies

The friends of the OTB chess (Over The Board chess) believe that the studies (or etudes), that is chess problems composed to look like end-games, are worthy of their attention since the studies contain useful ideas.

I give below a link to a site presenting a wealth of studies, organised by composer, and of other interesting curiosities of chess composition.

The link is here, so start exploring! It is surely rewarding!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Award for Nikos Dampassis

An honourable award was given today to Nikos Dampassis (he is 91 years old) for his devotion to chess.

He was a graduate of the Military School of Evelpidon and he was a supporter of chess during the difficult years of WW2.

He gave to us details about his friend Vassilios Lyris and an old photo of them. You may see there the editors of the chess magazine "To Skaki" (owner : Zorbas), which was circulating during (Italian-German) occupation and was discontinued after liberation.

I hope that more biographical data will be published soon.

Below you see two frontpages of the magazine "Skakistis" (January 1972 and May 1972) presenting two of Nikos Dampassis' compositions (4# and 3#)

Try : {1.Rxe4? fxe4!}

Key : 1.Ra4! [2.Rxa5#]
2.Be8 [3.Bc6#]
2...Rb4 3.Bc6+ Rb7 4.Bxb7#
2...Sb4 3.gxf5 zz S~ 4.Bc6#
2...Sb6+ 3.cxb6 [4.Bc6# / b7#]
1...Rxe6 2.Rxa5+ Ra6 3.Rxa6#
1...Sb4 2.Rxa5+ Sa6 3.Rxa6#
1...Sxc7 2.Rxa5+ Sa6 3.Rxa6#
1...Sb6+ 2.cxb6 [3.b7# / Rxa5#]

Tries : {1.Rf6+? Sxf6!},
{1.Rd7? Sf6!},
{1.Re7+? Sxe7!},
{1.Rc7? Sxc7!},
{1.Kc5? Kxe5!},
{1.Rf8? / Rb7? / g6? / Bh2? / Bg3? / Bf4? / Bh8? / Bg7? / Bd6? Sc7!}.

Key : 1.Bb8! zz
1...Sc7 2.Rxc7 [3.Rf6# / Re7#] Kd6 3.Rf6#
1...S~ 2.R(x)f6# / (2.R(x)e7#)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Solving Contest in Zagreb

We give links to an internet solving contest which has recently been organized from Zagreb, Croatia.

You may see the problems here. Three two-movers, two three-movers and a two-mover-puzzle. The first four are manageable. The problem E needs a little retroanalysis. The problem F asks for the positioning of the black King so, as to become a two-mover.

If you want to see the solutions, you will find them here, together with the names of the composers.

On the solvers list we find mr Themis Argirakopoulos on the second place and mr Emmanuel Manolas (who did not see at once that problem E was a retro) on the fourth place. There are solvers from at least 8 countries and the first 5 have solved all the problems.

Congratulations to organizers and participants!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The Gen. Fr. Kleeberg’s Community Centre in Wola Gułowska announces
the twentieth second formal competition on the following sections:

SELFMATES in 2 MOVES – judge Eugeniusz IWANOW
SELFMATES in 3 – 4 MOVES – judge Waldemar TURA
HELPMATES in 2 MOVES – judge Władisław NEFIODOW

In each section:
3 prizes,
free theme,
normal 8x8 board,
no fairy pieces, conditions. and zeropositions.

Closing date: September 30th 2011.

Award will be ready by December 31st 2011.

Problems on diagrams or in notation with the complete solution should be sent:
by e–mail:

or by post:
Dom Kultury – Pomnik Czynu
Bojowego Kleeberczyków

Monday, May 16, 2011

7th Chess Problems Festival, Belgrade

The champion of Greece, Kostas Prentos, participated in the 7th Chess Problems Festival in Belgrade Serbia and finished in fifth place.


View the ranking of the solvers (undoubtely first the charismatic Michel Caillaud) here.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Theme Phoenix in selfmate form

About a year ago (2010-02-19, see here) I had posted one study of mine with the Phoenix theme, dedicated to composer Libiurkin who had presented a relevant study in 1938.
After one month the friend composer and judge in many solving contests Ioannis Garoufalidis pointed out that my study was anticipated, that is a similar study had already been published in 1943 in a magazine from Finland.

Mr I. Garoufalidis found this year and send to us for presentation a selfmate problem featuring the same theme.
In a selfmate White plays first and forces Black to mate.
The Phoenix theme is : [A pawn is promoted to a piece which was previously captured].
The specific problem is composed by Olaf Jenkner and Steven Dowd, and presents the theme three times.

(Problem 494)
Olaf Jenkner & Steven Dowd
Sachova Skladba, 2011
(10 + 9)

The solution follows :
Key : 1.Sg6! hxg6 2.Be2 g5 3.h7 g4 4.h8=S g3 5.Sg6 fxg6
6.f7 g5 7.f8=S g4 8.Sfe6 dxe6 9.d7 e5 10.d8=S e4
11.Sb7 e3 12.Sxa6 Rxa6#

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blog Statistics, 3rd year

Presented a little bit delayed (but they do not change, of course). For the period 07/February/2010 thru 06/February/2011 the tool Google Analytics has collected a multitude of elements, from which I present here some :

Visitors : 5962

Absolutely unique visitors : 3586

Visitors : Started about 8 per day, increased very slightly but constantly, ended about 16 per day. Only two days had over 50 visitors.

Coming From where : 28% from sites with links to this blog, 58% from search machines, 14% from direct visits.

Countries of visitors : 835 from United States, 690 from Greece, 388 from Bulgaria, 336 from Philippines, 326 from Spain, 257 from Poland, 250 from United Kindom, 191 from France, 190 from Germany, 173 from Serbia, 145 from India, 143 from Brazil, 116 from Nederlands, 110 from Canada, 107 from Indonesia, 105 from Israel, 104 from Italy, 103 from Romania, 87 from Australia, 84 from Slovakia, 81 from Russia, and follow about ninety countries.

Most popular posts : Composers and their problems, Multiple pawn promotions, Dedication for Manolas-60, Terminology for Problemists.

Most popular Biography : Sam Loyd

Returning visitors : 42%, that means 58% are new.
48 returned over 200 times, 259 returned 101-200 times, 239 returned 51-100 times.

84 visits lasted more than half an hour, more 273 lasted more than 10 minutes and more 419 lasted more than 5 minutes.

I hope that the content of the posts was useful to the visitors.
Thank you all!
Manolas Emmanuel
a.k.a. Alkinoos

Friday, April 22, 2011

Musicological riddle

Wishes to all, (they go with the season), to live a better life!

A book by Werner Keym has been recently published titled [Eigenartige Schachprobleme], (in german, editions Nightrider Unlimited, 2010), which includes many of his problems (and of many other composers) with excellent comments.
The automatic translation of the title to english gives [Strange chess problems], but I would prefered [Chess problems of special art]. Really, I have found them very interesting.

From this book we will present the five-hundredth problem which contains a musicological interest, as the composer says.
It is an easy two-mover. It could also be positioned mirrored or upside-down, but the composer says that only this position is musicologically correct.

Can you explain why is he saying that?

(From this contest is excluded the Attica champion Nikos Mendrinos, who has recently received this book as a prize).

(Problem 493)
Werner Keym
"Eigenartige Schachprobleme", 2010,
(3 + 1)

Answer :
We write down the pieces of the problem : White Kb1, Ra6, Rc8. Black Kh5.
We note the squares of the pieces [b1 a6 c8 h5], and we write separately the letters of the files from the numbers of the rows [bach 1685] and we see the surname of the music composer Johann Sebastian Bach and the year of his birth.
If we somehow change the position on the chessboard, we do not take this piece of information.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solving Contest, 2011-04-11, ESSNA 7

(Click on the photo to enlarge it).

Many contestants in this event.
There were young and old solvers, men and women, which is very satisfying.

You may see here the problems and here the solutions.

Results :
Champion of Attica Mendrinos Nikos, 22/30,
second Fougiaxis Harry, 16/30,
third Sklavounos Panagis, 10/30,
and follow Skyrianoglou Dimitris, Delikanakis Nikos, Konidaris Panagiotis, Ilandzis Spyros, Anemodoyras Leokratis, Papargyriou Anastasios, Zervogiannis Alexandros, Katopodis Giannis, Ladas Dimitris, Anastasiou Marios, Manolas Emmanuel, Pagali Marianna, Mixaloudis Giorgos, Douni Maria, Margaritis Giannis, Koulaxouzidis Giorgos, Mitsakis Kostas, Kapnia Dimitra.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

ECSC_7, 2011, European Championship

Problems, solutions, solvers rank and photographs of the winners here.

Team results : 1. Ukraine, 2. Serbia, 3. Poland

Personal results :
1. Piotr Murdzia, Poland
2. Marjan Kovacevic, Serbia
3. Georgy Evseev, Russia
12. 24. Kostas Prentos, Greece (he was placed 12_th in the Open SC).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2nd FIDE World Cup in Composing 2011

2nd FIDE World Cup in Composing 2011

The International Chess Federation (FIDE), within the framework of its "Chess Composition" special project, is organising the 2nd FIDE World Cup in Composing for 2011 in eight sections. The tournament is coordinated with the WFCC Presidium and is a part of the joint efforts by FIDE and WFCC for the popularization and development of chess composition worldwide.

The tournament sections and judges are as follows:

A. Twomovers – Judge: Vasil Dyachuk (Ukraine)
B. Threemovers – Judge: Valery Shavyrin (Russian Federation)
C. Moremovers – Judge: Yakov Vladimirov (Russian Federation)
D. Endgame studies – Judge: Yuri Akobia (Georgia)
E. Helpmates – Judge: Živko Janevski (Macedonia)
F. Selfmates – Judge: Yuri Gordian (Ukraine)
G. Fairies – Judge: Krasimir Gandev (Bulgaria)
H. Retros and Proofgames – Judge: Hans Gruber (Germany)

In each section, only one composition by each author is acceptable and joint compositions are not allowed.

The theme is free in all sections, and any number of moves is acceptable in the h# and s# sections. In the fairies section, only computer-tested problems by one of the Alybadix, Popeye or WinChloe programs are allowed; the participants should state with which software they tested their composition.

The Director of the tournament is IGM Petko A. Petkov (FIDE international judge), who will not participate as author or judge in the tournament.

Entries must be sent by e-mail only to the Director's address at

Participants should mention their postal address in the e-mail.

The closing date is May 1st, 2011.

The Director will send all compositions to the judges on standardised anonymous diagrams by May 15th, 2011. All judges should prepare their awards by July 15th, 2011.

The results will be published on the Internet by August 1st, 2011 and they will be declared final after two months allowed for claims of anticipation and unsoundness.

In each section, cups, prizes, honourable mentions and commendations will be awarded, as well as certificates for the prizes signed by the President of the FIDE Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

All participants will receive a copy of the booklet with the final awards.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Puzzles (1)

Besides the chess compositions (the chess problems), there are many chess puzzles, that use chessboards and chessmen, but their subject is basically mathematic.
The chessmen have various abilities, thus we can "play" with various positionings or moves of the pieces.

Let us see some puzzles, easy enough.
I expect solutions like [Puzzle_x, solution / solutions].
On the internet the solutions surely exist. You do not need to search there.
What I ask from you is to face the challenge by yourself and discover one solution. If you like, find how many distinct (not by turning the chessboard, not mirror positions) solutions exist for this puzzle.

P001 : How many, at most, white rooks can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?

P002 : How many, at most, white queens can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?

P003 : How many, at most, white knights can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?

P004 : On a chessboard we see many squares, of various sizes (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, ..., 8x8), with sides parralel with the sides of the chessboard. How many are they?


My thanks to the reader HeinzK (see his blog) who sent a comment.

Puzzle_001 : How many, at most, white rooks can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?


We can place, easily, 8 rooks. The obvious solution is to place them on one main diagonal (See P001). We could also place them differently, having each rook guard a line and a file (See P001a).
If we accept that the firs rook can be placed on one square of the first file, then the second rook can occupy one of seven squares in the second file, etc, until the eighth rook can be placed on one free square of the eighth file. Totally there are 8*7*6*5*4*3*2*1 positions, (in mathematics this product is named [8 factorial] and is denoted by [8!]), so we have 8!=40320 positions.
The Greek friend Carlo DeGrandi informs us that the problem was described first by the English mathematician Ernest Dudeney (1857-1930), who has also invented the crossing of words into crosswords.

Puzzle_002 : How many, at most, white queens can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?

We can place, with a little difficulty, 8 queens. The king of the puzzles, (there is a book "The Puzzle King" with his chess puzzles, by Sid Pickard), the American Sam Loyd has published in the American Chess Journal in February 1877 the position you see in P002, (stretching the fact that whichever the solution, with rotation or mirroring we will have a queen on d1).
This is an old problem, (a comment by Kevin notes that it was first proposed by Max Bezzel, in Die Schachzeitung, 1848), it was published in 1848 in the German chess magazine "Illustrierte Scachzeitung" (=Illustrated Chess newspaper) as follow-up on a question by the philologist professor Dr. A. Nauck, who also proposed to Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) this problem. Nauck has published in 1850 a solution (mirror image of the solution by Loyd) while the mathematician Gauss has found 12 basic solutions. (See here).
This type of problem is very popular to the students of informatics.

Puzzle_003 : How many, at most, white knights can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?



The answer is very easy : 32. We place 32 knights on the white squares of the chessboard and they all "threat" the black squares. Alternatively, we could place them all on black squares. Thus, we have two solutions.

With a modified formulation Puzzle_3a : "How many, at least, white knights can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all squares except the occupied ones?", we see an easy answer (figure P003a) which uses 24 knights, an one more economic with 16 knights (figure P003b).

Modifying again the formulation Puzzle_3b : "How many, at least, white knights can we place on a chessboard 8x8, to guard all non-occupied squares?", (meaning that some occupied squares could be guarded), we find that the best solution (figure P003c) uses only 12 knights!

Puzzle_004 : On a chessboard we see many squares, of various sizes (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, ..., 8x8), with sides parralel with the sides of the chessboard. How many are they?

On figure P004 we see numbers inside the squares of the chessboard. This number is the multitude of various-sized squares formed with this square as the upper-left-corner. Adding these multitudes (as shown in the margin) we have total = 1x8 + (2x7+1x7) + (3x6+2x6) + (4x5+3x5) + (5x4+4x4) + (6x3+5x3) + (7x2+6x2) + (8x1+7x1) = 8 + 21 + 30 + 35 + 36 + 33 + 26 + 15 = 204 squares.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The Seventh European Chess Solving Championship (ECSC) for 2011 will take place in Lowicz, Poland, from Friday April 1st thru Sunday April 3rd 2011.

The official site with every information needed (invitation, program, registration up to March 20th 2011, participants, κλπ.) is here.

(There are three problems in this page for warm up.
In the three-mover by Loyd see the white queen, with what impetus goes from g2 to h1!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

John Nunn at the top

It is well known fact that John Nunn is a great achiever in various fields, mathematician, astronomer, OTB chess player, chess problem solver, book author...

These days John Nunn is British Problem Solving Champion and European Problem Solving Champion and World Problem Solving Champion. This is an astonishing feat.

Read more in the article of Chessbase : John Nunn's problem grand slam and the solutions of some problems here and here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Competition "4th Zhigulevskie Zori"

Competition "4th Zhigulevskie Zori"
Sections: {#3, #n - theme free, judge Aleksander Sygurov}, {h#, s# - theme free, judge Evgeni Fomichev}, {studies (+, =) - theme free, judge Viktor Razumenko}, {#3, #n (miniature) - theme free, judge Valery Ivanov}.
Send compositions to the address of judge-organizer Viktor Zheltukhov : {St. Gvardeiskij 5, 445019 Toliatti, Samarska reg., Russia} or e-mail {}.
Deadline 30.04.2011.
Money prizes and diplomas are established.

Διαγωνισμός σύνθεσης «4ος Zhigulevskie Zori»
Τμήματα: {#3, #n - ελεύθερο θέμα, κριτής Aleksander Sygurov}, {h#, s# - ελεύθερο θέμα, κριτής Evgeni Fomichev}, {σπουδές (+, =) - ελεύθερο θέμα, κριτής Viktor Razumenko}, {#3, #n (μινιατούρες) - ελεύθερο θέμα, κριτής Valery Ivanov}.
Αποστείλετε συνθέσεις στον κριτή-οργανωτή Viktor Zheltukhov ταχυδρομικά στην διεύθυνση {St. Gvardeiskij 5, 445019 Toliatti, Samarska reg., Russia} ή με e-mail {}.
Προθεσμία μέχρι 30.04.2011.
Προβλέπονται χρηματικά έπαθλα και διπλώματα.

Конкурс «Жигулёвские зори - 4»
Разделы: # 3, # n – судья А. Сыгуров, H #, S # – судья Е. Фомичёв, этюды (+, =) – судья В. Разуменко, # 3, # n (миниатюры) – судья В.Иванов.
Композиции до 30.04.2011 посылать на адрес судьи-организатора Желтухова Виктора Ивановича: пр. Гвардейский д.5, г. Тольятти, Самарская обл., Россия, 445019
Установлены денежные призы и дипломы.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Harry Fougiaxis (2)

We wish to mr. Harry Fougiaxis, president of WFCC, long living and prosperity, since in two days he will have his name-day.

Harry Fougiaxis has walked a long creative path in the area of chess composition. Today we present an old composition of his, published in 1988. It is included in the leaflet [Selected Chess Compositions by Greek Composers] which was issued by the Greek Chess Composition Committee, during the 47th World Congress of Chess Composition in Halkidiki, Greece, 4-11 September 2004.

(Problem 492)
Harry Fougiaxis (Χάρης Φουγιαξής),
Second Prize, U.S. Problem Bulletin 1988,
Helpmate in three moves. (Two solutions).
h#3 211111 (4 + 6)

1.Rc4 Sd4 2.Kc5 a3 3.Bd5 Sab3#
1.Bc5 Sc6 2.Kc4 a4 3.Rd5 Sba5#

Changed self-blocks on bK initial square (d5).
White pawn moves 1-2 steps.
Diagonal / Orthogonal Echo.
Model mates.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Results of ISC-7

(Update 12.02.2011)
Final results from Greece (A from Athens, P from Patras) for the seventh International Solving Competition :

First Category
A 01. Fougiaxis Harry 27.5/60 (235' minutes)
A 02. Manolas Emmanuel 14.5 (240')
P 03. Spyropoulos Giorgos 11.5 (152')
P 04. Betsos Titos 11.5 (237')
P 05. Spiliadis Athanasios 6.0 (240')
A 06. Petridis Evangelos 6.0 (240')
P 07. Mauromati Aggeliki 5.0 (210')
P 08. Lefteriotis Emilios 5.0 (230')
P 09. Kotrotsos Nikodimos 5.0 (230')
P 10. Athanasopoulos Kyriakos 5.0 (232')
P 11. Stamatopoulos Giorgos 5.0 (233')
P 12. Iliopoulos Alexis (240')

See a post, with problems and solutions, by Tassos Alexandrou from Patras here.

Our friend Alotan sent a link, where Mr Velimirovic in the Mat Plus forum presents nicely problems, solutions and statistics. Leading solver in the world is Mr John Nunn (ELO 2773).

From Greece, leading in the first category (No.92 in the world ladder) is Mr Harry Fougiaxis (ELO 2084).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Best Study for 1988

Today we will see the study, which was chosen as Best for the year 1988 by the Studies Subcommittee of the PCCC (Permanent Commission of Fide for Chess Composition), which has evolved in 2010 to WFCC (World Federation for Chess Composition).

[Study of the Year 1988] is a study by Maksimovskikh A. and Dolgov V., in which White has the opportunity to lead Black into a certain position, leaving en prise his pieces.

Study of the year 1988.

(Problem 491)
Maksimovskikh A. & Dolgov V.,
1st Prize, Kzlov MT Na Smenu!, 1987,
White plays and wins.
+ (4 + 3)

Here follows the solution (with comments by Themis Argirakopoulos) ...

(The game will be oriented to the promotion of the pawn or to the possible avoidance of the promotion. So we start with ...)
Key : 1.f7+! (and if 1...Rd8 then 2.Be6 and the the conversation is very short. That brings ...)
2.Be6 (from where it keeps the pawn in the game and, threatening promotion, protects itself. The big problem of Black is the promotion - not the white bishop, thus he will try to push it away from defending the pawn, at any cost ...)
2...Bf5 (Without the danger to be tangled in aimless moves and transformations of the position, the White answers ...)
3.Rd8+ (If now 3...Kc5 4.Rd5+ and the superiority of white powers will simplify the situation, i.e. 4...Kc4 5.Rxf5+ Rxe6 6.f8=Q . If 3...Ke5 then 4.Bc4 Be4 5.f8=Q Rxf8 6.Rxf8 Kd4 7.Rf4 and White wins. Just a little better is the defense ...)
3...Kc3 (but white has got the squares (a2 or d5) to move his bishop, with the idea to promote the pawn to queen, exchange this queen with the black rook and, at the same time, to be able to capture with his rook the black bishop avoiding the [K+R vs K+B] ending, which is stalemate, with the exception of the black king being in the wrong corner. Let us continue with ...).
4.Bd5 Be4 (with the same pressing on the white bishop, aiming to the capture of the pawn. Then ...)
5.Rc8+ Kb2 (5...Kd4 is no better, since we can easily bring the same picture with the promotion f8=Q, i.e. 6.Bb3 Bd3 7.f8=Q . White continues with check ...)
6.Rb8+ (and if the king returns towards the center with 6...Kc3 then 7.Be6 Bf5 8.Ba2 and the chase with the bishops can not be continued, and we have the usual threats of the White. To the corner, then, with ...)
7.Rb6 (What can Black capture now and not be disappointed? 7...Rxb6 8.f8=Q with easy win for the White, or 7...Rxf7 8.Bxf7 similarly, or 7...Rf5 8.Bb3 Rf3 9.Bc4 Rf5 10.Rd6 and brings forward the promotion threat. If he tries ...)
7...Rf1 (then follow the moves ...)
8.Bc4 Bd3
9.Rb1+ (and the position is ruined for Black. For example ...)
10.Bxd3+ +- (White wins)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

C20110501 : World Chess Composition Tournament, WCCT-9


Το Παγκόσμιο Τουρνουά Σκακιστικής Σύνθεσης (World Chess Composition Tournament, WCCT) είναι μια από καιρό καταξιωμένη διοργάνωση για ομάδες, που επιτρέπει σε συνθέτες από όλο τον κόσμο να διαγωνίζονται σε διεθνές επίπεδο για νέα σκακιστικά προβλήματα και μελέτες επί προκαθωρισμένων θεμάτων. Οχτώ τέτοια τουρνουά έχουν διοργανωθεί μέχρι σήμερα, με ενθουσιώδη παγκόσμια συμμετοχή. Προκηρύσσεται τώρα το ένατο WCCT, και έχω την ευχαρίστηση να προσκαλέσω όλες τις χώρες που είναι μέλη της Διεθνούς Συνομοσπονδίας Σκακιού (Federation International des Echecs, FIDE) να εγγραφούν σε αυτό τον διαγωνισμό και να συμμετέχουν σε μια διοργάνωση που υπόσχεται να είναι πιό δημοφιλής και επιτυχημένη από τις προηγηθείσες.

Χάρης Φουγιαξής
Πρόεδρος της Παγκόσμιας Συνομοσπονδίας Σκακιστικής Σύνθεσης (World Federation for Chess Composition, WFCC)

Αναλυτικό έγγραφο υπάρχει εδώ.


The World Chess Composition Tournament is a long-established team event enabling composers from all over the world to compete at international level with new chess problems and studies on set themes. Eight such tournaments have been held to date, with enthusiastic worldwide participation. The 9th WCCT is now announced, and I have pleasure in inviting all countries affiliated to FIDE to register for this competition and take part in an event which promises to be even more popular and successful than its predecessors.

Harry Fougiaxis
President of the WFCC

See detailed document here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Schools of chess composition

I have gathered in a short leaflet some elements about [Schools of chess composition].
I think that there are many interesting details included in it.
Read it here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Chess Solver uses more of his/her brain

An article in internet magazine NewScientist [Chess grandmasters use twice the brain (11-01-2011)] by Nora Schultz is very interesting.

When a man tries to solve any kind of problem, he uses the left part of his brain.

When a trained chess solver tries to solve a chess problem, he uses both parts of his brain, in a parallel processing mode.

See comments here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

7th International Solving Contest (ISC)

7th International Solving Contest (ISC)
Sunday January 23rd 2011

The next International Solving Contest will take place on Sunday January 23rd 2011. The event is happening simultaneously in all participating countries.

There will be two sections: one for the experienced solvers. In this section solvers can obtain rating points.
The second section is intended for weaker, inexperienced solvers and for youth.

The delegates have to appoint a local controller who can be trusted on the responsible task of organizing this contest in your country. If you find it appropriate this contest may be organized in more than one location in your country. But for each location a local controller must take the responsibility. It is absolutely required that the local controller must dispose of an e-mail address. The delegate will thus indicate this e-mail-address.

The contest will consist of two rounds with six problems each, i.e. for each round a 2#, 3#, n#, EG, h# and s#.
For each round, the solving time is two hours.
To prevent possible irregularities it is essential that the start of the contest must be at the same time in each country. This means CET (Central European Time) at 11 hr. Local time must meet this CET. Between the two rounds a break is foreseen of minimum 0,5 hr and max 1,5 hr, at the option of the local controller.

more details ==>

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Preliminary results of the solving contest as published in site :

Solver                   Fed Point     Time

1  Emmanuel Manolas      GRE  30    2:00:32
2  Themis Argirakopoulos GRE  30    2:01:57

3  Martynas Limontas     LTU  30    5:10:30
4  Georgij Popov         RUS  30    5:13:08
5  Vladimir Šarčević     GER  30   10:00:28
6  Valery Krivenko       UKR  30   11:10:36
7  Henryk Kalafut        USA  30   12:10:46
8  Zoran Majerić         CRO  29    3:02:08
9  Mustapha Bakani       MOR  29   13:11:05
10 Željko Pavlović       CRO  28    3:10:02
11 Vidadi Zamanov        AZE  25    1:08:50
12 Kenan Velihanov       AZE  25    8:03:07
13 Predrag Žuvić         CRO  25    9:00:10
14 Katarzyna Jurkiewicz  POL  25   13:10:16
15 Benjeloun Youness     MOR  23.5 14:00:00
16 Marija Ninković       CRO  20    5:03:59
17 Nikola Crnojević      CRO  20    7:07:30
18 Veljko Mrazovac       CRO  20   13:23:50
   Mićo Mrazovac         CRO  20   13:23:50
20 Mario Stiković        CRO  15    3:05:57
21 Relja Bosanac         CRO  15   13:22:44
22 Nikola Šakić          CRO  15   13:23:45

"Solver Killers" - additional categora with extra hard problems

Solver                  Fed Point   Time

1 Henryk Kalafut        USA  15 12:11:39
2 Emmanuel Manolas      GRE  10  2:00:32
3 Themis Argirakopoulos GRE  10  2:01:57

4 Vidadi Zamanov        AZE   5  1:08:50
5 Georgij Popov         RUS   5  5:13:08
6 Kenan Velihanov       AZE   5  8:03:07
7 Zoran Majerić         CRO   4  3:02:08

Solutions of the problems

A) Alain Campbell White, Good Companions Meredith T. 1918.  1.Kf6! 5 p. (~2.Qc8#) 1...0-0+/Rf8+/Kd8 2.Sgf7/Sef7/Qd7#
B) Philip Hamilton Williams, Observer, 1920. 1.Bd4! 5 p. (zz) 1...bS~/dS~ 2.Sc5/Sf6# Αλλαγμένα ματ από το έτοιμο παιγνίδι : 1...bS~/dS~ 2.Sd6/Sc3#
C) Sam Loyd, "Boston Gazete", 1859. (v.)  1.Qa5! 5 p.  (zz) 1...Bd7/Be7/Rd7/Re7 2.Qd5/Qe5/Sf5/Qxb4# (Αυλοί του Οργάνου) 1...Bc5 2.Qa1# ...
D) Antonin König, Svetozor, 1869. 1.Qa8! 3 p.
  ~ 2.Sa5+ 0.5 p. 2...Kd6,c6/Rc6 3.Qd8/Qxc6#,
  1...Rc6+ 2.Sd6 0.5 p. 2...Kxd6/cd6,S~ 3.Qd8/Qg8#,
  1...Sxf5 2.Sbc5+ 0.5 p. 2...c6 3.Qg8#
  1...Kc6 2.Qa6+ 0.5 p. 2...Kd5,Kd7 3.Qe6#
E) The Problemist, 2006.  1.Bc4 Rb8 2.Kd7 3.b.
  2...Kb7 3.Sb8 Kb8 4.Ba6 Ka8 5.Kc6 Kb8 6.Kb6 Ka8 7.Bb7 Kb8 8.Bh2#  1 b.
  2...Rb7 3.Kd6 Tb6 4.Bb6 Kb7 5.Bg1 Kc8 6.Ke7 Kb7 7.Kd7 Ka8 8.Bd5#  1 b.
  ( 2...Rb7 3.Kd6 Rb1 3.Bd5+! Rb7 4.Kc6! Rb1 5.Kc7 Rb7 6.Bxb7#)
F) Stanislav Juriček, TS2000, 2003. 1.Rg8! 5 p. (~2.Reg6#) 1...Kxg8/Sf6/Sf8 2.Re8++/Re7++/Rg7#
G) Miroslav Havel, zrcalna slika od "De Maasbode", 1926.
1.Qc5! 2 p. (Kd8)
1...~ 2.Qc7+  0.5 p.  2...Ke8 3.Qxe7#
1...Ke8 2.Bxf7+  0.5 p.  2...Kd8,Kd7/Kf8 3.Qc7/Bxe7#
1...exd6 2.Qxd6+  0.5 p.  2...Ke8/Sd7 3.Bxf7/Qxd7#
1...Sa8,Sc8 2.Qc6  0.5 p.  2...Sb6/fxe6/Bc8 3.Bc7/Bxe7/Qxc8#
1...Sd7 2.Bxe7+  0.5 p.  2...Ke8 3.Bxf7#
1...Qxc5 2.Rh8+  0.5 p.  2...Rg8 3.Rxg8#
H) Gianni Donati, 1st Prize "Thema Danicum", 2006. 

1.d3 h5 2.Bf4 Sh6 3.Bd6 exd6 4.Sc3 Qg5 5.Qb1! Qc1+ 
6.Sd1 g5 7.a3 Bg7 8.Qa2 Bxb2 9.Qc4 f6 10.Qg4 Kf7 
11.Sf3 Re8 12.Sd2 Re3 13.Sb1 Rh3 14.e3 Kg6 15.Be2 Sf7 
16.Bf3 Sh8 17.Bc6 dxc6 18.0-0 c5 19.Sdc3 Sc6 20.Qd1 Bg4 
21.Kh1 Be2 22.f3 Bxf1 23.Se2 g4 24.Sg1 Kg5 - 5 p. (White has to lose a single tempo, 5.Sb1??)
I) Dejan Glišić, 1st commendation "Help-Direct-Mate" 2004.
a) 1.e1=R Sd4 2.Re8 – 1.dxe8=Q!  2.5 p.  (~2.Qe2#) 1...Rxf2,Re1 2.Qe1#;
b) 1.b1=R d8=Q 2.b2 – 1.Qxd5!  2.5 p.  (~2.Qb3#) 1...Rc1 2.Sdxe1#

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

WCCC-54 and WCSC-35 in Jesi, Italy

The announcement is posted for the 54th WCCC [World Congress of Chess Composition] and the 35th WCSC [World Chess Solving Championship] .

Place : Jesi, in Italy (near Ancona).

Time : August 20-27, 2011.

Official site for information :