Monday, December 31, 2012

Last awards of 2012

On the last day of 2012, the award for the "Mark A. Ridley-50 Jubilee Tourney" is announced, and you can read it here :

From the Greek side, three compositions won distinctions :

Themis Argyrakopoulos, Commendation

Themis Argyrakopoulos and Kostas Prentos, Commendation

Emmanuel Manolas, 1st Honourable Mention

In another award published today, mr Kostas Prentos (USA, as resident of Albuquerque) earned a commendation. Read this :

Chessbase puzzles

Every year, around Christmas, gives puzzles for the chess solvers.
Mr John Nunn has organized again the event, and you can find it here : .

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday with Chess Compositions

A Holiday with Chess Compositions

Sunday, January 6th

A holiday dedicated to chess compositions is organized by "Chess Club Zinon Glyfada (Greece)" on Sunday, January 6, 2013 in the afternoon, from 18:15 to 20:30. Youngsters and grown-ups which already have experience of the chess game, but small or none experience of the chess problems, will have the opportunity to be initiated to the beautiful world of Chess Compositions by the Champion Nikos Mendrinos. Then, they will try their hand in various relevant contests with properly chosen problems and they will attend - or take part in - a Chess Solving show (with awards books, cup and medals). They will also be introduced to top Greek problemists.

Place : the Club rooms at Sofias Vembo 18, Ano Glyfada (near KAPI Karahaliou).

For more info call 210 9833452 (Nikos Mendrinos) and 6938476727 (Marios Anastassiou). The persons, interested to attend, please e-mail: to facilitate the organizers.

For warming-up, you may try to solve the following two-mover by Nikos Pergialis, without looking first at the underwritten solution.

Nikos Pergialis
8/5R1B/7p/6kp/6Sr/7b/3S1K2/8 (5 + 5)

Key : [1.Ke3! [2.Rg7#]
1...Bxg4 2.Se4#
1...Rxg4 2.Sf3#
1...hxg4 2.Rf5#] (Select the space between the square brackets to see the solution)

We observe that the white Knight on g4 can be captured with 3 ways, resulting in 3 different mates. This is named Anti-Triple, and since the black defences are self-blocks we have the Theme Stocchi.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trees for the holidays

Traditionally, this time of each year the chess-composers send greeting cards to their friends with nice compositions. With the present advancement of the technology, the bloggers post these compositions in their blogs.
Some of these problems have special shape, like a Christmas tree.
On this post, together with cordial wishes for general improvement of the situations in our lives, I present three problems of mine with tree-like or conical shapes.
The third takes the shape of a tree, after you solve it!

Manolas Emmanuel
(3 + 6)
a) Diagram: h#5,
b) bQe7 becomes bR: h#4

a) 1.b1=B+ Ke3 2.Bg6 hxg3 3.Kf5+ Kf2 4.Se6 Kf3 5.Qf6 g4#

b) 1.Rh7 f5+ 2.Kf7 f6 3.Kg8 f7+ 4.Kh8 f8=Q#


Manolas Emmanuel
(4 + 5) (Grasshopper d7 + 0)

1.e5 Κe2 2.Βf7 d3+ 3.Κd4 Κd2 4.c5 Gg7#

The Grasshopper is an obstacle-jumping piece. It moves in straight line on a row or a file or a diagonal, jumps over an obstacle and steps on the next square. (If the obstacle is missing, the move is not allowed. If behind the obstacle there is an opponent piece, it is captured).

Self-blocks. (The bPb3 is only decorative).

Manolas Emmanuel
(7 + 3) (Grasshopper a1 b1 f1 h2 h5 + 0)

1.d3 Gc5 2.Kd4 Ge5 3.d5 Gd6#

(It could be more economical, but the shape after solution would not be nice). Self-blocks. The final shape is shown to the right.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas carols and trees, all Ideal

Six compositions here by Nikos Pergialis. All helpmates with Ideal mates.
In the first composition our Last Rebetis (remember : Rebetico songs) writes his own carols.

Nikos Pergialis

Nikos Pergialis
8/4p3/4k3/8/4S3/4K3/8/3b1B2 (3 + 3)
h#2, 2111
8/5p2/5k2/8/5S2/5K2/8/4b1B1 (3 + 3)
h#2, 2111

1.Bh5 Kd4 2.Bf7 Bh3#
1.Ba4 Kf4 2.Bd7 Bc4#

Symmetrical placement, symmetrical solution (Vertical mirror echo) with Ideal mates.

1.Βb4 Κg4 2.Βe7 Βd4#
1.Κg5 Βd4 2.Κh4 Βf6#

Symmetrical placement, non symmetrical solution with Model mates.

Problems having symmetrical placements of pieces, with wide base, are called christmas trees.
With this opportunity, Nikos Pergialis says carols with his unique way:

Good evening Greeks, if you allow me,
I want some news to announce in your splendid home.

I will make an All-United Governement in Greece
and inside my ministries I will have a lot of Swindlers.

I will become Prime Minister, having all authorities,
I will also give press conferencess, to say prattles.

I will receive information updates from Liers with degrees
and I will appoint Thieves where there is money.

I will cut salaries, I will favor new houses.
I will build Socialism, more than enough for all.

I will give to everyone love and care
and if your are short of bread, you can eat your Hopes.

You will have - and you'll be proud - a Great Governor
and if you ever see progress, let me know.

It is exactly what you need, famous Greeks,
because you are, as it seems, a sleeping Plebe.

P.S.: Brothers, weeping is for us.
I am too old now
and I will say the bitter truth:
I am not an exception.

Nikos Pergialis, the Last Rebetis

Nikos Pergialis

Nikos Pergialis
4s3/8/3pKp2/4p3/4k3/3ppp2/4P3/8 (2 + 8)
h#4, 2111...
4s3/3pKp2/8/4p3/4k3/3ppp2/4P3/8 (2 + 8)
h#4, 2111...

1.Sg7+ Kxd6 2.f5 Kc5 3.f4 Kc4 4.Sf5 exd3#
1.Sc7+ Kxf6 2.d5 Kg5 3.d4 Kg4 4.Sd5 exf3#

Ideal mates, with vertical mirror Echo and Selfblocks.

1.Sg7 Kd6 2.f5 Kc5 3.f4 Kc4 4.Sf5 exd3#
1.Sc7 Kf6 2.d5 Kg5 3.d4 Kg4 4.Sd5 exf3#

Same idea, without checking key, but the mates are simply Model not Ideal.

Nikos Pergialis
2k5/4B3/K1P5/8/8/8/8/1r6 (3 + 2)
h#2, 2111

1.Rd1 c7 2.Rd8 cxd8=Q#
1.Rb7 cxb7+ 2.Kb8 Bd6#

Black sacrifices, Ideal mates.

Listen you friends, chessfriends / and you committees in the world: / I do not bother for prizes and commendations, / I just take pleasure from the things I like

Nikos Pergialis
5K2/3P4/r5bk/7p/8/8/8/8 (2 + 4)
h#2, 2111

1.Bh7 d8=S 2.Rg6 Sf7#
1.Ra7 d8=Q 2.Rh7 Qd2#

Ideal mates. Selfblocks, where bB and bR change places in the g6 and h7 squares.

Nikos Pergialis
8/8/8/s3k3/8/4SK2/4R3/8 (3 + 2)
h#3, a) diagram 211111, b) wKf3 > b4

1.Sc6 Rd2 2.Se7 Rd6 3.Sf5 Sc4#
1.Kd4 Rb2 2.Kc3 Ke4 3.Sc4 Sd1#
1.Sb3 Sg2+ 2.Kd5 Re6 3.Sd4 Sf4#

Ideal mates. Eighteen moves of all pieces in different squares. The white Knight mates in different squares (Chameleon mates) guarding the Rook.

And a verse for a friend :
Such beauties are to be admired - when instructor is Harry Fougiaxis.

Nikos Pergialis
8/8/8/b7/2p1K3/8/1pP2k2/8 (2 + 4)

1.b1=R c3 2.Rb4 cxb4 3.c3 b5 4.c2 b6 5.c1=R b7 6.Rf1 b8=Q 7.Be1 Qh2#

Helpmate in seven with Ideal mate. It contains theme Excelsior (a pawn starts from its initial position and gets promoted) and Phoenix (promotion to a piece previously captured).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three duplex helpmates

In helpmates, the black plays first and helps the white to give mate. There is no adversativity (unlike OTB games), but cooperation for a common goal.
In duplex problems there is another solution, where the white plays first and helps the black to give mate. Cooperation in the fullest.
Nikos Pergialis is the last rebetis (creator - singer of rebetiko songs) and he likes to write verses for his chess compositions!

Nikos Pergialis
6r1/6P1/8/8/8/7K/8/5k2 (2 + 2)
h#2, duplex

(Black plays first) 1.Re8 g8=Q 2.Re1 Qg2#

(White plays first) 1.Kh2 Rxg7 2.Kh1 Rh7#

TypeWenigsteiner (up to 4 pieces), Ideal mates.

Ime trel'os ki ap'itharhos, m'agkes mou, ti na g'ini. (I am crazy and undisclipinary - dudes, that's it).
'Ezisa ke pol'emisa gia ti Dikeoss'ini. (I lived and fought - for Justice).
'Ama ti vr'ite, oh ti th'ama, st'ilte se m'ena 'ena gr'ama! (If you find Justice, what a miracle, send a letter to me!)

Nikos Pergialis
8/8/6p1/3Pk1bb/8/4PPK1/8/8 (4 + 4)
h#3, duplex

(Black plays first) 1.Kf5 f4 2.Bf3 Kxf3 3.Bf6 e4#

(White plays first) 1.f4+ Kxd5 2.f5 Bh4+ 3.Kf4 g5#

Ideal mates.

Nikos Pergialis - Emmanuel Manolas
7b/8/6p1/7B/S1k1K1S1/1p6/6r1/8 (4 + 5)
h#2, duplex

(Black plays first) 1.Bc3 Sf2 2.Bb4 Be2#

(White plays first) 1.Sh2 Be5 2.Sf3 Re2#

Both mates are given from square e2. The white Knight closes the lines of the pieces guarding e2 (in one case the bRg2, in the other case the wBh5). Self-blocks.

M'ages, aft'o to pr'ovlima - mi sas provlimat'izi! (Dudes, this problem - must not puzzle you!)
'Enas ips'oni ta lefk'a - ki o 'idios ta grem'izi (Someone uprises the white - the same brings them down!) 

M'esa sti m'oda t alog'aki - f'enete p'ire fakel'aki! (Fashionable the knight - it seems he has received a bribe!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Award for 1st TT HSP-2012, Julia Vysotska

On blog Julia's Fairies was published the award for the first thematic tourney, hsp-2012.
The theme was "play with batteries or anti-batteries in HSP compositions with fairy pieces and/or conditions".
69 compositions from 39 composers from 20 countries have participated.
See the Award here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Solving Contest ESSNA 2012

(See (lower left in picture) that I have not put in its place the wPf4 in the two-mover. Eventually, after several minutes, I thought "this could be solved if it had a wPf4". I looked in the sheet of problems, and there it was!)

The Solving Contest of Attica 2012 took place in Booze Cooperativa (57 Kolokotroni str., Athens) with cooperation of ESSNA (Union of Chess Clubs in Attica) and "Athletic Club Zinon of Glyfada" on Sunday, November 25 afternoon, last 1 hour and 45 minutes (not 2,5 hours as planned). After the contest, in memory of Lorenzo Mabillis poet, fighter and chessplayer, and his heroic death a hundred years ago, started a presentation of facts and pictures of Mabillis, his life and his era.
In the contest six problems should be solved, 12 solvers gave answers, and many other visitors passed and received information.

Winner was Nikos Mendrinos with 24 points (in 30 maximum), second was Leokratis Anemodouras with 20 points, third was John Garoufalidis with 18 points, fourth was Emmanuel Manolas with 16, fifth was Harry Fougiaxis with 15 and in sixth position two solvers, Kostas Kordis and Alexandros Seilemezis with 13.
The compositions were relevant with the work of the pioneer Greek composers of 19th century, Dr D. Melissinos, Joseph Liberalis, Nicolas Miniatis and Lorenzo Mabillis. A musical work was heard again after many years of latency, "Elegy for the death of the great American chessplayer Paul Murphy", composed by the Greek Joseph Liberalis in 1884.

From the Organizers


Dionyssios Melissinos
American Chess Congress, 1880
4s3/3K2s1/4Sp2/P1pk4/1b1r1P2/2B5/8/1Q2RB2  (8 + 7)


1.Ba6! [5] zugzwang
1…Sf5 / Sh5 / Sxe6 2.Q(x)f5#
1…Sd6 / Sc7 2.S(x)c7#
1…Ba3 / Bxc3 / Bxa5 2.Qb7#
1…Rd1? 2.Rxd1# / Qxd1# / Qe4#
1…Rd2  / Re4 2.Q(e)4#
1…Rd3 2.Qxd3#
1…c4 / Rc4 2.Bb7#
1…Rxf4 2.Sxf4#
1…f5 2.Re5#

With the first move, White foresees that mate can be achieved whatever the Black plays. Then there are selfblocks, while the black Rook corrects its arrival square trying to defend.
Problem of the physician and mathematician Dionyssios Melissinos (1836-1905), 4th prize in the Fourth American Chess Congress 1880, (where the American Sam Loyd took the third prize).


Chocholous G.
Breslau, 20-07-1889
5K2/s7/r2SB3/7p/1p3k2/3p2RQ/8/1rs5  (5 + 8)


1.Se8! [1] [2.Qh4+ Ke5 3.Re3# [1] ]
1…Ke4 2.Qh4+ Ke5 3.Re3#
1…Rxe6 2.Qh4+ Ke5 3.Rg5# [1]
1…Ke5 2.Rg4 [3.Qe3#] Rxe6 3.Qxh5# [1]
2…Kxe6 3.Rg5# [1]

Improvement of a problem from the German solving championship Breslau, 20-07-1889, where winner was our Lorenzo Mabillis.

Joseph Liberalis
The London Figaro, 1877
3s4/2p5/2P5/3P4/kPS1p3/P3P2K/4B3/S1B5  (10 + 4)


1.Kg2! [1]
1…Sxc6 2.Sb6+ cxb6 3.dxc6 b5 4.Bd1# or 1…Se6 2.Sb6+ cxb6 3.dxe6 b5 4.Bd1# or 1…Sb7 2.Sb6+ cxb6 3.cxb7 b5 4.Bd1# [1]
(also 2.Sd2 [3.Sab3 [4.Sc5#]] or [3.Sb1 [4.Sc3#]] ή [3.Sdb3 [4.Sc5#]] or [3.Sxe4 [4.Sc3#]],
and even 2.cxb7 [3.b8=Q / R [4.Bd1#]]).
1…Sf7 2.Sd2 [3.Sab3 / Sdb3 [4.Sc5#]] or [3.Sb1 [4.Sc3#]] or [3.Sxe4 [4.Sc3# / Sc5#]] [2]
(1...Kb5? 2.Sd6+ [1] Ka4 / Kb6 3.Bd1# / Sc8#)

Problem of the musician Joseph Liberalis (1820-1899), reprinted in newspaper "The London Figarο", 1877.


Kyriakos Frangoulis
Schach, 1982
5S2/5P1b/4K3/8/8/8/2Sr4/7k  (4 + 3)

+ (White plays and wins)

1. Sd7! [1] 
1…Re2+ 2.Se3! [1] Rxe3+ 3.Se5 Rf3! [1] 4.Sxf3 Bg8! [1] 5.fxg8=B [1]  +-

Study by Kyriakos Frangoulis from Nydri (in island Lefkada), published in the German magazine Schach in 1982. Kyriakos Frangoulis was the only Greek composer for chess studies. His first study was published in 1978. At November 22, fifteen years had passed since his death.

The program Fritz11 gives as best continuation this less spectacular one :
1.Sd7! Bf5+ 2.Ke5 Bxd7 3.f8=Q Rxc2 4.Qf1+ Kh2 5.Qf4+ Kg1
6.Qd4+ Kh2 7.Qxd7 Rg2 8.Qd6 Kg3 9.Ke4+ +-


Nicolas Miniatis
The Mercury, 11-11-1893
2Q5/1p6/1P3p2/1PK1krR1/5r2/4sPB1/1S3P2/4R1bs  (10 + 8)

s#2 (Reverse two-mover)

1.Bh2! [1]
1…Sxf2 2.Sd3+ Sxd3# [1]
1…Sg3 / Bxh2 2.Sc4+ Rxc4# [1]
1…Bxf2 2.Rxe3+ Bxe3# [1]
1…Rxg5 / fxg5 2.Qe6+ Kxe6# [1]

Nicolas Miniatis (1860-1943), son of a Greek freight broker, lived in Manchester of England and was top player in the period 1885-1895. He is known for the 1890 match, which lost 4-1, versus the later world champion Lasker.


Sam Loyd (version by Eduard Schildberg)
Chess Monthly, 11/1860
6R1/7q/8/5k2/3K1B2/8/8/8  (3 + 2)

h#3 (Helpmate three-mover)

1.Kf6 Ra8 2.Kg7 Bb8 3.Kh8 Be5#

It is a more economic version of the first helpmate composition of all times, published by the top (till today) composer of chess problems, the American Sam Loyd, in the magazine "Chess Monthly" in November 1860. 
(The initial problem by Sam Loyd had a black Bishop on h2).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dan Meinking (1960 - 2012)

The important chess composer Dan Meinking died yesterday of heart attack.
An obituary was posted in The Cincinnati Enquirer. RIP Dan.
He had created great chess compositions and other brain games (Alpha Sleuth, Lexmaze).
He liked to work together with other composers (see here the Problem-204).
A collection of his problems is here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A selfmate by Pavlos Moutecidis

Our great composer Pavlos Moutecidis has been awarded with a Special Prize, which I found in an issue of the magazine The Ural`s Problemist from Russia. You will see it here, at page 16.

The prized composition is a miniature selfmate (the White plays and forces the Black to give mate) in thirteen moves. There is a twin, moving all pieces two rows down, again selfmate s#13.

Pavlos Moutecidis
Special Prize
5K2/5S2/6k1/6r1/6QQ/8/8/8 (4+2)
s#13, Twins : a) Diagram, b) a8=a6
1.Se5+ Kf6 2.Sc4 Kg6 3.Qhh5+ Kf6 4.Qh6+ Rg6 5.Qf3+ Ke6 6.Qhe3+ Kd7 7.Qb7+ Kd8 8.Qd4+ Rd6 9.Qa8+ Kc7 10.Qe5 Kd7 11.Qg7+ Ke6 12.Qg4+ Kf6 13.Qd8+ Rxd8#
1.Qe2+ Kf4 2.Qe6 Kf3 3.Sd4+ Kf4 4.Kf7 Kg5 5.Qeh6+ Kg4 6.Qe2+ Rf3+ 7.Kg6 Kg3 8.Qhh2+ Kg4 9.Qe6+ Rf5 10.Kh7 Kg5 11.Qg8+ Kf6 12.Qd8+ Kf7 13.Qh5+ Rxh5#

To composer achieves his goal with continuous checks and pins. The pieces have great mobility. There are Switchbacks and Circuits of the pieces. The final mate image is Echo Chameleon (=the bK is mated in a squares of different colours) in Diagonal Mirror position.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012-12-31 Composition Contest Vukcevich-75 JT

To celebrate Milan’s 75th birthday, StrateGems is announcing a jubilee tourney in the following sections:
Section A - Twomovers, Judge: Vasyl Dyachuk
Section B - Threemovers, Judge: Robert Burger
Section C - Moremovers, Judge: Richard Becker
Section D - Helpmates, Judge: Dan Meinking
Section E - Selfmates, Judge: Petko A. Petkov
The theme for the tourney is free. A special consideration will be given to compositions which show one (or more) of Milan’s favorite themes: Reciprocal Change, Bristol, Novotny and Grimshaw.
Prizes in books and free subscriptions will be given to all prize winners. An electronic version (PDF) of StrateGems, with the tourney results, will be emailed to all tourney participants.
Send to: Mike Prcic
Closing date: 31.12.2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nikos Pergialis, 5 compositions

We proceed with 5 more compositions of the Greek problemist Nikos Pergialis, the last rebetis (composer and singer of Rebetiko songs).
Here are three twomovers and two more-movers, one 4-mover and one 6-mover. After the solutions we write the themes in these problems. I say again that he likes compositions with at most 12 pieces (Meredith) and Ideal mates.


Nikos Pergialis

8/5R2/4p1K1/1Q6/1S1B2s1/3R4/2S1k3/r7 (7 + 4)

Tries : [1.Bc3? Sf6!], [1.Rd1+? Kxd1!], [1.Rd2+? Kxd2!], [1.Rf2+? A Sxf2!], [1.Qe5+? B Sxe5+!], [1.Qf5? exf5!], [1.Qh5? Rf1!]

Key : 1.Qg5! [2.Rd2# / Qd2# / Qxg4#] (The Queen abandons the battery).
1...Sf2 2.Rxf2# A
1...Se3 2.Qxe3#
1...Se5+ 2.Qxe5# B
1...Sf6 2.Qg2#

Theme Vladimirov : [Two try-moves are also mate-moves in two variations]. They are denoted as Α and Β.
Theme Elmgren : [At least three black pieces are defending in tries.]. Here are defending all the black pieces.
Theme Option : [The same white piece is making at-least two try-moves and the key-move]. Here, the wQ.
Theme Grab : [The defending piece is captured in more than two variations]. Here, the black Knight is captured in three variations.
Anti-Quadruple : The black Knight is defending from four positions, with result four different mates. Duel Black - White.


Nikos Pergialis

1r6/4R3/2k1K3/7B/S1P1Sp2/8/4P3/7r  (7 + 4)

Key: 1.Bf3! [2.Sd2# / Sc3# / Sc5# / Sd6# / Sf6# / Sg5# / Sg3# / Sf2#]
1...Rd1 2.Sd2#
1...Rb3 2.Sc3#
1...Rb5 2.Sc5#
1...Rd8 2.Sd6#
1...Rh6+ 2.Sf6#
1...Rh5 2.Sg5#
1...Rh3 2.Sg3#
1...Rf1 2.Sf2#

The key creates a Knight-Bishop battery but exposes the wK to check danger.
Theme White Knight Wheel [the wSe4 moves to eight positions. Task!]. The lifting of this Knight fires the battery and creates eight threats.
Theme Pseudo-Fleck : [The multiple key-threats are separated with eight from the black defences]. It is a Pseudo-Fleck because there are black moves not separating the key-threats.
Duel Black-White. There are mates with mirror symmetry.


Nikos Pergialis

8/8/5S2/Q1pP4/8/2P2kP1/3K2p1/4B2s  (7 + 4)

Key : 1.Qa4! [2.Qd1# / Qe4# / Qf4# / Qg4#]
1…c4 2.Qd1#
1…g1=Q/R/S/B 2.Qe4#
1…Sf2 2.Qf4#
1…Sxg3 2.Qg4#

Theme Fleck : [All the multiple key-threats are separated with the black defences].


Nikos Pergialis

8/8/8/8/1p1R4/SRp5/K1p5/2k5  (4 + 4)

Key : 1.Sxc2!
1…Kxc2 2.Rb1 b3+ 3.Rxb3 Kc1 4.Rxc3#

Key with a pseudo-sacrifice of the wS, which gives a flight to bK.
Switchback of the wR in its initial position. Switchback of the bK.
Ideal mate.

Nikos Pergialis says:
"Re ri'hno za'ria (Hey, I throw the dice) /
ke fe'rno do'rtia (and I bring four and four) /
re stis ma'vris go'menas (hey, at black broad's) /
tin po'rta (the door)".


Nikos Pergialis

8/8/8/7k/8/5SR1/8/6K1  (3 + 1)

Key : 1.Rg8!
1…Kh6 2.Sg5 Kh5 3.Sf7 Kh4 4.Kg2 Kh5 5.Kf3 Kh4 6.Rh8#

Weningsteiner (only 4 pieces). Each white piece makes 2 moves.
Switchback of the bK. Ideal mat.

Nikos Pergialis says:
"Re ri'hno za'ria (Hey, I throw the dice) /
ke fe'rno exa'res (and I bring six and six) /
re mas ta tro'ne (hey, they eat our money) /
i alania'res (the broads in the street)".

One of our readers, Alotan, has informed us that this problem is anticipated: "The #6 (Νο.629) reminds me of something. A search in WinChloe gives the (Kh1, Rf2, Sf3 - Kd1), #6, Hilmar Ebert, Problem 1977: 1.Ra2! etc.. With such a few pieces, it is almost impossible to avoid anticipation. Especially for orthodox problems, which are almost exhausted".
These things happen! We will continue with other compositions of Nikos Pergialis.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Composition Contest BAJTAY József-110 – SZABÓ László-60

(in memoriam BAJTAY József-110 – SZABÓ László-60)

BAJTAY József magyar sakkszerző mesterjelölt és SZABÓ László magyar I. osztályú
sakkszerző emlékére, születésük 110., illetve 60. évfordulója alkalmából nemzetközi
sakkfeladvány-szerző versenyt rendezünk, az alábbi osztályokban:
I.: Önmatt 11 – n lépésben. Szabad téma. Versenybíró: PÁSZTOR József.
II.: Segítőmatt 4 –n lépésben. Szabad téma. Versenybíró: CSÁK János.
Pályázatok ábrán, teljes megfejtéssel, névvel és címmel ellátva a versenyvezető (MAJOROS
Béla) címére: küldhetők.
Határidő: 2012. december 31.

Gyula – Bakonyoszlop – Debrecen, 2012. augusztus 15.

(in memoriam BAJTAY József-110 – SZABÓ László-60)

Ont he occasion of the 110th anniversary of the birth of the Hungarian chess-problem
composer candidate-master József BAJTAY and the 60th anniversary of the birth of the
Hungarian 1st-class chess-problem composer László SZABÓ, a memorial tourney will be
held in the following classes:
I.: Selfmates in 11 or more moves. Free theme. Judge József PÁSZTOR.
II.: Helpmates in 4 or more moves. Free theme. Judge: János CSÁK.
Entries, with diagram, full solution and name(s) and adress(es) of author(s), should be sent to
the organizer: Béla MAJOROS at .
Deadline for entries: 31 December 2012

Gyula – Bakonyoszlop – Debrecen, 2012. augusztus 15.

János CSÁK – Béla MAJOROS – József PÁSZTOR

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WCCI World Championship in Composing

The WFCC, World Federation for Chess Composition, has announced WCCI, World Championship in Composing for Individuals, 2010-2012.
Read the announcement here :

Two details :
The WCCI includes the following sections: 
A) Twomovers, B) Threemovers, C) Moremovers, D) Endgame studies, E) Helpmates, F) Selfmates, G) Fairies, H) Retro problems.

February 15th 2013: Deadline for the submission of entries to the director. 
The tourney director is Mike Prcic (e-mail:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We do not always need brute force to win

In a Greek blog we saw a comment about pawn promotion, where it seems that subpromotion is not important: "...we promote almost always to Queen. ... The promotion to another piece has no meaning, because their moves is a subset of the Queen moves."

We have repeaterly given examples where we do not win by getting more power, but by getting the proper piece. In the theme AUW (=Allumwandlung, all the promotions) especially, we have seen many compositions where all the promotions occur in one variation or in more variations during the solutions.

Remember something that Darwin said, that "in life survives not the strongest species, nor the more clever, but the most adaptive to its environment."

We will see here four miniature compositions by Nikos Pergialis, where the white pawns start from their initial positions and reach a promotion square (this is the theme Excelsior), and they must be promoted to a different piece in each problem to satisfy the stipulation, helpmate in six moves. In some compositions we have Double Excelsior, where pawns of both colors are promoted.


Nikos Pergialis
7K/1p6/7k/7p/8/8/2P5/8 (2+3)

1.b5 c4 2.b4 c5 3.b3 c6 4.b2 c7 5.b1=B c8=Q [Promotion to Queen] 6.Bg6 Qc1#

Theme double Excelsior, Ideal mate.

The last rebetis (remember rebetiko songs) Nikos Pergialis comments with verses :
 "Kapra'los, Za'ppas, Manolas' / (Kapralos, Zappas, Manolas)
 ke Fougiaxis', Siape'ras / (and Fougiaxis, Siaperas)
 na fe'rno, me simvou'lepsan, / (to bring, they advised me,)
 ta di'skola is pe'ras. / (the difficult to completion.)"


Nikos Pergialis
8/2s5/S1K5/8/8/8/3Pk3/8  (3+2)

1.Kd1 d4 2.Kc2 d5 3.Kb3 d6 4.Ka4 dxc7 5.Ka5 c8=R [Promotion to Rook] 6.Kxa6 Ra8#

Theme Excelsior, Royal march, Ideal mate.


Nikos Pergialis

8/p7/6s1/5pkp/8/6K1/3P4/8 (2+5)

1.a5 d4 2.a4 d5 3.a3 d6 4.a2 d7 5.a1=B d8=S [Promotion to Knight] 6.Bf6 Sf7#

Theme double Excelsior, Ideal mate.


Nikos Pergialis
1k6/8/8/8/8/8/6BP/5K2 (3+1)

1.Kc7 h4 2.Kd6 h5 3.Ke5 h6 4.Kf4 h7 5.Kg3 h8=B [Promotion to Bishop] 6.Kh2 Be5#

Weningsteiner, Royal march, Theme Excelsior, Ideal mate.

The last rebetis Nikos Pergialis says :
 "San den dre'pome ego' liga'ki / (I should be a little ashamed)
 na me katafe'ri e'na piona'ki / (to allow to a little pawn)
 na me ho'si sto tetragona'ki / (to squeeze me to a little square)
 na mou ka'ni idaniko' mata'ki. / (to make on me a little ideal mate.)
 As afi'soume lipon' to ska'ki / (Let us leave now the chess)
 ke na poume e'na tragouda'ki! / (and sing a little song!)"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Task from Nikos Pergialis (2)

From mr Nikos Pergialis comes another task (a six-bullet-gun, as he said) with Royal Battery. (The previous one is here)
(In the Royal battery one King moves discovering a piece which checks the other King. We can have at most 6 variations in an orthodox problem. If this happens, the composer has achieved a task).

Comment by the composer ...

"If black attempts to give check, he dies instantly. Let some venerables see this six-bullet-gun, this Royal task with 12 pieces, and not be indifferent to the rules of chess composition.

 Ton a'thlo en anamoni' - (This task in waiting)
 sas ton parousia'zo - (I present to you)
 ki an ge'rasa re ma'gkes mou - (and though I am aged, my urchins)
 pa'nta mprosta' kita'zo - (I always look ahead).

(5 + 7)
Nikos Pergialis

Try : {1.exd5? [2.Ke4#] d3!}
Key : 1.Bd1! (zugzwang)
1...Sf2 2.Kxf2#
1...Sg3 2.Kxg3#
1...h2 2.Kg2#
1...d3 2.Ke3#
1...dxe4+ 2.Kxe4#
1...exf4 2.Kxf4#

The composer likes problems with a few pieces and ideal mates. Sometimes he accompanies them with verses. We will present more problems by the last rembetis Nikos Pergialis.

Thursday, October 04, 2012



On occasion of 11th Warsaw Solving Grand Prix the Mazovian Chess Society announces the international tourney in following section:

h#2 with set play – judge Eugeniusz Iwanow
s#3 with try/tries– judge Waldemar Tura

E. Iwanow, 1st PR OZSz. Częstochowa 1982
White Kh1 Rg7 Ph3
Black Kh4 Bg4 Sf4. (3+3) h#2*    
1...Kh2 2.Sh5 R:g4#
1.Kh5 h4 2.Sg6 Rh7#

W. Tura, Phénix 1994
White Ke8 Qg5 Bh2 Pd7 Pe7
Black Ke6 Qh8 Bg8 Sf2 Pb7 Pg6 Pg7 Ph7. (5+8) s#3        
1.d8Q? ~ 2.Qf4/Qgd5+ 1...Se4!
1.Kf8! ~ 2.e8R+ K:d7 3.Qd5+ Bd5#
1...Se4 2.d8S+ Kd7 3.Qg4+ Be6#
1...K:d7 2.Qd5+ Kc8 3.Qe6+  B:e6#

Zeropositions, fairy pieces and conditions not allowed.

In each group there are 3 prizes.

Closing date: October 31st 2012.

Award will be ready by November 25th 2012.

Problems (on diagrams or in notation) with the complete solution send to:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Results from Kobe, Composers

I have received the booklet with the results of the compositions during WCCC 2012 in Kobe Japan, in electronic form. I present here tourneys and results, writing in bold what is relevant with the Greek composers.
The composers Themis Argirakopoulos, Kostas Prentos (this year has moved to USA) and Emmanuel Manolas have earned distinctions.

Quick Composing Tourney

#2, Judge : Touw Hian Bwee (Indonesia)
1st Place : Marjan Kovacevic, 2nd Place : Yuji Kikuta, 3rd Place : Paz Einat

h#2, Judge : Ricardo de Mattos Vieira (Brazil))
1st Prize : Mark Erenburg, 2nd Prize : Ofer Comay, 3rd Prize : Michel Caillaud
Honorable Mention : Hitoshi Yanami
Commended : Hemmo Axt

15th SABRA composing Tourney (PDF)
1st Prize : Dieter Mueller, 2nd Prize : Jean Haymann, 3rd Price : Emanuel Navon, 4th Prize : Kostas Prentos
1st Hon. Mention : Mario Parinello, 2nd HM : Fadil Abdurahmanovic, 3rd HM : Abdelaziz Onkoud, 4th HM : Kohey Yamada, 5th HM : Shaul Shamir, 6th HM : Mark Basisty
1st Comm. : Luis Miguel Martin, 2nd Comm. : Ricardo de Mattos Vieira, 3rd Comm. : Valery Kopyl, Comm. : Ralf Kraetschmer, Comm. : Rodolfo Riva, Comm. : Julia Vysotska, Comm. : Emmanuel Manolas, Comm. : Yoel Aloni

Manolas Emmanuel


h#2, (Theme : Mating piece must be initially pinned)

1.Bd6 Qxb1 2.Bd1 (Bf1??) Qb5#
1.Bc5 Qd1 2.Bf1 (Bd1??) Qd7#
Self-blocking, Diagonal mirror echo, Dual avoidance.

Jenever 2012 (PDF)
Prize : Pavel Arestov



Champagne Tourney (PDF)

Section A : Proof Games
1st Prize : Satoshi Hashimoto, 2nd Prize : Hitochi Yanami
1st Hon. Mention : Hitochi Yanami, 2nd HM : Hitochi Yanami
1st Comm. : Allan Bell, 2nd Comm. : Peter van den Heuvel, 3rd Comm. : Igor Vereshchagin, 4th Comm. : Bjorn Enemark

Section B : Any kind of Retro problems
Prize : Naoki Matsuzaki
Commendation : Marco Bonavoglia

Long Thematic Tourney

A) Tadashi Wakashima-60 Jubilee Tourney, #3 (PDF)
Prize : Alexander Feoktistov
1st Hon. Mention : Dieter Werner, 2nd HM : Eugene Fomichev
Comm. : Gennady Chumakov, Comm. : O. Comay and M. Erenburg and M. Witztum

B) Helpmate in 2.5 moves (PDF)
1st Prize : bernd ellinghoven, 2nd Prize : Menachem Witztum, 3rd Prize : Marko Klasinc
1st Hon. Mention : Menachem Witztum and bernd ellinghoven, 2nd HM : Ricardo de Mattos Vieira, 3rd HM : Vidmandas Satkus
Comm. : Valery Kopyl, Comm. : Mark Erenburg, Comm. : Ofer Comay, Comm. : Menachem Witztum and Ricardo de Mattos Vieira

3rd Bulgarian Wine Tourney (PDF)
1st-4th Prize : Petko Petkov, Vlaicu Crisan and Eric Huber, Ofer Comay and Paz Einat, Kostas Prentos, 5th Prize : Ricardo Vieira, 6th Prize : Mark Erenburg, 7th Prize : Michel Caillaud, Special Prize : Juraj Lorinc
1st Hon. Mention : Petko Petkov, 2nd HM : Mario Parinello, 3rd HM : Manfred Rittirsch, 4th HM : Mario Parinello, 5th HM : Julia Vysotska, 6th HM : Pierre Tritten, 7th HM : Manfred Rittirsch, 8th HM : James Quah and Michel Caillaud, 9th HM : Themis Argirakopoulos, 10th HM : Themis Argirakopoulos, 11th HM : Seetharaman Kalyan
Comm. : Mario Parinello, Comm. : bernd ellinghoven and Kjell Widlert, Comm. : Rudolfo Riva, Comm. : Dieter Mueller, Special Comm. : Igor Vereshchagin

10th Romanian Tzuica Tourney (PDF)

Orthodox Section
Special Prize : Petko Petkov
Commendation : Menachem Witztum, Special Commendation : Emanuel Navon

Fairy Section
1st Prize : Manfred Rittirsch, 2nd Prize : Diyan Kostadinov
1st Hon. Mention : Frantisek Sabol, 2nd HM : Juraj Lorinc, 3rd HM : Mario Parinello
Commendation : Julia Vysotska

12th Japanese Sake Tourney (PDF)
1st Prize : Hans Uitenbroek, 2nd Prize : Thomas Maeder, Special Prize : Michel Caillaud, Special Prize : Naoki Matsuzaki
1st Hon. Mention : Ricardo de Mattos Vieira, 2nd HM : Kjell Widlert
Comm. : Kjell Widlert, Comm. : Kjell Widlert, Comm. : Diyan Kostadinov

Friday, September 21, 2012

Results from Kobe 2012, Solvers

In the Open Solving Tournament we had the following results:

1 Comay, Ofer, ISR, 50.5
2 Limontas, Martynas, LTU, 49
3 Kovacevic, Marjan, SRB, 47.5

The full list of the participants and their ranking is here.

In the World Chess Solving Championship the first teams were...

1 POLAND (Mista, Alexander - Murdzia, Piotr - Piorun, Kacper)
2 GERMANY (Pfannkuche, Michael - Tummes, Boris - Zude, Arno)
3 RUSSIA (Feoktistov, Aleksandr - Mukoseev, Anatoly - Selivanov, Andrey)

The full list with the ranking of countries and their results is here.
In the same page you will find the individual results for World Champion of Solving Chess Problems. The first three were...

1 Murdzia, Piotr, POL (GM, 2766.89)
2 Zude, Arno, GER (GM, 2622.26)
3 Piorun, Kacper, POL (GM, 2650.68).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012-09-15, Solving Contest in SOI Crete

FM Spiros Ilantzis writes (and we thank him) about a solving chess-problems contest, which was organised by Chess Group of Heraklion Crete (SOI, as parallel event for 6th OPEN tourney (see here).

[Last Saturday they called me from Heraklion (Crete) and I went there to organize a Solving Contest. Of course, they asked for problems orthodox and easy.

The solving contest commenced at 11:15, with 22 solvers (15 experienced, plus some "passing by") -but not the “big names” (Logothetis, Lyrintzakis, Maris, Stavrianakis, Xylogiannopoulos, Mylonakis – players of ELO 2100-2330 who took part in the parallel tourney, they did not come).
I had prepared 6, rather easy, problems, 5 two-movers and 1 three-mover (by Loyd). I allowed them time 1 hour 45' (instead of 3 hours stated in the initial announcement), There was not any need to tire them more...

The results:

1st mr Gerasimos Spyrou, with 25 points (he solved correctly all the two-movers!)

2nd mr K. Klokas, with 20 p. (he solved correctly 4 two-movers, not the 4th)

3rd mr Pan. Eleftherakis (young lad, remarkable, he had dealt with problems before and he had done good practice!) with 15 p. (he solved correctly two two-movers, not the 1st nor the 4th).

4th – 5th mr Marcos Vayonakis and mr K. Papadimitrakis, with 10 p.

6th – 7th mr Manos Lantzourakis and mr Man. Tsapakis, with 5 p.

The rest of the solvers ... were simply unlucky! :-)

Here follow the selected problems with their solutions.

1st Solving chess-problems Contest of S.O.I.

Heraklion, September 15, 2012

The solutions of the problems of this contest:

1st of the contest (Problem-614)

Mate in 2 moves (6 + 6)
J. Dozescu, "Flacara Sibiului", 1965

{1.Rf7? [2.Qxf8#] Bg5!},
{1.Qc4? /Qb3? /Qc7? [2.Qf7#] f4!}.
Solution: 1.Bg5! [2.Qxf8#] (the Bishop is sacrificed and there are 5 different ways to capture it, which lead to 5 different mates!),
1...Bxg5 2.Bxh5#,
1...Kxg5 2.Qg3#,
1...Sxg5 2.Sf4#,
1...Rxg5 2.Sh4#,
1...fxg5 2.Qc8#.

2nd of the contest (Problem-615)

Mate in 2 moves (7 + 5)
Rudenko V. and Mortensen J., Moscow Congress 1961, 1st Prize

Solution: 1.Qe3!
1...Kd5 2.Qd4#
1...Kf5 2.Qg5#
1...fxe6 2.Sd7#,
1...f6 2.Qxe4#,
1...f5 2.Qd4#,
1...fxg6 2.Qg5#.

Theme "Pickaninny" (4 different moves of the pawn in f7 lead to 4 different mates!).

3rd of the contest (Problem-616)

Mate in 2 moves (10 + 7)
Fritz Giegold, Oberfrankische Schachzeitung, 1929

{1.Qc1? (1...Ke4? 2.Qh1#) Kxe6!}
Solution: 1.Qh8! (spectacular "key", the Queen goes to the corner of the chess-board giving to the bkack King two more flight-squares in -c- column!),
1...Kxc6 2.Qa8#,
1...Kc4 2.Qd4#,
1...Ke4 2.Qh1#,
1...Kxe6 2.Qg8#.

The theme is "X-flights", while the white Queen visits three corners of the chess-board.

4th of the contest (Problem-617)

Mate in 2 moves (10 + 2)
Myllyniemi MattiSuomen Televisio 1961, FIDE Album 1959-61

{1.Qd2? /Qd1? Bxf7!, (1...Bxh7? /Bxf5? 2.Qd4#), (1...Bxh5? 2.Qd5#)},
{1.Qh1? Bxh7!, (1...Bxf5? 2.Qd5# /Qh2#), (1...Bxh5? 2.Qe4# /Qd5#), (1...Bxf7? 2.Qe4#)},
{1.Qa1? Bxf5!, (1...Bxh7? 2.b3#), (1...Bxh5? 2.Qa5#)},
{1.Qg1? Bxh5!, (1...Bxf5? 2.Qg3#), (1...Bxh7? 2.Qg7#)}.
Solution: 1.Qe1!
1...Bxf7 2.Kf3#,
1...Bxh7 2.Qc3#,
1...Bxf5 2.Qg3#,
1...Bxh5 2.Qa5#.

Black has 4 available moves: the Bishop captures any of the 4 pieces in "X-shape" placing.

5th of the contest (Problem-618)

Mate in 2 moves (9 + 7)
Horatio Musante, Chess Life 1957-58, 3rd Prize

{1.Qe2? [2.Qe6#] Se3!,
(1...Qxf5 a 2.Qe7# A),
(1...Sxf5 b 2.Sd5# B),
(1...gxf5 c 2.Qa6# C),
(1...Kxf5 d 2.Bxg4# D)}.
Set play: {1...Kxf5 d 2.Bxg4# D

Solution: 1.Qb3! [2.Qe6#],
1...Qxf5 a 2.Be7# E,
1...Sxf5 b 2.Se4# F,
1...gxf5 c 2.Ra6# G,
1...Kxf5 d 2.Be4# H.

Stocchi blocks in two phases (the defences of Black are the same in the solution, as in the try, but the 4 mates are changed!

6th of the contest (Problem-144)

Mate in 3 moves (4 + 5)
Sam Loyd, 1865

Solution: 1.Qf1!
1...Bb2 2.Qb1 [2.Qxh7#] g6 3.Qxb2#,
1...Bc3 /Bd4 2.Qd3 g6 3.Qxc3# /Qxd4#,
1...Be5 /Bf6 2.Qf5 g6 3.Qxe5# /Qxf6#,
(the Queen is "hunting" the black Bishop!),
1...g3 2.Sg6+ hxg6 3.Qh3#

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It is your turn now

Dear friends of the chess problems, during some recent years I was posting various subjects on this blog, trying to cover the omissions of the greek chess-literature or to promote things which held my interest. To be honest, some posts were written by friends.
But you may have some things in doubt about the chess composition, and you were not given the chance to ask.

It is your turn now to ask of us to answer your inquiries.
What is it, that you want to read about, here in this blog? Write your question in the comments.
We do not know everything, but we will try to answer.

Two notes by Alkinoos:
(1) Do not think that I have found myself in lack of material! I have, for example, 25 new originals by the rebetis Nikos Pergialis, best studies of some years and awards of composition tourneys. Simply, I have thought it would be good to ask you.
(2) Sorry that the posts here are somehow scarse, but this is the time of WCCC in Kobe Japan and I keep myself busy trying to compose entries for these tourneys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

5-phasic KoBul tasks

The condition KoBul kings is a fairy condition, (that is with this condition the problem is not orthodox any more), proposed by the composer Diyan Kostadinov from Bulgaria. (KoBul = Kostadinov Bulgaria). With this condition, the kings change abilities of moving and capturing, acquiring the abilities of the friendly piece most recently captured. The kings return to the abilities of a simple King when a friendly pawn is captured.

The condition has got interesting strategic applications, which become apparent just as the kings acquire super-powers(!), but soon the time for the checkmate comes. In the present post we are interested only for compositions where the king is mated in five of his phases, (in the final pictures of the five checkmates appears as king, as queen, as rook, as bishop, as knight), which we have named as 5-phasic.

Let suppose that bK is going to be mated.
In the initial position he may be in king's phase (bK), or already in another phase (bQK or bRK or bBK or bSK), and we need one move less. We may have Forsberg twins, where for each twin the bK changes phase on its square.
The bK can change phase when a black piece, already present on the board, is captured or a black pawn might have previously been promoted to a black piece (and that means we need one more move). We may have Forsberg twins, where for each twin a black piece changes type (bQ or bR or bB or bS or bP) on its square.
The promoted piece can be captured on the promotion square or after it moves to another square, (and that means we need one more move).

Let us see now some 5-phasic problems by Greek composers.

(6 + 8)
Emmanuel Manolas
4th Honourable Mention, Thematic Tourney 1,, 2012

h#3, KoBul kings (wRKe7 + bKd4)
5 solutions

1.g1=Q h7 2.Qg8 hxg8=Q(bK=bQK) 3.QKa1 Qg7#
1.g1=R h7 2.Rg8 hxg8=Q(bK=bRK) 3.RKh4 Qg4#
1.e1=B RKxe1(bK=bBK) 2.BKa7 RKe8 3.b6 RKa8#
1.e1=S RKxe1(bK=bSK) 2.SKc2+ RKc1+ 3.SKb4 RKc4#
1.Kc5 d6 2.Kb6 d7 3.Kc7 d8=Q#

5-phasic task

(7 + 7)
Emmanuel Manolas
2nd Prize July 2012

h#2, KoBul kings (wKc8 + bKd4)
5 solutions

1.Qg2 Rxg2(bK=bQK) 2.QKh8 g7#
1.Bxe6+ Rxe6(bK=bBK) 2.BKa7 b6#
1.Rxc2+ Rxc2(bK=bRK) 2.RKa4 Rc4#
1.Kc5 gxh7(bK=bSK) 2.a4 Re5#
1.Kc5 Re5+ 2.Kb6 b8=Q#

5-phasic task

(8 + 9)
Ioannis Garoufalidis

h#2, KoBul kings (wKh3 + bKc6), 5 twins,

a) diagram : 1.Sc7 a6 2.Kb6 Rd6#
b) with bKQc6 : 1.QKg6 Rd6+ 2.QKh5 g4#
c) with bKRc6 : 1.cxd3 Rd5 2.RKc3 Rc5#
d) with bKBc6 : 1.Re7 a6 2.Re8 Rd6#
e) with bKSc6 : 1.SKe7 Re4+ 2.SKg8 Re8#

The phase-changing of bK takes place before the 1st black move.
5-phasic task

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Task from Nikos Pergialis

There are composers of chess problems in various countries of the world.
In some countries there is support from the state, there are schools with teachers and students, and they have production of nice compositions.
On the other hand, something odd has been observed in Greece : in various times there is lack of peace - comfort - good health - free time, and again some important composers appear.
An example was Demetrius Kapralos. In our era, an example is the last Rebetis (remember the rebetiko song!), the aged but productive Nikos Pergialis.

Below you see a direct two-mover of his, with white royal battery (the king is the front piece and when he moves, the rear piece delivers mate). For the royal battery, the maximum number of thematic variations in an orthodox two-mover is six. Nikos Pergialis achieves that, this is a Task, and he says

This Task, my urchin friends,
I bring to you with pride.
With only a dozen pieces
- I think it is first time!

(5+7) Meredith
Nikos Pergialis


{Try 1.Qh1? e5!}
Key : 1.Qg2! [2.Ke2#/Kg4#]
1...Sf2 2.Kxf2#
1...f5 2.Ke2#
1...Se3 2.Kxe3#
1...Sg3 2.Kxg3#
1...c1=S 2.Kg4#
1...Sf4 2.Kxf4#
1...e5 2.Qg8# (non thematic variation)

Task with royal battery.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

4+3 problems of fairy chess

In her well-known wep-page Julia Vysotska from Latvia had announced a Composition tourney for fairy chess problems.

It is quite interesting and there are already about 100 problems published, some of which were lucky enough to receive comments from excellent composers (teachers actually!).

I have also sent some problems and she have posted them in two nice pages. Many thanks again from here!

Four problems with KoBul kings (they take the properties of a captured friendly piece, they return to normality when a a friendly pawn is captured), that may be seen here :

Three problems with condition Black Maximummer (in which is easier to control the black pieces since the possible moves are few), that may be seen here :

Enjoy (and comment)!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Composition Tourneys, WCCC in Kobe

The first declarations of composition tourneys have started to appear, for the 55th WCCC (World Congress of Chess Composition) which is about to begin for 2012 in Kobe, Japan. Simultaneously, there will be held the 36th WCSC (World Chess Solving Championship).
Official web-page :

Friday, August 10, 2012

Meeting with IM Alexis Murillo Tsijli

Alexis Murillo Tsijli, an International Master from Costa Rica, during his presence in Greece for visiting relatives and playing chess in various summer tourneys, asked to meet me. I accepted and the appointment was set for Nea Smirni (Athens, Greece). For easy recognition, I was wearing a t-shirt with a chess-queen, a gift from the friendly Italian composers (see API, Associazione Problemistica Italiana) since last year in Jesi, where the WCCC was held.

(Thanks to ms. Caterina for the photo).

After the meeting, my friend Alexis posted in his blog ("the good Chess!") a description about the Greek chess situation, which can be seen here :

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A helpmate composition and an Exercise

During the World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) of 2010 in Crete, there were various composition contests.
For the 13th Sabra Composing Ty, we should compose an orthodox helpmate two-mover, where
B1 (first black move) : a black piece captures a white which closes a line
W1 (first white move) : a white piece, of line movement, arrives on this line
B2 (second black move) : the black piece, which made the capture, moves.

I made the following problem, with no distinction :

(10 + 6)
Manolas Emmanuel

a) Diagram, b) bKe8c8

a) 1.Bxf5+ Be4 2.Bxg6 Bxg6#
b) 1.Rxa4 Ra1 2.Ra8 Rxa8#

Bicolour Bristol, Orthogonal - Diagonal transformation, Black sacrifices, Duels wB with bB, wR with bR.

The Exercise is the following :
For the following position, (heterodoxe, because on d8 there is a Grasshopper), there are solutions when the bK is placed on squares e8 and g8.
Try to find a very economical modification (translocation or addition or removal of a piece), with which the problem has solution when the bK is placed on square c8.

(7 + 6) (Grasshopper 0 + d8)
Manolas Emmanuel

a) Diagram, b) bKe8c8, c) bKe8g8

a) 1.Bxf5 Be4 2.Bxg6 Bxg6#
b) 1.?? ?? 2.?? ??
c) 1.Rxf5 Rxf5 2.Gh8 Bd5#

You may send the modification and the solution, the latest Tuesday 24-July-2012, by email to The correct solutions will be published.

Solution of the exercise

The correct answer was send by the Slovakian composer Jaroslav Stun (visit his page here) :
a) bRa5b5, which is the most economical, and
b) +bPb6
Thank you chess-friend Jaroslav!

(7 + 6) (Grasshopper 0 + d8)
Manolas Emmanuel

a) Diagram, b) bKe8c8, c) bKe8g8

a) 1.Bxf5 Be4 2.Bxg6 Bxg6#
b) 1.Bxf5 Rxf5 2.Rb8 Rc5#
c) 1.Rxf5 Rxf5 2.Gh8 Bd5#

Bicolour Bristol, ODT, Black Quasi-sacrifices.
(Not very good as a problem, due to repetition of moves).

(7 + 7) (Grasshopper 0 + d8)
Manolas Emmanuel

a) Diagram, b) bKe8c8, c) bKe8g8

a) 1.Bxf5 Be4 2.Bxg6 Bxg6#
b) 1.Rxf5 Rxf5 2.Ga5 Rf8#
c) 1.Rxf5 Rxf5 2.Gh8 Bd5#