Monday, April 18, 2016

12 ECSC 2016 Athens, videos and photographs

See the page of the World Federation of Chess Composition :


by Panagiotis Konidaris

The Room

Solving Show:


Awards Ceremony


(almost all) by Themis Argyrakopoulos

Friday, April 15, 2016

OPEN, 12 ECSC 2016, Athens

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

The problems :

The solutions :

The results (updated 17-04-2016) :

12th ECSC, Athens 2016 - Participants

(Last update : 08/04/2016)

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

Aleksandr Bulavka
Liubou Sihnevich
Mikalai Sihnevich

Eddy Van Beers

Czech Republic
Michal Dragoun
Miloslav Vanka

Harri Hurme
Terho Marlo
Jorma Paavilainen
Henry Tanner

Alain Villeneuve

Kathleen Loßin
Sven-Hendrik Loßin
Andreas Rein

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

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

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

Hans Uitenbroek
Peter van den Heuvel
Dolf Wissmann

Piotr Górski
Ryszard Królikowski
Jakub Marciniszyn
Piotr Murdzia
Kacper Piorun

Dariana-Gabriela Didiliuc

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

Marjan Kovačević
Miodrag Mladenović
Živojin Perović
Vladimir Podinić
Bojan Vučković

Emil Klemanič
Marek Kolčák
Richard Králik
Oto Mihalčo
Tomáš Peitl

Marko Klasinc
Klemen Šivic

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

12th ECSC, Athens 2016 - Announcement

Announcement (08-01-2016)

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


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

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

Further info can be found on the hotel site,

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

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


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

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

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

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

(Google map)


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

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

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

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

(The invitation as PDF document)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Theme Elmgren

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

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

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

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

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

15/10/2011, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_497

16/11/2012, Pergialis Nikolaos, problem_625

27/01/2013, Retter Yosi, problem_687

07/06/2014, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_771

27/12/2014, Manolas Emmanuel, problem_792,

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

5 black pieces

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

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

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

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

Themes Option and Elmgren.

Burbach Johannes J.
Shakend Nederland, 1981

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

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

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

Theme Elmgren.

6 black pieces

Manolas Emmanuel (GRE)
dedicated to Kostas Prentos

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

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

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

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

Witt Andreas
Commendation, Die Shwalbe 2005

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

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

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

Theme Elmgren. Multiple captures of the bQf6. 

Upgrade on 12-01-2016

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

8 black pieces

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

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

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

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

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

Theme Elmgren.  

Update on 11-04-2016

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

Task with 11 black pieces

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

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

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

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

Theme Elmgren. Task with 11 black pieces defending tries.