Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Demetrio Gussopulo

Demetrio Gussopulo (Demetrios Ghoussopoulos, 1900 – 1980) was a composer of chess problems. He was member of the Greek composition team (Moutecidis, Kapralos, Bikos, Gussopulo, Skoulis) in the 2nd World Competition in Composition (1967-1970), which team took 7th place among 27 teams.
We present facts from his life, that were included in an obituary written by Pavlos Moutecidis in 1980 :

In memory of Demetrio Gussopulo.

The ever memorable, Demetrio Gussopulo, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, circa 1900.
He was educated in the Catholic School of Freres (French monks). He could speak and write French (his mother language), Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic. English and German wrote with the help of a small dictionary.
He interrupted his studies in France, when his uncle died, who was paying the fees for tuition and feeding.
He worked before the war in Maltsiniotis factory as lathe handler - fitter. After the war he went to France, where there were living two of his children. From France he migrated to Brazil.
He first contacted chess problems in France, but not systematically. In Brazil he was found in the circle of Santiago, Faria, Novis, Figueiredo etc. He was occupied there systematically with the problem, mainly the helpmate two-mover. He has also invented there the [System Gussopulo], which is the most complete system for expressing thematic ideas in helpmate problems.
I have made the acquaintance of D. Gussopulo in 1966. He was then embarked as third engineer in ships. He was my teacher for years. He checked my problems, he wrote notes and remarks. I owe to him almost everything I know about helpmates. He had such an intense influence on me, that nowadays I am occupied and I publish more helpmates than any other kind.
To the people that did not know him well, he gave the impression that lonely people give : of a difficult person. But really, if you accepted him as he was, if you kept your word with responsibility, then he was an amazing debater. We kept our friendship and continuous correspondence for 10 years, and I believe that I have profited from this acquaintance because I had the opportunity to know a "very full cup".
In helpmates he started to compete after 1966. In the period through 1974, that is in 7-8 years, he won about thirty prizes, half of them First Prizes.
I give here two of his compositions, which were selected for publication in FIDE Albums. From the first problem it seems that in 1960 he represented Brazil with his problems, since he was working there at that time.
Engineer Pavlos Moutecidis

(Problem 350)
Demetrio Gussopulo,
4th place "Brazil - Italy", 1960
Mate in 2 moves.
#2 ( 10 + 10 )

Tries : [1. Bg6? Rh8!], [1. e8=Q? Rxh7+!], [1. Qxc3+? Bxc3!], [1. Qc4+? Bxc4!], [1. Qc5+? Kxc5!], [1. Qb6+? Qxb6!], [1. Qd6+? Qd5!], [1. Sc2+? Rxc2!].

Key : 1. Bd2! ( > 2. Qxc3# / Sc2#, the square d2 is a Nowotny intersection)
1...Bxd2 2. Sc2#
1...Rxd2 2. Qxc3#
There is Grimsaw intersection at g6
1...Bg6 2. Kxe6#
1...Rg6 2. Ke8#
There follow variations where the Royal battery is active
1...Be8+ 2. Kxe8#
1...Qxc6+ 2. Kxc6#
1...Qc8+ 2. Kxc8#
1...Qxc7+ 2. Kxc7#
1...Rxh7 2. Kxe6#

(Problem 351)
Demetrio Gussopulo,
3rd Honorable Mention, "Stella Polaris" 1967
Helpmate in 2 moves. Two solutions.
h#2, 2111 ( 3 + 3)

Key : 1. Bh2! Rg3 2. Rh7 Bc6#
Key : 1. Rh2! Bh3 2. Bd6 Ra1#
(Homo-strategic play : 1. One black piece self-blocks – one white piece closes a flight 2. the other black piece is de-located at a unique square – the other white piece mates)

Notes by Alkinoos :
The multi-awarded Pavlos Moutecidis is International Master in Composition of Chess Problems. He is famous for his selfmate many-movers.
D. Goussopoulos has published three articles with general title [The Artistic Chess, Genesis and Evolution of the problem] in the magazine Skakistis (issues 26 02/1970, 27 03/1970, 28 04/1970), where he presented his views about the creation of good chess compositions.

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