Sunday, March 28, 2010

Solving contest ESSNA No.7 2010

The contest was organized by ESSNA (Union of Chess Clubs in Attica, Greece) and was hosted in Chess Club Ampelokipi.

Mr Ioannis Garoufalidis was the Judge of the contest, who said that he selected easier problems than the previous contest. That was almost true. (Cursed self-mate!).

The given time limit was 2 hours and 15 minutes for 6 problems (1 two-mover, 1 three-mover, 1 multimover (six-mover), 1 study for win, 1 helmate in three with two solutions and 1 και 1 self-mate (multimover in 4 moves)).

There were 17 contestants-solvers.
The first three were awarded with commemorative cups.
The first six were awarded with chess books and magazines.
Here are the names, times and grades of the first twelve solvers.

posSurname Nametimetotal
1Mendrinos Nikos2.0825
2Papastavropoulos Andreas2.1525
3Konidaris Panagiotis2.1520
4Skyrianoglou Dimitris2.1117,5
5Fougiaxis Harry2.1115
6Manolas Emmanuel2.1215
7Vlahos Elissaios2.1514,5
8Papachristoudis Anastasios2.1513,5
9Anastasiou Marios2.1012,5
10-11Anemodouras Leokratis2.1512,5
10-11Sklavounos Panagis2.1512,5
12Mitsakis Konstantinos2.1010

There was also a young contestant Panagiotis Koutoukidis and he was awarded with the prize 'Young Champion of Attica in Solving Chess Problems 2010'. The young Koutoukidis, student of second grade in 5th Gymnasium of Ilioupolis, has finished recently at first place of the School Chess Games in Attica, in his grade.

You may see the winners in the very informative chess blog (in Greek) of Schroedinger's Cat : here.

Here follow the problems of the contest. (In parantheses there are the grades of each move).

(Problem 441)
D T Brock,
2nd Prize, Literaly Digest, 1903
Mate in 2 moves.
#2 (10 + 8)

Tries : [1.Sb6+? Kd6!], [1.Re3? fxe3!], [1.Rd4+? Kxe6!], [1.Re5+? Kxc4!], [1.Rd4+? Kc6!], [1.Sxf4+? Sxf4+!], [1.Sb4+? Bxb4!], [1.Qa4? bxa4!], [1.Qc2? Bc5!], [1.Qa1? / Qxd2? bxc4!].

Key : 1.Re1! zugzwang (5)
1...Bc5/Bb4/Bd6 2.Rxc5#/Sxb4#/Sb6#
1...dxe1=Q/S/R/B 2.Sxf4#
1...b4 2.Rc5#
1...bxc4 2.Qxf3#
1...Kxc4 2.Sb6#
1...Sg6~ 2.Sxf4#

(Problem 442)
Otto Wurzburg,
American Chess Bulletin, 1945
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 (4 + 4)

Tries : [1.Qg7? Rxg7!], [1.Qh3?/Qg8? R(x)g8+!], [1.Qh7?/Ke7? Bxh2!], [1.Qg8? Rxg8+!], [1.Bxg1+? Kxg1!], [1...Bh2~+ Bh2!], [1.Bxg2+? Kxg2!]

Key : 1.Kd7! (1) threat 2.Qa8 and 3.Qxg2# (1)
1...Rg8 2.Qxg8 (0.5) 3.Qg2#
1...Rg7+ 2.Qxg7 (0.5) 3.Qg2#
1...Rg6 2.Bd6+ (0.5) Rh6/Bh2 3.Qa8/Qxa2#
1...Rg5 2.Be5+ (0.5) Rh5/Bh2 3.Qa8/Qxa2#
1...Rg4 2.Bf4+ (0.5) Rh4/Bh2 3.Qa8/Qxa2#
1...Rg3 2.Bxg3+ (0.5) Bh2 3.Qxh2#

(Problem 443)
A Johandl,
2nd Honourable Mention, Kompositionturnier der Welt, 1998
Mate in 6 moves.
#6 (8 + 8)

Tries : [1.Rg5+? hxg5!], [1.Rf6? Se3!], [1.dxc7? Sb6!]

Key : 1.Rg4! (1) threat 2.Rd4#
1...Kxd6 2.Rg6+ Kd5 (note 1) 3.Se6 ( > 4.Sf4#) Kxc6 (note 2) 4.Sd8+ Kd5 5.Sc6 (4) ~ 6.Se7#
Theme : Switchback of White Rook And White Knight
note 1 : 2...Be6 3.Rxe6+ Kd5 4.Re4 ~ 5.Rd4#
note 2 : 3...Kd6 4.Sf4+ Be6 5.Rxe6#

(Problem 444)
V Platov & M Platov,
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1908
White plays and wins.
+ (4 + 2)

Key : 1.Kb4! (1) Rf5! (note 1) 2.c6 Rxh5 3.c7 Rh4+ 4.Kb5 Rh5+ 5.Kb6 Rh6+
6.Bd6! (2) Rxd6+ 7.Kb5 Rd5+ 8.Kb4 Rd4+ 9.Kb3 Rd3+ 10.Kc2 Rd4 11.c8=R! (1) (note 2) Ra4 12.Kb3 (1) +-

note 1 : 1...Tb1+ 2.Kc4! (2.Ka5? Th1) 2...Tc1+ 3.Kd5 Td1+ 4.Ke6
note 2 : 11.c8=Q? Rc4+ 12.Qxc4 = (Remember the study by Saavedra, Problem 81)

(Problem 445)
A Vilkauskas,
Sachmatija, 2009
Helpmate in 3 moves. Two solutions.
h#3 (3 + 7)

1.Be4 Rd3+ 2.Ke5 Rd7 3.Qe6 d4# (2.5)

1.Kd5 Re7 2.Be4 d4 3.Se6 Rd7# (2.5)

(Problem 446)
L Makaronec & V Surkov,
Sachmatija, 2009
Self-mate in 4 moves.
s#4 (9 + 10)

Tries : [1.Sb6+? axb6!], [1.Qxe4+? Bxe4!], [1.Qd3+? cxd3!], [1.Qd2+? cxd2!], [1.Rb5+? axb5!]

Key : 1.Sd6! (1) threat 2.Qd1+ Kc5 3.Sxe8+ Ld6 4.Qd4+ exd4# (1)
1...Kc5 2.Sxe4+ Kd5 3.Sf6+ Sxf6 4.Rd4+ (1.5) exd4#
1...Sc7 2.Rd1+ Kc5 3.Sc8+ Kb5 4.Rd5+ (1.5) Sxd5#

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Panagiotis Konidaris

Mr Panagiotis Konidaris has many talents. He is a solver and composer of chess problems, he is writer of successful novels, he is dear pharmacist in Meganissi island (near Lefkada island) where he is active in the local municipality. His journalistic texts are very graceful, having or not chess related background, as well as his numerous comments in various chosen blogs.
You may see some of his interesting texts (in Greek) in his blog, which has as a subtitle [Life is a game of chess. The secret is not to learn how to win, but to learn how to handle the defeat].

We have seen a published and decorated problem by Panagiotis Konidaris (together with Kostas Prentos, see Problem 270).
In today's post we will see some original problems by Panagiotis Konidaris. It is an honour for this blog and we thank him for this first publication.

(Problem 436)
Panagiotis Konidaris,
α) Helpmate in 3. β) Twin Kg3-->Kc2. γ) Twin Kg3-->Kg6.
a) h#3 b) twin Kg3-->c2 c) twin Kg3-->g6 (4 + 11)

a) diagramme
1.Rg4 Rg1 2.Kh4 Rxg2 3.Sg3 Rh2#
b) bKg3-->c2
1.Rxc4 Rh4 2.Kc2-c1 Re4 3.Rc2 Re1#
c) bKg3-->g6
1.Kg6-h6 Ra1 2.g6 Ra8 3.Sg7 Rh8#

(Problem 437)
Panagiotis Konidaris,
#2 retro (10 + 5)

Key : 1.hxg6 e.p.! ( > 2.Rxh7# / g7# )
(The only last move of Black is g7-g5. That means White has the right to capture en passant).
1...hxg6+ 2.Sxg6#

(Problem 438)
Panagiotis Konidaris,
Mate in 3 moves.
#3 (7 + 4)

Tries [1.Kb8? / Rc5+? Kd7!]
Key : 1.Bxe6! ( > 2.Rc5# )
1...Kc7? 2.Rc5+ Kd8 3.Rc8# (or 2.Rd5 Kc6 3.Rc5# dual)
1...Kxb5 2.Kb7 Ka4 3.Bd7#

(Problem 439)
Panagiotis Konidaris,
Helpmate in 4 moves.
h#4 (2 + 7)

It is obvious that wB must give mate, but how?

1.g3 Kf3 2.g2 Ke4 3.g1=B Kd5 4.Ba7 Kxc4#

(Problem 440)
Panagiotis Konidaris,
White plays and wins.
+ (5 + 5)

In this study, the heavy pieces will settle their accounts and the remaining pawns will finish the game.

Key : 1.Bd4+ Kb7 2.Kd6+ Kb8 3.Bxa7+ Qxa7 4.Rxa7 Kxa7 5.Kc7 a5
6.a4 Ka6 7.Kc6 bxa4 8.b5+ Ka7 9.Kc7 a3 10.b6+ Ka6
11.b7 a2 12.b8=Q a1=Q 13.Qb6#
(also with 11...Kb5 12.b8=Q+ Black is surely lost).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Best Study for 1995

We will see today a study, chosen as Best for year 1995. This presentation is a contribution of the composer and solver Themis Argyrakopoulos.

[Study of the Year 1995] is a study by Gregori Slepian.

Study of the year 1995.

(Problem 435)
Gregori Slepian,
First Prize, Szachista Polski #64, 1995,
White plays and wins.
+ (4 + 5)

The solution follows...

Black is ready to advance the pawn b3 and put unsolvable problems to his opponent. White starts with the obvious promotion and forces Black to search for the initiative.

1.e8=Q! Rc7+ double threat, to king and to queen

2.Bc6 Rxc6+ white bishop en prise (the first!) keeps his queen in the game and the rook checks again, giving a tempo to White


after the third White move

Black can not continue with 3...Rc4+ because after 4.Ka3 mate in three moves follows : 4...h1=Q 5.Qe5+ Rc3 6.Qxc3+ b2 7.Qxb2#, or : 4...b2 5.Qe5 Rc3+ 6.Qxc3 h1=Q 7.Qxb2#
Complications arise with the continuation : 3...b2
Of course, White will not answer 4.Qh8? annihilating the two black pawns because there follows : 4...Rb6+ 5.Ka3 Rb3+ 6.Kxa4 h1=Q 7.Qxh1+ b1=Q 8.Rf1 Rb4+ and it is a draw.
Another variation 4.Rf1+ b1=Q+ 5.Rxb1+ Kxb1 6.Qe4+ Kb2 7.Qe5+ Kc1 8.Kxa4! Now, if 8...h1=Q 9.Qa1+ and White wins, and also if 8...Ra6+ 9.Kb3! and when the checks of the black rook are ended, White wins.

3...Rb6+ as previously, White must answer to two threats

4.Ka3 h1=Q and decides to let en prise (the second!) his queen! If the bishop take the queen, a mate by the rook follows. Black promotes the pawn h2 and thus has superiority in pieces, controlling at the same time the threats on the first line

5.Qh8+ b2 and again the white queen is en prise (the third!) Of course, its capturing by the black queen is unthinkable, since the black king is doomed... So, a defense to checks is presented.

6.Qxh1+ Bd1! The pawn b2 can not be a strong defense by any promotion, since it would remain pinned to see the mate by the white rook on a2. Even if Black select ...underpromotion to Knight with check, a vain row of checks follows : 6...b1=S+ 7.Kxa4 Rb4+ 8.Ka5 Rb5+ 9.Ka6 Rb6+ 10.Ka7 Ra6+ 11.Kb8 Rb6+ 12.Kc7 Rb8 13.Qf3 Re8 14.Qf6+ Re5 15.Qxe5+ Sc3 16.Qxc3+ Kb1 17.Qb2#

after the sixth Black move

Now White must take care not to capture the bishop and destroy his tries with a stalemate! 7.Qxd1+? b1=S+ 8.Ka4 Rb4+ 9.Ka5 Rb5+ 10.Kxb5

7.Rxb2 Rb3+

8.Ka4 and surely not 8.Rxb3? which leaves Black in stalemate.

8...Rd3+ (Black is equally lost after 8...Kxb2 9.Qxd1 Rc3 10.Kb4 / Qd2+ / Qe2+ Rc2 11.Qe1 / Qd4+ / Qe5 Ka2 as the chess machines demonstrate)


after the ninth White move

and White can reach victory :
10.Qxd1+ Rb1
11.Qd4+ Ka2
12.Qd5+ Rb3
13.Qxb3+ Ka1
14.Qd1+ Kb2
15.Kb4 Ka2
16.Kc3 Ka3

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good placing

Important position for Manolas Emmanuel with 35 points (see in an internet solving contest (see
Second Greek contestant : Themis Argyrakopoulos.

Comment :
The contest is organized via internet and this means that anyone can participate.
It is an activity inside Facebook and someone must be a “friend” in order to see the announcement. (You may find me in and try to be enlisted in the group Chess Compositions and Puzzles).
When the preannounced post with the problems becomes visible, in some countries is night and thus the solvers-to-be will see them later and they will have a time handicap.
The problems must be solved without help of the computer. This cannot be checked, thus the contest is based on the honesty of the solvers.
The results do not offer titles to the solvers.
Finally, the contest runs just for fun (and some promotion for the blog of the organizers) and we should not give to it more credit than that.
It is also true that well-known persons from the world of the solvers are among the contestants.

Monday, March 01, 2010

C20100601 : Thematic Composition Contest


“PROBLEMIST UKRAINY” (The Problemist of Ukraine) announces a tourney in three sections for miniatures presenting the below themes. Original problems are to be sent before June 1, 2010, to M. Chernyavskyy, P.O. Box 7270, Lviv-70, 79070 Ukraine, or by email to

In each of the sections, the winner will then propose a theme for the next tourney and judge it.

We will also be thankful for sending us published problems presenting the themes.
We wish you success in your creative work!


Change of black king’s flight squares with randomly changed play.

В.Марковцій, Troll, 1997

Kg6 Dd2 Te6 Sc7 B.d3 - Kd4 B.e4
1. ... Kc5 ed 2.Dc3(A) Db4#.
1.Tc6! Ke5 ed e3 2.d4 Df4 Dc3(A)#.

В.Марковцій, Смена, 1999, приз

Kb6 Dg5 Tc2 La6 - Ke4 Bd6
1.Lc4? Kd4 Kf3 2.Df4 Ld5# 1. ... d5!
1.Lf1? Kd4 Kf3 2.Tc4 Lg2# 1. ... d5!
1.Df6! Ke3 Kd5 2.Te2 Lb7#.

В.Марковцій, The Broblemist, 2009

Ke4 Da6 Tg2 Ld1 Sf2 - Ke1 B.c4
1.Lf3?(B) Kf1(a) 2.Da1(A)#. 1. ... Kd2!
1.Da1(A)? Kf1(a) Kd2 2.Lf3(B) Sd3#. 1. ... c3!
1.Sh3! Kf1(a) K:d1 2.Tg1 Da1(A)#.


At least three variations in a single phase or in different phases of the problem featuring moves by one or more white pieces to three adjacent squares on the same line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal); no twins are allowed.

Є. Богданов “РТ - РЕКЛАМА” - 2001 (version)

1. Da7! 1… Kg4 2. Dh7 Kg3 3. Tg1 #, 1… g4 2. Dg7 g3 3. Tf1 #, 1… Kg6 2. Df7+ Kh6 3. Th1 #
1… Ke5 2. De7+ Kf5 3. De6 #, 1… Kf6 2. Df7+ Ke5 3. De6 #

Є.Богданов “МИНИАТЮРЫ” - 2002

1… Kh5 2. Dg5 #, 1. Df7? Kh3! 1… Kh4 2. Kf3 - 3. Dh7 #, 1… g2 2. Df4+ Kh3 3. Sg5 #, 2… Kh5 3. Dg5 #.
1. Se6 – g5! 1… g2 2. Sf3 - (Kg3, Kh3) 3. Dh4 #
2… Kh5 3. Dg5 #, 1… Kh4 2. Kf4 - (Kh5) 3. Dh7 #, 1… Kh5 2. Kf5 - (Kh6, Kh4) 3. Dh7 #

Є.Богданов “РОБІТНИЧА ТРИБУНА” - 1992

1. Db6! 1… Kg5 2. Df6+ Kh5 3. Sg3 #, 1… Kh5 2. Dg6+ Kh4 3. Dh6 #, 1… g3 2. Dh6+ Kg4 3. e3#, 1… Kh3 2. Df2 g3 3. Dxg3 #.


In the solution, white creates a battery which plays at least once.

E.Bogdanov, Pod Wieza, 1995-1997, Spec. Prize

Kb1 Tc5 Lg4 Le1 – Ka6 BB.b2 b7
1. Lf2!
1…Kb6 2.Le2! Ka7 3.Ta7 Kb8 4.Lb6
1…b6 2.Lc8 Ka7 3.Tc3 Ka8 4.Lg3
1…b5 2.Tc7 Ka5 3.Lc5 Ka4 4.Ld1

E.Bogdanov, Шахматна мисъл, 2002

Kb8 Tc6 Tg6 Lb2 Lh7 – Kd5 B.c7
1.Tc3! – 2. Tgc6 Ke5 3.T3c4
1…Ke4 2.Tg5 Kd4 3.Tb3
1…Ke5 2.Tc4 Kf5 3.Th6
1…c5 2.Te3 Kc4 3.Tb6