Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What 's up, Doc?

Excerpts from the work "WHAT'S UP DOC?"
by Toma Garai (27.05.1935 - ??), Romanian - American Grand Master in composition 1996,
(published here : http://problemskak.dk/td100-tg.htm),
edited by Emmanuel Manolas.

"What 's up Doc?". This is the perennial question of Bugs Bunny, the Warner Brothers cute cartoon character. And could be the question of any solver facing a new chess problem.
What can be found in a given problem: a hard to crack solution, some rich strategic play, unexpected combinations, any carrots? Worth spending my time, Doc? Like when one intends to read a book, some guidelines may entice the reader to go ahead, or stop flat short. Bookstores and libraries group the books by categories and often, somewhere on the back-cover one may read a few lines about the content. Of course, not all love-stories are born equal, so to speak, but at least you will not open a cookbook when interested in sci-fi adventures, or yes, in cartoons.
Is there any similar help available for problem "readers"?
Certainly! - one may answer.

As the problems' popularity increased, from mid XIXth century, many startling combinations were unveiled, receiving the name of the authors, or geographical locations (none were named after their mother-in-laws, as it happened with hurricanes): Loyd, Bristol, Turton, Indian, Herlin, etc. "themes" and thereafter were quoted as such. They had linear solutions, focusing on the strategic relations between the moves (essential to the Logical school).
The XXth century began by focusing on a new strategic relationship, that between the variations (Strategic School). Many new ideas, impossible in linear solutions (i.e. Stocchi blocks, half-pins, etc.) started to flourish and by 1930s a virtual race to thematic name giving culminated in complex combinations and sometime more than one father's name for the same baby.
Why to rehash now these well known developments? In order to notice that such terms as "theme", "thematic", or "thematic requirement" were used basically to describe relations between strategic elements of the solution. Then, in 1950s came the famous Zagorujko "theme". Yet, this described only the need for
(a) set play (how we proceed if it is not white's turn to play)
(b) a try (the white move that can be parried only with a unique black move)
(c) not to be forgotten, a solution, (with unique key etc.)
(d) and in all these, for the same (at least two) defences of black, the mates must be different!
This in essence is not a theme, but a presentation requirement and there can be many requirements regarding a problem. The problem can contain some theme, its strategic content could be anything under the sun. In the first Zagorujko problem below (by Paz Einat) the theme is "changed and reciprocally changed mates" and in the next Zagorujko (by Milivoj S. Nesic) the theme is "Grimshaw".

Paz Einat
The Problemist 1983
#2  C+  11+5

Mate in 2

Set play
1…Sxd2 a 2.Qc3# C
1…Kc5 b 2.Qb4# D
1…Ke5 2.Sd7#

1.Se3? [threat 2.Qd5#]
1…Sxd2 a 2.Sd7# A
1…Kc5 b 2.Sxe4# B
but 1…Rd7!

Actual play
Key 1.Sc7! [threat 2.Qd5#/Sxe4#]
1…Sxd2 a 2.Se4# B
1…Kc5 b 2.Sd7# A
1…Sc3 2.Qxc3#

The two black defences, always the same, are noted [ a, b ], in three phases of the solution (set play, try, actual play after the key). The changed mates are noted [ CD, AB, BA ]. This is a presentation frame Zagorujko 3x2. The Theme of the reciprocal change of the mates [ AB, BA ] is shown between try and actual play.

Milivoj S. Nesic
1 H.M., Boletin da Uniao Brazileira de Problemistas, JT U. Castellari-50, 1963-64

h#2        C+           8+13


Helpmate in 2

1.dxc2 Qxc2 2.Re3 a Qf5# A
1… … 2.Be3 b Qe4# B

1.dxc3 Qxc3 2.Re3 a Qf6# C
1… … 2.Be3 b Qc6# D

1.Sxb3 Qxb3 2.Re3 a Qf7# E
1… … 2.Be3 b Qd5# F

1.Rxa3 Qxa3 2.Re3 a Qf8# G
1… … 2.Be3 b Qa8# H

The solution can be notated : four first moves and on the third move two continuations, because there is a Grimshaw intersection (Bishop / Rook) on e3 (thus the theme is Grimshaw). We also see four solutions with two variations, thus it is a frame Zagorujko 4x2.

When we categorize a problem under a title, for example "white unpins", we may be unfair regarding the effort of the composer because we may hide the complexity of the composition.
We will see two problems with common theme "white unpins", but each problem contains another theme or the theme is functioning in multiple levels.
Finally, if Bugs Bunny asks "What 's up, Doc?", when we write a "theme" to help the "readers", we all must recognize that sometimes more than one idea can share the spotlight on equal footings, and when we will master this art, he will get easier his answer.
Something for Docs (simple solvers or Judges of composition contests) to think about.

Daniel Meinking
1 Pr., Chess Life, 1986

h#3  4 solutions  C+  3+5


Helpmate in 3

1.Rh4 Bd3 2.Qh2 Rb3 3.Kh3 Bf5#

1.g5 Bc4 2.Qg3 Rb4 3.Bf3 Be6#

1.Qh2 Re6 2.Rh4 Bd7 3.Kh3 Re3#

1.Qg3 Re6 2.g5 Bd7 3.Bf3 Re4#

The bRh5 leaves its place or the bPg6 makes a step, for the wBb5 to be unpinned. The bQc7 leaves its place, for the wRb6 to be unpinned. Up to this point we have "white unpins".
But the white pieces construct two batteries with Bishop as front piece, and two batteries with Rook as front piece, thus we have seen the task of construction of 2+2 batteries with same B and R!

Toma Garai
2 Pr., Thema Danicum, 1999

h#3  twin b) bPd5  C+  6+11


Helpmate in 3

1.Bxd5 Bxe4
2.Kc6 Bf3
3.Qd7 Rc4#

b) wPd5->bPd5
1.Re5 Rxe4
2.Qe7 Re2
3.Ke6 Bf5#

If we simply say here "white unpins", we lose the actual theme in a higher level. Let us watch closely the dance of the pieces, which the language somehow awkwardly describes : (How the unpinned piece pins its unpinner and then is self-pinned to unpin a pinned friendly piece, which makes a pin-mate! And this is mutually happening!).
First solution  (with wPd5): The bBc4 unpins wBd3. The wBd3 captures bPe4 to open the line of the (pinned) wRf4 and to "preventively" pin bBd5. The bK goes to c6 and the bBd5 is now pinned. The wBe4, maintaining the pinning of the bB, goes to f3 to unpin wRf4. The bQe6 blocks its king on d7. The wR mates from c4 (from where started bBc4) and it cannot be captured by the pinned bBd5.
Second solution  (with bPd5): The bRf5 unpins wRf4. The wRf4 captures bPe4 to open the line of the (pinned) wBd3 and to "preventively" pin bRe5. The bQe6 "preventively" blocks its king on e7. The wRe5, maintaining the "preventive" pinning of the bR, goes to e2 to unpin wBd3. The bK goes to e6 and the bRe5 is now pinned. The wB mates from f5 (from where started bRf5) and it cannot be captured by the pinned bRe5.
The solutions have pieces which exchange roles and they are named homo-strategical solutions.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Tourney Ikaros, 2012

35th Ikaros International Chess Tournament 2012
Aegean Open Championship 2012
(7-15 July 2012, Agios Kirykos, Ikaria island, GREECE)

Venue:                      Athletic Center of Agios Kirykos, Ikaria island[1], Greece.
Dates:                       7-15 July 2012.
Playing System:   Nine (9) Rounds Swiss. FIDE rules apply.
Rate of play:         Ninety (90) minutes plus 30 seconds per move (from move 1) for the completion of the game for each player. Players that do not show up for their game after one (1) hour from the official start of a round are be forfeited.
Schedule:                1st Round:                   Saturday           07/7          7.00 p.m.
2nd Round:                  Sunday              08/7          7.00 p.m.
3rd Round:                  Monday            09/7          11.00 a.m.
4th Round:                  Monday            09/7          7.00 p.m.
5th Round:                  Tuesday            10/7          7.00 p.m.
6th Round:                  Wednesday       11/7          7.00 p.m.
7th Round:                  Thursday           12/7          7.00 p.m.
8th Round:                  Friday               13/7          7.00 p.m.
9th Round:                  Saturday           14/7          11.00 a.m.
Prize Giving:              Sunday              15/7          11.00 a.m.

Tie-breaks:             1. Bucholtz
2. Median Bucholtz
3. Number of wins
4. Sum of progressive scores

Prizes:                       The prizes will be € 3000 in total and will be shared as follows:

                                    General Standings:               Special Categories:
1st winner          800              1st Lady           300
2nd winner          500              2nd Lady          160
3rd winner          200              3rd Lady           € 100
4th winner         € 160              4th Lady             60
5th winner         € 130              5th Lady             € 30
6th winner         € 100              1st Veteran       € 130
7th winner           € 80              2nd Veteran        € 80
8th winner           € 60              3rd Veteran         € 40
9th winner           € 40             
10th winner         € 30             

Important Note 1: The female and veteran players, who are eligible for two money-prizes (general standings and special category), receive both prizes, one from the general standings and one from the special category. Cup prizes and medals will be awarded to all winners of the tournament. Medals will also be awarded to the three best juniors and girls in the categories below 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 08 years of age.

Important Note 2: The money-prizes are divided according to the Hort system among the players with the same final score. (With Hort system every player gets first 50% of the prizes according to his rank. The other 50% are distributed uniformly within a scoregroup over the players).


Winners of the Aegean Championship:

The first Greek male and female chess players – members of chess clubs in the Aegean region - will be declared the Man and Woman Aegean Champion 2012 respectively.

Entry Fee:
The entry fee for the Aegean Open Championship 2012 is € 50 (for players below 20 years of age and Members of chess clubs in the Aegean region € 30).
This fee does not apply to holders of international titles (GM, IM, FM, WGM, WIM, WFM), chess-players that have already qualified, members of the Ikaria Chess Club and Ikarian chess-players regardless of the club they belong to.

3nd Mediterranean Rapid Team Tournament “Ikaros” 2012:
The Mediterranean Rapid Team Tournament is a rapid Swiss tournament for teams. Participation is open to teams coming from the chess federations of the countries of the Mediterranean Sea. Further details will be announced in a complementary announcement.

Participation Fees:       
Ikaros International Chess Tournament celebrates its 35th edition this year. For this reason the organizers will offer a 20% discount over normal prices for all participants that will have entered their participation for the event by the 30th of June 2012 -the latest- The special discount offer includes:
  1. Accommodation costs (in double room, the board (food) expenses, meals, breakfast etc are Not included)
  2. Entry fee.
  3. Transportation (by bus) from the Therma and Aghios Kirykos (i.e. the places where participants reside during the tournament) to the playing venue 30 minutes prior the beginning of each round.
  4. Transportation (by bus) from and to the port of Evdilos at the day of the scheduled arrival (7/7) and departure (15/7) of the group of chess players from Ikaria in case this is necessary due to the ferry schedule.
The special price is set at € 200 per person (instead of € 250 the previous years) for the period from the 7th until the 15th of July.
Players requesting for some special room conditions or wish to spend some extra days in Ikaria should notify the organizers in advance. Additional fees will be charged according to the conditions requested.
For families (at least 3 members), four-member (at least) club teams, junior players under the age of 20, natives of the Aegean region and unemployed persons (bearing a valid unemployment card) the special price is set to € 175 per person for the period from the 7th until the 15th of July.
Participants who will pay in advance (until 30th of June 2012) the special price for the period 7th till 15th of July becomes € 190 per person, while for those who are eligible for the family discount (i.e., families, juniors, club teams, natives, etc.) the respective special price for the period 7th till 15th of July becomes € 165 per person. The amount due should be deposited until the 30th of June 2012 through bank transfer to the account 077/947995-31 of National Bank of Greece (the account is in the name of Mr. Kosmas Kefalos, ΙΒΑΝ: GR91 0110 0770 0000 0779 4799 531, SWIFT CODE (BIC) ETHNGRAA,). Participants should hold a copy of their deposit receipt (including the name of the participant) and present it to the organization committee upon arrival at Ikaria.
Note 1: The above prices apply also for the accompanying persons, regardless whether they participate or not in the tournament.
Note 2: Participants wishing to pay on-site at Ikaria should pay in cash (no credit cards are accepted)

Conditions to GMs/WGMs, and IMs/WIMs:
For a limited number of titled players (GMs/WGMs, the IMs/WIMs), and the players that have qualified from preliminary events, the organization committee covers for:

  1. Accommodation costs (in double room, the board (food) expenses, meals, breakfast etc are Not included) for the period 7th till 15th of July
  2. Entry fee.
  3. Transportation (by bus) from Therma and Aghios Kirykos (i.e. the places where participants reside during the tournament) to the playing venue 30 minutes prior the beginning of each round.
  4. Transportation (by bus) from and to the port of Evdilos at the day of the scheduled arrival (7/7) and departure (15/7) of the group of chess players from Ikaria in case this is necessary due to the ferry schedule.
Additionally GMs and WGMs will receive € 1 (one euro) for every rating point above 2300 (based on FIDE rating list of July 2012).

Transportation to Ikaria:
Ikaria can be reached either by ferry (from Piraeus, Mykonos or Samos) or by plane (from Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion). For details check with your travel agent or contact the organization committee for additional info.

Contact Information:
For more information please contact:
Mr. Dimitris Kapagiannidis at:           (++30) 6947-829772 or
Mrs. Antzela Shaka at:                        (++30) 6977-730286
by e-mail at: ikaroschess@gmail.com
For possible updates and additional information concerning the Ikaros International Chess Tournament 2012, and the island of Ikaria, you can visit: http://ikariachess.blogspot.com, http://www.ikaroschess.gr, http://www-island-ikaria.com, http://www.nikaria.gr and http://www.ikariamag.gr

[1] Ikaria is an island situated in the eastern Aegean Sea the name of which was inspired by the myth of Ikaros, a young Greek that died in the region in an attempt to fly on wings made from wax fleeing from the Cretan King Minos. For information about Ikaria island see: http://www.island-ikaria.com/, http://www.nikaria.gr, http://www.ikariamag.gr