## Saturday, December 27, 2014

### Farewell to 2014

The year 2014 is almost over and we all postpone our hopes to 2015 for all the things we have dreamed and never achieved or never happened.
With wishes for making our lives better in any possible aspect, I give you two problems to solve.

 Probblem-792 (original) Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) 5S2/8/1q6/5kP1/4rP2/2s1QK2/2S5/1B6 (6 + 10) #2, Two-mover Select between the brackets to see the solution : [Tries : {1.Sd4+? Qxd4!}, {1.Qc5+? Qxc5!}, {1.Qxb6? Rxf4+!}, {1.Qxe4+? Sxe4!}. Key : 1.Qd4! [2.Se3#] 1...Sxb1 / Sd1 / Sd5 2.Qxe4#, 1...Rxf4+ 2.Qxf4#, 1...Qxb1 2.Qf6#, 1...Qxd4 2.Sxd4#] The same piece makes two tries and the key (theme Option). Black's answer 1...Rf4+ opens road for the piece that gives mate (theme bicolour Bristol). Black corrects the move 1...Qxb1 with a better 1...Qxd4, without success. All the black pieces are used to defend the various tries (theme Elmgren). The threat 2.Se3# and the mating move 2.Sxd4# exploit the pinning of bRe4 which is done from another piece (the wBb1), (theme Boros). Problem-793 (original) Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) s2k2s1/S5S1/3K4/p1ppp1p1/3Q4/2rPr3/3B4/3q4 (6 + 11) #3, Three-mover Select between the brackets to see the solution : [Tries : {1.Sc6+? Kc8!}, {1.Se6+? Ke8!}, {1.Qg4? Qxg4!}, {1.Qa4? Qxa4!}. Key : 1.Qxd5! [2.Qxa8# / Qxg8#] 1...Sc7 2.Qxg8+ Se8+ 3.Qxe8#,  1...Se7 2.Qxa8+ Sc8+ 3.Qxc8#,  1...Rcxd3 2.Bxa5+ Sb6 / Sc7 3.Bxb6# / Bxc7#,  1...Rexd3 2.Bxg5+ Sf6 / Se7 3.Bxf6# / Bxe7#, 1...Qb3 2.Qxa8+ Qb8+ 3.Qxb8#,  1...Qf3 2.Qxg8+ Qf8+ 3.Qxf8# ] Symmetrical position with three pairs of symmeric variations in the solution. This is called Vertical Mirror Echo. The same piece makes two tries and the key (theme Option). There are crossed checks and grabbing of the black pieces. The bK is mated from six squares of his row and four squares of his diagonals.

## Thursday, December 25, 2014

### Award for 2nd TT Kobulchess Christmas 2014

 (25.12.2014) Here is the Award of the 2nd KoBulChess TT - Cristmas Tourney 2014! Many thanks to all participants and to the judge IM Krassimir Gandev for his quick work. The award remains open for 1 month period. 2nd KoBulChess TT – Christmas Tourney 2014 Theme: All type problems (#/=, H#/H=, S#/S=, HS#/HS= etc.) in 2-4 moves (up to 8 moves for Series and P-Series problems) with the fairy condition Circle SneK. Other fairy pieces and conditions are not allowed. Royal pieces can be used of course. Circle SneK: When a Queen is captured - a Rook (or Royal Rook) of the same color (if exists on the board) becoming Queen; When a Rook is captured – a Bishop (or Royal Bishop) of the same color (if exists on the board) becoming Rook; When a Bishop is captured - a Knight (or Royal Knight) of the same color (if exists on the board) becoming Bishop; When a Knight is captured – a Queen (or Royal Queen) of the same color (if exist on the board) becoming Knight. Only one piece may change its type after a capture. In case of option – the capturing side choose which piece will be transformed. The capture and the change of type is a single move. If this full move result a selfcheck - the capture is forbidden.  The capture of a pawn is normal. The capture is normal also in the case when there is no piece on the board which should be transformed. Castling with Royal piece is not allowed. Entries: 22  Participants: Pierre Tritten, Manfred Rittirsch, Mario Parrinello, Kostas Prentos, Emmanuel Manolas, Rainer Kuhn, Themis Argirakopoulos, Sebastien Luce, Ralf Kraetschmer, Alain Bienabe Countries: Greece, Italy, Germany, France AWARD It was pleasure for me to be a judge of this interesting tourney. I received from the director Diyan Kostadinov 22 entries (including 2 versions) in anonymous form. I propose the following ranking: 1st Prize – Manfred Rittirsch    a) 1....Rd2? ... 3. ... Qxg3(wRh8)+ 4.hxg3(bQh5)! 1...Sf2 [~? ... 4.Sxc3(bBh3)!] 2.Rf5+ [~? ... 3.h8Q+ Rd,Rhxh8(wQf7)!] gxf5 3.h8Q+ Bxc3(wSh8)# [4.Sxc3(bBf2)??, 4.Kxf2(bSg4)??]    b) 1...Sf2? ... 3. ... Bxc3(wSh8)+ 4.Kxf2(bSh5)! 1....Rd2 [~? ... 4.hxg3(bQd8)!] 2.Sd6 [~? ... 3.h8B+ Qxh8(wBb5)!] cxd6 3.h8B+ Qxg3(wRh8)# [4.hxg3(bQd2)??, 4.Kxd2(bRb2)??] This is my favourite. Very rich Circle SneK specific logical maneuvers with reciprocal correspondence of pieces, change of promotions, cross checks and Circle SneK mates. 2nd Prize – Mario Parrinello a) 1…rQh8 2.Sa6 Sf6 3.rQa1 Sxg8(rSa1)+ 4.hxg8Q(rSh8)+ Qxa6(wSg8)# b) 1...rQc8 2.Sh6 Sc6 3.rQc1 Sxb8(rSc1)+ 4.axb8Q(rSc8)+ Qxh6(wSb8)# Wonderful Echo mates, creation of black batteries with ODT, change of functions between wSs and nice fairy play! 3rd Prize – Emmanuel Manolas 1.Bg7 fxe8Q(bQh7) 2.Bxc3(wBg1) Qxe2(bSh7)# 1.Sxc3(wBg1) fxe8S(bQh7) 2.Qd3 Sxd6(bRf8)# Model mates, selfblocks, promotions, all types of SneK conversions and SneK mates. 4th Prize – Pierre Tritten 1.Be4 Bxb3(bSf4) 2.Se2 Rxd1(bRc3)# 1.Sd2 Rxf4(bQd1) 2.Qe2 Bxg6(bBd2)# Same motivation for white captures: first one allows black transformed piece to block on e2, second one avoids black defense, change of functions, all types Circle SneK transformations. 5th Prize – Themis Argirakopoulos 1.d1B 2.b1R 3.Rb2 4.Rg2 5.Bf3 6.Bc6 Kxg2(Rc6)= [7.Rxb6(Rd6)? 7.Rxc7(Se6)? 7.Rxd6(Bc7)?] 1.d1S 2.b1Q 3.Qa2 4.Se3 5.Sg2 6.Qa8 Kxg2(Sa8)= [7.Sxb6(Rd6)?  7.Sxc7(Se6)?] A wonderful problem with AUW where the stalemate positions are possible because of SneK protections.   6th Prize – Argirakopoulos, Luce, Tritten a) 1.c2 2.c1B 3.Bf4 4.Bh2 5.g1R+ Sxg1(bRh2)# b) 1.b1S 2.Sd2 3.Sf1 4.g1Q 5.Qg4 Bxf1(bSg4)# Interchange of function between the white pieces, AUW. Special Prize – Pierre Tritten 1.Bf4+ Kxf4(bBh3) 2.Rf3+ Kxf3(bRh3) 3.Qe3+ Kxe3(bQh3) 4.Se2+ Kxe2(bSh3) 5.Sf2 Kxf2= Funny idea – the black Knight h3 plays like a Knight again after a full Circle SneK cycle of transformations 1st Honorable mention – Argirakopoulos, Tritten a) 1.Kd5 2.Kxe4(wRf8) 3.Kd5 4.Kd6 Rd8# b) 1.Sd7 2.Sxf8(wBh3) 3.Sd7 4.Sc5 Rd4# c) 1.Rc3 2.Rxh3(wRf8) 3.Rc3 4.Rc5 Rd8# Double switchbacks by three black pieces (King, Knight, Rook), Zilahi and nice white/back Forsberg suit twins.    2nd Honorable mention – Kostas Prentos 1.Qe3 Sg6 2.Bd4 Bd3# 1.Qxe5 Bc4 2.Be3 Rf4# Two Circle SneK specific mates. 3rd Honorable mention – Kostas Prentos 1.Bb1 Bg7 2.Se4 Bxe5(wBe4) 3.Bec2 Kxf5(wRc2) 4.Rf2+ Sxf2(wRb1)# 1.Rf2+ Kf7 2.Sh7+ Ke8 3.Sg5 Bxe5(wBg5) 4.Bc6+ Sxf2(wRc6)# Problem type ANI: in the 1st solution is presented a hybrid of Bristol and Indian - the first white Bishop opens the line for the second white Bishop, which on the next move will transform into Rook, creating a battery. 2nd solution reach the same mate after different active play of the white pieces. Commendations (equal rank): Com – Themis Argirakopoulos a) 1…g8R 2.e1S Rg2 3.Sc2 Rxc2(bSd3)# b) 1…h8Q 2.h1B Qh6 3.Bc6 Qxc6(bBb3)# Com – Alain Bienabe 1.Kxd5(wRe7) Ra7 2.Kc5 Ra5# 1.Kxe7(wBc4) Sc6+ 2.Ke8 Rd8# Com – Rainer Kuhn 1.Sxa1(bRd1)! Rxa1 2.a8Q+ Qxa8(wQe1)# 1.rBa8! Qa4 2.Re8+ Qxe8(rRa8)# 1.rBb7! Bxc2 2.a8Q+ Qxa8(wQe1)# Com – Sebastien Luce 1…Ba7 2.Sxa7(wBe4)+ Bxg2(bBa7) 3.Bb8 Kb6# 1…Bb6 2.Sxb6(wBe4) Bxg2(bBb6) 3.Ba7 Kc7# Com – Emmanuel Manolas 1.Qxd5(bBc3)+! (bBe6?) Kxd5(wQh5) 2.Qxe6(bSh2)+ Kxe6 3.Qxf7(bRc3)+ Kxf7 4.g8Q# Com – Rainer Kuhn 1.rSc3 Kg4 2.Bxf5+ Kxf5(rBc3) 3.rBa1 Be5# 1.rSb4 Kh3 2.rSc6 Be5 3.rSxe5(wBe8) d4# I wish to all participants and the tourney director – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015! Sofia 24.12.2014        Judge: IM Krassimir Gandev

## Saturday, December 20, 2014

### Friendly presents for namedays

We use to give presents for the namedays.
In this post the presents are dedications.

Mr Ioannis Garoufalidis dedicates an original problem (selfmate in eight moves) to Mr Emmanuel Manolas who has his nameday on 26/12.
In return Mr Emmanuel Manolas dedicates an original problem (helpmate in 2.5 moves) to Mr Ioannis Garoufalidis who has his nameday on 7/1.

Wishes for happy holidays to everyone!

 Problem-790 (original) Ioannis Garoufalidis, GR dedicated to Emmanuel Manolas k2K4/p2p4/S3Q3/2P5/8/3PP3/1p6/bR1B4 (8 + 5) s#8 1.Bf3+ d5 2.Ke7 Kb7 3.Kf6 Ka8 4.Ke5 Kb7 5.Kd4 Ka8 6.Bg4 Kb7 7.Qc6+ Kxc6 8.Rxb2 Bxb2# The white King must go to d4 to get mated. The pawn d7 is needed to guard e4, but the black King must go to c6 to guard this pawn. White sacrifices two strong pieces to achieve his goal.

 Problem-791 (original) Emmanuel Manolas, GR dedicated to Ioannis Garoufalidis 1b6/8/3R4/B7/2kP4/1r3BK1/8/1r6 (5 + 4) h#2.5, 2 solutions (In helpmates with fractional part 0.5 in number of moves, White moves first). 1…Bc7 2.Kb5 Rd5+ 3.Ka6 Ra5# 1…Bc3 2.Ba7 Ra6 3.Kb5 Be2# The wRd6 is pinned by the bBb8 and the wBf3 is pinned by the bRb3. In the two solutions the wBa5 unpins one of the pinned pieces, which eventually mates the black King.

## Wednesday, December 10, 2014

### Circle SneK condition - Christmas 2014

In fairy chess, various conditions are introduced each year. Some of them attract the interest of the composers, some stay as curiosities.
The Bulgarian composer Diyan Kostadinov likes to invent new conditions (KoBul Kings, SneK Chess) and recently has announced a tourney for Christmas 2014 with the new condition Circle Snek.

 Circle Snek : When a Queen is captured, a Rook of the same side becomes a Queen. When a Rook is captured, a Bishop of the same side becomes a Rook. When a Bishop is captured, a Knight of the same side becomes a Bishop. When a Knight is captured, a Queen of the same side becomes a Knight. Only one piece may change its type after a capture. In case of option – the capturing side chooses which piece will be transformed. The capture and the change of type is a single move. If this full move results in a selfcheck - the capture is forbidden. The capture of a pawn is normal. The capture is normal also in the case when there is no piece on the board which might be transformed. Castling with Royal piece is not allowed.

You will find the announcement of the 2nd KoBulChess Thematic Tourney (Christmas Tourney 2014) here : http://kobulchess.com/en/tournaments/announcements/676-kobulchess-2nd-tt-christmas-tourney-2014.html

Theme: All type problems (#/=, H#/H=, S#/S=, HS#/HS= etc.) in 2-4 moves with the fairy condition Circle SneK. Other fairy pieces and conditions are not allowed. Royal pieces can be used of course.

Wishing you happy holidays, I present an original miniature with the Circle SneK condition, designed in a way to be easily solved. My computer (using WinChloe v3.31) could not see the solution instantly and spent 4 hours and 12 minutes to finish.

 Problem_289 Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) original Ks3r2/8/8/k5b1/8/7b/7P/8 (2 + 5) h#5, Circle SneK Select inside the brackets to see the solution [1.Bd7 h4 2.Kb6 hxg5(Bb8) 3.Kc7 g6 4.Kd8 g7 5.Bc7 gxf8=Q(Rd7)#]. Since the moves are only 5, the wPh2 must start with a double step and give mate when it reaches the 8th row and be promoted. (Theme Excelsior). So, the bBh3 must make the first half-move (move B1), (and surely prepare the blocking of bK). The wP will possibly capture one or two black pieces while marching to promotion and it will mate the bK when he is blocked in the eighth row. The bK needs 3 moves to reach the eighth row. The remaining black half-move is needed to complete the block. I believe that some solvers do not really need to see the hidden solution!

## Thursday, November 13, 2014

### Two miniatures by two friends

A problem with a total of up to 7 pieces is a Miniature.

In today's post we will see a direct two-mover by Nikos Pergialis and a helpmate five-mover by Emmanuel Manolas.

 Problem-773 Nikos Pergialis, GR original 8/8/8/8/3K4/p3S3/s2kp3/Q7 (3 + 4) #2 Tries : {1.Qe1+? / Qxa2+? K(x)e1!}, {1.Qc3+? Sxc3!}, {1.Sc4+? Kc2!} Key : 1.Qb1! [2.Sc4#] 1...Sc1 2.Qb4# 1...e1=Q / e1=R 2.Qc2# 1...e1=S 2.Qd1# 1...e1=B 2.Qd1# / Qc2# In this miniature we see Dual Avoidance in the black answers 1...e1=Q / T and 1...e1=S where, while White can play 2.Qc2 or 2.Qd1 to mate, the black promoted piece inhibits the one of the two white moves. The promotion to black Bishop is not a good black answer. Also, we see Anti-reversal-Menace. The move 1.Qb1 threatens 2.Sc4#, but the move 1.Sc4 is not threating 2.Qb1#. The Theme Ropke is present : Two black defences from promotion of a specific pawn to same square are followed by two different white moves. The Theme Option is present : The key, and at least two tries with different defences, are played with the same piece.

 Problem-774 Emmanuel Manolas, GR original 3b4/K7/3k1r2/4s3/4b3/8/4P3/8 (2 + 5) h#5 a) Diagram, b) wKa7 to g7 a) Diagram 1.Bb7 e4 2.Sd7 e5+ 3.Kc7 e6 4.Bc8 e7 5.Rc6 e8=S# b) wKa7 to g7 1.Bc6 e4 2.Sf7 e5+ 3.Ke7 e6 4.Bd7 exf7 5.Re6 f8=Q# In both solutions the wPe2 starts from its initial position and in the fifth move it gets promoted (to a different piece in each solution) and delivers mate. The course of the pawn is the Theme Excelsior. The mate is done with self-block (even with sacrifice) of black pieces. White moves only his pawn. The kind of piece that Black moves is the same in the corresponding moves of the two solutions. Black moves white-squared Bishop, Knight, King, white-squared Bishop, Rook.

## Saturday, November 08, 2014

### Problem-composing machines

Some years ago "The Aesthetic Beauty of chess compositions" was measured by computer, using Chesthetica software by Dr. Azlan Iqbal.

In a recent article Dr. Azlan Iqbal presents a series of three-movers composed by computer, using DSNS (digital synaptic neural substrate).

In a recent post from WCCC in Bern, I said about Mr T. Linß, who presented to the composers of the Congress the past and future of computer software creating compositions. (At present, the demands of storage space limit this software to 6-pieces helpmates and 7-pieces selfmates).

Is there a foreseeable end in human creativity? Let us hope not in this century!

## Saturday, September 20, 2014

### Greek compositions in WCCC 2014, Bern

This blog has special interest in Greek composers.
In this post we will see compositions that received distinctions in the composing tourneys of WCCC 2014, in Bern. In a previous post we saw that Argirakopoulos Themis, Manolas Emmanuel and Prentos Kostas had 1, 3 and 11 distinctions respectively. It so happens, that we had published a picture of these Greek composers together, in WCCC 2010.

 Problem-775 Argirakopoulos Themis (GRE) 2nd Prize, Juica Ty Fairy Section, WCCC 2014 Bern White : Kh6 Qf3, Black : Kg8 Rf2 Be1 Pd5c3, Neutral : Ra6 Bf6, (2 + 5 + 2) hs#2.5, Circe Kamikaze a) diagram, b) f6 = fairy bishop A: 1...Rh2+ 2.Qh5 Beh4 3.Qe8+ Bxf6(Bf8;nBc1)# B: 1...Bd2+ 2.Qe3 Rf4 3.Qe8+ Rxf6(Rh8;nfBf8)# Neutral pieces take the color of the playing side. Circe Kamikaze : When a capture occurs, the capturing piece and the captured piece in this order (King excluded, unless otherwise stated) must be replaced on their rebirth square if it is empty, otherwise, the piece vanishes. The Judge said : "The solutions of this problem culminate in a fabulous quadruple check, which is already a highly noticeable record with only 9 units on the board. Besides, the diagonal-orthogonal correspondence is perfectly realized and we find, as in many problems, the traditional reciprocal battery creation with Rook and Bishop. The wQ arrives on the same square e8 at W3, but since the routes the wQ takes are different, it is not a defect. One defect however would be the passive nRa6".

 Problem-776 Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) and Prentos Kostas (GRE) Commendation, Quick Composing Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 2Sk4/3p4/8/3K4/8/8/1Y2r3/8 (3 + 3) h#2, two solutions b2 = hurdle-color changing Lion (hL) 1.Rf2 hLg2(wRf2) 2.Ke8 hLa8# 1.Re5+ hLg7(wRe5) 2.Kxc8 Re8# Lion : Moving in Queen lines, it jumps over a hurdle and lands / captures in any free square immediately after the hurdle. The hurdle-color changing Lion, changes the color of the hurdle (except King or neutral piece) when jumping over it.  The Judge said : "Nice miniature. The white rook and Lion exchange functions in the mate".

 Problem-777 Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) Commendation, Japanese Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 8/8/8/7r/3k4/8/1PKb2p1/5srq (2 + 7) h#2, Back-To-Back a) diagram, b) = a) -Rh5 c) = b) -Fd2 d) = c) -Cf1 e) = d) -Tg1 a) 1.Kc4 b4 2.Rc5 bxc5# b) 1.Bc3 b3 2.Bb2 d5# c) 1.Sd2 b4 2.Sb3+ d5# d) 1.Rb1 b5 2.Rb4 d5# e) 1.Ke4 Kd2 2.Qb1 e5# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. White loses pieces one after another. We see Echo mates, Chameleon mates, Model mates. Some readers might remember a similar problem by Sam Loyd, accompanied by a tale, where bullets strike off the board the pieces one by one : http://en.chessbase.com/post/chebase-puzzles-a-dangerous-game-171013

 Problem-778 Manolas Emmanuel (GRE) Commendation, Bulgarian Wine Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 8/4K3/8/1r4S1/1k6/bP6/PB6/8 (5 + 3) h#2, two solutions SneK chess 1.Rxg5(SKe7) Bd4 2.Rb5 SKc6# 1.Bxb2(wBg5) Kd6 2.Ba3 Bd2# SneK chess : When a Queen is captured, a Rook of the same side becomes a Queen. When a Rook is captured, a Bishop of the same side becomes a Rook. When a Bishop is captured, a Knight of the same side becomes a Bishop. When a Knight is captured, the King (but not another royal piece) of the same side becomes a royal Knight. When a Pawn is captured, the royal piece of the same side becomes a King. The Judge said : "Switchbacks of the bR and bB for re-blocking, Ideal mates. A little but lovely problem".

 Problem-779 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 1st Prize, Champagne Ty Section A, WCCC 2014 Bern q5sr/2pppp1p/1psr3b/p1k4R/P5p1/1P1BRP1P/1BPKP2S/1SQ4b (14 + 16) SPG 18.5 1.a4 a5 2.Ra3 Ra6 3.Rc3 Rd6 4.b3 b6 5.Bb2 Bb7 6.Qc1 Bxg2 7.Sf3 Sc6 8.Rg1 Bh1 9.Rg5 Qa8 10.Rh5 g5 11.Bh3 Bh6 12.Bf5 Kf8 13.h3 Kg7 14.Sh2 Kf6 15.f3 Ke5 16.d4+ Kxd4 17.Kd2 g4+ 18.Re3+ Kc5+ 19.Bd3+ SPG : Given a game position, find all the moves since the start of the game. There is an upper limit on the number of the moves. The Judge said : "« Only » 4 thematical checks but of the same nature : they are all battery checks without capture, the most sophisticated nature of thematical moves. Very « professional » realization.".

 Problem-780 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 3rd Honourable Mention, Champagne Ty Section A, WCCC 2014 Bern r2k1bsr/pp1s1ppp/5P2/P7/1K1q3p/p3Qp2/bPP1PPPP/RSB2BSR (16 + 16) SPG 9, Circe Perrain 1.d4 c5 2.dxc5 Qb6(a3) 3.Kd2 d5 4.cxd6 e.p. Be6(f3) 5.Kc3 Sd7 6.dxe7 Qe3(h4)+ 7.Kb4 Bxa2 8.Qd4(a5) Kxe7 9.Qxe3(f6)+ Kd8(Qd4)+ SPG : Given a game position, find all the moves since the start of the game. There is an upper limit on the number of the moves. Circe Parrain : In the next move following a capture, the captured unit (except a King) accomplish (from its capture square) an exact copy of that next move. If the arrival square is occupied or if the journey brings it out of the board, the captured unit vanishes. The Judge said : "Cross-double check is clearly impossible in orthodox chess. Possibly other fairy conditions than Circe Parrain allow to do it, but this problem will be a pioneer".

 Problem-781 Prentos Kostas (GRE) Commendation, 17th Sabra Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 8/3r4/1pp2p2/1s3K2/1p2Bp2/1Pk2b2/2Pqp1P1/bR3rBQ (8 + 13) h#2, two solutions 1.Bxg2 Bxc6 2.Bxc6 Qxc6# 1.Rxg1 Rxa1 2.Rxa1 Qxa1# Orthogonal-Diagonal transformation. Bicolored Bristol. Pseudo white-Sacrifices. Quasi black-sacrifices.

 Problem-782 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 4th Prize, 14th Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 3K4/8/7R/3k3b/8/1S4B1/6r1/8 (4 + 3) h#2, two solutions, Back-to-Back 1.Kc6 Bg6 2.Bb5 Be4# 1.Kd6 Rf4 2.Rd5 Rf6# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. Orthogonal-Diagonal transformation. Reciprocal white batteries with Anderssen moves (A white piece wA intercepts another white piece, Black moves, then wA moves again giving an indirect check). Auto-blocking. Indirect Pinning and Unpinning. The Judge said : "A highly polished ODT with reversal of roles between wR/B and also bR/B. It’s a pity the final positions are orthodox doublechecks".

 Problem-783 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 2nd Honourable Mention, 14th Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 7s/2R2P1P/P2k2BK/1p1P4/2p2pb1/5p1b/6p1/r2r4 (7 + 11) h#2, four solutions, Back-to-Back 1.Bd7 f8=R 2.Ke7 Re8# 1.Re1 f8=S 2.Re6 Sd7# 1.Rxd5 f8=B+ 2.Ke6 Be7# 1.Kxd5 f8=Q 2.Ra5 Qd6# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. Orthogonal-Diagonal transformation. Auto-Pinning. Pin mate. Allumwandlung (AUW). The Judge said : "A task: AUW with specific BTB mates in all solutions. The setting is rather heavy".

 Problem-784 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 3rd Honourable Mention, 14th Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 6s1/5K2/4p1S1/5k2/2r3p1/Pbs5/7B/2b5 (4 + 8) h#2, two solutions, Back-to-Back 1.Sa2 c2+ 2.Re4 Se5# 1.Ba2 c5+ 2.Sd5 Bd6# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. Direct Self-Pinning. Pin mate. The Judge said : "Pinning of BTB black piece by another BTB white piece. Nicely done".

 Problem-785 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 4rd Honourable Mention, 14th Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 6b1/1p6/1R4s1/P1k1qS2/2b2P2/5s2/8/3K4 (5 + 7) h#2, two solutions, Back-to-Back 1.Qe4 Se7 2.Se5 e6# 1.Bd3 Sd6 2.Qd4 d5# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. The Judge said : "Anticipatory selfblock of the BTB black piece. Please note that in both solutions, black cannot capture the mating wP by B because it turns wS into B.".

 Problem-786 Prentos Kostas (GRE) Commendation, 14th Sake Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern s3r3/5P2/P3P3/3k4/K1p2p2/5pS1/4p3/8 (5 + 7) h#2, Back-to-Back a) diagram, b) bKd5 to d6 a) 1.e1=R f8=Q 2.Re5 Qd6# b) 1.e1=B f8=S 2.Ba5 Sd7# Back-to-Back : When a white piece is just one rank above a black piece on the same file, they exchange their way of moving / capturing. Allumwandlung (AUW).

 Problem-787 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 6th Prize, 5th Bulgarian Wine Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 8/1R6/8/1pp4p/2PB1K2/8/p1b2s2/1S3k1s (5 + 8) h#2, two solutions, SneK chess 1.cxd4(Bb1) Bxc2(Bh1) 2.Bxb7(Rc2) Rxf2(SKf1)# 1.bxc4 Bxf2(SKf1) 2.Bxb1(SKf4) Rxb1(BKf1)# SneK chess : When a Queen is captured, a Rook of the same side becomes a Queen. When a Rook is captured, a Bishop of the same side becomes a Rook. When a Bishop is captured, a Knight of the same side becomes a Bishop. When a Knight is captured, the King (but not another royal piece) of the same side becomes a royal Knight. When a Pawn is captured, the royal piece of the same side becomes a King. The Judge said : "Complicated combination of transformations to reach the final mating positions, each time by a different white Rook forming a Zilahi. Mutual captures by the wSb1/bBc2.".

 Problem-788 Prentos Kostas (GRE) 2nd Honourable Mention, 5th Bulgarian Wine Ty, WCCC 2014 Bern 2Kbk3/4S3/2sP4/1r2p3/8/8/8/8 (3 + 5) h#2, two solutions, SneK chess 1.Bxe7(SKc8) dxe7(Bc6) 2.Bd7+ SKd6# 1.Rb7 Sxc6(SKe8) 2.Rf7 Kxd8(BKe8)# SneK chess : When a Queen is captured, a Rook of the same side becomes a Queen. When a Rook is captured, a Bishop of the same side becomes a Rook. When a Bishop is captured, a Knight of the same side becomes a Bishop. When a Knight is captured, the King (but not another royal piece) of the same side becomes a royal Knight. When a Pawn is captured, the royal piece of the same side becomes a King. The Judge said : "Specific fairy mates and selfblocks".

## Sunday, August 31, 2014

### News from Bern, (6), Friday

In the morning the delegates of the countries had a meeting for last decisions. The next World Congress for Chess Composition (58th WCCC) will be held in Ostróda in Poland from 01 thru 08 of August 2015. The Ostróda is a small city with developing tourism due to the lakes of the area. (The other candidate, Burgas in Bulgaria, did not gather enough votes).

After the meal, the presentation of titles for new Masters and of results for the composing tourneys started. The Greek solver Nikos Mendrinos become FIDE Master in Solving, (among many others).

Every composing tourney is related with a country. The Award contains Prizes, Honourable Mentions, Commendations, and some presents are given to composers. The best (among the Congress participants) receives a bottle with drink of the related country, and the next receive books, t-shirts, pottery items, dolls etc.. The tourneys are named accordingly : French Champagne, Japanese Sake, Romanian Juika.
Until last year the Greece was present with a Metaxa Brandy tourney, but the organizer Pavlos Moutecidis did not come to Bern.

For the Greek composers, as you can see in the Congress Bulletin (http://www.kunstschach.ch/wccc2014/docs/WCCC2014_Berne_Booklet.pdf) ...

Mr Themis Argirakopoulos received from the Romanians Vlaicu Crişan and Eric Huber the second Prize in Juika tourney (fairy section).

1) Commendation from the German Hans Peter Rehm in the Quick Composing tourney (three hours).
2) Commendation from the Japanese Tadashi Wakashima in the Sake tourney.
3) Commendation from the Bulgarian Diyan Kostadinov in the Bulgarian Wine tourney.

Mr Kostas Prentos is the best solver and the best composer we have. (Well done Kostas!). He surpassed his previous record (it was 9 problems awarded in the bulletin) and received three bottles with drinks and other presents with eleven (11) awarded problems in the Congress buletin, namely
1) Commendation from the German Hans Peter Rehm in the Quick Composing tourney (three hours).
2) First Prize from the French Michel Caillaud in the Champagne tourney.
3) Third Honourable Mention in the Champagne tourney.
4) Commendation from the Israeli Menachem Witztum in the Sampra tourney.
5) Fourth Prize from the Japanese Tadashi Wakashima in the Sake tourney.
6) Second Honourable Mention in the Sake tourney.
7) Third Honourable Mention in the Sake tourney.
8) Fourth Honourabe Mention in the Sake tourney.
9) Commendation in the Sake tourney.
10) Sixth Prize from the Bulgarian Diyan Kostadinov in the Bulgarian Wine tourney.
11) Second Honourable Mention in the Bulgarian Wine tourney.

In the afternoon we were invited by Mayor of Bern. He presented with humor the city of Bern, which holds the same face the last five hundred years, and he offered sausages, wine and refreshments.

The farewell dinner was held inside a military gymnastics room, which was converted to a restaurant, and the last prizes were given to veterans and organizers.

## Friday, August 29, 2014

### News from Bern, (5), Thursday

Today, a warm summer day, we went to an excursion.
We went to the lobby for breakfast all at the same time, the personnel of the hotel was running to serve us but the space was not enough, a long queue was created and we were anxious to catch our bus, leaving 08:15.
With Suisse accuracy we managed to be seated in the bus at 08:14. The driver came half an hour later and we happily started our day-trip.

I stop grumbling. It was an extraordinary experience!

(Me and my wife, in Giger museum. Photo by Diyan Kostadinov)
We went first to the highland village Gruyeres, at the foot of the Alpes. Putting aside the great view, which can be found in many places of the Switzerland, in this village there is the H. R. Giger museum. A three-stories building with fifteen or more rooms (I lost count) full of paintings, sculptures, furniture, books, posters, with abundant fantasy of the (Oscar winner) creator of the monster Alien (and more, and more...).
Furthermore, a cherry on the cake, a Giger Bar opposite the museum, where chairs, floor, ceiling, lamps are designed by Giger.
In the village a concert started with Alpine music Horns. Unbelievable sound.

Next we visited the chocolate factory Caillers.
Christopher Colombus brought to Spain the seeds of cocoa-tree, after he killed the Aztecs to avoid royalties, the Royalty in Spain liked the new drink but the Church was against at first, and only after the pope had tasted it, he blessed it, and the chocolate drink started to reach the not so rich people. After the French Revolution, a dude named Caillers decided to make a factory for chocolate in the peaceful Suisse. His company held ownership for a few centuries, the grandson Caillers moved the factory to Gruyeres vicinity to have easy access to milk and water sources, but after the WW2 a partener named Nestle, initially a pharmacist helper, with admirable dexterity took hold of the factory and everything else.
The presentation was like a fairy tale ... only Willy Wonka was missing. The taste of roasted cocoa seeds and of ready products was totally satisfactory.

Is it possible to visit Gruyeres and not taste their famous cheese? We went to the factory of Suisse Gruyere Cheese, bought chunks ripen for 6, 8, 10, 12 months, and we returned to Bern.

The roads were impeccable, well designed, the tunnels wide and well lit, the speeds quite high, and all these days no-one used a honk. Quiet and clean air.
The Suisse people use high technology (for example every door in a building or in a vehicle opens automatically when you touch it) but they have not abandoned the previous way of life, with cows, horses, corn fields and all the things that characterize a farmer. But they have also many industries and manufacturing plants. (Did I mention banks?)

In a while, for the chess affairs that interest us, the President of the World Federation for Chess Composition wil be elected.
In the last four years, the Greek Mr Harry Fougiaxis was President. I wish him an easy re-election!

HOLD THE PRESSES : Harry Fougiaxis will be President of the WFCC for 4 years more!

## Thursday, August 28, 2014

### News from Bern, (4), Wednesday

The 38th World Solving Championship is over.

Personal ranking of the Solvers here.
In the first places, World Champion the Polish Piorun Kacper 81 points out of maximum 90, second is the Polish Murdzia Piotr 81 points out of 90 but he spent more time, and third is the Serb Vuckovic Bojan 79,4 points out of 90.
The Greek solvers Prentos Kostas, Mendrinos Nikos and Konidaris Panagiotis in places 33, 50, 73 respectively. Congratulations to all solvers!

Team ranking of the Countries here.
In the first places Poland, Azerbaidjan, Israel.
Greece in the 17th place.

The 18 problems are here, for anyone wanting to solve them.

The solutions of the 18 problems are here, for anyone wanting to study them.

In the evening, at the contest Solving Show, with participants 32 of the best solvers in the world, in first place finished the British John Nunn, winning at the last moment the Serb Marjan Kovačević.

## Wednesday, August 27, 2014

### News from Bern, (3), Tuesday

Today the solvers start their ordeal, (Greek solvers are Mr Konidaris Panagiotis, Mr Mendrinos Nikos, Mr Prentos Kostas), trying to place themselves in a high position in the World Championship. They will continue tomorrow. Below you will find the preliminary results of the day.
There is personal ranking and ranking of countries.

I prepared my entry to Official 5-days composing tourney, where the theme asked for an orthodox direct-mate two-mover with a twin. The twin is made by moving a white Bishop to square of different color.
I worked with three positions, from the simplest miniature to a complex mechanism. (I have lost count, but I needed to compose almost twenty problems this month).

In the evening there were some chess lectures.
Mr H.P.Rehm analysed the beauty criteria of the pendulum mechanism in more-movers.
Mr D. Kostadinov presented mechanisms for inverse problems worthy to win prizes.
Mr M. Kovačević showed that in some underrated helpmate problems real diamonds are hidden, if notions of direct-mate composing are applied.
Mr T. Linß presented the past and future of computer software creating compositions. (At present, the demands of storage space limit this software to 6-pieces helpmates and 7-pieces selfmates).

All day drizzled in Bern and during the night we had heavy rain.

Results of the first part of the World Championship here.

## Tuesday, August 26, 2014

### News from Bern, (2), Monday

Actually, I came to the World Congress for Chess Composition (WCCC) for the chess composing tourneys.
I gave some compositions of mine to various judges and, having free time, I went to the Open Solving Tournament to see if Mr Axel Steinbrick will beat us down with his selections. As you can see in the results here, I am in the first 100! (Also, this was the number of participants).

Result? Laments, with the world champions in the middle positions. (Thus, the new solvers must have hopes!) If you want to exercise yourself with these problems, cover the solutions and set the time limit to three hours. (I have tried my luck with 5 problems from the 12).

At 20:30 the Quick composing tourney started, ending at midnight. They asked for two-movers direct-mate or help-mate (2# or h#2) with the fairy piece Lion, of the category Hurdle jumpers. (Lion moving in Queen lines, from starting square to ending/capturing square there should be only one occupied square. The piece in that occupied square is the hurdle. There are also Rook-lions moving in Rook lines, and Bishop-lions moving in Bishop lines).
The quirk was that the hurdle should change color when the Lion were jumping over it (an exception is when hurdle is the King). The problem solving program WinChloe could not handle it correctly, and for the program Popeye a download of version 4.69 from the Internet was necessary, in order to check the correctness of my composition. I worked together with Kostas Prentos until midnight, we gave to the judge an easy entry, and we promise to continue working to finish the "masterpiece" which we could not have ready in time.
(See here one composition of ours with controversial comments).

## Monday, August 25, 2014

### News from Bern, (1), Sunday

As you know, we participate in the World Conference for Chess Composition, which will be held this year in Bern, Switzerland.

We arrived yesterday flying with Alitalia (Athens - Rome with delay, running then to catch the flight Rome - Zuerich), two friends lost their buggage, and we went by an electric, robust, fast and quiet train to Bern. The Switzerland is green all over and full of industries. Its villages are full of pretty houses.

Today the sun is shining and we admire the pretty city. Quiet, clean, build with uncluttered nice old houses, at most 4 stories high. The transportation are noiseless, electrical, having instant information in tables inside and outside of the vehicles. There are a few cars and many bicycles.

The hotel has minimal offers, no sampoo, no closet, no fridge, no telephone for awakening, nor other such silly things. The cost seems huge for our wallet, and it is a lucky coincidence that the Greek Chess Federation is NOT supporting us, so it has no danger to go bankrupt. The television is working nicely, showing about sixty channels speaking german / english / french / arab / chinese. The internet is fast and free.

Today we went by téléférique to an excellent park up a hill inside the woods. The children are joyful playing many games and the grown-ups have he opportunity to walk in paths among the trees.

The weather can be very cold there, so the cows pasturing there have long brown hair. The black with white patches model is for low altitude areas.

Basic info about Bern and about Suisse habits you can find in a series of articles here.

## Friday, August 22, 2014

### Chess can ...

Chess can make you smarter.
A nice presentation by Cody Pomeranz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yDvM8aplY

Bring chess in our schools!

## Wednesday, August 20, 2014

### WCCC 57, Berne

Next Saturday we will be in Bern, Switzerland, for the 57th World Congress of Chess Composition, WCCC.

There will be solving contests and many composing tourneys.
The schedule is here: http://www.kunstschach.ch/wccc2014/docs/WCCC_Schedule.pdf

For the solving contests (there is one OPEN solving contest and also the world championship WCSC) you must have physical presence in the rooms of WCCC, but for the composing contests this is not necessary.
There are tourneys that accept entries from all over the world via e-mail, as well others only for WCCC participants. Details here.

Best wishes for success to solvers, to composers, to organizers!

## Thursday, July 24, 2014

### Solving contest Icaros 2014

During the 37th International Chess Festival Icaros, (Agios Kirikos, Ikaria island, Greece, July 12-20 2014), a solving contest was held with easy problems.
The Greek solving Champion Nikos Mendrinos has selected the problems.

Here you may see

The solvers gathered the following points (5 per correct solution)

1. Kampanis Nikos, 29 points
2. Sienczewski Zbigniew 26,5 p.
3. Diamantakos Giannis 18 p.
4. Diamantakos Sotiris 16 p.
5. Poulos Stylianos 15 p.
6. Stamatiou Rodolfos 11 p.
7. Stamatiou Christos

## Monday, July 21, 2014

### Composition Tourneys in Bern, 2014

Normally, you might see announcements for composition tourneys, as they are appearing in succession, in the page of World Congress for Chess Composition, Bern 2014, specifically in the page:

Composing

Meanwhile we may learn about some composition tourneys before they appear in the official page, so we will present them here:

5th Composition Tourney Bulgarian Wine 2014

In the blog of chess tourneys and awards you may find tourneys for which the administrators of the blog have received announcements.
Especially for August 2014 we see these.

## Monday, June 23, 2014

### 13th Greek Championship in Solving, 2014

The 13th Greek Championship in Solving Chess Problems this year went to Patras, Greece, first time away from Athens.
It was organized by The Patras Chess Group (SOP) and was hosted by the Chamber of Achaia in a very nice conference room, and there were 24 participants. Available time for solving : 3 hours.

 Surname Name nr. 1 nr. 2 nr. 3 nr. 4 nr.  5 nr. 6 nr. 7 nr. 8 nr. 9 nr.  10 nr.  11 nr. 12 total mins rank up to 18 w Mendrinos Nikos 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 1 0 35 180 1 Papastavropoulos Andreas 5 5 5 5 4 5 0 29 180 2 Konidaris Panagiotis 5 5 0 3 5 0 4 3 25 180 3 Spyropoulos Giorgos 5 5 5 0 0 5 0 0 20 180 4 Spiliadis Athanasios 5 5 4 1 2 0 17 180 5 Fougiaxis Harry 5 5 5 1 16 180 6 Triantos Konstantinos 5 5 5 0 0 0 15 167 7 v Betsos Titos 5 5 5 15 180 8, 9 Pountzas Chrysanthos 5 5 0 5 0 15 180 8, 9 Alexandrou Anastasios 5 5 4 0 14 180 10 Masouros Panagiotis 5 0 5 0 0 4 14 180 11 Malataras Gerasimos 5 5 3 0 0 13 180 12 v Athanasopoulos Kyriakos 5 5 0 10 170 13 v Vaggopoulos Anastasios 5 0 3 0 0 0 8 180 14 Stamatopoulos Apostolos 5 0 0 0 2 7 161 15 v Zaronikas Dimitris 5 0 0 2 0 7 168 16 v Manolas Emmanuel 0 0 4 0 0 3 7 180 17 Kalyva Kyriaki 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 171 18, 20 v v Mavromati Aggeliki 5 0 0 5 171 18, 20 v Kakoulidis Vasilis 5 5 171 18, 20 v Betsos Nicolas-Evaggelos 5 0 0 0 0 5 173 21 v Stefanatos Gerasimos 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 180 22 v Stamatopoulos Giorgos 0 0 0 180 23 v

Here you may see the problems, selected by the judge Ioannis Garoufalidis, who said the problems were easy because he decided to lower the level a bit so that more solvers can solve them, and their solutions.

With 5 points per problem, solving 12 problems you get 60 points maximum.

The problems ...

... and their solutions.