Sunday, September 25, 2016

Solving Contest "Zappas" Cup

1st  Cup "Zappas"
on Solving Chess Problems
On Sunday, September 25, 2016 (time 11.00-13.30) the 1st Cup "Zappas" on Solving Chess Problems will be held, which is dedicated to the greatest Greek composer of chess problems Vyron Zappas (one of the few Grand-Masters in composition). After the succesful Greek Cup events, which are held in the start of each year, aim of the Cup "Zappas" is to give one more opportunity to Greek solvers to test their strength and also to gain its place in the Greek calendar of Artistic Chess.
Just like the Greek Cup, the Cup "Zappas" is a contest which:
a) is addressed to experienced and/or new solvers
b) it will be held at the same time in many Greek cities, with common themes and grading, in order to give the opportunity to more chess players to be aquainted with the world of Artistic Chess.

In the contest, 12 problems will be given, from all the "official" categories (ie. two of each category: orthodox two-movers, orthodox three-movers, orthodox more-movers, helpmates, selfmates and studies) and the contestants will try to solve as many as they can in the time of 2,5 hours. Half of the problems (one of each category) have been chosen in such way as to be solvable even from inexperienced -in this area- chessplayers, while the other half is in international competitions's level. Of course very useful, upto necessary, would be for the amateur solvers to be previously informed about the kind of problems that they will handle, the way of writing the answers, the conditions etc.
For this purpose there is material in the page

Specifically for Greeks: a) Description of all the official categories and the way of writing down the solutions,
b) Special report for Helpmates and Selfmates,
c) internet sources to find problems,
d) The eloquent report of mr Panagiotis Konidaris "The Conspiracy of the Solvers" [],
e) More refined and scientific presentation of Artistic Chess, for everyone interested to for those keen to deepen the topic.

Brief description
The problems are distributed printed on diagrams. Each solver places the position on a chessboard which is available for him (he may use his own chessboards) and he tries to find the solutions moving, if he likes, the pieces. He writes down the answers in a special sheet.

Grades, awards, Elo
The answers of all the solvers in the country will be gathered and will be graded by the "central" organiser so, as to be created a unified ranking table. The results will "count" for the International Elo (for Chess Solving, of course). The first in the ranking as well as the first young solver [Attention! For defining "young" we will follow the rule of WFCC, which includes anyone who has not closed, up to the end of 2016, his 23th year] will be awarded with cups, while the next two will receive medals. The first woman will also receive a medal. The local organisers may optionally rank (unofficially) their local solvers and give awards to them.

Start time
The Start time (11:00 p.m.) will be followed very strictly for obvious reasons (need for simultaneous opening in all cities). We recommend to those who have no experience of such competitions, to come much earlier ; (30-40 minutes) to solve comfortably any questions.

Cities where contests will be held :

Patras: Pampeloponisiako Stadio, Patron-Clauss 91-93, Contact: Anastasios Alexandrou, tel. 6975-926236 and 2610-438224, email:

Aegaleo (Athens): Iera Odos and Soutsou 1, square Iroon Politechniou (older name: Davaki), tel. 210 5910421. Contact: Dimitris Skyrianoglou, tel. 6973-039006, email:

Thessaloniki: Chess Deparment ARIS, Alexandrou Papanastasiou 154 and Mattheou, Stadium "Kleanthis Mikelidis". Contacts: a) Vagelis Vidalis, tel. 6972-906316, email: and b) Theodoros Akritidis, tel. 6936-513971

Chania: Omilos Antisferisis in Chania, Andrea Papandreou (older name: Dimikratias) (inside the National Stadium). Contact: Nikos Sgouros, tel. 6978-777543, email:

Preveza: Contact: Andreas Athanasiadis, tel. 6973-240377, email:

Ermoupoli Syros: Afroditis 2 (offices of Chess Club of Syros). Contact: Mihail Keramiotis, tel: 6937-313878, email:

Ptolema'ida: Komninon 6 and Trapezountos 38. Contact: Kostas Alexiou, tel: 6977-757507 and 24630-21070 (17:00-21:00 Mon-Fri), email:

Samos: a) in Vathi Samos (Maniakio). Contact: Dimitris Dhaglis, tel: 6946-951431, and
b) in Karlovasi Samos (Building Algorithmos, Scholi Thetikon Epistimon of Aegean University). Contact: Nikos Rokopanos, tel. 6934-685843, email:

Drama: Office of Chess Club Dramas (25th Martiou 2a). Contact: Christos Dhermitzoglou, tel: 6945-499800, email:

Agios Kirikos, Ikaria: Contact: Savvas Kyriakou, tel: 6932-478386, email:,

Responsible for the organization is mr Dimitris Skyrianoglou (tel. 6973-039006, email:
The selection of the problems and the grading will be done by the multi-Champion of Greece in Solving mr Kostas Prentos.
For every matter not described in this announcement, there is a committee which can decide, with members messrs Nikos Mendrinos, Harry Foygiaxis and Dimitris Skyrianoglou.

Athens, September 12, 2016

Zappas Cup, the problems

The first "Byron Zappas Cup" Solving Contest took place today, 25-ix-2016, in many cities of Greece simultaneously.

The selection of the 12 problems was made by the multi-champion of Greece mr Kostas Prentos.
Warm congratulations to all organisers and solvers!

The problems :

Their solutions :

Photos from Athens (by Dimitris Skyrianoglou) and Syros island (by Michalis Keramiotis) :

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Solving contests in Greece, in the near future

Dear friends
I would like to inform you about Solving Contests that have been programmed in Greece:
a) Cup "Vyron Zappas" on Sunday morning, September 25, 2016. It will be held in many cities at the same time, in the style of the Greek Cup which we have every January. The announcement in next post.
b) Greek Championship on Sunday morning, October 30, 2016. It will be held, at the same time, in Athens and Patras.
c) 4th Greek Cup on Sunday morning, January 8, 2017, in many cities at the same time. Just like the three past years...
d) ISC (International Solving Contest) on Sunday, January 29, 2017 (circa 11.00 - 15.30) in Athens, Patras (and -maybe- in other cities).

Happy solving!
Nikos Mendrinos

Monday, September 05, 2016

Composer Cooperations (6)

It is very probable that there exist more compositions with recent cooperations, and if any Greek composers want to inform me, I will update this post. I select two of the cooperating teams for today.

Fadil Abdurahmanovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Ioannis Kalkabouras (GRE) 17.11.2015, no.269
8/8/2b5/8/8/2Ppk2p/pp5P/3sK2R (4 + 7)
h#4, 2 solutions

1.Sf2 0-0 (Rf1??) 2.Kd2 Kxf2 3.Kc2 Ke1 4.Kb1 Kd2#

1.Kf3 Rf1+ (0-0??) 2.Kg2 Rf3 3.Kxh2 Kf1 4.Kh1 Rxh3#

In one variation the castling is a good move, in the other it is not effective. The "wrong" moves are noted with double question mark.

Emmanuel Manolas (GRE) and Ioannis Kalkavouras (GRE)
3rd Hon. Mention, Moskovski Concurs 2016 
8/3p4/k2r2PK/1r6/3ss3/p4bb1/2S1p3/6q1 (3 + 11)
h=10, Helpstalemate
Fairy condition : Circe

1.Ka7 Sxa3 2.Ka8 Sxb5 3.Kb8 Sxd4 4.Kc8 Sxf3 5.Kd8 Sxg1 6.Ke7 Sxe2 7.Kf8 Sxg3 8.Kg8 Sxe4 9.Kh8 Sxd6 10.Kg8 g7=

It is a help-stalemate. Initially the Black helps a lot for his pieces to be captured, and at the end the White helps a lot tryin to avoid winning! 

The comment of the judge : "Circe, with nine pieces captured without rebirth! The essence of the problem : marching towards a stalemate trap, the bK passes from the rebirth squares of the black pieces, allowing the wS to capture all these pieces which would inhibit the stalemate, without any of them being reborn".