Issue Reviews 2003 The Problemist, July 2003


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The Problemist, July 2003
Written by Michael McDowell   

An obituary of the late Grandmaster of Composition Milan Vukcevich took prominent place in the July Problemist. In addition a collection of Milan's compositions, which was published just a few days before his death, was extensively reviewed by John Rice.

Milan Vukcevich

2nd Place, 6th WCCT, 1996-2001


Mate in 5

Over the years Milan Vukcevich was a high scorer for the USA in the World Chess Composition Tournaments. Here White's surprising aim is Qd8 mate, and a series of checks must be played in the right order to clear a path. For example 1.Bxe3+? dxe3 2.Se4+ fails because of 2…Rxe4. Similarly 1.Se4+? and 1.Re5+? fail because Black retains a double guard on a checking square. One of the pieces on a5, b4 or c3 must be decoyed before the checks can start.

1.Kh2! threatens 2.Qg1 mate, giving the variations
1...Rb1 2.Bxe3+ dxe3 3.Re5+ Sxe5 4.Se4+ dxe4 5.Qd8,
1...Rc1 2.Re5+ Sxe5 3.Se4+ dxe4 4.Bxe3+ dxe3 5.Qd8, and
1...Qa1 2.Se4+ dxe4 3.Bxe3+ dxe3 4.Re5+ Sxe5 5.Qd8.

A report on a lecture by David Shire was illustrated with a number of examples featuring echoes, defined by David as “related features which are similar but at the same time different”.

Ernest Pogosyants

3rd Prize, Lokker Memorial Ty., 1974


White to play and win

Pogosyants shows a number of stalemate traps.

1.Rg1 a1Q 2.Bg6+ Kf8 3.Rxa1 e1Q (4.Rxe1? stalemate)
4.Ra8+ Ke7 5.Re8+ Kf6 (6.Rxe1? stalemate)
6.Sf2! wins by threatening 7.Rxe1 and 7.Se4.

Other articles included a lecture given by Klaus Wenda at Pitlochry on the fairy condition Anticirce, and reports on the problem meetings at Andernach and Messigny. In the Supplement Denis Saunders revisited some of his old compositions and John Rice presented a selection of problems by the greatest composer of the Good Companions era, Arnoldo Ellerman.

Arnoldo Ellerman

1st Prize, Guidelli Memorial Tourney, 1925


Mate in 2

1.Rd7 (2.Qf4)

1...Qd4 2.Sd6;
1...Qe5 2.Sc5;
1...Qh8+ or 1…Qf2 Sd8;
1...Rd4 2.Re7;
1...Bf3 2.Qd3;
1...Bf2 2.Qxh1;
1...Qxb7+ Bxb7
Arguably Ellerman's greatest problem. Complex interference play shown with perfect construction. Note that 1.Rd8? fails because after 1...Qf2! the rook blocks the knight's potential mating square!

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