The May 2002 Problemist featured a tribute to our past President Robin Matthews on his 75th birthday. Robin has long been renowned as one of the world’s leading composers of three-movers, and his work can be enjoyed in the Editions feenschach-Phénix publication Mostly Three=Movers.

R. C. O. Matthews

1st Prize, British Chess Magazine, 1952


Mate in 3

1.Bh6? (>2.Sd4) 1...f5! (2.Sg5??)
1.Bc1? (>2.Sd4) 1...c2! (2.Sd2??)

White therefore introduces a threat
that forces the e4 bishop to move
critically over f5 and c2:

1.Bh5 (>2.g5+ Sg4 3.Bxg4)

(if 1...f5 2.gxf5+)
1...Bg6 2.Bh6   (>3.Sd4)
              f5  3.Qd3
              c2  3.Sd2
              Ke4 3.Qe2
1...Bb1 2.Bc1 (>3.Sd4)
              f5  3.Sg5
              c2  3.Qd3
              Ke4 3.Qe2

Barry Barnes presented the award in his experimental tourney for helpmates in 1. First prize went to the Finnish composer Unto Heinonen , for an interesting matrix which features a unusual cycle of black interferences.

Unto Heinonen

1st Prize, The Problemist H#1 Ty., 2001


Helpmate in 1: 4 solutions


1.Re4 Rb6
1.Bb7 Qf8
1.Rg7 Qe1
1.Bd4 Qc4

A full report on the 2002 Residential Weekend at Cheltenham included a number of awards from Quick Composing Tourneys. The helpmate tourney asked for problems featuring the capture of a promoted piece, and first place went to a quartet of Dutch visitors.

Peter Bakker, Dirk Borst, Ruud Beugelsdijk & Piet le Grand

1st Prize, Cheltenham Quick Composing Ty., 2002


Helpmate in 2: (b) remove wSc7

(a) 1.d1S Sd5 2.Se3 Sxe3
    (1.d1R? 2.??)
(b) 1.d1R g8B 2.Rd5 Bxd5
    (1.d1S? 2.??)

The July magazine was dominated by the text of the Colin Vaughan Memorial Lecture, delivered by Barry Barnes at Cheltenham and incorporating many of Colin’s own reminiscences of his years of involvement in the chess problem world. A stalwart of the Society over many decades, serving as President from 1981-83 and as editor of The Problemist from 1972-85, Colin is fondly remembered by those who knew him. Interference unpinning of White was one of his favourite themes, as the following problem exemplifies.

Colin Vaughan

1st Prize, British Chess Magazine, 1948


Mate in 2

1.Sd7       (>2.d6)

1...Sc random 2.Sdxc5
1...Scd6      2.Sexc5
1...Sf random 2.Sf6;
1...Sfd6      2.Sxg5

Correction interferences releasing the e6 knight.

The judgments in the Great Britain v USA composing match were published in full. GB narrowly won the fairy section by 69-67, and a decisive 78-43 result in the directmate section made the final result GB 147 USA 110. The stipulation for the directmate section was “Two or three-movers combining at least one cross-check with any of the modern themes based on threat transference, separation or reversal effects”. John Rice’s first placed problem can be found in the Review of the Year. 4th place went to the following problem.

Michael Lipton & Barry P Barnes

4th Place, GB v USA Composing Match, 2001


Mate in 2


1...Bxc5  2.Qxc4
1...Bxe5  2.Qxe4

1.Bxd5  (>2.Qxc4,Qxe4)

1...Bxc5+ 2.Sc6
1...Bxe5+ 2.Be6

The Brian Harley Award for the best three-move problem by a composer from the Commonwealth published in a British source during 1997-99 was awarded to an eminent Indian composer.

M Parthasarathy

3rd Prize, The Problemist, 1999


Mate in 3

1.Rxd6 (>2.Rxd5+ Scxd5     3.Se6
                 Sexd5     3.Sf5)

1...Rh5  2.Qb4           (>3.Qc5)
                 Sa6 or e6 3.Se6
1...Rh6  2.Qd2           (>3.Qxe3)
                 Se random 3.Sf5
1...Qf8  2.Bb4           (>3.Bc5)
                 Sa6,Se6   3.Se6
1...Qg8  2.Bd2           (>3.Bxe3)
                 Se any    3.Sf5

“A complex choice of quiet continuations, depending on which white piece is attacked and which mate prevented. The sweeping black moves and counter-intuitive white moves are attractive.” (from the judges’ report).

The September issue featured a report by John Rice on the 45th World Congress of Chess Composition, which was held at Portoroz, Slovenia. The British Solving Team finished 6th in the World Solving Championship, with Jonathan Mestel taking the individual bronze medal. John Rice was elected to the post of President of the Permanent Commission for Chess Composition.

A number of problems from Quick Composing Tourneys were diagrammed, including the following from a tourney for proof games with diagonal/orthogonal correspondence between two elements of the solution.

Reto Aschwanden

1st Prize, Champagne Ty. WCCC, 2002


Proof Game in 17.5 moves

1.d4 a5 2.d5 a4 3.d6 a3 4.dxc7 d5 5.g4 Be6 6.c8B Qd6 7.Bxb7 Sd7 8.Bc6 0-0-0 9.g5 Sc5 10.Bd7+ Kb7 11.g6 Ka6 12.gxf7 g6 13.fxg8R Bh6 14.Rg7 Rdg8 15.Rf7 Rg7 16.Rf8 Bf7 17.Rg8 e6 18.Bc8+. Two promoted pieces, bishop and rook, perform a rectangular circuit.

The R.C.O. Matthews 75th Birthday Tourney for three-movers was judged by Robin’s long-time composing partner Bob Burger. Don Smedley’s joint first prizewinner can be examined in the Review of the Year. Various awards from The Problemist informal tourneys were published. Here are a couple of prizewinners.

C. J. Feather

1st Prize, The Problemist, 2001


Helpmate in 3: 2 solutions

1.Bxf4+ Sd8 2.Rxd8+ exd8Q 3.Kc4 Qd3
1.Bxe6+ Rf8 2.Rxf8+ exf8Q 3.Kd4 Qc5

Annihilations of white force to give access to flights in preparation for mates by the promoted queens.

Irwin Stein & John M Rice

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 1999-2000


Selfmate in 2

1.c4   (>2.Bd5+  Bxf4)

1...Qxd2 2.Bxd3+ Qxf4
1...fxg5 2.Bf5+  gxf4
1...Sxg5 2.Bxg2+ Se4
1...e5   2.Qxf2+ Qxf2

A fine blend of variations from the white battery.

The November Problemist featured a selection of problems by the winners of the various sections in the 1st World Composing Championship for Individuals. The study section was won by David Gurgenidze of Georgia.

David Gurgenidze

2nd Prize, Karlin-55 JT, 2000


white to play and win

1.Kb1, threatening 2.Sc2 mate, and forcing 1...Kb4. There follows 2.Kxb2 h2 3.e6 h1Q 4.e7 Qh5 5.e8Q Qxe8 6.Sd5+ Ka5 (If 6…Kb5 7.Sc7+) 7.b4+ Ka4 8.a3 e3 9.Sc3 mate, an echo of the mate threatened at move 2.

Articles included a lengthy review by Chris Feather of helpmates in 2 where pinned black pieces capture the pinning piece, Michael Lipton on two-move miniatures featuring focal reciprocal correction, and a lecture report by John Rice on the Chess Player’s Chronicle tourney of 1852-54 entitled ‘Was this the first ever composing tourney?’

Michael Lipton

Sp. HM., diagrammes, 1997


Mate in 2

Michael Lipton’s problem opens with a pure waiting key 1.Ba8, giving the variations 1...R random on rank 2.Se5; 1...Rb4+ 2.Sxb4; 1...R random on file 2.Sb4; 1...Re5+ 2.Sxe5; 1...Re3 2.Qc2; 1...Re2 2.Qd4.

A problem from the set of 8 problems which won first prize for Walter Grimshaw in the Chess Player’s Chronicle tourney. A spectacular three-mover which continues to be used in solving tourneys to this day!

Walter Grimshaw

1st Prize set, Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1852-1854


Mate in 3

1.Rf1! with two threats 2.Sf3 and 2.f3+. The main line is 1...exf1Q 2.Sf3 Kxf3 3.Rd2. 1...f3 leads to the switchback 2.Rg1 with 3.Rg4 to follow.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.