The 80th anniversary of the foundation of The Problemist was marked by a review of the first issue from January 1926. Michael McDowell presented a selection of the work of E. E. Westbury, and John Rice paid tribute to the late Croatian GM Hrvoje Bartolovic. Other articles introduced the fairy form Kölner Kontaktschach and the fairy piece the Equihopper. In the Supplement John Rice selected problems from a new collection of the work of Italian composer Antonio Bottacchi.

The informal awards for twomovers 2002 and moremovers 2003 were published.

Walter Wood

The Problemist, January, 1926


Mate in 5

1.Ba5 axb5 2.Ba6 b4 3.Bxd3 b3 4.Bxd2 Bxd2 5.Rxb1 An attractive single-liner by a neglected British composer whose work deserves to be better known.

Eric Westbury

3rd Prize, Brisbane Courier, 4th half-yearly Ty., 1917-1918


Mate in 2

1.Sd3    (2.Sc5)

1...Bd4   2.Qf5
1...Be4   2.Qe5
1...Bxd3  2.Rxf6
1...Rxf4+ 2.Sxf4
1...cxd6  2.Rxd6
1...Rxh1  2.Qc4

An excellent thematic key pins the queen, which is then unpinned by the bishops to deliver half-pin mates. Westbury had the ability to present complex themes with great artistry.

Antonio Bottacchi

1st HM., 8th American Chess Congress, Good Companions, July, 1921


Mate in 2

1.Rg4      (2.Rg8)

1...Qb2+    2.Sd2
1...Qh2+    2.Sf2
1...Qg3     2.Sxg3
1...Qg5,Qh5 2.S(x)g5
1...Qxf6    2.Sxf6
1...Qxd6    2.Sxd6
1...Qc5     2.Sxc5
1...Qc3     2.Sxc3
1...Qxe4+   2.Bxe4

A classic two-mover, featuring a complete tour by the unpinned knight.

The March Problemist featured a report on the Final of the 2005-2006 Winton Capital British Chess Solving Championship, the strongest Final in the history of the event, with three of the top four from the last World Championship participating. Jonathan Mestel retained the British title, while World Champion Piotr Murdzia from Poland won the event overall. Articles included “The Zabunov Theme” by Diyan Kostadinov, “Some problems by Gerry Anderson” by Jim Grevatt, “The Scope of the Miniature: Mate Transference and Friends” by Michael Lipton, and “Seven Millennium Problems”, in which Stephen Rothwell detailed seven unsolved tasks as a challenge to composers. Browsing in the library featured a 1932 collection of problems by Polish player-composer David Przepiórka. The awards for Studies 2004-2005 and Helpmates in 2½ and 3 for 2004 were published.

In the Supplement John Rice discussed the fairy pieces camels, giraffes and zebras, and introduced a new fairy form called Super-Andernach.

Robin Matthews

1st Place, International Team Match, 1967-1971


Mate in 3


1...Ra8 2.Re2+ Ke6  3.Bc5
               Kxd6 3.Qxc6
1...Rb8 2.Rd2+ Ke6  3.Sc5
               Kxd6 3.Qxc6

1.d7! (>2.d8Q+ Ke6  3.Qd7)

1...Ra8 2.Rd2+ Kd6  3.Sc5
               Ke6  3.Qxc6
1...Rb8 2.Re2+ Kd6  3.Bc5
               Ke6  2.Qxc6

In the Zabunov theme the firing piece of a battery becomes the rear piece of a new battery. Robin Matthews’ beautiful example shows a reciprocal change of continuations between set and post-key play. The mechanism is worthy of close study.

Rudolf Prytz

Chemnitzer Tageblatt, 1925


Selfmate in 2

1.Bd2 (>2.Qg2+  Bxg2)

1...Rb7 2.Qb1+  Rxb1
1...Rc6 2.Qc4+  Rxc4
1...Rd5 2.Qd3+  Rxd3
1...Sd5 2.Qxf4+ Sxf4
1...f3  2.Qe2+  fxe2

One of Stephen Rothwell's “Millennium Challenges”. A light and elegant setting in which five variations show the Dentist theme, where the black unpins are followed by checks which force the unpinning piece off the mating line. Amazingly, given the amount of material still available, no-one has succeeded in showing six such variations in a selfmate two-mover.

David Przepiórka

Szachista Polski, 1912 (version)


Mate in 6

A deep idea, which must be visualised in its entirety. White's plan is to lure the black bishop to d4, then follow up with c3 and cxd4, but first the bishop’s potential escape routes must be blocked!

1.Qf8 (>2.Qb4/Qxa3+) 1...Sc5 2.Qd6 (>3.Qf4+ e3 4.Q or Bxe3+) 2...Re5 3.Be3+ dxe3 4.Qd4 Bxd4 5.c3. If 2...Bc3 3.dxe4 (>4.Qf4+ etc.)

The May issue featured a full report on this year’s BCPS weekend, held at Derby. One of the highlights of the meeting was Chris Reeves’ Presidential Lecture, a survey of the two-movers of Colin Sydenham, the text of which was reproduced. Articles included Bob Burger on “The Algorithm as a composing tool”, John Rice on the fairy form Couscous Circe, and in the Supplement the Australian duo Geoff Foster and Bob Meadley on problems from the Brisbane Courier column, published between 1916 and 1928. Michael Lipton presented alternative versions of a classic triple-Grimshaw two-mover by Simkhovich. “Browsing in the Library” discussed White to play by A. C. White, and a sizeable new book Minimalkunst im Schach, by Hilmar Ebert, Hans Peter Reich and Jörg Kuhlmann (containing 1064 diagrams!) was reviewed. The Brian Harley award for two-movers 2001-2002 was published, won by Geoff Foster.

Colin Sydenham

Comm., The Problemist, 1982/I


Mate in 2

1.Rc6  (>2.Bxg6)
1...Bxb1 2.Qf7
1...Rxb2 2.Qh5>
1...e6   2.Qd7
1...e5   2.Qh1

Despite the strong key, a lightly-set and very aesthetic problem whose variations fall neatly into two pairs, with loss of control from the rear and interference in front of the queen.

William Meredith

Dubuque Chess Journal, December, 1886


Mate in 2

1.Qh5       zugzwang

1...gxh5    2.Sf5
1...Kxe3    2.Bc5
1...Se5     2.Bc5
1...dS else 2.Qh8
1...aS any  2.Sc2

Mates are set for all moves in the diagram. The sacrificial flight-giving key adds two more variations. A classic, which inspired A. C. White to make the collection White to play.

Abram Gurvich

1st Prize, Vechernyaya Moskva, 1930


White to play and win

1.S6c7 a1S+ (the only way to stop Bb6 mate) 2.Kb2 Sb3! 3.Kxb3 Bc5 (aiming for stalemate) 4.Bh2 Bg1 (if 4...Bd6 5.Sb6! wins) 5.Bf4! Be3 6.Sb6!! Bxb6 (if 6...Bxf4 7.Sc4 mate, or 6...Kxb6 7.Sd5+ and 8.Sxe3 wins, which explains the bishop’s choice of f4) 7.Bd2 mate.

A beautiful miniature, quoted by Studies editor Yochanan Afek as an example of the study theme for the 8th WCCT (see the PCCC website).

Articles in the July issue included an update by Jeremy Morse of his book Chess Problems Tasks and Records, a review by Michael McDowell of G. W. Chandler's famous column in the Hampshire Telegraph and Post, Geoff Foster and Bob Meadley on an unusual figure from Australian problem history, Henry Tate, and Klaus Wenda on “Defensive retractors with forward defence”. John Rice presented a selection of Christopher Jones' award-winning helpmates, reports on this year's meetings at Andernach and Messigny, and a brief introduction to a new fairy form called Take & make chess. Browsing in the library covered G. F. Anderson's collection of Kriegspiel problems, entitled Are there any? while Yochanan Afek reviewed the recently published “catch-up” volume XI of the endgame study magazine EG. In the Supplement Paul Valois examined reflexmates involving black prevention of white mates.

Gerhard Maleika

Probleemblad, 1980


Mate in 2

1.d4      (-)

1...Sc any 2.Ke7
1...Sg any 2.Kxf5
1...Bxg5+  2.Kxg5
1...h6     2.Kg6
1...Rxf7+  2.Kxf7
1...Rd8    2.cxd8Q
1...Re8    2.fxe8Q
1...Rg8    2.fxg8Q

An unusual task. Eight variations follow a key move which stalemates White!

G. H. Geothart

1st Prize, Hampshire Telegraph and Post, 1916-1919


Mate in 2

1...Rc4+ 2.Sc6
1...Rc3+ 2.Bxc3

1.Sc5  (>2.Se6)

1...Rc4  2.Sxd3
1...Rc3  2.Be3
1...Kxc5 2.Qxa7
1...Bxc5 2.Qg4

An unexpected sacrificial key converts two prominent set checks into pins, with changed mates.

Ilham Aliev

2nd Prize, Suomen Tehtäväniekat, 2001-2002


White to play and win

1.O-O+ Kg8 2.Rf8+ Kxf8 3.gxh7 Rb1+ 4.Kg2 Rb2+ 5.Kg3 Rb3+ 6.Kg4 Rb4+ (Not 6.Kh4? g5+ 7.Kxg5 Kg7) 7.Kg5 Rh4! 8.Kxh4 g5+ 9.Kxg5 Kg7 10.h8Q+ Kxh8 11.Kh6 Kg8 12.Kg6 Kf8 13.Kh7 wins.

A pleasant study showing an original blend of known ideas.

The September issue was dominated by a report by Allan Bell on the 49th WCCC, held at Wageningen , Netherlands. From the British viewpoint the highlight of the meeting was the successful defence of the WCSC team title by solvers John Nunn, Jonathan Mestel and Colin McNab. Outgoing PCCC President John Rice reported on Commission business and Paul Valois reviewed new books on sale at the meeting. A number of prizewinners from composing tourneys at Wageningen were detailed, along with BCPS informal awards for Moremovers 2004 and Selfmates in 2 and 3 for 2003-2004. Browsing in the library featured A Sketchbook of American Chess Problematists, one of the famous Overbrook series, published in 1942. In the Supplement John Rice presented some minimals with fairy units.

Avenir Popandopulo

Schach, 1983


Mate in 6

1.Ra8 (>2.Rd8+) Bd5 2.Ra5 b5 (2...Rd8 3.Sxc2+) 3.Rxb5 Sxb5 4.Sxc2+ Kc4 5.Bc5

A straightforward more-mover, which made for pleasant solving in the Open event at Wageningen.

René J. Millour

1st Prize, The Problemist, 2004


Mate in 20

1.Ke6 Bg2 2.Kf7 Bh3 3.Kg8 Bg2 4.Kh8 Bh3 5.Kh7 Bg2 6.Kg6 Bh3 7.Kf5 Bg2 8.Ke4 g6 9.Kd5 Bh3 10-16.Kf5 Bg2 17.Ke4 Bh3 18.Kxf3 Bg2+, Bg4+ 19.RxB B~ 20.Sxc3

Developed from a famous Sam Loyd problem nicknamed “The Comet”. The King must visit h8 in order to lose a move without allowing a check from the b4 bishop. The manoeuvre is repeated after 8...g6.

Alexander Kish

1st Prize, Correspondence Chess League of America Bulletin, 1936


Mate in 2

1.Qc7  (>2.Qc4)

1...Se4+ 2.Sf4
1...Sg4+ 2.Sf6
1...Sd1+ 2.Rf2
1...Ke4  2.Rc4
1...bxc2 2.Qxc2

A classic cross-checker with interferences and selfblock, lightly set.

In the November issue John Rice presented some problems by C. M. Fox, who composed over 900 problems despite beginning at the late age of 55. Lecture reports included John Ling on the analysis of black correction and (in the Supplement) Colin Russ’ selection of “Some problems for pleasure”. Bulgarian composer Diyan Kostadinov continued his exposition of the Zabunov theme, and Michael Lipton presented variations on a problem by Adabashev. Awards included Selfmates >3 for 2004, Two-movers 2004, Three-movers 2004 and Hans Gruber’s judgment of a theme tourney for helpmates featuring a static white queen. Browsing in the library went back to 1890 to cover B. G. Laws’ treatise on the two-move chess problem. In the Supplement John Rice presented some two-move mutates and David Shire examined a Sushkov/Nowotny matrix.

Sally and Tony Lewis

1st Prize, The Problemist, 2004


Mate in 2

1...Se7 2.Rd5
1...Qc5 2.Re6

1.Qe4? (>2.Rd5) 1...Bxe5 2.Qxe5, but 1...Qxa5!
1.Qe3? (>2.Rd5) 1...Qxa5 2.Qc5,  but 1...Sf7!
1.Qh5? (>Re6)   1...Sf7  2.Qg6,  but 1...Rd5!

1.Bc1! (>2.Qf6)

1...Kxe5 2.Qf4
1...Bxe5 2.Bxa3
1...Rd5  2.Qxd5
1...Bc4  2.Sxc4

Described by the judge, Marjan Kovacevic, as “a natural fusion of Beauty and Logic”. Like the Millour more-mover from the September issue a successful adaptation of an old Sam Loyd problem, namely the famous “American Indian” published in the New York Sunday Herald in 1889. The tries, all of which are refuted by interference strategy, caused havoc when this problem was used in the British Solving Final of 2004.

Les Blackstock

1st Prize, Static White Queen TT, 2005-2006


Helpmate in 5: 2 solutions

1.Qf3 gxf3
2.Se4 fxe4
3.Sd5 exd5
4.Bc6 dxc6
5.Ba7 c7

1.Sf5 g4+
2.Ka7 gxf5
3.Qe6 fxe6
4.Bd7 exd7
5.Sc8 dxc8S

It was a requirement of the tourney that the presence of the static white queen had to be essential. Here, using a bishop would create an illegal position. Given the strength of a queen combined with the helpmate condition it was an achievement to use so little cookstopping force. With this problem the composer, who is well known to the playing fraternity, joined the select band who have won a first prize with their first composition.

E. Delpy

Deutsches Wochenschach, 1908


Mate in 5

1.h4 e2 2.Bc2 dxc2 3.Rb3 any 4.Rh3 any 5.Rh1 (1...Ke2 2.Bxd1+ Ke1 3.Bf3+)

One of Colin Russ’ “problems for pleasure” and an entertaining solving challenge. Colin was unable to find any other problems by Delpy and would welcome more information on him.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.