Articles in the January issue included a report by Ian Watson on the 2nd European Chess Solving Championship, Michael Lipton on “Miniatures with the Banny theme”, and an examination by John Rice of the classic work on selfmates Les Mille et un Mats Inverses, which was published 100 years ago. Three informal awards were published; reflexmates for 2003-2004, two-movers for 2005 and fairies for 2004. Browsing in the library covered Sonatas in chess, the collection of three-movers by C. A. L. Bull, and this was complemented by an article in the Supplement presenting 24 of Bull’s lighter three-movers.

Yury Gordian & Valentin Rudenko

1st Prize, Birnov Memorial Ty., 1988


Mate in 4

1.Rd3  (>2.Re3+ Kxd4 3.Rd3+ Ke4 4.Qe1)

1...f4   2.Qe1+ Kxd5 3.Qa5+ Ke4 4.Sf6
1...Sxd6 2.Sf6+ Kxe5 3.Sh5+ Ke4 4.Re3

A problem taken from a new collection of the work of Ukrainian composer Yuri Gordian. The switchback manoeuvres force the black king to remove a piece so that a square beyond can be guarded. There is an AB-BC-CA cycle of white 2nd and 4th moves.

Stefan Schneider & Herbert Grasemann

3rd HM., Deutsche Schachblatter, 1979-1980


Mate in 6

1.Rb8 (>2.Qxg8+ Kxg8 3.Bg6+)

1...Rc3+ 2.Kb4 (>3.Qg7) Rb3+ 3.Ka5 Rg3 4.Rb7+ Kh8 5.Qxh6+ Bh7 6.Qxh7

2...Rc4+ 3.Ka5 Rc5+ 4.Rb5 Rc7 5.Qxh6+ Kxh6 6.Rh5

A six-mover which provided tough solving for the competitors in the ECSC.

C. A. L. Bull

Natal Mercury, 3rd November 1917


Mate in 3

1.Se8   (zugzwang)

1...Kxe6 2.Qe4+  Kd7 3.Sf6
                 Kf7 3.Sd6
1...Kf5  2.S6g7+ Ke5 3.Bf6
                 Kg6 3.Qh5
1...Bxe6 2.Bf6+  Kf5 3.Qb1
1...Bf7  2.Sf6   any 3.Qe4

A typical Bull lightweight, with a flight-giving key leading to four model mates, including an echo.

The March issue contained a report on the Final of the 2006-2007 Winton Capital British Chess Solving Championship, won by World Champion Piotr Murdzia, with runner-up John Nunn taking the British title. Articles included James Quah on the Roman Theme and Michael Lipton on “Multiple pins of the black queen in miniature three-movers”, while in the Supplement Ian Watson discussed “Superhuman Studies” and John Rice explained the Dombrovskis theme and presented a selection of the work of the late Italian composer Guido Cristoffanini. There were full obituaries of Aurel Karpati and Marcel Segers. The award for helpmates in 2½ and 3 moves (judge Rolf Wiehagen) was published. Browsing in the Library covered The Danish Wizard, the 1963 collection of the work of Knud Hannemann.

Fadil Abdurahmanovic

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 2005


Helpmate in 2½: 2 solutions

1...Ra6 2.Qxg6 Rxg6 3.Kc3 Rg3
1...Bg8 2.Qxb3 Bxb3 3.Ke4 Bc2

Attractive and harmonious solutions in which the existing batteries are destroyed and a new indirect battery created from the original rear pieces.

Knud Hannemann

3rd Prize, Nederlandsch-Indische Schaakbond, 1929


Mate in 3

1.Rb1 (>2.Rc1+ Kb3 3.Rc3,Rxd3)

1...Rc6 2.Sge4   (>3.Rb4)
1...Bc6 2.Be7    (>3.Rb4)
1...Sc6 2.Rd5    (>3.Rc5)
1...c6  2.Sf3    (>3.Sxe5)

A superb problem in which each defence at c6 interferes with two pieces and obstructs a third, and each continuation exploits all three errors.

Gady Costeff

The Problemist, March 2007


White to play and win

1.O-O-O+ g1Q 2.Rxg1+ Kxg1 3.Kb2 dxe4 4.f4! exf3 e.p. 5.exf3 Kf2 6.f4 Kf3 7.f5 Kf4 8.f6 Kf5 9.f7 Kg6 10.f8R wins

If 1...Kh2 2.Kb2 dxe4 3.Kxa2 Kh3 4.Kb3 Kxh4 5.Kc4 Kg4 6.Kd4 h4 7.Kxe4 h3 8.Rg1 Kh4 9.Kf3 h2 10.Kxg2 hxg1+ 11.Kxg1 wins

If 4.f3? e3 5.f4 Kf2 6.f5 Kxe2 7.f6 Kd2 8.f7 e2

A very light setting of the Valladao theme, combining the three “odd” moves of chess, castling, en passant and underpromotion.

The May issue contained a full report of the BCPS weekend at Torquay, plus two lectures from the meeting, John Rice presenting some problems by a quartet of distinguished composers who were born in 1927, while Michael Lipton asked “Is content in the eye of the beholder?”. In another lecture report Jörg Kuhlmann compared logical preparation over the board and in the problem. Browsing in the library discussed A century of two-movers, the first volume in the famous Overbrook series. In the Supplement John Rice continued his survey of fairy pieces by examining the use of Berolina pawns, and paid tribute to two recently deceased composers, Efim Rukhlis and Venelin Alaikov.

Michel Caillaud

2nd Prize, Chlubna MT, 2006


Helpmate in 2: 3 solutions

1.f1R Sa5 2.Ra1 d4
1.f1B Sc5 2.Bc4 d3
1.f1S Sd6 2.Se3 dxe3

A problem quoted by Christopher Jones in his Selected Helpmates column. After each promotion there is only one possible hideaway, and the white knight is forced to close different lines. The light construction is excellent.

Efim Rukhlis

1st Prize, Uzbekskogo KFC, 1955


Mate in 2

Set play:
1...g2   2.Sc2
1...Se6  2.Sf5

1.Qc7  (>2.Qf4)

1...Se2  2.Sc2
1...S4e6 2.Sf5
1...g2   2.Qc1
1...S8e6 2.Sg4

Rukhlis here demonstrates the combination of changed and transferred play which became associated with his name. In the Rukhlis theme at least two set defences gain new mates after the key, while the original mates follow new defences, and much of the interest lies in the mechanism which allows the theme to operate.

Gyorgy Páros

1st HM., British Chess Magazine, 1938


Mate in 2

1.c8Q  (>2.Ba6)

1...Rh4  2.Sg4
1...Rh2  2.Sg2
1...Bc4  2.Sc2
1...d2   2.Sc4
1...Bxc6 2.Bxc6

Quoted from A century of two-movers, and an example of a great composer knowing when to break the conventions. A. C. White commented: “The promotion to queen is both brutal and obvious. Yet there is a quaintness about the step, which combines with the almost incredible oddness of the defences and mates, and makes this an outstanding problem, if not one that is artistically very satisfactory.”

The July issue contained the latest update by Jeremy Morse of his Chess Problems: Tasks and Records, and the text of a lecture by David Shire on the two-movers of Marjan Kovacevic. Awards included Selfmates for 2005 and the Brian Harley Award for two-movers covering 2003-04. John Rice reported on the meetings at Andernach and Messigny, and reviewed Mike Prcic’s new collection of the work of Viktor Chepizhny. Browsing in the library covered an article by J. W. Allen on the development of the chess problem which was originally published in BCM in 1903-04. In the Supplement John Rice discussed two fairy pieces, the Princess and the Empress, while Steve Giddins presented his choice of 8 books on composition to take to a desert island.

Marjan Kovacevic

v. 1st Prize=, Pula Internet Ty., 1997


Mate in 2

1.Qc1?    (>2.Qf4)

1...Sac4    2.Sexd4
1...Sdc4    2.Sfxd4

1.Re1!    (>2.Re5)

1...Sac4    2.Sfxd4
1...Sdc4    2.Sexd4
1...Se4     2.exd4
1...Qa5,Qb5 2.Sfxd4

An astonishing reciprocal change with both thematic defences on the same square and both mates on the same square. The imaginative mechanism repays close study.

Charles Pelle

Chess, 1958


Mate in 2

1.Qf5     (>2.Sb5)

1...Re4     2.Qd5
1...d6      2.Qe5
1...d5      2.Qd3
1...Sd6,Sc7 2.Qe5
1...Qe4,Qc6 2.Sxe2
1...Be5     2.Qxe5,Qd3

The Pelle theme requires that key, defence and mate should all be moves of a pinned piece along the pin-line. Here the first two variations show the inventor of the theme doubling his idea.

Leonid Kubbel

150 Chess Studies, 1925


White to play and win

1.c6! bxc6 (If 1…Qa1 2.Bf6+) 2.Bc7+ Kd4 3.Ba5! (>4.Bc3+ Kc5/Kxc4 5.d4+/d3+) Qxf2 4.Bb6+ c5 5.Bxc5+ Kxc5 6.Se4+ wins.

Taken from the 1963 book The Tactics of End Games, by Jenö Bán, Steve Giddins’ choice as the best introduction to studies for the over-the-board player.

Articles in the September issue included a report by Ian Watson on the 2007 European Chess Solving Championship, David Shire asking “What does the composer want you to see?” and a selection of recent British tourney successes. Awards included helpmates in 2 for 2005, helpmates in 3 for 2003 and the C. M. Bent Memorial Tourney for studies. Browsing in the library covered Vybrané Šachové Skladby, the personal collection of Vladimir Pachman, while John Rice reviewed an important new book The art of composing selfmates, by the master of the genre, Petko Petkov. In the Supplement John Rice explained Nietvelt defences and presented a selection of problems by the late Swiss task expert Jacques Fulpius, while Geoff Foster discussed a favourite problem.

Milan Velimirovic

2nd Prize, Liga Problemista TT, 2000


Mate in 2

1...Ke3     2.Bxc5
1...Kxc4    2.Qxc5
1...Ke5     2.Qd5

1.Sxc5    (>2.Qe4)

1...Ke3     2.Sb7
1...Kxc4    2.Sd3
1...Ke5     2.Sd7
1...Bd5,Bf5 2.Sxb3
1...Sxc5    2.Sxf3

A notable task, showing changed pin mates after three flights.

Mikael Grönroos

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 2005


Helpmate in 2: 2 solutions

1.Qxa8 Rxg8+ 2.Qxg8 Bxh6
1.Qxc1 Bxh6+ 2.Qxh6 Rxg8

Spectacular sweeping manoeuvres eliminate the unwanted guards on the mating squares.

Vladimir Pachman

4th Prize, Ceskoslovensky Sach, 1950


White to play and win

1.Sc6? Bc7 2.Bc6??
1.Bc6? Sc7 2.Sc6??

1.Bf6+! Kg8 2.Sc6 Bc7 3.Se7+ K any 4.Bc6 wins.

If 1...Kh7 2.Bc6 Sc7 3.Be4+ Kg8 4.Sc6 wins.

White must win a piece, but direct attack fails because knight and bishop get in each other’s way. A preliminary check forces Black to weaken his position, allowing a tempo-gaining check in each line.

In the November magazine John Rice presented a full report on this year's World Congress of Chess Composition at Rhodes, where Great Britain dominated the WCSC, winning both team and individual titles. John also gave a selection of awardwinners from the composing tourneys while Paul Valois detailed Commission business and reviewed new books on sale at the congress. Fuller reviews were given to new collections of the work of Norwegian composers and the late American composer Edgar Holladay. Browsing in the library covered Soviet Chess Compositions 1945-47, compiled by György Páros. The two-move award for 2006 was published along with the Study of the Year for 2006. The Supplement included articles by John Rice examining some three-move miniatures by Russian GM Viktor Chepizhny and the work of the aforementioned György Páros, one of the great helpmate composers. Bob Lincoln selected eight favourite problem books by British authors, and Paul Valois presented an interesting letter from 1884, written by the famous pioneering composer Walter Grimshaw.

Januarta Simadhinata

1st HM., The Problemist, 2006


Mate in 2

The Nowotny try 1.Rd7? threatening 2.Sf7 and 2.Qxe6, fails to 1…c4!, while a pair of White Grimshaw tries fail to Grimshaw interferences – 1.Rc4? (>2.Sd3) 1..Bd7! and 1.Bc4? (>2.Sd3) 1...Rd7!. A further try 1.Be1? (>2.Bc3) is refuted by 1...Qc4! because of the unguard of d4. The key 1.Qh3! (>2.Qc3) avoids any errors and gives the variations 1...Rd7 2.Qxe6; 1...Bd7 2.Sf7; 1...Qc4 2.Sxc4; 1...Qd3+ 2.Sxd3 and 1...f3 2.Qh2. The judge praised the perfect construction.

O. Tabidze

1st Prize, Gruzia Ty., 1947


Mate in 3

1.Sf4   ()

1...Sd7  2.Se2 any 3.Sd4
1...Se6  2.Sd3 any 3.Se5
1...Sg6  2.Sh3 any 3.Sg5
1...Sh7  2.Sg2 any 3.Sh4
1...Rh8  2.gxh8Q
1...Rxg7 2.a7

Four matching anticipatory interferences.

Gyögy Páros

2nd Prize, Stella Polaris, 1970


Helpmate in 2: 2 solutions

1.Rc1 Se7+ (Sc3+?) 2.Rxc5 Kf3
1.Bf8 Sc3+ (Se7+?) 2.Bxc5 Kg4

The white king and knight must guard e4 and f5, but as a knight move gives check Black must remove the rook, and the knight must avoid closing the path to c5.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.