Articles in the January issue included John Rice's selections of two-movers and serieshelpmates from the recently published FIDE Album for 1998-2000, and a celebration of the centenary of Finnish composer Pentti Sola, by Marko Ylijoki. Awards included helpmates in 2 and directmate moremovers for 2005, and there were reviews of new collections of the work of Viktor Razumenko, Hermann Albrecht and Attila Benedek. Browsing in the library covered A chess silhouette, the 1942 collection of problems by the Rev. Gilbert Dobbs. In the Supplement John Rice presented a quartet of FIDE Album miniatures, and Michael McDowell contributed to Desert Island Delights with a selection of eight favourite books.

Marjan Kovačević

Mezija, 2000


Mate in 2

1.Sxf7? (>2.Qxd5)

1...Re5   2.Sxd6
1...Rxd3  2.Rf6
1...Rd4   2.Be6

1.Sg6!  (>2.Qxd5)

1...Re5   2.Sh4
1...Rxd3  2.Rh5
1...Rd4   2.Se7

The Fleck theme in secondary form, doubled. In each phase lifting the d5 rook off the board would allow three mates, which are separated by arrival effects.

Pentti Sola

Allas Krönika, 1926


Selfmate in 4

Set 1...h4 2.S8e7 h3 3.Sd8 c6, c5 4.dxc6 Sc7

1.Kd8 h4 2.Re8 h3 3.Be7 f6,f5 4.exf6 Sf7.

A mutate showing a neat echo. The black knights exchange guarding and checking functions.

Thomas Taverner

1st Prize, Yenowine News, 1888


Mate in 2

1.Rh4     ()

1...dxe6   2.Ke2
1...c5     2.Kf2
1...d6     2.Kg3
1...Sc4    2.Kg4
1...S else 2.c4
1...Bb4    2.Sxb4
1...Bc3    2.Sxc3
1...Bxd2   2.Qxd2
1...f5     2.Qe5

A 19th century classic. Four times the white king shuts off one of his officers following a selfblock.

March articles included Miodrag Mladenović’s judgment covering the 2006 selfmates and reflexmates, and a report on the Final of the 2007-08 Winton Capital British Chess Solving Championship, won by Piotr Murdzia of Poland ahead of Jonathan Mestel, who narrowly regained the British title from John Nunn. Guy Sobrecases presented a selection of problems by the Hungarian team of György Bakcsi and Lázsló Zoltán, and John Rice paid tribute to the late Greek GM Byron Zappas. Browsing in the library covered the classic collection 777 Chess Miniatures in Three. In the Supplement David Shire detailed his selection of Desert Island Delights, John Rice showed some examples of the work of Belgian Gustave Nietvelt, and Alexander George examined some studies where Black is “wrong-footed”.

Philip H. Williams

Christmas Greeting, 1904


Mate in 3

1.Kb2 a1Q+ 2.Rxa1 h1Q 3.Qxh1

Easily solved, but a setting to catch the eye!

Uri Avner

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 2006


Selfmate in 3

1.Rb4      (>2.Rh3+ Sd3  3.Rb3+ axb3)

1...S random 2.Sb5+ cxb5 3.Rb3+ axb3
1...Se2      2.Rc5+ bxc5 3.Rb3+ axb3
1...Sd3      2.Qf6+ Se5  3.Rb3+ axb3
1...c5       2.Qd3+ Sxd3 3.Rb3+ axb3

White must close the lines f1-a6 and h5-a5 before opening the a-file, and the black knight play shows tertiary correction.

Norman Macleod

7th HM., Die Schwalbe, 1976


Mate in 2

Mates are prepared for all black moves in the diagram. There are a number of tries:

1.Bb4?  a4!   (2.Kb4?)
1.Bc5?  b5+!  (2.Kc5?)
1.Sb5?  Sc6!  (2.Kb5?)
1.d3?   e3!   (2.Kd3?)
1.c3?   d3!   (2.Kc3?)
1.Rxd4? exf4! (2.Kxd4?)
1.Rcd7? Sd6+! (2.R8xd6?)
1.Rdd7? Se7!  (2.Rcxe7?)

The only move which maintains the set mates is 1.Sb1!

An original task, showing six self-obstructions of the white king and mutual interference between the rooks in the try play.

The May issue featured reports on various meetings, the Dutch Problem Society’s weekend at Nunspeet, the 2008 European Solving Championship held in Antalya, Turkey, and the BCPS weekend at Torquay. Articles included David Shire on “The two-mover: anticipation and the composer”, Michael Lipton's selection of problems by the late Danish composer Hugo Knuppert, and, in the Supplement, Michael McDowell on Rex Solus problems. Paul Valois reviewed the recent book Moving on, by the late Dutch problemist Frank Visbeen and Browsing in the Library covered the 1979 collection of problems by Serbian composer Miroslav Stošic. The winner of the Brian Harley award for two-movers from 2005-2006 was announced.

Hugo Knuppert

Skakbladet, 1941


Mate in 2

1.Rg6       (>2.Qg4)

1...Re random 2.Rf6
1...Re4       2.Qf6
1...S random  2.Be6
1...Sf4       2.e4
1...Sc7       2.Rxe5
1...Sf6,Re6   2.Rg5

Half-pin mates after random and correction defences, shown with remarkable economy.

Miroslav Stošic

Arbeijder Skak, 1970


Mate in 2

1.Ke7 (>2.Rc7)

1...b4  2.d4
1...d4  2.Bf4
1...Bf4 2.b4

Cyclic occupation of squares – not an easy idea to show.

Wolfgang Pauly

Deutsche Schachzeitung, June, 1906


Mate in 4

1.Kf7   ()

1...Kf5  2.h3  Kxf4 3.d3  Kf5 4.Rf3
1...Kxf4 2.f3  Kf5  3.Re6 Kf4 4.Rf6
1...Kh5  2.Rg3 Kh6  3.Rg5 Kh7 4.Rh5
               Kxh4 3.f3  Kh5 4.Rh3
1...Kxh4 2.h3  Kh5  3.Re6 or Re8

A rex solus classic!

The July issue featured part 1 of Geoff Foster's discussion of the Mäkihovi theme, and “Active queen sacrifices in 3-move miniatures” by Michael Lipton. John Rice marked the 40th anniversary of the invention of Circe chess with a selection of examples and reported on this year’s meeting at Andernach. Awards included the longer helpmates for 2004 and the Byron Zappas Memorial Tourney for two-movers. Browsing in the library covered the 1868 collection American Chess Nuts and there were reviews of Lubyansky Gambit (published 2004) and My Way, the personal collection of Christer Jonsson. The Supplement featured selections of Hungarian miniatures and problems by Portuguese composers.

Barry Barnes & Christopher Reeves

1st Prize, Die Schwalbe, 1964/II


Mate in 2

1...Kd4 2.Rb5,Rxb4,Rc6,Rxd6

1.Sf4? (>2.Qd5)
1...Kd4  2.Rb5;

1.Be4? (>2.Qd5)
1...Kd4  2.Rxb4;

1.b3?  (>2.Qc4)
1...Kd4  2.Rc6;

1.Bd3! (>2.Qc4)

1...Kd4  2.Rxd6
1...d5   2.Re6

The Mäkihovi theme involves mate separation by White. Here the four mates set after 1...Kd4 are separated by three tries and the solution and there is an excellent fifth opening of the battery after the selfblock 1...d5.

Sam Loyd

New York Albion, 14th June 1856


Mate in 5

1.Sc6 (>2.Qb7+ Ke8 3.Qe7) 1...Kxc6 2.Qc8+ Kd5 3.Qa8+ Kc4 4.Qa2+ Kd3 5.Qe2

1...d5 2.Qb7+ Kd6 3.Sd8 c4 4.Sf7+

Amusing! Loyd was 15 years old at the time of publication.

Gábor Cseh

diagrammes, 1996


Helpmate in 2, Circe: 5 solutions

1.Sfxe6 (Bf1) Rh5 2.Rxh5 (Rh1) Be2
1.Qxe6  (Bf1) Rh5 2.Sxh5 (Rh1) Bd3
1.Rcxe6 (Bf1) Rh3 2.Qxh3 (Rh1) Bc4
1.Rexe6 (Bf1) Re8 2.Sxe8 (Rh1) Bb5
1.Scxe6 (Bf1) Rc8 2.Rxc8 (Rh1) Ba6

In each solution the bishop, in discovering mate from the reborn rook, must play to a square which has been doubly unguarded. A beautifully simple idea. For the definition of Circe see the introductory article on Fairy Chess.

The September issue contained a full report on the 51st World Congress of Chess Composition, held at Jurmala, Latvia, in early September. Articles included Jeremy Morse’s latest update of task records, “King promotions in helpmate forms” by Chris Reeves, “Patrol and Ultrapatrol” by John Rice, and “Correcting Schiffmann at Torquay” by Paul Valois. Other items included a number of book reviews and the awards for the 2007 three-movers and more-movers. In the Supplement John Rice presented “More Circe pearls”, Bob Lincoln discussed “Stepping Stones” and Christopher Jones detailed the stages involved in composing a three-move helpmate.

A. Olsen

Chess Pie, 1927


Mate in 2

1...dxc6 2.Rxf5
1...d6   2.Qh8
1...d5   2.Qxd5
1...dxe6 2.Sf3

1.Qxe7  (zugzwang)

1...dxc6 2.Sxc6
1...d6   2.Qf6
1...d5   2.Sf3
1...dxe6 2.Qxe6

Changed mates after all four moves of the black pawn, including one transferred mate. A remarkable task, despite the flight-taking key.

Chris Reeves

Prize, Correction Ty., Torquay, 2008


Mate in 2

1.Sd5 (>2.Sxc7)

1...Rf5 2.Rf4
1...Bf5 2.Re4
1...c5  2.Rb4
1...a4  2.Rc5
1...Ka6 2.Rc6

At the BCPS weekend in Torquay Paul Valois showed an unsound problem from 1928 by the great Israel Schiffmann, and invited corrections. The main variations combine anticipatory unpin with Grimshaw and shut-off mates.

Ferenc Fleck

1st Prize, Magyar Sakkélet, 1965


Mate in 5

1.Sf2 (>2.Sxg4) Bd2 2.Ra3 (>3.Sxg4) Sc3 3.Ba6 (>4.Sxg4) S7b5 4.Qh7 any 5.Sxg4

An amusing problem where White repeatedly guards d3 to threaten Sxg4 mate, his fourth move setting up a zugzwang.

The November issue featured the informal awards for two-movers from 2007 and more-movers from 2006, and a review of the awardwinners in the 8th WCCT. Articles included part 2 of Geoff Foster's exposition of the Mäkihovi theme, David Shire on the work of Hugo Knuppert, and Stephen Emmerson's explanation of a new fairy condition called Variables. A number of new books were reviewed, and Browsing in the Library covered G. F. Anderson's personal collection from 1924. In the Supplement John Rice presented selections from the recent collection of Russian more-movers, and paid tribute to the late Austrian composer Helmut Zajic, while David Shire examined ‘Defensive motivation”.

Touw Hian Bwee

3rd Prize, Problem, 1974


Mate in 2

1.Qb4       (>2.Qxd4)

1...Sd random 2.Sxf4
1...Sc6       2.Qxd6
1...Sf5       2.Qe4
1...Sdxe6     2.Qc3
1...Sf random 2.Sxd4
1...Sd5       2.Sc4
1...Sg6       2.Sd3
1...Sfxe6     2.gxh4

From a new collection of the work of Indonesian GM composer Touw Hian Bwee, showing correction play by both black knights.

G. F. Anderson

HM., Westminster Gazette, 1917 (version)


Mate in 4

1.Kd4 c5+ 2.Ke3 g4 3.Kf4 g3 4.Ke5

1...c6 2.Ke3 c5 3.Kd2 g4 4.Ke1

The king does a round trip or zig-zags to his home square, depending on how Black plays.

N. Nikolaev

Shakhmatny Listok, 1859


Mate in 5

1.Bb2 e5 2.Bc1 e4 3.d4+ e3 4.Ba3 e2/cxd4 5.Bc1/Bd6

Simple but neat. Taken from the recent collection of Russian more-movers.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.