The January issue contained two lengthy helpmate awards, two-movers for 2007, judged by Mario Parrinello, and moremovers for 2006, judged by James Quah. John Rice discussed “Some Russian half-batteries”, and Browsing in the Library covered the 1931 Christmas volume, A.C. White's Problems by my friends. In the Supplement David Shire presented “The case for the defence” and John Rice showed some prizewinning two-movers from the Good Companions era.

Viktor Chepizhny

1st Place, Moscow Championship, 1999


Mate in 2

1.Se4?  (>2.Qxd6)

1...Sb~   2.Qxc6
1...Kxd4  2.Sxc6

1.Sxg4? (>2.Qxd6)

1...Sb~   2.Bf3
1...Kxd4  2.Sf3

1.Sef7! (>2.Qxd6)
1...Sb~   2.Qxe6
1...Kxd4  2.Sxe6

A beautiful Zagoruiko, with mates by different pieces on the same square in each phase.

K. A. K. Larsen

Skakbladet, 1930


Selfmate in 2

1.Bg7     zugzwang

1...S,Bc2 2.Bxb3+ Ba7
1...Bd3   2.Bb5+  Ba7
1...Be4   2.Bc6+  Ba7
1...Bf5   2.Qf8+  Bc5
1...Bg6   2.Bf8+  Bc5

The black bishop is used as a shield five times.

Hans Peter Rehm & Fadil Abdurahmanovic

3rd Prize, The Problemist, 2006


Helpmate in 6

1.Ra4 Kd3 2.Rfb4 c4 3.Kh5 Kd4 4.Rxc4+ Ke5 5.Rh4 Kf6 6.Rag4 Bg6

The rooks move left to allow the white king to pass then right to block squares. Visually spectacular and shown with great economy.

The March issue featured a report on the final of the 2008-09 British Chess Solving Championship, won by John Nunn ahead of World Champion Piotr Murdzia. The awards for three-movers 2005 and studies 2006-07 were published, and articles included Michael Lipton on half-pin miniatures and Michael McDowell discussing “The Broodings of C. J. Feather”. Steve Giddins reported on publicising problems amongst the players at the Hastings Congress, and Chris Reeves contributed a postscript to a previous article correcting a two-mover by Schiffmann. Browsing in the Library covered the 1961 collection Andradiana. In the Supplement Charles Frankiss presented some longer selfmates by Cyril Swindley, Bob Lincoln examined black promotions in the two-move miniature and John Rice showed some problems from the Christmas book Knights and Bishops.

Vladislav Tarasiuk

Ukraine Album, 2005


White to play and win

1.e7 Sh6+ 2.Kg6 Sg8 3.Be6+ Kd6 4.e8Q Bh5+ 5.Kxh5 Sf6+ 6.Kg6 Sxe8 7.Kf7 Sc7 8.Se4#.

A study which took some notable scalps in the British Solving Final.

Barry Andrade

The Observer, 5th August 1923


Mate in 3

1.Rb3 (>2.Qf5 & 3.Qf1)

1...d4  2.Se6     (>3.Sg5)
1...e4  2.Sxh5    (>3.Sf4)

The well-hidden key is necessary to forestall the defence 1...d4 2.Se6 Qg8!

C. J. Feather

Broodings 25, July 2005


Helpmate in 4½

1...Bh3 2.Kh5 Bg2 3.Kg4 Bf3+ 4.Kh3 Bg4+ 5.fxg4 Sg5

A visually pleasing sequence. The bishop makes a round trip only to be captured where he started.

The May issue featured a report by Steve Giddins on the BCPS residential weekend at Harrogate and another by Paul Valois and John Rice on the Dutch equivalent at Nunspeet. Barry Barnes contributed a remembrance of the late Ukrainian composer Viktor Melnichenko, while Michael Lipton examined two-move miniatures featuring duels between the black queen and white knight batteries. Browsing in the library covered A.C. White's book Memories of my chessboard, and Frank Richter's selfmate and reflexmate award for 2007 was published. The Supplement featured a reprint of an article by H. D'O. Bernard from 1938 reconstructing a famous Good Companions mutate, and the second part of Bob Lincoln's article on black promotion in the miniature.

Viktor Melnichenko

1st Prize, Comins Mansfield MT, 1987


Mate in 2

1.Bxf5?   (>2.c5)

1...Sxb6    2.Sf6
1...Rxb6    2.Se6
1...Sc2,Sd3 2.Rd3
1...Sd6     2.b7

1.Se3!    (>2.c5)

1...Sxb6    2.Be6
1...Rxb6    2.Bxc8
1...Sc2,Sd3 2.Sc2
1...Bg8     2.Sxf5
1...Sd6     2.b7

Changed mates after two Schiffmann defences, plus a third change after moves of the e1 knight, composed with great elegance.

Alain White

Illustrated American, 20th March 1897


Mate in 4

1.Bg2 c5 2.Ba8 c4 3.Sb7 Ke4 4.Sc5

If 2...cxb4 3.Bc6 bxc3 4.Bxb5.

An excellent letter problem concealing the Indian theme.

Cedric Lytton

2nd Prize, feenschach, 1973


Serieshelpstalemate in 5: Checkless Chess

The try 1.Rd2 2.c1B 3.Bb2 4.Ba1 5.Rb2 Kf6? fails to 6.Rg2 mate, hence 1.cxd1B 2.Bxh5 3.Bg6 4.Rh8 5.Bh7 Kh6, which really is stalemate!

A neat problem by fairy chess expert Cedric Lytton, the new BCPS President.

In the July issue Michael McDowell presented a selection of problems by P. F. Blake, James Quah examined the use of fairy pieces to show triple Grimshaws in two movers, Ruud Beugelsdijk investigated shifts of moves motivated by twinning involving a change of condition, and Bob Meadley and Geoff Foster contributed a biographical article about the Latvian born Australian composer Laimons Mangalis. Ian Watson reported on the European Solving Championship and Browsing in the Library covered the 1919 treatise on mutates, All Change Here! The Supplement featured articles by David Shire on two-movers featuring critical play, and John Rice on the work of helpmate expert Fadil Abdurahmanovic.

L. Rothstein

Source?, 1914


Mate in 2

1.Qh6    ()

1...e6    2.Qf4 (Set 2.Qf3)
1...e5    2.Sd6 (Set 2.Sh6)
1...h3    2.Sg3 (Set 2.g4)
1...Ke4   2.Qxh7
1...B any 2.Qg6

A beautifully constructed mutate showing three changes and an added model mate.

Rudolf Willmers

Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1859


Mate in 4

1.Ra7 any 2.Sa5 (+) any 3.Rb7 (+) any 4.b4

An old-time favourite showing echoed mates.

G. C. Alvey

Chess Amateur, 1927


Mate in 2: Nightriders h1, a2

Nightriders play one or more knight moves along a straight line as a single move, i.e. Nh1 can move to f2, d3, b4, or capture on g3, while Na2 can move to c1, b4, c6, d8, c3, or capture on e4.

1.Nc6  (>2.Ra2)

1...Rf2  2.Rf6
1...Bf2  2.Rd4
1...Nf2  2.Rd3
1...Nb4  2.Ne5

Three black pieces control the white battery. Each piece in moving to f2 shuts off the other two, and in turn is shut off by the rook.

The September issue featured various awards; twomovers and helpmate more-movers for 2008, and the Norman Macleod award for 2006-07. Articles included Barry Barnes’ tale from the BCPS weekend, “Sherlock Holmes in Harrogate”, and Jeremy Morse's twelfth update of his book Chess problems: tasks and records. Browsing in the library covered The Golden Argosy, the 1929 collection of problems by W. A. Shinkman. In the Supplement John Rice presented some joint problems involving the late Viktor Melnichenko, David Shire investigated double check themes in two-movers, and Michael McDowell compared different settings of a famous Bohemian problem.

Hans Peter Rehm

The Problemist, July 2006


Mate in 7

1.Sd7 (>2.Sf6) Kxd5 2.Sb6+ Ke4 3.d5+ (3.Sd5? Kxd5!) bxc4 4.Sd7 Kxd5 (4...Bc3 5.Sc5+ and 6.Bf3) 5.Sb6+ (5.Bf3+ Kxd6!; 5.Sf6+ Kc6!) Ke4 (5...Kc6 6.Bf3+) 6.Sd5 Kxd5 7.Bf3 (6...exd5 7.Re8 or 6…Bc3 7.Sxc3)

The winner of the Norman Macleod Award for 2006-07. John Rice commented: “An extraordinary construction, with consecutive sacrifices designed to clear the d-file so that lines of guard are opened up, with a block of c4 thrown in as well. Norman enjoyed this sort of problem and would have been delighted had he composed it himself.”

William Shinkman

v. Blumenthal: Schachminiaturen, 1903


Mate in 5

1.Bb6 Kd6 2.Rxe4 Kd5 3.Sf6+ Kd6 4.Ba6 Kc6 5.Re6

If 1...e3 2.Sxe3+ Kd6 3.Sf5+ Kd5 4.Ba5 Kc5 5.Re5

A perfect chameleon echo.

Julius Buchwald

v. 1st Prize, Miskolcsi Magasapitok, 1951


Mate in 2

1.exf7 (>2.Qe6)

1...cxd5 2.Bd6
1...Rxd5 2.Re8
1...Sxd5 2.Sd7
1...f5   2.Qc3
1...Sf5  2.Sg4
1...Bf5  2.Qg3
(1...Be4 2.Rxe4)

A dummy piece blocking d5 or f5 would in each case allow a choice of three mates, separated in the play by triple avoidance. A remarkable doubling of the Stocchi theme.

The November issue featured a full report by Paul Valois on the activities at the 52nd World Congress of Chess Composition, held in Rio de Janeiro in October. Judgments included the Brian Harley Award for 2003-05, won jointly by Peter Olszewski and John Rice, threemovers for 2006 and fairies for 2002. Browsing in the library covered S. S. Blackburne’s Terms and Themes of Chess Problems, published in 1907. In the Supplement Bob Lincoln discussed “White pawn promotion in the miniature”, while David Shire examined echoed play in the two-mover.

Milan Vukcevich

4th HM., Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 1997


Mate in 2

1.Bc4? (>2.e3)

1...Sc2  2.Qd5
1...bxc4 2.Se6
1...e3   2.Rf4

1.Rc5! (>2.Be3)
1...Sc2  2.Rhd5
1...bxc5 2.Sf5
1...e3   2.Qf4

To quote David Shire: “The geometrical elements generate echoed play of such clarity that no further explanation is needed.”

Georges Legentil

2nd Prize, L’UTF, 1944


Mate in 4

Try 1.Kxf3? Sg5+! Try 1.Kg3? Be1!

1.Bc6 (>2.Re4) d2 2.Kg3 (>3.Sg4) Bf5 3.Qd8 (>4.Qxc7) Ba5 4.Qxd4

Black is induced to block the f6 rook, allowing the queen to unpin. A relatively straightforward but pleasant problem from the WCSC at Rio.

F. A. L. Kuskop

Canterbury Times, pre-1907


Mate in 3 (b) all pieces one square south-west

(a) 1.Bf1 e5 2.Bd3 exf4 3.e5

(b) 1.Re4 dxe4 2.d4 e3 3.Bd3
1...d4 2.Bh3 gxh3 3.g4

A lightweight with unusual twinning by the leading New Zealand composer of his day.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.