Articles in the January issue included the second part of John Rice’s tribute to the late Bo Lindgren, “Miniature twomovers with four mating pieces” by Michael McDowell, and “Proca what?” by Andreas Thoma. Awards covered longer helpmate for 2005 (judge Christopher Jones) and helpmates in 2½ and 3 for 2010 (judge Chris Tylor). Browsing in the library covered the 1951 book La Composition Contemporaine by Godefroy Martin. Michael McDowell reviewed a new book about the 19th century composer John Brown of Bridport, while Yochanan Afek reviewed The Art of the Endgame, a collection of studies by Jan Timman. In the Supplement Chris Feather continued his series on British helpmate composers with a trio who are better known for their directmates, namely John Driver, Barry Barnes and John Rice, while David Shire discussed P for Promotion, and “Variations on a theme of Yuri Sushkov”.

Paavo J. Markkola

Parallele 50, 26th July 1947


Mate in 2

1.Sxf4 (>2.Sd5)

1...Ra3  2.Qb6
1...Rc3  2.dxc3 
1...Rd3  2.Sxd3
1...Re3  2.dxe3
1...Rxf3 2.e3
1...Be5  2.d4

Albino half-pin mates.

John Brown of Bridport



Mate in 3

1.d6  waiting

1...Ke5 2.Qc1 Kd4 3.Qc3
              Kf5 3.Qg5
1...Kf4 2.Qc5 any 3.Qf2
1...e5  2.Qa7 Kg6 3.Qh7
              Ke6 3.Qd7
              Kf4 3.Qf2
1...Kg6 2.Qh7

John Brown (1827-1863) was known for his attractive lightweight problems, a number of which can be found in Brian Gosling’s new book.

Bo Lindgren

Mat, 1984


Serieshelpmate in 8 (2 solutions)

1.g1S 2.Se2 3.Kg2 4.Kg1 5.Sc1 6.a1Q 7.Qa8 8.Qh1 Bd4 mate
1.g1B 2.Be3 3.Bc1 4.a1R 5.Ra4 5.Bf4 7.Ke3 8.Re4 Rb3 mate

A wonderful miniature showing all four promotions.

The March issue reported on the Final of the 2011-12 Winton Capital British Chess Solving Championship, won overall by the world’s highest rated solver Piotr Murdzia, with Colin McNab winning the British title for the first time. Articles included Michael Lipton on Russian two-movers (many reconstructed by Michael – the article will be continued in a later issue), and Chris Tylor on “FPE (file pawn exchange) helpmates”. Awards for selfmates for 2010 (judge: Petko Petkov) and longer helpmates for 2009 (judge: Fadil Abdurahmanovic) were published. Browsing in the library covered The Best American Chess Problems of 1946. The Supplement featured a number of articles by Geoff Foster, entitled “Short single-phase helpmates”, “How many keys?”, “An absurd looking move”, “A cyclic theme” and “A path for the young composer”, the last mentioned featuring grasshopper problems by Australian composer Lindon Lyons. David Shire’s problem alphabet reached Q for the queen.

Edgar Holladay

Comm., American Chess Bulletin, 1945 (version)


Mate in 2

1.Sf8 (>2.Rf5)

1…Bb5   2.Se2 (Sc2?)
1…Bc2   2.Sb3 (Sb5?)
1…Bd7   2.Sh7
1…Rb5   2.Sd7

A very elegant problem showing interferences with dual avoidance.

Achim Schöneberg and Hans-Peter Reich

Die Schwalbe 1994


Helpmate in 2½

1...a8S prepares Ra2 mate, but it takes two moves to unpin the rook and White’s only waiting move is Sb6, so Black’s unpinning move must block b6. 1...a8S 2.Rh6 Sb6 3.Rxb6 Ra2. Unusually White must lose two tempi, as 1...a8B is ineffective.

Carl Eckardt

Humour Prize, Die Schwalbe, 1928


Selfmate in 5

1.Qa8 Bf3 2.Qe8 (threat 3.Qxe4+ Q or Bxe4) Be2 3.Rxf6+ Kxf6 4.Qe5+ Kf7 5.Kxe4+ Bxc4

An entertaining problem from the British Solving Final. The first two moves are straightforward, as the black king must be prevented from escaping to g6 after 1...g5. Black tries to avoid a mate at e4 by bringing his bishop to e2, but sets up a battery which White forces to open.

The May issue featured a full report on the BCPS weekend at Bournemouth and a brief report on the Dutch Problem Society’s meeting at Nunspeet. Michael McDowell presented problems which featured in the Selected Three-Movers column during Robin Matthews’ tenure, and Peter Harris introduced readers to the fairy condition “Ultra Maximummer”. There were reviews of the latest Czech Album, the new collection of Israeli compositions, and the latest issue of Mat Plus. The Brian Harley award for two-movers published in 2009-10 was detailed, and Browsing in the library covered a 1956 collection of prizewinners by Arnoldo Ellerman. Articles in the Supplement included “A real puzzler” (an examination of a #121 by Reichelm from 1882) and “Self-block by sacrifice” by Geoff Foster, “Logical Solving” by Michael McDowell, “R is for Reciprocal Change” by David Shire, “Some more hints for the young composer” by Bernd Gräfrath, and “British Helpmate Composers: Don Smedley” by Chris Feather.

Barry Barnes

Sunday Times, 1964


Mate in 2

1...Ke4  2.Rxd5
1...Kxf5 2.Rxe3

1.Qb6   (2.Qe6)

1...Ke4  2.Rxe3
1...Kxf5 2.Rxd5

A lucid example of reciprocally changed mates.

Viktor Kapusta

1st Prize, Phénix, 1994


Mate in 3

1.Kg3       (2.Sxe3+ Ke6  3.Bd5)

1...Qxf7     2.Qe4+  Kxe4 3.Sh4
                     Ke6  3.exd6
1...Sc3      2.Qc4+  Kxc4 3.Sxe3
                     Kc6  3.cxd6
1...Ke6      2.Qxd7+ Kxd7 3.c8Q
                     Kxf7 3.Bxd6
                     Kd5  3.Sxe3
1...Sxc7,Sf6 2.Rf6   &    3.Sg~,Rxd6

In three variations the black king can either capture the queen or walk into a mate from a newly-formed battery, all of the firing pieces moving to d6. After 1...Ke6 the sacrificed queen is replaced by a new queen, appropriately showing the phoenix theme!

Edward Boswell

Comm., Springaren, 1956


Selfmate in 2

1.Sh5 ()

1...Sf4  2.Qg4  fxg4
1...Sxc1 2.Re4+ fxe4 
1...f4   2.Kxe2 f3

A selfmate by a former BCPS President which was enjoyed by the competitors in the solving tourney at Bournemouth.

The July issue featured the awards in the seven sections of the BCPS 2012 tourneys, and Ian Watson’s report on the 2012 ECSC, held in Kiev. David Friedgood discussed “Deep thoughts”, a mini-lecture delivered at the Bournemouth weekend. Browsing in the library covered a collection of the work of Finnish composer Leo Valve. In the Supplement Geoff Foster presented a selection of stalemate problems by Gerhard Maleika and some straightforward proof games, while David Shire discussed the Sushkov theme.

Sergei Kryuchkov

1st Prize, Western Morning News, 1936


Mate in 2

1.Sc5        (2.Sf3)

1...Sd random 2.Sd7
1...Sb4       2.Bb2
1...Sb6       2.Qxc7

Beautiful line play following a highly thematic key.

Leo Valve

v Skakbladet, 1951


Mate in 3

1.d6    (2.Rxe5 & 3.Rxe4)

1...exf4 2.d7 &   3.d8Q (2...gxf4?)
1...gxf4 2.Rb1 &  3.Rd1 (2...exf4?)
1...exf3 2.Sc7 &  3.Sxe6 (2...gxf3?)
1...gxf3 2.Sb8 &  3.Sc6 (2...exf3?)
1...Bxg3 2.d7
1...Bxg2 2.Sc7

Each pawn capture eliminates the possibility of the other pawn capturing, which would otherwise defeat the continuation.

Ljubomir Ugren & Fadil Abdurahmanovic

2nd Prize, Leninskaya Smena, 1964


Helpmate in 4

1.Sh7! g5 2.Kf5 Kg7 3.Se6+ Kh6 4.Qh8 d4

A far-sighted opening move, anticipating the need to shield the white king from a queen check three moves later.

The September issue featured Yochanan Afek's talk from Bournemouth on “The Fine Art of Chess Paradox”, illustrated by a number of his studies, and an article by Michael McDowell in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, featuring a problem from each year of the Queen’s reign. There were obituaries of two prominent problemists, Denis Blondel and Toma Garai. BCPS awards included h#2.5 and 3 for 2007 (judge Lennart Werner), longer h#s for 2007 (judge David Friedgood), and studies for 2010-11 (judge Sergiy Didukh). Browsing in the library covered the 1964 book Problem-Juwelen by Herbert Grasemann, and two new books were reviewed, Von Ajec bis Zappas, by Udo Degener (covering two-move themes), and an examination of the life and problem career of Ado Kraemer, by Ralf Binnewirtz. In the Supplement Chris Feather presented helpmates by Five Fairy Ring composers, David Shire’s problem alphabet reached T for Transference, and Geoff Foster followed the stalemate path.

Fred Hawes and Frank Ravenscroft

The Problemist, 1958


Selfmate in 4

1.Qh8 Bh7 2.O-O-O+ Sf1 3.Bd6 a3 4.bxa3 b2

A beautiful single-liner ending with a model mate.

Hemmo Axt

4th Prize, Die Schwalbe, 1961


Mate in 6

1.Re1? Bc6!
1.Re5? Be8!
1.Re7? Bc2!

1.Re3 Rd3 (eliminates Bc2) 2.Re7 Rd7 (eliminates Be8) 3.Re5 Rd5 (eliminates Bc6) 4.Re1 and 5.Rh1+

A well-timed sequence of decoys enables the white rook to gain control of the h-file.

Yochanan Afek

1st Prize, Kralin-55 JT, 2000


White to play and win

1.b7 Qc6 2.Bd7! Qxd7 3.Rxe4+! Ka5 4.Re5+ Kb6!! 5.b8Q+ Ka6! 6.Rb5!! Qxb5 7.Qa7 mate. If 3.b8Q? Qd5+ 4.Qb7 Qd8+ 5.Ka7 Qd4+ 6.Qb6 Qd7+ 7.Kb8 Qc8+ 8.Kxc8 stalemate. If 4.b8Q? Qd5+ 5.Qb7 Qd8+ 6.Ka7 Qb8+ 7.Kxb8 stalemate If 6.Rc5? Qd5+ 7.Rxd5 stalemate.

Three echoed stalemates and a selfblock mate produced by just five pieces. Described by Yochanan as “one of those chess miracles”.

The November issue contained a full report on events at the WCCC in Kobe. BCPS awards included helpmates in 2 for 2010 (judge Živko Janevski), helpmates in 3 for 2011 (judge Boris Shorokhov), moremovers for 2011 (judge Mikhail Marandyuk), and three-movers for 2010 (judge Don Smedley). Jeremy Morse presented his latest updates of tasks and records, while John Rice showed some problems by new composing Grandmasters. Browsing in the library covered the 1970 collection of Austrian problems, Problempalette. Paul Valois reviewed a number of books which were on sale at Kobe. In the Supplement Geoff Foster examined variations on a helpmate by Bror Larsson and Michael Lipton traced the development of a simple starflight matrix. David Shire’s problem alphabet reached U for Unpin, and David also analysed a two-mover by Dombrovskis.

C. J. Taale

Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1932 (version)


Mate in 2

1.Qa1  (>2.Qe1)

1...Sxd5 2.Sd6
1...Sxf5 2.Sf6
1...Sxd4 2.Sc3
1...Sf4  2.Sg3
1...d2   2.Qb1

Four interference mates by white knights following selfblocks by black knights.

Sándor Hertmann

Nationaltidende, 1925


Mate in 2

1.Ba2     (>2.Rd5)

1...Bd3     2.Qh2 
1...Sd3     2.Qe2
1...Sc4     2.Qxb5
1...Bc4,Bc6 2.Qb8

Four Gamage unpins. Hartong had shown the idea in 1919, but with a flight-taking key.

Johann Viktor Uleha

3rd Prize, 1st TT des Deutschen Schachbunds, 1944


Mate in 5

1.Rgg7? threatening 2.Ra7+ Bxa7 3.Bb7 fails to 1…Bc1 etc. 2.Ra7+ Qxa7!

1.Be4! (>2.Bxd3) Rd2 2.Bd5 (>3.Bc4) Rf4, and with the bishop hemmed in the main plan now works: 3.Rgg7 any 4.Ra7+ Bxa7 5.Bb7.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.