The January issue featured obituaries for two former BCPS Presidents, Tony Lewis and Christopher Reeves, and overseas composers Dan Meinking, Sergei Shedey and Leif Schmidt. John Rice presented a selection of prizewinners from the Kobe WCCC, and articles included Michael McDowell on the blind composer H.F.W.Lane, Barry Barnes on "Swiss Mix" and an introduction to a new fairy form called Superguards by Kalyan Seetharaman. Browsing in the library covered the 1935 volume Miniatures Stratégiques. Awards included two-movers for 2011 (judge Paz Einat) and three-movers for 2011 (judge Evgeny Fomichev). In the Supplement David Shire’s problem alphabet reached V for Valve, while Geoff Foster contributed articles on rex solus miniatures with black initially stalemated, the work of Australian composer Fred Hawes, helpmates featuring tempo play by both sides, and problems with long range manoeuvres designed to lose a tempo.

John Rice

1st Prize =, Mansfield MT, 1985-87


Mate in 2

1...fxg2   2.Qxg2
1...B any  2.Qxh7
1...g3     2.Qh4
1.Sh4      zugzwang

1...Bxg5   2.Sxg5 
1...B else 2.Rxg4
1...g3     2.Qf3 
1...e1Q    2.Qxe1
1...d2     2.Qb1
1...S any  2.Sd6

A mutate whose point lies in the tries which fail by preventing queen mates: 1.Se1? d2! (2.Qb1?), 1.Se3? e1Q! (2.Qxe1?) and 1.Sf4? g3! (2.Qh4?).

Karl Fabel

1st HM., BCPS 20th Tourney, 1932-33


Mate in 3

1.Bd7? (>2.Rf5) Bd3!

1.Bc6 (>2.Sf3+  Ke6     3.Bd5)

1...Bb7 2.Bd7         (>3.Bf5)
                Be5     3.Sc4
1...Be2 2.Bd5   B moves 3.Sc4 or Sf3 accordingly
1...Ke6 2.Bd5+  Ke5     3.Sf3
1...Bc4 2.Sxc4+ Ke6     3.Bd5

The first variation shows a Roman decoy, while the second shows the focal theme.

László Lindner

2nd Place, Cz-Hu-Pl-Ro, 1950-51


Helpmate in 3

The bishop must be unpinned to mate while guarding h3. After 1.b2 White must play a tempo move with the d2 pawn or the knight, all of which rule out Bf5 as a possible mate, leaving Bxd7. However after 2...Ba4 Black will need a tempo move, which must not prevent the mate, hence the sequence 1.b2 Se2 2.b1S Ba4 3.Bxe2 Bxd7. Note how White’s tempo move eliminated the potential dual 2.Bf1. From a match between four east European nations.

The March issue contained reports on two solving events, the ISC and the Winton Capital British Chess Solving Final, won for the second year running by Colin McNab. Awards included fairies for 2009 (judges Thomas Brand, Hans Gruber and Ulrich Ring), selfmates and reflexmates for 2011 (judge Diyan Kostadinov) and the Norman Macleod Award for 2010-11. Michael McDowell presented a selection from Eric Zepler’s years in charge of the Selected More-movers column and Browsing in the library covered the 1983 collection of problems by Dr. Meindert Neimeijer, Honderd en één nacht. In the Supplement Paul Valois discussed selfmates in two with reciprocal change, and Geoff Foster showed a number of Shinkman two-move miniatures. David Shire’s problem alphabet reached W for White Correction, and David was himself the subject of Chris Feather’s latest article on British helpmate composers.

Ado Kraemer

Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1955


Mate in 6

White’s knight is, paradoxically, a hindrance, preventing a mate in two by 1.b8Q, so White spends four moves eliminating it.

1.b8Q? exf1Q!

1.d8S (>2.Sf7) Sd6 2.Sf7+ Sxf7 3.Se3 (>4.Sf5) Sd6 4.Sf5+ Sxf5 5.b8Q (>6.Qf4) Sd6 6.Qf8

Gérard Doukhan

2nd Prize, Europe Echecs, 1976


Mate in 2

A vacation of e6 will threaten mate by the rook, and no less than 8 tries by the bishop fail to self-obstruction. An impressive piece of construction.

1.Ba2? Ba1! (2.Qxa1?)
1.Bb3? Bc3! (2.Qxc3?)
1.Bc4? Qh3! (2.Sc4?)
1.Bd5? Bxc5! (2.Qxc5?)
1.Bd7? Sxc6! (2.Sd7?)
1.Bf7? Rg6! (2.Sf7?)
1.Bf5? e6! (2.Bf6?)
1.Bg4? Bb3! (2.Sg4?)

1.Bh3! (>2.Re6) and the mates obstructed in the try play now work.

Waldemar Tura

1st Prize, Wola Gulowska, 2009


Selfmate in 2

A knight move will threaten 2.Be5+ fxe5.

1.Sb6? (>2.Be5+ fxe5)

1...Bxf3 2.Qd5+ Bxd5
1...Rb2 2.Qc6+ Kxc6
1...Sc5! giving the king a flight at c6.

1.Sb8! (>2.Be5+ fxe5)

1...Bxf3 2.Qc6+ Bxc6
1...Rb2 2.Qd5+ Kxd5

A very clear example of reciprocal change.

The May issue featured reports by Ian Watson on the 2013 ECSC, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, and by David Friedgood on this year’s BCPS weekend at Bournemouth. Articles included King and neutral pawns against king, by Sebastian Luce, some developments of a Miroslav Stošic two-mover by Barry Barnes, Similar matrices but different content in twomovers by Zoran Gavrilovski, and Goodbye to diagrammes by John Rice. John also reviewed the recent Encyclopaedia of Chess Problems, by Kari Valtonen and the late Milan Velimirovic, and presented a selection of problems from other recently published books. Thomas Brand, Hans Gruber and Ulrich Ring presented their award for the 2010 fairies. Browsing in the library covered the 1915 Christmas book Tasks and echoes. The Supplement featured articles by Geoff Foster on defence by hurdle removal in grasshopper problems, the Tail-cut Unpin theme, and light helpmates by Argentinian composer Carlos Sabadini. David Shire’s problem alphabet reached X for X-flights (better known as star-flights), Michael Lipton analysed a pioneering dual-avoidance two-mover by Rev.Gilbert Dobbs, and Brian Young presented some problems which combine the Pickaninny with other themes.

John Rice

2nd Prize, Dutch Problem Society 30th JT, 1961


Mate in 2


1...Kxf5 2.Bd3
1...Kh5  2.Be2
1...Kh3  2.Bf1
1...Kf3  2.Bd5


1...Kxf5 2.Sxd6 
1...Kh5  2.Sxf6
1...Kh3  2.Sf2
1...Kf3  2.Sc3

A classic Meredith employing a half-battery to show changed starflights. Note how both the try and key also feature as mating moves.

Ado Kraemer

Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1943


Mate in 4

1.Rb8? fails to 1...c1S! 2.a8Q+ Ba4. The rook needs to clear the 8th rank and does so with the help of a sacrifice of the queen to decoy the black bishop.

1.Qh5! Bxh5 2.Re8! Bxe8 3.a8Q+ Ba4 4.Qf8.

Josef Plachutta

Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung, 20th August 1859


Mate in 5

1.Qh7 (>2.Qxc7,Qd7) Qg7
2.Qd3 (>3.Qb5,Qa6)  Qxb2
3.Qh7 (>4.Qxc7,Qd7) Qg7
4.Qb1 (>5.Qb5,Qxb7) Qb2

An amusing game of chase from the early years of the modern chess problem.

The July issue introduced readers to the new BCPS President, Ian Watson, who in addition to being a skilled solver is also a British Championship standard player. The centenary of the first appearance of the grasshopper was marked in an article by Michael McDowell, and John Rice discussed the landmark book Chess Problems: Introduction to an Art, which he wrote with Michael Lipton and Robin Matthews 50 years ago. John also reported on this year’s meeting of the Dutch Problem Society at Nunspeet. Awards included helpmates in 2 for 2011 (judges Jorge Lois and Jorge Kapros) and retros for 2011-2012 (judge Kostas Prentos). Browsing in the library covered Edgar Holladay’s 1974 collection of the problems of Otto Wurzburg. In the Supplement Geoff Foster presented a selection of problems by the Warton brothers, including many grab mutate three-movers, David Shire’s problem alphabet reached Y for Y-flights, and Paul Bissicks examined the fairy form Growing Men.

Samuil Leites

1st Prize, Shakhmaty v SSSR, 1946


Mate in 2

1...Kf8   2.Rxf7


1...Kf8   2.fxg8Q
1...Kf6   2.fxe8S
1...Kxd7  2.f8S
1...Rf8   2.fxg8S
1...d5    2.fxe8Q
1...Bh7   2.f8Q
1...Rxd8+ 2.cxd8Q
1...Bxf7  2.Rxf7
1...S~    2.Qxd6

A remarkable task, with the f7 pawn promoting to Q and S on three squares.

Otto Wurzburg

Lasker’s Chess Magazine, November 1905


Mate in 3


1...f5  2.Sf3  Ke4  3.Qd4
1...Ke5 2.Qg3+ Kxd4 3.Qc3

An attractive miniature featuring the Indian theme.

Thomas and Joseph Warton

The Observer, 1946


Mate in 3

Black is in zugzwang. When the h7 B moves it will be captured by the K, B or S, leaving 2...Bg1 3.Bxg3, however White cannot maintain the grab of the bishop, and the key 1.Bd5! sets up a new zugzwang, with a changed continuation 1...Bf5 2.Ba5 any 3.Bd8, subtly exploiting the closed d and f files. The other variations remain as set.

The September issue featured the first part of an article by Michael McDowell on C.S.Kipping’s column in Chess, and reflections on the FIDE Album 2004-06 by John Rice. Ronald Turnbull discussed the fairy form Growing Men, in an article entitled “Goodbye feet!” Awards included Moremovers 2011 (judge John Nunn) and the Brian Harley Award for three-movers from 2009-11. John Rice and Christopher Jones presented variants on a helpmate by Hieronymus Fischer, and John showed some problems by the winners in the 2010-12 World Championship in Composing for Individuals. Browsing in the library covered the Christmas book Asymmetry, by T.R.Dawson and Wolfgang Pauly. The Supplement featured articles by Geoff Foster on two-move block-checks, Brian Young on problems featuring the ambush theme, and Michael McDowell on developments of problems by P.F.Blake. David Shire concluded his problem alphabet with Z for Zagoruiko.

Lev Loshinski

The Problemist, 1930


Mate in 2

1.Qf2  (>2.Qxa7)

1...d4   2.Bc4
1...Bd4  2.Qxe2
1...Sed4 2.Qa2
1...Sfd4 2.Ra3
1...Rd4  2.Rh6

Classic Loshinski, showing five interferences on d4 with the utmost clarity and economy.

George Hume

Chess, October 1937


Mate in 3

1.Rd6 ()

1...cxd6 2.Sf6  d5   3.Sd7
1...cxd5 2.Rc6  d4   3.Rxc5
                f6   3.Re6
1...f6   2.Rxf6 Kxd5 3.Rxf5

A charming lightweight with rook and knight sacrificed in turn.

Thomas and Joseph Warton

Source unknown


Mate in 3

1.Ba7 ()

1...Kxb2 2.Bd3 Kxa1 3.Bd4
1...Kxd2 2.Rf8 Kc2  3.Rf2

An anticipatory closure of the file prevents White’s second move from giving stalemate.

The November issue featured reports by the participants on the WCCC at Batumi. Ian Watson provided background details, Michael McDowell discussed the solving events and Paul Valois reported on the official business. Articles included Valery Liskovets on Completely Unavoidable Mate, and the second part of Michael McDowell’s review of C. S. Kipping’s column in Chess. John Rice showed some problems from 1913, and David Shire marked the 80th birthday of ex-BCPS President Don Smedley. Les Blackstock presented his award for the 2010 helpmate moremovers, and Browsing in the Library featured a 1975 collection of the work of Danish composer Walther Jørgensen. In the Supplement David Shire showed reciprocal Sushkovs using a white rook, Bernd Gräfrath discussed the composition of a record proof game, while Geoff Foster showed some three-move mutates by Australian composer Bill Whyatt, a classic reflexmate by G. F. Anderson, and examples of the striptease theme.

William A. Whyatt

Sunday Telegraph, 1961


Mate in 2

1.Ka2      ()

1...Bb7     2.Qxa7 
1...Bc6     2.Qc4
1...Rd6     2.c6 
1...R else  2.Qd7
1...Bxd4    2.c4
1...fB else 2.Se7
1...g4      2.Sf4

Mates are set for all black moves, and White simply needs a waiting key. The point of the problem lies in the three tries 1.Ka4? Bc6!, 1.Kb4? Rb8!, and 1.Kb2? Bxd4!, all of which fail by allowing pinning defences which prevent the set mates. A perfectly constructed problem.

Don Smedley

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 1977/II


Mate in 2

1.Sxh5 (>2.g4)

1...Sb2  2.Rxf7 (2.c4? Sd3!)
1...S4b6 2.c4 (2.Qd7? Sxd7!)
1...S4d6 2.Qd7 (2.Sg3? Kf6!)
1...Se5  2.Sg3 (2.Rxf7? Sxf7!)

Cyclic dual avoidance. David Shire considers this to be one of the finest British two-movers.

Walther Jørgensen

Skakbladet, 1968


Mate in 3

1.Qd8 (>2.Kb8 > 3.Qa5)

1...Re4 2.Kc6
1...Rf3 2.Kb7
1...Rg4 2.Kc8
1...Rf5 2.Kd7

A very clear example of rook cross met by king cross

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.