Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 27th

Петко Андонов Петков (27-02-1942) Bulgarian composer and Grandmaster (Petko Andonov Petkov) 

Petko Petkov and cat Mandy

We can quote Petko Petkov is the best Bulgarian chess composer. Since he is the leader in the world rank list with 369.75 points in the FIDE Albums (with 125 points more than the second-placed!), it might be said that as far as FIDE Albums are concerned, he is the best in the world.

Not only is his output overwhelming (the number of his published problems is about 6000), but his problems are rich in themes and technically impeccable (and gained him more than 2400 distinctions). He has been twice World Champion in selfmates and fairy problems.

After 1989, he started publishing theoretical articles in Western chess problem magazines. The number of these articles is also flabbergasting: more than 100.

In fact, Petko Petkov is a whole team of composers, theoreticians and writers by himself.

In his spare time, Petko Petkov also invented fairy conditions and pieces (AntiAndernach, Eiffel, half-neutral pieces). He actively supported Bulgarian composers and founded the Bulgarian chess composition school, but he also generously supported other composers and magazines, such as the Romanian fairy composing school and the Romanian magazine Quartz.

In 1996, French magazine Diagrammes issued two booklets with Petkov’s selected prize problems. In 2000, U.S. author Mike Prcic published "Petkov - Selected Compositions". His latest book was "The Art of Composing Selfmates" published in the USA in 2007. He is also selfmate and fairy editor for StrateGems and Shahmatna Misal and fairy editor for Uralski Problemist.

The Bulgarian specialty (selfmate) is an appropriate appetizer:

Петков, Петко Андонов
Olympic Tourney Novi Sad, 1990
1st Prize

s#5 12 + 11

Show Solution

His Olympic victory in the blitz-competition in Skopje 1972 (part helpmates):

Петков, Петко Андонов & Гандев, Красимир
Olimp. T. Skopje, 1972

            h#2       6 + 9

Show Solution

Another helpmate, just for the pleasure of it:

Петков, Петко Андонов
Buletin Problemistic, 1977
1st Prize

h#2                5 + 10
Show Solution

And this fairy fourmover, just to show how much content Petko can put in only 4 pieces:

Петков, Петко Андонов
feenschach (113/6763) 1994

#4 2 + 2
Chameleon Queen : b8
Chameleon Rook : b7

Show Solution

Գենրիխ Գասպարյան (27-02-1910 - 27-12-1995) Armenian composer and Grandmaster (Genrikh Kasparyan or Генрих Моисеевич Каспарян)

Genrikh Kasparyan on a 2010 Armenian stamp[Wikipedia]

Kasparian received the titles of International Judge of Chess Compositions in 1956 and International Grandmaster of Chess Composition in 1972, the first composer to receive this title from FIDE. He was also a very good o.t.b. player (IM and 10 times Armenian champion).

He wrote several books and collections and composed about 600 studies, many on the theme of domination. His endgames reach amazing analytical depths, in an era where the intensive use of computers and databases had not started yet.

One of his most brilliant studies:

Kasparjan, Genrich
Шахматы в СССР 1939
1st Prize

+ 4 + 4
Show Solution

Another study, in a different style, more similar with a moremover:

Kasparjan, Genrich
Шахматы в СССР 1935
4th Prize

+ 6 + 6

Show Solution

Александр Сергеевич Кузовков (27-02-1953) Russian composer and Grandmaster (Aleksandr Sergeievich Kuzovkov) 

Aleksandr Kuzovkov
Problem, May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Kuzovkov is a constructions engineer and also an excellent direct mate composer. Some details about him can be read on Wikipedia.
The threemover below shows his talent plentifully. What is noteworthy is that Aleksandr Kuzovkov, beside this 1st place in the WCCT, has also won 2 second places and 3 third places in WCCT tourneys!

Кузовков, Александр Сергеевич
8th WCCT, 2008
1st Place

#3 16 + 8

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Кузовков, Александр Сергеевич
05. WCCT
23rd Place

#2 11 + 11

Show Solution

Kuzovkov's talents are not limited to threemovers. Here is an example in helpmate:

Кузовков, Александр Сергеевич
Tournoi Goumondy, 1986
1st Prize

h# 8 + 8

Show Solution

And an example in selfmate:

Кузовков, Александр Сергеевич & Феоктистов, Александр Фёдорович
Уральский проблемист 2003
1st Prize

s#3 12 + 13
Show Solution

Евгений Павлович Сорокин (27-02-1933) Russian composer (Evgeni Pavlovich Sorokin) 

Evgeni Sorokin
Problem, May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Sorokin composed many problems in collaboration with other composers, especially Pavlos Moutecidis.

Сорокин, Евгений Павлович
Onitiu Memorial T, 1973
2nd Prize

h#41.2.1... 3 + 3
Show Solution

Jacques Mieses (27-02-1865 - 23-02-1954) German - British player and composer

Jacques Mieses [Wikimedia]

Jacques Mieses was a Grandmaster with a dangerous attacking style. You can read more about his life, chess career, books and games on the website He also composed a few two- and threemovers, among which the following:

Mieses, Jacques
Vasárnapi Újság, 1881 (1142)

#4 10 + 3

Show Solution

Евгений Богданов (27-02-1952 - 30-10-2010) Ukrainian composer and Grandmaster (Evgeni Bogdanov)

Evgeni Bogdanov
Problem, May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Evgeni Bogdanov was one of the most prolific composers of our time, with more than 3400 problems registered in databases. He composed mostly direct mates (6% of his output were helpmates) and was interested in cyclic themes. He received the title of GM at the Kobe 2012 congress.

Богданов, Євгеній Михайлович
Le Courrier des Echecs, 1983
1st Prize

#3  8 + 13

Show Solution

Николай Яковлевич Косолапов (27-02-1934 - 2009) Russian composer (Nikolay Yakovlevich Kosolapov)

Nikolay Kosolapov
Problem, February 1968
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Kosolapov mainly composed direct mates, but he also explored the helpmate field, for instance this h#4 with 6 solutions (3 S-promotions and 3 Q-promotions) composed with G. Chumakov.

Косолапов, Николай Яковлевич
ЮК 50 лет Вооруженных сил СССР 1968
1st Prize

#2 vvv  10 + 5

Show Solution


  1. Nikolay Kosolapov at his Tver home 2005

    1. Thank you Vladimir for this more recent photo. We kept the 1968 photo in the blog because it matches the chosen problem - 1st Prize in 1968.