Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2nd

Nicolae A. Drăgan (02-02-1941) Romanian composer

Nicky Drăgan composed direct mates, helpmates, fairy problems and retro problems.

Here is an example of his art:

Drăgan, Nicolae A.
Romanian Championship 1969- 1970
1st Place

#2 10 + 9

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And one example of miniature helpmate, simple and cute:

Drăgan, Nicolae A.
Ajedrez Mágico, Jun 1971 (27/996)

h#22 solutions 2 + 1

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Andrew Kalotay (02-02-1941) Hungarian-American composer and o.t.b. master

Andrew Kalotay was successful as a chess player but seems to have abandoned o.t.b. competitions for composition (biographical information can be found on Wikipedia - Thank you Dr. Dowd!) He mostly composes helpmates concluded in an ideal mate.
One of his best works was composed in collaboration with GM Pál Benkö:

Benkö, Pál & Kalotay, Andrew
The Problemist, 1989
4th Prize

b) Move b8 a7
c) Move b3 c2
3 + 1

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Slobodan Šaletić (02-02-1944) Serbian composer 

Slobodan Šaletić
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Slobodan Šaletić was a member of the editing team of "Šahovska kompozicija", together with Radivoje Urošević and Ljubiša Papić. He composes heterodox problems, sometimes in collaboration:

Šaletić, Slobodan
Euxinus Pontus, 2008
3rd Comm.

h#2b) Move a1 c7 6 + 7

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Henrik Juel (02-02-1945) Danish composer

Henrik Juel

Henrik Juel composes all genres of problems, but lately mostly retro compositions (proof games, illegal clusters, etc). Here is a proof game in 8 moves (2 solutions):

Juel, Henrik
R0103 StrateGems 19 2002
Special Comm.

SPG 8.0 13 + 14
2 solutions

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Сергей Владимирович Радченко (02-02-1950) Russian composer (Sergey Vladimirovich Radchenko)

Composes miniatures, generally with ideal mates.

Радченко, Сергей Владимирович
Мат (Черкаси) 1991

#2 3 + 4

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Ivan Skoba (02-02-1950) Czech composer

Ivan Skoba was recently noticed for his successes with long series problems that competed in the tourneys organized by Itamar Faybish. But here is something completely different from series problems:

Skoba, Ivan
Šachová skladba, 1999
1st HM

#3 7 + 8

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Horst Bäcker (Deichelbohrer) (02-02-1952) German composer

Horst Bäcker seems to publish his problems exclusively in German magazines (Problemkiste, die Schwalbe) and to have a soft spot for promotions, but the quality of his works is noteworthy. He composes in many genres.
Horst was born Deichelbohrer (source: Die Schwalbe Inhaltsverzeichnis, Band XXI, 1992–1994, page III; thanks to Peter Hoffmann for bringing this up). Horst Deichelbohrer published good problems including selfmate Babsons (such as this one).

Bäcker, Horst
Problemkiste, 1989
d8: Grasshopper
11 + 9

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Bäcker, Horst
Problemkiste, Jan 2007 (168/A10)

hs#4Circe 7 + 4

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Gerd Wilhelm Hörning (02-02-1964) German composer

Gerd Hörning composes endgame studies, often in collaboration with G.Josten.

Hörning, Gerd Wilhelm
Nadareishvili MT EG, 2001

=Black To Move 4 + 5

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高坂 研 (02-02-1969) Japanese composer (Ken Kousaka)

Ken Kousaka
[thanks to Tadashi Wakashima]

Ken Kousaka writes regularly on tsume-shogi and chess problems in his mixi diary. He composes proof games.

Kousaka, Ken
Problem Paradise 15/1999

SPG 19.0 13 + 14

Show Solution


  1. Isn't this Kalotay's wiki page?

    1. Indeed it is. The information has been added to the post. Thanks!

  2. I believe that CAT was invented by Nicolae Gheran and not by Nicolae Drăgan! (Buletin Problemistic, I- V/1985, p. 10-12)

    1. Correct! The mention to CAT has been deleted.