Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 18th

Wolfgang Weber (18-03-1909 - 01-07-1981) German composer

Wolfgang Weber (left)
with Friedrich Chlubna (center) and Manfred Zucker (right)
[ Wikipedia]

Wolfgang Weber was a chess composer and International Judge since 1958. He served three times as tourney director for the FIDE Album. He was also president of the German Commission for Problems and Studies during 10 years.
He composed about 750 problems, mostly selfmates. His name is best known for his classic Fata Morgana selfmates (selfmates with set play in one move, once called Weber-Typ). The most striking is the selfmate below, in which the wQ performs two different Rundlaufs.

Weber, Wolfgang
Die Schwalbe, 1936

s#3 7 + 3

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Felix Alexander Sonnenfeld (18-03-1910 - 12-02-1993) Brazilian composer and FIDE Master

Gil Cleber & Felix Sonnenfeld (1992)

Felix Sonnenfeld was described by Z. Kornin as "a gentleman and homme d'esprit - and more, a true Artist".
He was at ease both in direct as well as in heterodox fields and composed more than 2500 problems starting from 1940. He was an acknowledged helpmate expert.
According to Roberto Stelling, "one of Felix Sonnenfeld's favorite compositions was a helpmate he nicknamed "The Lift" and was reproduced in the FIDE Album 1971-73. This helpmate in 4, with 4 chameleon echoes, was ubiquitous in all Felix talks on chess composing."

From 1960 until 1974, Felix Sonnenfeld was also the president of the União Brasileira de Problemistas, which he founded with other Brazilian chess composers in 1960. He was editor and publisher of the Boletim da UBP since its inception to the very last number.
[Thanks to Roberto for the details.]

In 2004 Gil Cleber Duarte Carvalho wrote a book about him: "Félix Sonnenfeld: o Mosqueteiro do Rei" (here an interview with Gil Cleber).

We selected one of the most successful helpmate of his long career - the first place in the 2nd WCCT:

Sonnenfeld, Felix Alexander & Novis, Mário
2nd WCCT - E, 1980
1st Place, 1980-1983

h#22 solutions 9 + 9

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Juan Zaldo Zapirain (18-03-1919 - 16-01-1963) Spanish composer

As Joaquim Crusats wrote on Mat Plus forum:
"He began composing chess problems at the age of 16. After a long break he resumed composition in 1947 with great success: 6 first prizes, 7 second prizes, 5 third prizes, 1 seventh place, 25 mentions, and 8 recommendations. He was international arbiter for composition sice 1957. For twelve years he intensively collaborated with the bulletin Problemas (SEPA). He obtained the first prize in the France-Spain match of 1957."

Although Juan Zaldo Zapirain's career was rather short, he managed to obtain an impressive number of prizes. One of them is the following:

Zaldo Zapirain, Juan
Stratford Express, 1950
1st Prize

#2* vv 11 + 9

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Árpád Molnár (18-03-1936 - 24-03-2012) Hungarian composer and International Master

Árpád Molnár

Árpád Molnár's name is associated to the famous Hungarian helpmate composing school. The originality and artistry of his conceptions can be best admired in the amazing Meredith featuring a 5 fold cyclic Zilahi:

Molnár, Árpád
Olympic Tourney Luzern, 1983
2nd Prize

h#25 solutions 6 + 6

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Вячеслав Георгиевич Копаев (18-03-1938 - 28-05-2005) Russian composer and International Master (Vyacheslav Kopaev)

Vyacheslav Kopaev
‎"Problem", May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Vyacheslav Kopaev's problem below can be quoted as an example of the current WCCT 9 theme ... which already won another WCCT! What is more amazing is that 20 years later Kopaev won even another section of WCCT, which gives a glimpse on his remarkable skills in all composing genres.

Копаев, Вячеслав Георгиевич & Владимиров, Яков Георгиевич
2nd WCCT, 1980
1st Place, 1980-1983

#3 12 + 11

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Лхундевин Тогоокху (18-03-1947) Mongolian composer (Lhundevin Togookhuu)

Lhundevin Togokhuu

Lhundevin Togokhuu is one of the main representative figures of Mongolian composers. He is able to show impressive contents even using only Kings and Pawns.

Тогоокху, Лхундевин
Magadanskaya pravda, 1997
1st Prize

#3 4 + 3

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K. Seetharaman (18-03-1949) Indian composer

The name of Indian composer Seetharaman is not often met, but you can be sure of high quality when you see it above any diagram. His highest reward is probably the 2nd place in WCCT 3:

Seetharaman, K.
3rd WCCT, 1986
2nd Place

s#3 14 + 10

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Marek Kwiatkowski (18-03-1961) Polish composer and International Master

Marek Kwiatkowski

Marek Kwiatkowski is the programmer who made Fancy, the graphic interface for Popeye.
He is also not a prolific composer, but contributes significantly to Polish team results in WCCT. The problem below is simply memorable, with the neat dual avoidance displayed with high accuracy by both white and black.

Kwiatkowski, Marek
6th WCCT, 1998
2nd Place

h#2 6 + 10
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Сергей Прокофьевич Пушкин (18-03-1936 - 06-1997) Russian composer (Sergey Prokofievich Pushkin)

Sergey Pushkin
Problem, February 1968
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Пушкин, Сергей Прокофьевич
7th Birnov MT, 1987
3rd HM

h#2           b) wRb3->d5
c) wRb3->e6
        3 + 9
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