Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1st

Michal Dragoun (01-03-1974) Czech composer and Grandmaster

Michal Dragoun
between D.I.Nicula (left) and Vlaicu Crisan (right)
Antalya 2008

Michal Dragoun is a solving Grandmaster, an International Judge for helpmates and fairies, but also a very talented composer (GM in composing since Kobe 2012 WCCC). He published more than 1000 problems, of which 600 were awarded. He mostly composed helpmates, but a fair proportion of his works comprises fairy helpmates or helpselfmates. A quick search in a database shows he has won more than 220 prizes. He won the 2004-1006 Fairies WCCI and shared the 3rd place of the 2004-2006 Helpmates WCCI.

He was the editor of Šachová skladba. He was also the editor of the helpmate section of the Slovak magazine Pat a Mat, before Juraj Lörinc took over (by the way, the originals published in Pat a Mat can be seen on Jan Golha's site, along with their solutions).

A few of his helpmates will give an idea of his talent:

Dragoun, Michal
1.Pr. "F. Chlubna MT", 15.4.2006

h# 9 + 11

Show Solution

Dragoun, Michal
1.Pr. Šachove umeni  2005-2006

h# 7 + 9

Show Solution

Dragoun, Michal
Jubile V. Nebotov-60, 1995
1st Prize

b) Condition MirrorCirce
c) Condition PWC
d) Condition SymmetryCirce
e) Condition FileCirce
2 + 4
File-Circe: a captured unit is reborn on the file of the capture rather than on its normal game-array square.

Show Solution

Manfred Rittirsch (01-03-1961) German composer and International Master

Manfred Rittirsch

Manfred Rittirsch composes amazing fairy problems, often in collaboration with other German problemists.
For instance Torsten Linß presented on his website his joint compositions with Manfred [broken link].

Manfred Rittirsch
Achim Schöneberg

Die Schwalbe 1987
1st Prize

b) wRe6->e5

Show Solution

Manfred Rittirsch
Die Schwalbe 1988
Dedicated to Inka
1st Prize

                      h=7   Circe

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Rittirsch, Manfred
The Problemist, 1986
Dedicated to Walter Wittstock
1st Prize

h#3.5          e7, h6: Neutral Knight
f7, g7: Neutral Pawn
g5: Neutral King
f2: Neutral Bishop
b1: Neutral Queen
b) Move e3 f8
    0 + 0  + 7n

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Евгений Владимирович Харичёв (01-03-1952) Russian composer (Evgeni Vladimirovich Kharichev)

Kharichev composes in all genres.

Харичёв, Евгений Владимирович
Московский конкурс, Шахматная композиция 1992 (4/)
2nd HM

3 + 3

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Харичёв, Евгений Владимирович
problem (Zagreb) 1974

s#9 4 + 2

Show Solution

Рашид Гарифович Пономарёв (01-03-1919 - 14-12-1998) Russian composer (Rashid Garifovich Ponomariov)

Rashid Ponomaryov

Rashid Ponomaryov was a design engineer who, it seems, was one of the developers of tank T-34. He was also a Kazan chess composer and was very enthusiastic about promoting chess and chess composition, often gave lectures, presentations and was generally very supportive to young problemists. He published his first problem in 1936 and made a 35-year break in his composing career.
He composed in all genres: direct mates, helpmates, selfmates, series problems,

Пономарёв, Рашид Гарифович
Шахматы в СССР 1939
1st Prize

#3 12 + 8

Show Solution

Пономарёв, Рашид Гарифович
The Problemist, 1993

s#2 8 + 9
Show Solution

Gábor Koder (01-03-1948) Hungarian composer

Gábor Koder [magyarsakkszerzok]

Koder, Gábor
problem (Zagreb) 1975 (3646)
2nd Prize

#2 11 + 9

Show Solution

Виктор Дедешин (01-03-1933) Russian composer (Viktor Dedeshin)

Viktor Dedeshin
Problem, May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин ]

Dedeshin is a direct mate composer.

Дедешин, Виктор Фёдорович
Úv Čstv 1985 -Pachman,Fritz MT, 1985
4th Prize

#4 8 + 11

Show Solution

Daniël Stellwagen (01-03-1987) Dutch composer

Daniël Stellwagen

Stellwagen is o.t.b. GM and composes studies.

Stellwagen, Daniel & Afek, Yochanan
Quiet Move ty EBUR, 2002

+  4 + 3

1. Bf3 Kc6 2. Sd3 c2
{2... Kd6 3. Sf7+ Ke6 4. Sf4+ Kf5 5. Bxd5 [5. Sxd5 c2 6. Sd6+ Kg5 7. Se4+ Kh4] 5... Kxf4 6. Bb3 Ke3 7. Se5}
3. Sf7 c1=Q 4. Sxc1 Kc5 5. Sb3+ Kc4 6. Kh8!
(6. Kf8 Rf5; 6. Kg7/Kh7 Rd7)
and the black Rook is dominated: 6... Rd7/Rd3 7. Se5+ or 6...Rb5/Rf5 7.Sd6+ 1-0


  1. Michal Dragoun has been Grandmaster of the FIDE for Chess Compositions since 55th Meeting of the World Federation for Chess Composition in Kobe, Japan

    1. A plentifully deserved title indeed.