Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25th

Василь Васильович Дячук (25-03-1972) Ukrainian-Slovak composer and Grandmaster (Vasyl Dyachuk)

Vasyl Dyachuk receiving his prize
PCCC 50th Anniversary Composing Festival (2010)

Vasyl Dyachuk became citizen of Slovakia on January 14th, 2016 and Grandmaster in composition in 2010. He is not the youngest Grandmaster alive (Reto Aschwanden is) but obtaining so early this title, usually attained at the age of maturity, is an extraordinary achievement.
He usually composes twomovers (sometimes fairy twomovers) and won the twomover section of the PCCC-50 Jubilee Tourney. He has achieved excellent results at the WCCI: 4th place in 1998-2000, 3rd in 2001-2003, 1st and World Champion in 2004-2006 and 3rd in 2007-2009.
He was also the judge of the twomover section of the 2nd FIDE World Cup in Composing 2011.

Дячук, Василь Васильович
PCCC 50th Anniversary Composing Festival
1st Place

#2* 9 + 12

Show Solution

Manfred Seidel (25-03-1938 - 28-02-2008) German composer

Manfred Seidel in 2002
Manfred Seidel took care of the chess composition column of German magazine Rochade Europa (overtook after his death by Franz Pachl) and of the study column in Problem Forum. As mentioned by Peter Krug in comments, he was also regularly active in the problem section of Schach Aktiv, which was headed by Wilfried Seehofer at that time. According to fellow composers, he was always helpful and gentle with his correspondents.

Seidel, Manfred
Schach-Echo, 1966
1st Prize

#3 6 + 12

Show Solution

Palmer Gunkel Keeney (25-03-1877 - 14-10-1959) American composer

Thanks to Dr. Steven Dowd for providing all the below information, for which he made personal research.

Palmer Gunkel Keeney followed in his father's footsteps as both composer and physician. He was a chess prodigy who composed his first problem at age 13. He is not well-known today, but was a very successful chess editor and chess player (two time champion of the state of Ohio) who ran many columns during his career, one of which was the column for the Cincinnati Enquirer, widely regarded as one of the world's best at the time, and his editorial efforts extended into the 1950s, when he was the first problem editor for Chess Life.

He liked to illustrate his problems with stories – see here for a Sherlock Holmes story, and it is interesting to note that his most famous problem was illustrated with a completely fabricated story by another author – Emil Ramin. Ramin, in "Im Wunderland des Schachproblems", wrote of a “crazy problem tourney” that never existed (see Glarean blog , for how the myth has perpetuated) supposedly won by Keeney. In reality, the problem was simply a Christmas original in Keeney's column in the Cincinnati Times-Star, and had its own story there, on the potential re-birth of man.
The Crazy Problem:

Keeney, Palmer Gunkel
Cincinnati Times, 1927

#5 8 + 14

Show Solution

Many of Dr. Keeney's problems were Christmas and joke problems, and he was also a skilled helpmate composer in his later years. This Christmas problem is not difficult, but it is entertaining:

Keeney, Palmer Gunkel
The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 1912 (785)

s#3 9 + 12

Show Solution


  1. As wrote chess magazine PAT A MAT 95/2016, Vasyl Dyachuk has became from 14th February 2016 citizen of Slovakia.

  2. Dear Eric,
    Pat a mat (95/2016, page 2) had stated that Vasyl Dyachuk (Vasil Ďačuk in Slovak) became a sitizen of Slovakia from 14th January 2016, not february.

  3. Manfred Seidel was also regularly active in the problem section of Schach Aktiv, which was headed by Wilfried Seehofer at that time.
    With numbers, he divided the original prints according to quality in his commentaries and commented masterfully. I remembered him above all for his great commentaries.