Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10th

Александр Иосифович Гербстман / Alexander Herbstman (10-04-1900 - 22-05-1982) Russian-Swedish composer and International Master

Alexander Herbstman
Problem, February 1968
[Thanks toАлександр Никитин]

Herbstman composed 350 studies during his long career and was among the 6 composers who were awarded the title of IM in composition in 1959 (with another endgame studies composer, André Chéron). He wrote ten books about chess studies and met many important Russian study composers of his time - the Kubbel brothers, V. Platov, N. Grigoriev and A. Troitzky. He recounted his relations with them in his article "Memories of famous composers" published in EG 65, 1981 which can be downloaded here.
His book "The Modern Chess Study" (1937, in Russian) can be downloaded here in .djvu format.

Herbstmann, Alexander
Schackvärlden, 1936
1st-2nd Prize

+ 4 + 7

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Michel Caillaud (10-04-1957) French composer and Grandmaster

Michel Caillaud in his element, receiving a prize at Messigny

Michel Caillaud is a phenomenon: Grandmaster in solving and in composing, he was crowned twice world chess solving champion in 1987 and 2000 and has scored more than 250 points in the FIDE Album. He composes in all genres (twomovers, retro problems, helpmates, fairy problems, you name it). He is also International Judge, the French delegate at the WFCC and he organizes every year the Champagne tourney and a composing tourney at the Messigny meeting.

The quality of his problems never disappoints: out of his 2100 problems registered in a database, 29% were awarded a prize (this is an exceptionally high rate).
In spite of all this, Michel is still very modest and good natured.
And we all love his accent in English.
Joyeux anniversaire Michel!

To give an idea of the extent of his talent, we have selected three problems in 4 moves: a helpmate in 4, a selfmate in 4 and a direct mate in 4.

Caillaud, Michel
Die Schwalbe, 1992
2nd Prize

h#42.1.1... 3 + 6

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Caillaud, Michel
The Problemist, 1986
1st Prize

s#4 13 + 9

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Caillaud, Michel
Seneca MT, 1980
3rd Prize

#4 13 + 4

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Xenophon Hawkins (10-04-1841 - 05-05-1919) American composer

Hawkins was thought to have been the last living Morgan's Raider when he died.

Hawkins, Xenophon
The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 1915
1st Prize, third quarter

#3 9 + 11

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Damien Grossi (10-04-1899 - 1987) French composer

Damien Grossi

Damien Grossi was a composer and International Judge.
In 1977 he wrote a brochure of 24 pages "Multi-thèmes compositions de Damien Grossi". More complete information about him can be found on Problemiste.fr [broken link] in French.
Here is an interesting #3 composed with Pierre Bansac:

Grossi, Damien & Bansac, Pierre
Themes 64, 1976

#3 6 + 11

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Helmer Ludvig Ternblad (10-04-1906) Swedish composer

Helmer Ludvig Ternblad
Problem, September 1969
[Thanks toАлександр Никитин]

The idea of this helpmate has been shown many times, but this is the most economical and elegant form, for these strategic contents:

Ternblad, Helmer Ludvig
Schachmatt, 1949
1st Prize

3 + 5

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Моисей Борисович Нейман (10-04-1898 - 23-10-1967) Belarusian composer (Moisei Borisovich Neumann / Neiman)

Moisei Neumann, 1939
[Source, page 5]

Neumann is the usual transliteration of his name, although Neiman is possible too.
Moisei Neumann started composing at the age of 12. His first encounter with chess problems happened in the chess column of the magazine "Вокруг света" (Around the World) which was edited by Grandmaster O. Bernstein. In 1915 he had his first notable success with this awarded threemover.
He was one of the pillars of the magazine "Задачи и этюды" (Zadachy y etyudi) from its first issue in 1927 until the last.

Influenced by the work of T.R. Dawson, he began to promote fairy chess in the Soviet Union. In 1927 he wrote an article about the helpmate genre: he gave it its Russian terminology "кооперативный мат". The multisolution form dates from Lange, 1862, but was named "Neumann" in reference to his 1927 helpmate with three solutions.

After 1930, he devoted himself to his professional career as a prominent chemist (author of 600 scientific papers, more details here). He came back to chess composition in the 1960s.
More details about him in this article from tables-games.ru.

Нейман, Моисей Борисович
Шахматный вестник, 1914

= 6 + 6

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Нейман, Моисей Борисович
Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1928
2nd Prize

h#4Grasshopper: a5, c2, a1 4 + 5

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  1. Xenophon Hawkins


    was thought to have been the last living Morgan's Raider when he died:


  2. "...and was among the 10 composers who were awarded the title of IM in composition in 1959..."? 6 composers: Ellerman, Mansfield, Kipping, Hartong, Cheron and Гербстман!