Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11th

Johann Nepomuk Berger (11-04-1845 - 17-10-1933) Austrian composer

Johann Berger
[Source: scan by M.McDowell]

Johann Berger was initiated to chess composition by J. Seeberger. He was interested in all fields of chess problems but preferred multimovers and studies. He can be considered as one of the founders of the German chess composition school. Chess players know him from the Sonneborn-Berger score system.
His book "Theorie und Praxis der Endspiele" (Theory and Practice of the Endgame, 1891) and was a reference work on endgames.
Helmut Roth wrote a book about him: "Der Schachkomponist. Johann Berger als Schachtheoretiker und Partiespieler" (1982).

The key of this threemover reminds of Giegold:

Berger, Johann Nepomuk
Frankfurter Zeitung, 1887

#3 7 + 5

Show Solution

Julio Sunyer (11-04-1888 - 27-11-1957) Spanish [not so French] composer

Julio Sunyer, Sitges 1934
[Source: Ajedrez365, article by J.Travesset]
[Thanks to Joaquim Crusats]

Julio Sunyer was a specialist of retro and fairy problems who edited the problems column of the catalan review "Els Escac a Catalunya".

Sunyer, Julio
The Chess Amateur, 1923

-1  White & Black, then  h#1  1 + 1

Show Solution

Julius Robert Gunst (11-04-1896 - 13-04-1958) Finnish composer

Julius Gunst
Бондаренко Ф. Галерея шахматных этюдистов. М., 1968.
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Julius Gunst was an endgame composer and International Judge.

Gunst, Julius Robert
Morgenzeitung, 1928
3rd-4th Prize

+ 3 + 3

Show Solution

Branko Koludrović (11-04-1946) Croatian composer

Branko Koludrović (left) with Zvonimir Hernitz
[harmonie 124, page 39]

Branko Koludrović composes essentially helpmates and series problems, most of which with the Circe condition. His orthodox helpmates are worth a look too, for instance this helpmate in two with diagonal-orthogonal correspondence. A shortish series helpstalemate:

Koludrović, Branko
13rd TT, Problemkiste, Jun 1995
1st Prize

ser-h=18SetPlay 2 + 15

Show Solution

Hilmar Ebert (11-04-1950) German composer

Hilmar Ebert

Hilmar Ebert has written books about helpmates ("Top Helpmates" with Hans Gruber) and especially about problems with few pieces: "Moderne Kleinkunst" also with Hans Gruber in which are shown only Wenigsteiner (problems with 4 men only). For his other chess books please refer to his website.

Hilmar Ebert is the organizer of the yearly tourney (Wenigsteinerjahrespreis) awarding the best 4-men problems published in chess magazines with all sorts of statistics about the results.

"Hilmar Ebert" is his chess pen name, in spite of his official name Hilmar Alquiros (thank you, Hilmar, for all provided details).

The helpmate quoted below is not a Wenigsteiner but it is a classic. It was quoted by Thomas Brand in his post dedicated to Hilmar's 70th birthday, where Hilmar added a tongue-in-cheek comment narrating how the problem was composed ("Pile-Zero" designates Zdravko Maslar, the strongest helpmate expert before solving programs existed).

Ebert, Hilmar & Maslar, Zdravko
diagrammes, 1980
Special Prize

h#5 3 + 2

Show Solution

Garen Yacoubian (11-04-1951) French composer and solver

Garen Yacoubian and Michel Caillaud, Messigny 1998
[christian poisson]

Garen Yacoubian is a strong chess solver, several times French solving champion. He was the editor of the problems column of "Revue suisse d'echecs" and of "Tribune de Geneve" for 10 years. He mostly composes moremovers and helpmates.

Yacoubian, Garen
The Problemist, 1973-74
2nd Prize

h# 6 + 7

Show Solution

Branislav Đurašević (11-04-1957) Serbian composer and FIDE Master

Branislav Đurašević

Branislav Đurašević is the inventor of the Djurasevic cycle. He wrote the book 'Svi moji sahovski problemi', collection of 111 of his chess problems from 1970 to 1992. Some of these problems were selected and commented by Juraj Lörinc.
He is the Director of the BIT 2012 (Belgrade International Tourneys) which have been announced on Mat Plus.
[Update 15.04.2012: Branislav mentioned that his #3 1st HM Mat 1982, "with mutual Pickabish interference, White in tries and black as refutations of tries as well as variations in solution", was a lot better than the problem below.]

Đurašević, Branislav
Israel AGM BK, 2009
4th Place

8 + 3

Show Solution

Эдуард Алексеевич Асаба (11-04-1932 - 1988) Soviet composer (Eduard Alekseyevich Asaba)

Eduard Asaba
Problem, May 1979
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Eduard Asaba was an endgame studies composer.

Асаба, Эдуард Алексеевич
Gazeta Częstochowska, 1981
1st Prize

+  5 + 5

Show Solution

Erkki Aukusti Wirtanen (11-04-1911 - 03-10-1979) Finnish composer and International Master

Erkki Wirtanen
[Thanks to EAW]

Erkki Wirtanen composed more than 1500 problems (mostly direct mates) during a period spanning over 50 years.
He was also an International Judge.
In 1982 Matti Myllyniemi and Veikko Hynösen published an anthology of Wirtanen's problems. You can read it here.

Wirtanen, Erkki Aukusti
Problem, 1969-70
1st Prize

s#3  8 + 10

Show Solution


  1. Dear Mr. Huber,

    I was also born at 11th April 1957. Best regards, Branislav Djurasevic, Belgrade, Serbia

    1. Happy birthday!
      The oversight has been corrected.
      Your birthday is wrongly registered on the site "Composers Names In Various Alphabets" as 11.07.1957.

  2. Eduard Asaba, soviet endgame composer, was also born at 11th April (1932).

  3. Julius Sunyer Roig was born in Portbou (Catalunya, Spain), not in France.

    1. OK with the birth in Catalunya. In “Le Guide des Echecs” (Alain Biénabe & Alain Giffard, 2009) Julyo Sunyer is noted as “problémiste espagnol-français” and praised as “un fort solutionniste”.

    2. I didn't know that he also had the French citizenship. I have a copy of a handwritten book by Josep Paluzíe in 1924 with short biographies of all the Spanish composers of that time, and he only refers to Sunyer as Spanish. He studied mathematics and pharmacy in Barcelona but he then worked as a customs agent in Portbou (Spain-France border). All his chess life seems to have taken place in Catalonia, though. He used his name in Catalan as "Július Sunyer".

    3. I have contacted Alain Biénabe about this and there seems to be doubts about Sunyer's possible French citizenship. Let's put it between brackets, for the time being!

  4. Most likely it was a confusion with "Catalan/Spanish"

  5. Hi, Eric,
    greetings from the Philippines, where I'm living for good now with my longterm Filipina wife.
    Hilmar Ebert is furthermore my chess pen name, in spite of my official name Hilmar Alquiros – e.g. in .
    The books you have mentioned are 2 of 12, so better to mention in general, too!
    New address for Wenigsteinerjahrespreis = .
    In the solution of my h#5 please note „double helpmate indian in record economy“.
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Hilmar and thanks, the blog post now includes all correct information.
      Best wishes,

  6. Hi, Eric, NEW LINKS again in:
    Hilmar Ebert has written books about helpmates ("Top Helpmates" with Hans Gruber) and especially about problems with few pieces: "Moderne Kleinkunst also with Hans Gruber" in which are shown only Wenigsteiner (problems with 4 men only). For his other chess books please refer to his website.!.htm
    stay safe and sound! - Hilmar Alquiros (former HIlmar Ebert), The Philippines.

    1. Hi Hilmar,
      I have repaired the broken links.
      Thank you for the update and for the good work.