Monday, August 27, 2012

August 28th

Jan Dobruský (28-08-1853 - 31-05-1907) Czech composer

Jan Dobruský

Jan Dobruský was the editor of the chess column of "Světozor" from 1874 till 1879 and that of "Humoristické listy" from 1874 till 1884. He was also one of the first editors of "Časopis českých šachistů".
He is considered as one of the fathers of the Bohemian school, with Pospíšil and Konig. 250 of his compositions, mostly direct mates in three moves or more, selected with an introduction by J. Pospisil in "Šachové úlohy" (1907).

According to the introduction of the book "Jan Dobruský: Šachové úlohy" (Chess problems), prepared by J. Pospíšil, Prague 1907, J. Dobruský used a lot of pseudonyms: J. Živsa (his first problem), J. Kolář (at least 14 problems), V. Novák, V. Bláha, J. Hanuš etc.

Dobruský, Jan
Světozor, 1878
1st Prize

#3 9 + 6

Show Solution

Thomas Henry Billington (28-08-1865 - ?) British composer

Thomas Billington was a direct mover composer. He also composed this selfmate.

Billington, Thomas Henry
Birmingham Mercury, 1900
1st Prize

#2  5 + 7

Show Solution

Gerhard Paul Latzel (28-08-1912 - 14-09-1980) German composer and International Master

[Source: "Schachkompositionen. Die besten Aufgaben und Komponisten
der Schachgeschichte
" by Michael Ehn and Hugo Kastner]

Gerhard Latzel composed in all genres (around 800 published problems) starting from the age of 15. He was an International Judge.
The Latzel theme is a twomover theme:
The key pins a and unpins b threatening a mate using the pinning of a by a piece A. b pins A and unpins a piece which mates.
Example here by Latzel himself.

Latzel, Gerhard Paul
British Chess Problem Society, 1948
2nd Prize

#3 10 + 14

Show Solution

Latzel, Gerhard Paul
Germany-Israel, 1980
1st Place

h#22 solutions
6 + 11

Show Solution

Віктор Іванович Шум (28-08-1946) Ukrainian composer (Viktor Ivanovich Shum)

Viktor Shum composes mostly direct mates and selfmates.

Шум, Віктор Іванович
Panorama, 1998
1st HM

#4 7 + 9

Show Solution

Κώστας Πρέντος (28-08-1966) Greek composer and FIDE Master (Kostas Prentos)

Kostas Prentos, Kiev 2012
[ [broken link] ]

Kostas Prentos is a chess player (o.t.b. FM since 1995), solver (IM) and International Judge for retro problems. He composes mostly proof games and fairy problems. He obtained also the title of FIDE Master in composition in 2013.
You can find out more about him on Emmanuel Manolas' blog in Kostas' chess autobiography, but of course not everything is still valid: for instance, Kostas is now married and lives in the USA.

Prentos, Kostas
Sake Tourney, Jurmala 2008
1st Prize

2 + 2
Transmuted Kings: When in check, the Kings move only like the threatening unit(s).

Show Solution

Let's mention this strategic helpselfmate too:

Prentos, Kostas
6th Tzuica Tourney, Jurmala, 2008
2nd Prize

hs#42 solutions 6 + 7

1.Re7 Rh8 2.Bg8 Bd5 3.Ke8 Bxg8 4.Qc6+ Be6#
1.Bb5 Bh1 2.Rg2 Rg8 3.Kc6 Rxg2 4.Qf8+ Rg7#
Diagonal-orthogonal correspondence, critical moves, interferences, battery creation and play: the solutions offer all that and more.

Hans Jakob Schudel (28-08-1915 - 02-02-2004) Swiss composer

Hans Jakob Schudel (left, sitting and smoking)
[SSZ 1976, page 123]

Hans Jakob Schudel was a good chess player, the president of the Swiss Chess Federation (FIDE vice-president in 1974) and a chess composer. He became International Judge for chess composition in 1985.

Unfortunately, his only composition stored in public databases is this selfmate in 5 which is cooked.


  1. Kostas is also FIDE Master of Chess (OTB), 1995.

    1. This o.t.b. title has been added to Kostas' list of titles. Thanks !