Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31st

Harry Vigo Tuxen (31-03-1889 - 10-05-1968) British-Austrian composer

Harry Tuxen was one of the Good Companions. His style in twomovers can best be seen in this first prize in the 1919 Meredith tourney or in this black S wheel.
We selected an interesting threemover:

Tuxen, Harry Viggo
Skakbladet, 1930
1st Prize

#3 9 + 8

Show Solution

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30th

Leonard Nicolaas De Jong (30-03-1869 - 13-11-1937) Dutch composer

[Source : "Probleemcomponisten I : Dr. L.N. de Jong"]

Leonard Nicolaas De Jong was a very fine composer. A typical solver problem is:

De Jong, Leonard Nicolaas
Magyar Sakkvilág, 1930
1st Prize

#3 4 + 6

Show Solution

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 29th

Olof Wilhelm Robert Sahlberg (29-03-1837 - 06-07-1922) Swedish composer

Robert Sahlberg
"Problem", September 1969
‎[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Olof Sahlberg can be quoted for his success in the 5th American Chess Congress:

Sahlberg, Olof Wilhelm Robert
5th American Chess Congress, 1880
1st Prize, Set

#2 9 + 4

Show Solution

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 28th

Pēteris Ķeirāns (28-03-1886 - 18-10-1947) Latvian composer

Pēteris Ķeirāns mostly composed two- and threemovers.
The Ķeirāns theme is a threemover theme: the second white move gives a flight on a diagonal field and there must be at least 4 variations (star flight of the bK).

Ķeirāns, Pēteris
Die Schwalbe, 1934

#3 13 + 8

Show Solution
An interesting threemover:

Ķeirāns, Pēteris
Lettisches Turnier, 1930
1st Prize

#3 6 + 12

Show Solution

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 27th

Fritz Karge (27-03-1914 - 09-07-2001) German composer

Fritz Karge was a prolific composer, with successes at the beginning of 1940s. An 'atypical key' problem is the following:

Karge, Fritz
Die Schwalbe, 1983 (4306)

#2* v 7 + 10

Show Solution

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 26th

Рафаэль Моисеевич Кофман (26-03-1909 - 20-12-1988) Russian-Romanian composer and International Master (Rafael Moiseevich Kofman)

Rafael Kofman visiting Dnepropetrovsk's composers, 1958
Rafael Kofman sitting and facing the chess board;
sitting right, F. Bondarenko; behind Kofman, V.Rudenko and V.Chepizhnyi
from Sergey Tkachenko's article on

Rafael Kofman in 1963
published in «Шахматы в СССР», March 1984;
reproduced by Valery Surkov on his blog

Rafael Kofman was born in Bessarabia in 1909. Rafael Kofman was the editor of the chess problems column in Soviet magazine "Chess in the USSR". He composed mostly direct mates in the logical and strategical style and also studies.

He is the author of "Selected compositions" published in 1985 as well as of numerous other works: "Shakhmatnaya zadatsya" with Umnov in 1951, "Sovietsky shakhmatnyi etyud" in 1955 with Kazantsev and Liburkin, a collection of Loyd's problems in 1960, "Shakhmatnaya kompozitsiya 1974-76" in 1978, the integral works of GM Loshinsky with Vladimirov and Umnov in 1980, "Izbrannye etyudy" the collection of Kaminer and Liburkin's endgame studies in 1981, etc.

He was also an International Judge in chess composition and a player (in a simul game he defeated Capablanca in 23 moves in 1935 and lost against Smyslov in 1942).

Кофман, Рафаэль Моисеевич
Revista Română de Şah, 1928

#2* 11 + 12

Show Solution

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24th

Василий Николаевич Платов (24-03-1881 - 17-07-1952) Russian composer (Vasily Nikolayevich Platov)

Vasily Nikolayevich Platov

The Platov brothers (Vasily and Mikhail) were two Latvian endgame study composers who followed Troitzky's steps. They collaborated with the great magazines of their time - Shakhmaty, 64. They published two collections of their studies: "Сборник шахматных этюдов/Sammlung der Endspielstudien" in 1914 and "Сборник шахматных этюдов" in 1928. Vasily also published a selection of contemporary studies "150 избранных современных этюдов" in 1925.
Timothy G. Whitworth wrote the reference book "The Platov Brothers" in 1994.

One of their most famous studies is this one and you may want to check it, but let's choose another one, composed 4 years earlier and sent to the same newspaper "Rigaer Tageblatt":

Платов, Михаил Николаевич & Платов, Василий Николаевич
Rigaer Tageblatt, 1905
3rd Prize

+ 7 + 6

Show Solution

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 23rd

Adolf Herrmann Rudolf Ferdinand Kraemer (23-03-1898 - 25-06-1972) German composer

Ado Kraemer
‎"Die Schwalbe", Januar/März 1968
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Adolf Herrmann Rudolf Ferdinand Kraemer, better known as Ado Kraemer, was specialized in logical three- and moremovers. He published with his very close friend Erich Zepler two remarkably chosen and commented collections of problems: "Im Banne des Schachproblems" in 1951 and "Problemkunst im 20. Jahrhundert" in 1957.
When you learn that Zepler was a Jew and migrated to England in 1935, while Kraemer was an SS (SS-Obersturmführer), as Anders Thulin says, "it seems to make his cooperation with Zepler at the time even more remarkable."
Some information here.

Kraemer, Adolf Herrmann Rudolf Ferdinand & Zepler, Erich Ernest
Die Schwalbe, Jul 1952
1st Prize

#3 7 + 8

Show Solution
Kraemer, Adolf Herrmann Rudolf Ferdinand & Zepler, Erich Ernest
Neue Leipziger Zeitung, 1933
1st Prize

#4 7 + 2

Show Solution
Kraemer, Adolf Herrmann Rudolf Ferdinand
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1936

#3 6 + 1

Show Solution

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 22nd

José Ernesto Coutinho (22-03-1906) Brazilian composer

Jose Coutinho
‎"Boletim da UBP" 42, Maio/Agosto 1982
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

José Ernest Coutinho specialized in #2 composition in classic style. A nice problem with impressive wQ activity is :

Coutinho, José Ernesto
Die Schwalbe, Apr 1970
4th Prize

#2 9 + 11

Show Solution

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 21st

Waclaw Grzankowski (21-03-1910 - 26-09-1991) Polish composer

Waclaw Grzankowski 35 compositions were compiled and published by Marek Kwiatkowski in "Give and Take" booklet.
We quote a remarkable threemover from the FIDE Album which realizes the difficult theme Umnow II:

Grzankowski, Wacław
Szachy, 1947
1st Prize

#3 8 + 11

Show Solution

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 20th

Bernhard Kästner (20-03-1836 - 24-11-1889) German composer

Bernhard Kästner was a talented composer. Although his output is not quantitative, solvers will appreciate the tricky solutions of this 5-mover:

Kästner, Bernhard
Vasárnapi Újság, 1874 (741)

#5 5 + 6

Show Solution

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 19th

Josef Kling (19-03-1811 - 01-12-1876) German composer

Josef Kling [Wikipedia]

Josef Kling was a church musician and music teacher. Born in Mainz, he moved to Paris in 1834, then to London in 1837. In 1849 he published a collection of 200 problems "The Chess Euclid. A Collection of two hundred Chess Problems and End-Games" (read it here).

In 1851 he published with Bernhard Horwitz a classical book: "Chess studies; or endings of games" (read it here), an important and ground-breaking work for endgame studies. Between 1851-1853 Kling and Horwitz edited the magazine "The Chess Player" in which they published numerous studies.

Kling, Josef
The Chess Euclid, 1849

#5 5 + 4

Show Solution

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 18th

Wolfgang Alexander Weber (18-03-1909 - 01-07-1981) German composer
Wolfgang Weber
[Kartothek L-Z page 90]

Wolfgang Weber (left)
with Friedrich Chlubna (center) and Manfred Zucker (right)
[ Wikipedia]

Wolfgang Weber was a chess composer and International Judge since 1958. He served three times as tourney director for the FIDE Album. He was also president of the German Commission for Problems and Studies during 10 years.
He composed about 750 problems, mostly selfmates. His name is best known for his classic Fata Morgana selfmates (selfmates with set play in one move, once called Weber-Typ). The most striking is the selfmate below, in which the wQ performs two different Rundlaufs.

Weber, Wolfgang
Die Schwalbe, 1936

s#3 7 + 3

Show Solution

March 17th

Frank Richter (17-03-1966) German composer and International master

Frank Richter

Undoubtedly Frank Richter is the best known composer in today selection. He masters many genres with amazing success. He composes direct mates and selfmates, with incursions into the fairy domain.
Since 1996 he has also been editing the German chess problem magazine Harmonie.
You may read an interview about him and problem chess in German in two parts : here and here.

Let's admire the German master in action in a splendid long selfmate, in which the unexpected ending will amaze everybody:

Richter, Frank
Probleemblad, 2003 (Z222)
1st-2nd Prize

s#10 12 + 11

Show Solution

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 16th

Frederick W. Bennett (16-03-1867 - 1961) Australian composer

Frederick W. Bennett was a chess player (his games here). He had a very long chess career and composed problems mostly in the 1920s and 1950s.

Bennett, Frederick W.
The Brisbane Courier, 1923
6th HM

#2 9 + 8

Show Solution

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 15th

Niels Rutberg (15-03-1899 - 07-10-1953) Swedish composer

Problem, September 1969
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Niels Rutberg was a fine composer (7 points in FIDE Album). He was able to show three different variations in #4 with only 5 pieces!

Rutberg, Niels
Nya Dagligt Allehanda, 1922

#4 3 + 2

Show Solution

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 14th

Giorgio Guidelli (14-03-1897 - 03-06-1924) Italian composer

Giorgio Guidelli
[Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery]

Member of the "Good Companion" and champion of it in 1917, Giorgio Guidelli published more than 400 problems in 2 moves. 70 of these problems are included in Alain C. White's Christmas Series "The Good Companion Twomover" (1922). Guidelli was one of the very best twomover composers of the time.
A few details can be read on Wikipedia (Italian).

Let's start with an easy one:

Guidelli, Giorgio
The Observer, 1923

#2 7 + 8

Show Solution
This one is more serious:

Guidelli, Giorgio
L'Eco degli Scacchi, 1916
2nd Prize

#2 9 + 10

Show Solution

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 13th

Oskar Blumenthal (13-03-1852 - 24-04-1917) German composer and writer

Oskar Blumenthal

Oscar (or Oskar) Blumenthal was a well-known critic and playwright. The sharpness of his wit earned him the nickname of "blutiger Oskar" (bloody Oscar).
For chess amateurs, he is remembered as the master of miniatures. He published two collections of problem miniatures: "Schachminiaturen" in 1902 and "Schachminiaturen, Neue Folge" in 1903.
Which you like most of the two problems below? They are in fact twins:

Blumenthal, Oskar
Deutsches Wochenschach, 1914

#4 4 + 2

Show Solution
Blumenthal, Oskar
Deutsches Wochenschach, 1914

#4 4 + 2

Show Solution

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 12th

Walter Grimshaw (12-03-1832 – 27-12-1890) British composer

Walter Grimshaw
[BCM Feb.1891, reproduced in Chess Notes]

Walter Grimshaw was a 19th century British composer of chess problems. In 1854 he won the first ever chess problem solving competition in London. He is perhaps best known for giving his name to the Grimshaw, a popular problem theme.

The curious reader may see on Wikipedia two famous problems composed by Grimshaw.
For the blog we select a less known twomover, although he mainly composed longer problems:

Grimshaw, Walter
The Chess Players' Chronicle, 1872

#2* 7 + 7

Show Solution

March 11th

Milan Radoje Vukcevich (11-03-1937 - 10-05-2003) American Grandmaster in chess composition

Milan Radoje Vukcevich [Vivacity inc]

Today is the 75th anniversary of Milan Vukcevich's birth.

Milan Vukcevich was a prominent American chess player (3rd in US closed Championship in 1975, his games here ) and composer. About his personality the best is to quote from an eulogy written by Michelle Vukcevich in 1983 (the eulogy was itself quoted in a biographical sketch centered on Milan's scientific achievements):
Milan was a continual, tireless educator. He gave lectures and encouraged students throughout his career and absolutely shined in the classroom. He believed that the evolutionary driving force of humanity is increased knowledge. He, himself, was constantly learning new things. He couldn't sit still for two minutes without a chess board or a science magazine in his hand. To his students he was an inspiration, to search for truth and understanding. And he was a counselor, to search for their personal growth...

Milan Vukcevich composed in all genres (orthodox, studies, fairy problems,...). His pet theme was the Bristol and his famous article about the Bristol can be found in the archive, which can be downloaded from here (open the 'bristol.html' file).

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 10th

Stuart Shirley Blachburne (10-03-1857 - 05-08-1934) New Zealander composer

In this Otago Witness tourney, Blachburne won also the 1st prize, but the 3rd prize is funnier to solve:

Blachburne, Stuart Shirley
Otago Witness, 1899
3rd Prize

#2 7 + 6

Show Solution

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 9th

Григорий Яковлевич Левенфиш (09-03-1889- 09-02-1961) Russian player and composer (Grigory Yakovlevich Levenfish)

Grigori Levenfish [Wikipedia]

Grigory Yakovlevich Levenfish was a leading Russian chess grandmaster of the 1920s and 1930s. He was twice Soviet champion. Here for more details about his chess career.
Grigory Levenfish composed endgame studies with Vasili Smyslov and he also wrote "Rook Endings" together with the former World Champion (Smyslov admitted that all of the hard work was carried out by Levenfish.)
We have selected a game-like study from that book:

Смыслов, Василий Васильевич & Левенфиш, Григорий Яковлевич

+Black to move 3 + 3

Show Solution

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 8th

ვაჟა ნეიძე (08-03-1937 - 11-02-2020) Georgian composer and International Master (Vasha Neidze)

Vasha Neidze
[© Hannu Harkola]

Vasha Neidze was one of the current leading headmasters of terrific Georgian endgame school. He was one of the founders of the Georgian Chess Composition society in Tbilisi, together with Akobia, Kalandadze, Gurgenidze. His endgames always show artistic qualities, as we can admire in the following study:

Neidse, Wascha
Молодость Грузии 1983
1st Prize, Nadareishvili JT

+ 5 + 5

Show Solution

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 7th

Jacobus Peet (07-03-1831 - 24-04-1914) Dutch composer

Jacobus Peet is merely known for his "Kegelschach" compositions, where the black King is surrounded by all his pawns. The most challenging to solve, due to silent second white moves, seems to be:

Peet, Jacobus
Deutsches Wochenschach, 1907
4th Prize

#4 3 + 9

Show Solution

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 6th

Although he was not a chess composer, let's have a thought for Ken Whyld, the chess historian (6 March 1926 – 11 July 2003) and The Ken Whyld Association named after him and in his memory.

Adolf Wilhelm Fritsch (06-03-1897 - 31-07-1972) German composer

Fritsch, Adolf Wilhelm
2575 Schach 03/1957
s#4 8 + 6

Show Solution

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 5th

Siegbert Tarrasch (05-03-1862 - 17-02-1934) German player, theoretician and composer

Siegbert Tarrasch

Beside being one of the strongest players and most influential chess teachers of his time (Praeceptor Germaniae), Siegbert Tarrasch made also important contributions to endgame theory (R+P vs R). He also demonstrated that the bad Bishop can also assist the promotion of marginal pawn through zugzwang (see this endgame study). We selected a nice and easy struggle for promotion:

Tarrasch, Siegbert

+ 3 + 2

Show Solution