Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 23rd

Frank Janet (23-04-1875 - 08-09-1957) American composer

Frank Janet was one of the Good Companions who specialized in twomovers. His real name was Elias Silberstein.

Janet, Frank
Good Companion, Dec 1914
1st Prize

#2 10 + 8

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Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков (23-04-1899 - 02-07-1977) Russian-American composer and writer (Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov)

Vladimir Nabokov
© Horst Tappe, 1969

Note about Nabokov's birthday: some sources give 22nd April, others 23rd April. Let's quote the International Vladimir Nabokov Society: he "was born on (or about) April 23rd." That settles it.

Vladimir Nabokov, one of the prominent prose stylists of the 20th century, used also the pseudonym Vladimir Sirin, both for his writings and for his chess problems, to avoid confusion with his father. He was also a lepidopterist and a chess composer. He wrote about problem chess:
(P)roblems are the poetry of chess. They demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, harmony, conciseness, complexity, and splendid insincerity.
This quote is excerpted from Robert T. Tuohey's article "The Nabokovian Problem" which is an absolute must-read about Nabokov and chess problems. By the way, Nabokov's book "Poems and problems" has been long out of print.

This is the opportunity to mention chess and shogi composer Tadashi Wakashima, who is the author of the translation of "Lolita" in Japanese. Tadashi Wakashima is Professor of English at Kyoto University and a specialist of Joyce and Nabokov; he wrote an interesting article on "Lolita" based on his experience of translating the novel into Japanese.

Набоков, Владимир Владимирович
The Problemist, 1970

#2 8 + 4

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Julius Pelikán (23-04-1907 - 08-04-1946) Czech composer

Julius Pelikán composed helpmates.

Pelikán, Julius
Jas, 13th Jan 1939 (1007)

4 + 4

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Oscar Jorge Carlsson (23-04-1924 - 28-07-2011) Uruguayan-Argentinian composer

Oscar Carlsson

Oscar Carlsson started composing in 1954. He collaborated with José Mugnos during 12 years and they composed together 45 endgame studies. 30 of these studies were reproduced in Mugnos' book “Finales Artísticos Razonados” (1976).
See the site of the Argentinan problemists for more biographical details (in Spanish) and for a selection of 9 studies.

Carlsson, Oscar Jorge
Kaissa, 1986
3rd Honorable Mention

+ 4 + 5

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Богдан Валерійович Жежерун (23-04-1973) Ukrainian composer (Bogdan Valeryovich Zhezherun)

Bogdan Zhezherun composes mostly direct mates miniatures.

Жежерун, Богдан Валерійович
15 MT T.Amirov, 2009
3rd Prize

#2 vv 3 + 3

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Георгий Семёнович Баев (23-04-1912 - 21-03-1986) Russian composer (Georgy Semionovich Baev)

Georgy Baev
[Valery Surkov]

Georgy Baev composed mostly twomovers and many problems in collaboration with Lev Loshinsky.
They started in 1929. Here is a rare photo from 1930 with five young composers from Rostov-on-Don:

M. Adabashev, E.Umnov, Georgy Baev, S. Pimenov and Lev Loshinsky, 1930
[Valery Surkov]

You can find even on YACPDB one problem composed by the three young men Loshinsky, Baev and Umnov.
Valery Surkov provides more details and more photos on his blog.

Баев, Георгий
Лошинский, Лев Ильич

Вечерняя Москва, 1933
1st Prize

#2 10 + 11

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He also composed at least one three-mover:
A three-mover by Baev
[Valery Surkov]

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