Friday, August 31, 2012

September 1st

Alfred Wornum Mongrédien (01-09-1877 - 26-02-1954) British composer

Alfred Mongrédien was one of the great composers who promoted the logical problems. The results of his works were published in A. White's Christmas Series under the title "Antiform" (1929) co-authored by F. Palatz: it can be downloaded here.

Alfred Mongrédien composed strategic and economic moremovers in generally 4 moves. He also composed a twomover cylinder chess problem (see on

Mongrédien, Alfred Wornum
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1934

#4 6 + 10

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Mongrédien, Alfred Wornum
Chemnitzer Tageblatt, 1925
1st Prize

#5 8 + 11

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 31st

William Bone (31-08-1810 - 14-12-1874) British composer

William Bone composed direct mates and selfmates.
He wrote "One Hundred Original Positions" and was a friend of George Walker's (see Szén, July 9th)

Bone, William
Le Palamède, 1838

s#12 4 + 2

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Bone, William

+ 7 + 9

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 30th

Тигран Борисович Горгиев (30-08-1910 - 13-12-1976) Russian-Ukrainian composer and International Master (Tigran Borisovich Gorgiev)

Tigran Gorgiev

Tigran Gorgiev was an endgame study composer and International Judge. He was associated with the grotesque style and with domination studies.
You can read this article by S.Tkachenko about T.Gorgiev and his studies on
JMRW has selected some studies by Gorgiev on his site.
Tigran Gorgiev wrote a collection of  his studies "Избранные этюды" (Izbrannye Etyudy, 1959).

Горгиев, Тигран Борисович
Lenin MT, 1970
4th Prize

+ 4 + 5

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 29th

Павел Павлович Бобров (29-08-1862 - 23-12-1911) Russian composer (Pavel Pavlovich Bobrov)

Pavel Bobrov

If you can read Russian, you will discover details about Pavel Bobrov on Wikipedia.

While this threemover deserves a look because of its presentation of two en-passant captures (maybe the first achievement of this task in a threemover) this endgame study has been selected:

Бобров, Павел Павлович
Шахматное обозрение 1904

+  6 + 6

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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

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 27th

John Frederick Keeble (27-08-1855 - 19-02-1939) British composer

John Keeble
[Source: scan by M. McDowell]

John Keeble was a chess player/problem composer/chess historian. During the Ken Whyld Association (KWA) annual meeting this year, as reported by Tim Harding at ChessCafe, John Keeble was the subject of a talk by KWA treasurer Michael Negele:
"Keeble, who never married and lived very frugally, worked for fifty-three years as a railway clerk, rarely taking a day off. He conducted a chess column in the Norfolk News for several years before the First World War but only started playing tournaments in 1925, a few years after his retirement."
He wrote the book "An English Bohemian: A tribute to B.G. Laws" which can be downloaded here.


Keeble, John Frederick
Chess Monthly, 1891

s#2 10 + 9

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 26th

Сергей Михайлович Каминер (26-08-1908 - 02-11-1938) Russian composer (Sergey Mikhailovich Kaminer)

Sergey Kaminer

Sergey Kaminer composed endgame studies (and one helpmate). In 1937 he left a notebook with all his studies to his friend Mikhail Botvinnik, who revealed their existence in the 1950s after Stalin's death.
Rafael Kofman's 1981 book "Izbrannye etjudy" contains Kaminer's 75 studies. And JMRW reproduces 30 of Kaminer's studies on his website.

Каминер, Сергей Михайлович
«64» 1935 (679)
2nd Prize

+ 5 + 6

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Friday, August 24, 2012

August 25th

Alexander Karel Nanning (25-08-1878 - 1936) Dutch composer

Alexander Nanning was one of Frederik Nanning's three brothers.

Nanning, Alexander Karel
L'Échiquier de France, 1957
1st Prize

#2b) bRg6->f6 11 + 11

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 24th

Aurél Kárpáti (24-08-1916 - 22-12-2006) Hungarian-American composer and International Master

Aurél Kárpáti

Aurél Kárpáti was an excellent representative of the Hungarian helpmate school and he also composed selfmates.
He was for a short time the editor of "Magyar Sakkvilag" and he wrote "Ábrand és valóság : Kárpáti Aurél válogatott feladványai" (Fact and fiction: Selected problems of Aurel Karpati)

Kárpáti, Aurél M.
Magyar Sakkszövetség, 1968

h#2b) wQa4-->a5 8 + 11

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Kárpáti, Aurél M.
Magyar Sakkélet, Dec 1968 (3561)

h#2 7 + 9

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 23rd

Jan Kotrč (23-08-1862 - 17-10-1943) Czech composer

Jan Kotrč

Jan Kotrč lived in Vienna from 1900 until his death. He was a chess player and a specialist of the Bohemian threemover.
He was an editor of chess magazines "Šach-Mat" (1884-1885), "České listy šachové" (which he founded, 1896-1900) in Prague, and "Arbeiter Schachzeitung" in the 1920s-1930s in Vienna. In 1910 he published with Karel Traxler "Sachove Ulovy" containing their best works.

Kotrč, Jan
Шахматы 1929
1st Prize

#3 7 + 9

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 22nd

Antonin Novotný (22-08-1827 - 09-03-1871) Austrian-Czech problemist

Antonin Novotný collaborated with the "Illustrierte Zeitung" and the "Wiener Schachzeitung" and was one of the most notable problemists of the 19th century.
He gave his name to the Novotny theme : a white unit is sacrificed on a square where two lines of action of two long-range black pieces meet and thus interferes both of them simultaneously.

Novotný, Antonin
Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung, 1855

#3  7 + 8

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Monday, August 20, 2012

August 21st

Guy Wills Chandler (21-08-1889 - 28-05-1980) British composer

Guy W. Chandler
[Chess Pie 1922; scan by M. McDowell]

Guy W. Chandler wrote "A tribute to G.F. Anderson" (1974) as an homage to composer G.F.Anderson. In 1997 John D. Beasley, who as a librarian of the British Chess Problem Society had received in custody a scrapbook containing all Chandler's published compositions, wrote "A tribute to G.W.Chandler" where he characterized him in the following way:
"Guy Wills Chandler was a leading figure in British problem chess for more than half a century. His compositions, although not prolific, were always polished and entertaining, he was a staunch defender of traditional artistic values, and the burden of administrative work which he undertook was legendary. This tribute outlines his problem career, examines his critical standpoint, and presents a selection of his best problems."
His twomovers were in the "Good Companions" style, while his threemovers were in the Bohemian style and presented a blend of model mates.
Comins Mansfield sent his problems to the "Hampshire Telegraph & Post", where Guy Chandler was the chess editor. They became friends until the 1980s when they both died.
Guy Chandler was also an International Judge and the president of the British Chess Problem Society during the period 1956-1958.

Chandler, Guy Wills
British Chess Federation 73rd Tourney (Godfrey Heathcote Memorial) 1952
2nd Prize, 1952-1953

#2 9 + 11

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Chandler, Guy Wills
Observer, 1954

#3 6 + 8

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 20th

Samuel M. Joseph (20-08-1847 - 1910) American composer

Samuel Joseph composed direct mates.

Joseph, Samuel M.
Brighton Society, 1895
1st Prize

#2 10 + 9

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 19th

Jean Haymann (19-08-1932) Israeli composer and International Master

Jean Haymann

Jean Haymann initially lived in France and migrated to Israel. He's had, in direct mates and helpmates, a long composing career started 60 years ago and which is still going quite well, as his recent successes in 2011 can testify (see the Composing Tourney organized by our Israeli friends last year with excellent comments by judge Paz Einat).

Haymann, Jean
Israel Ring Tourney, 1983
1st Prize

h#22 solutions 11 + 8

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Friday, August 17, 2012

August 18th

Josef (not Jan!) Vančura (18-08-1898 - 19-11-1921) Czech composer

Josef (wrongly named Jan by Derdle in Ceskoslovensky Sach 1947) Vančura was the son of Josef Vančura, born on February 21st, 1870). This Czech composer who is essentially remembered for the "Vančura position", a KRP vs KR drawn position which was published posthumously in 1924 and can be seen in details right here.
However, the indispensable John D. Beasley offered a BESN Special Number 63 in 2010 about this too precociously departed composer : please consult it and discover his studies.

Note: in fact, John D. Beasley came back in BESN September 2010 with further details: it appears that "Jan" Vančura was in truth Josef Vančura (information from Emil Vlasák and Jaroslav Polásek, confirmed by Bedrich Formánek).

Here is one that was not quoted in BESN special number 63:

Vančura, Jan
28 Rijen, 1925

+ 3 + 5

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 17th

Михаил Моисеевич Ботвинник (17-08-1911 - 05-05-1995) Russian composer and o.t.b World Champion (Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik)

Mikhail Botvinnik

You all know Mikhail Botvinnik already (if not, please immediately read the Wikipedia page), but were you aware that he also composed endgame studies while he was World Champion?

Ботвинник, Михаил Моисеевич
Шахматы в СССР 1939
4th Prize

+ 3 + 3

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 16th

Victor Holst (16-08-1844 - 25-03-1924) Danish composer

Victor Holst

Victor Holst composed direct mates and wrote some articles for "Skakbladet" at the beginning of the19th century. He was the problem editor of the "Familie-Journalen".
He gave his name to the Holst theme: a thematic try fails due to a black promotion; during the solution, White's foreplan forces the black pawn to make a promotion different from that in the try and then White can apply the main plan of the try, which now works.

Holst, Viktor
Husrennen, 1886

#3 5 + 9

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 15th

Wolfgang Pauly (15-08-1876 - 03-03-1934) Romanian composer

Wolfgang Pauly

Wolfgang Pauly composed about between 4000 and 5000 problems in all genres. He collaborated with Alain C. White on several works of the Christmas series: "The White Rooks" (1910), "The Theory of Pawn Promotion" (1912) or "Asymmetry" (1927).

A first compilation of his works was published in 1948 by Dr Niemeijer, under the title "Zo sprak Wolfgang Pauly". A much extended compilation, including letters and problems from Pauly's own archives was published by Marian Stere in 2001 under the title "Wolfgang Pauly - Challenge of a Legacy". The Wolfgang Pauly archives are now at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek - National library of the Netherlands.

He is the author of problem themes such as the Perpetuum Mobile (also called the Pauly theme).

Pauly, Wolfgang
The Theory of Pawn-Promotion, 1912

#4 13 + 7

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Pauly, Wolfgang
Norwich Mercury, 1908
4th Prize

s#4 12 + 2

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Pauly, Wolfgang
Die Schwalbe, 1931 (1444/03/1931)
Dedicated to P.Leibovici und O.Costachel

h#3*    b) after the key of a)    3 + 2

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Monday, August 13, 2012

August 14th

František Havelka (14-08-1875 - 03-03-1951) Czech composer

František Havelka was a Bohemian direct mate composer.

Havelka, František
Československý šach, 1938 (27)

#3 6 + 7

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 13th

François Paul Loquin (13-08-1799 - 02-08-1877) French composer

François Paul Loquin was a chess player and published many direct mate problems between 1843 and 1875, in "Le Palamède", "La Régence" etc. Some biographical details can be found on the French website

Loquin, François Paul
Le Palamède, 1842

#3 3 + 1

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 12th

János Bartsch (12-08-1858 - 28-11-1905) Hungarian-Romanian composer

János Bartsch was a direct mate composer who sometimes used the pseudonym Silex.

Bartsch, János
Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1901
1st Prize

#3  10 + 10

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Friday, August 10, 2012

August 11th

Ottó Titusz Bláthy (11-08-1860 - 26-09-1939) Hungarian composer

Otto Blathy

Ottó Titusz Bláthy was an electrical engineer and an inventor. He was specialized in long moremover problems, but he composed in all genres. He was mostly interested in length records: in 1922 he published a selfmate in 342 moves. In 1889 he published "Vielzügige Schachaufgaben" which contains 400 of his problems. On you can see the solution of his #292 (1890, illegal position) and a photo of him. 

Bláthy, Ottó Titusz
International Chess Magazine, 1886

#5 2 + 5

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Bláthy, Ottó Titusz
Magyar Sakkvilág, 1922

h#7 2 + 7

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 10th

John Griswold White (10-08-1845 - 27-08-1928) American composer

John G. White

John G. White was the chess book collector who donated his immense collection to the Cleveland Public Library. He was not Alain Campbell White's father.

White, John Griswold
Canadian Illustrated News, 1879

#4 5 + 2

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 9th

Burney Means Marshall (09-08-1886 - 04-09-1957) American composer

Burney Means Marshall was a telegraph operator in Shreveport, LA (source).

Marshall, Burney Means
The Chess Review, Mar 1938 (958)
Prize, Honor

#2 8 + 11

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 8th

Ferenc Herpai (08-08-1910 - 16-11-1994) Hungarian composer

Ferenc Herpai
Ferenc Herpai was a twomover specialist.
He lent his name to a twomover theme:
Two dual avoidance variations close the two same black lines. One of the mates uses one of the closings, and the other mate the second closing.
A brillliant example by H.Ahues can be found here and an example by Herpai himself here.
He also composed helpmates.

Herpai, Ferenc
Die Schwalbe, 1936
1st Prize

#2 9 + 9

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Monday, August 6, 2012

August 7th

Max Lange (07-08-1832 - 08-12-1899) German composer

Max Lange

Max Lange was a good player who composed also direct mates and selfmates. He is noted as the inventor of the helpmate in an article in the Berlin Chess Association’s "Schachzeitung" in 1854 (here on PDB server. He was the composer of the first sound problem with en-passant key, with retro contents, in 1858: see it on PDB server.

Lange, Max
Sonntagsblätter für Schachfreunde, 1861

#5 9 + 9

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