Friday, November 30, 2012

December 1st

Ivan O. Kos (01-12-1846 - 26-11-1907) Slovenian composer

Ivan Kos

Ivan Kos was a talented composer of direct mates and selfmates.
"Slovenski glasnik" was the first Slovene language magazine with a chess column, which was edited by Josip Ogrinec and Ivan Kos.

He composed the first realization of a very productive selfmate idea discussed on Mat Plus forum in 2007. Here is this seminal selfmate in 8 moves:

Kos, Ivan O.
Шахматный вестник 1886

s#8 6 + 2

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This mate in 5 was included in the collection published by John Augustus Miles "Chess gems: Some of the finest examples of chess strategy, by ancient and modern masters" (1878) which can be downloaded from

Kos, Ivan O.
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1869
1st Prize

#5 9 + 8

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 30th

Gustaaf Josephus Nietvelt (30-11-1897 - 15-11-1961) Belgian composer

Gustaaf Nietvelt
[Article by G. Nietvelt about the Schiffmann Defence
Revista de Sah 1928 p.131

Gustaaf Nietvelt was the founder of the Belgian magazine "De Problemist" (1927-1931) which later merged with "Het Schaakleven".
He mostly composed twomovers. His name was given to a black defence.
"Nietvelt defence: A black unit selfpins itself because the threat must unpin it by withdrawal. The selfpinning must be used thereafter."

Nietvelt, Gustaaf Josephus
Skakbladet, 1931
2nd Place

#2* 9 + 6

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 29th

Georg Marco (29-11-1863 - 29-08-1923) Romanian-Austrian composer

Georg Marco
[Roger Paige]

Georg Marco was a chess player born in Bucovina and editor of the "Wiener Schachzeitung" during 18 years. He also composed a few problems and wrote "Meister des Problems" with Eduard Mazel (1924).

Marco, Georg
Wiener Hausfrauen-Zeitung, 1883

#3  7 + 4

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 28th

Thomas Rayner Dawson (28-11-1889 - 16-12-1951) British composer

Thomas Rayner Dawson

Thomas Rayner Dawson was an incredibly active problemist: inventor of many fairy pieces (Grasshopper, Nightrider, etc) and conditions, composer of thousands of problems (fairy, directmates, selfmates, endings), founder-editor of "The Problemist" and of "The Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement" which became "The Fairy Chess Review", writer of numerous books and problem collections.

His biography by George Jelliss can be found on "The Problemist" website, as well as a presentation of "The Early Work of T.R. Dawson".

Some of his books can be read online:

Dawson, Thomas Rayner
The Gambit, 1928
1st Prize

s#3Maximummer 10 + 9

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One of his Grasshoppers problems:

Dawson, Thomas Rayner
The Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement, Feb 1936 (2212)
In memory of C. M. Fox

h#2f6, a5, c5, g4: Grasshopper
10 + 13

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Monday, November 26, 2012

November 27th

Heinrich S. Eichstädt (27-11-1823 - 23-04-1905) German composer

Heinrich S. Eichstädt was a precursor of the German school.

Eichstädt, Heinrich S.
Neue Berliner Schachzeitg, 1867

#5 6 + 7

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Eichstädt, Heinrich S.
Schachzeitung, 1856

#5 5 + 5

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 26th

Carl Kockelkorn (26-11-1843 - 16-07-1914) German composer

Carl Kockelkorn and Johannes Kohtz published their first common chess problem when they were 17 and being in total accord after a short while they decided to publish their problems as co-productions. After Carl Kockelkorn died in 1914, Kohtz still published his problems under both authors names.

Together they founded the logical school of chess composition, in reaction against the old German school founded by Johann Berger.

Kohtz, Johannes & Kockelkorn, Carl
The Times, 26th Sep 1902 (No.176)

#3 8 + 4

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 25th

Hyacinth R. Agnel (25-11-1799 - 10-02-1871) American composer

Hyacinth R. Agnel
[Sarah's Chess Journal]

Hyacinth R. Agnel was a professor (taught French) and Army Colonel at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a chess problemist. In 1845, he formed the first chess club at West Point.

He was the author of the popular 1848 chess book, "Chess for Winter Evenings", for which he did his own engravings.

Agnel, Hyacinth R.
American Chess-Nuts, 1868 (4-moves / 2)

#4 6 + 3

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Agnel, Hyacinth R.
American Chess-Nuts, 1868 (4-moves / 11)

#4 5 + 9

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November 24th

Леонид Антонович Исаев (24-11-1899 - 02-09-1932) Russian composer (Leonid Antonovich Isaev)

Leonid Isaev
[Задачи и этюды 5/1928]

Leonid Isaev was a twomover composer and is considered as one of the creators of the modern twomover, with Barulin.
He collaborated with many magazines, such as "Задачи и этюды" (Zadachy i etyudy) "Шахматы" (Shakhmati) or "64", and wrote a few problem books like "Шахматная задача" (1925), "300 шахматных задач" (1933).

Исаев, Леонид Антонович
Задачи и этюды 1928
1st Prize, 1927

#2 7 + 14

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 23rd

Charles Henry Waterbury (23-11-1816 - 23-03-1882) American composer

Charles Henry Waterbury
[Chess Archaeology]

Charles Henry Waterbury composed direct mates and also fairy problems such as the mate in 11 moves to 9 black Kings mentioned by Edward Winter in his Chess Notes 7631.

Waterbury, Charles Henry
American Chess-Nuts, 1868 (2-moves / 367)

#2 8 + 7

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 22nd

Andrés Clemente Vázquez (22-11-1844 - 21-02-1901) Cuban-Mexican composer

Andrés Clemente Vázquez

Andrés Clemente Vázquez published in 1898 "En el ocaso", a compilation of his articles (source). He also published in 1874 "Análisis del juego de ajedrez".
He was the first chess club president of Mexico and composed direct mates.

Vázquez, Andrés Clemente
Enigmas Problemas, 1890

#3 5 + 1

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 21st

Frederick E. Gamage (21-11-1882 - 24-12-1956) American composer

Frederick Gamage
[Source: Illustrated Western Weekly News, cca 1910
scan © Michael McDowell]

Frederick Gamage was specialized in two and three-movers and was one of the precursors of the American composition.
In 1941 Alan White published "Frederick Gamage. An artist in Chess problem" which contains 100 selected problems and can be downloaded and read from here.
In 2004 Mike Prcic published the anthology "Frederick Gamage".

His name was given to a problem theme.
Gamage theme: White can directly unpin a black piece because Black has just interfered with it.

Gamage, Frederick E.
The Brisbane Courier, 1915
1st HM

#2 9 + 8

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Gamage, Frederick E.
The Falkirk Herald, Keeble MT, 1940
1st Prize

#2 10 + 7

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Gamage, Frederick E.
The Pittsburgh Leader, 1910
1st Prize

#3 11 + 10

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Monday, November 19, 2012

November 20th

José Tolosa y Carreras (20-11-1846 - 28-04-1916) Spanish composer

José Tolosa y Carreras

José Tolosa y Carreras was a chess player, composer and writer. He was a pupil of Joan Carbó i Batlle, and master of Josep Paluzie i Lucena and Valentí Marín i Llovet.

Tolosa Y Carreras, José
Tourney of Barcelona, 1913
Dedicated to Esteban Puig y Puig

#3 8 + 9

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Tolosa Y Carreras, José
La Stratégie, 1893
Dedicated to Ernest Bertrand

s#4 12 + 7

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 19th

Frank Healey (19-11-1828 - 17-02-1906) British composer

Frank Healey

Frank Healey is remembered for his amazing problems, compiled in "A collection of 200 chess problems" (1866) which can be downloaded and read from here.
In Healey's own words:
“Problems are indeed the poetry of chess. The same depth of imagination, the same quick perception of the beautiful, the same fecundity of invention, which we demand from the poet, are to be found, under a different form, in the humble labours of the problematist. Surely, without pressing the analogy too far, we may say that the thirty-two pieces form the alphabet of the composer, while the Chess board is the paper, and the positions finally resulting may be fairly likened to so many stanzas.”

Die Schwalbe presented one of his problems as a precursor of the Plachutta theme.
One of Healey's problems in particular spectacularly presented the clearance that was named Bristol theme, after the tourney won by the problem:

Healey, Frank
Bristol-Turnier, 1861 (1)
1st Prize

#3 12 + 7

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This twomover is also famous:

Healey, Frank
Chess Monthly, 1885
1st Prize

#2 10 + 9

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 18th

Harold Maurice Lommer (18-11-1904 - 17-12-1980) British-Spanish composer and International Master

Harold Lommer

Harold Lommer was born in England from German parents and moved to Spain after WWII. He wrote "1234 Modern End-Game Studies" with M.A. Sutherland in 1938 and a sequel "1357 End-Game Studies. The best chess compositions 1935-1973" in 1975. More details about him can be found (in Spanish) on Ajedrez365.
He composed problems and studies.

Lommer, Harold Maurice
Journal de Genève, 1933
1st Prize

+ 8 + 7

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Lommer, Harold Maurice
Feenschach, 1966

h#8 2 + 5

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November 17th

Михаил Владимирович Тронов (17-11-1892 - 07-12-1978) Russian composer (Mikhail Vladimirovich Tronov)

Mikhail Tronov

Mikhail Tronov was a climatologist and composed direct mates in the Bohemian style.

Тронов, Михаил Владимирович
Шахматы 1926
3rd Prize

#3 10 + 9

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 16th

Володимир Михайлович Чорноус (16-11-1933) Ukrainian composer (Vladimir Chernous)

Vladimir Chernous
[Grigory Popov]

Vladimir Chernous composes problems and studies.

Чорноус, Володимир Михайлович
Шахматная поэзия 2001 (1158)
3rd Prize

+ 4 + 3

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 15th

Joseph Edmund Peckover (15-11-1896 - 16-04-1982) British-American composer

Joseph Peckover was an endgame study composer. According to Bill Wall and EG-48,
Joseph Peckover was the best known American chess composer in the early 20th century. He was born in England but emigrated first to Canada, where he edited an endings column in the "Regina Daily Reader" and to New York in 1921. He was the endgame editor for the American Chess Quarterly from 1961 to 1965. He has worked principally as a free-lance portrait artist, concentrating in the 1970s on coloured pencil portraits of children.

Peckover, Joseph Edmund
problem (Zagreb) 1958
1st Prize

= 3 + 3

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 14th

Max Otto (14-11-1882 - 31-12-1957) German composer

Max Otto composed direct mates.

Otto, Max
Arbeiter Schachzeitung, 1926 (1413)

#3 10 + 9

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Monday, November 12, 2012

November 13th

Frederick Forrest Lawrie Alexander (13-11-1879 - 01-04-1965) British composer

Bob Meadley wrote about Frederick Alexander in "A Letter to Bert":
"He was Vice President and President of the BCPS and being an accountant started a permanent fund that placed the Society in a strong financial position. (...) On his play he defeated Bogoljubov and Golombek at Southsea in 1950, played for Surrey for 40 years and was 7 times champion of the Battersea Chess Club. (...) Clearly a friend of Guy Chandler."

He composed direct movers.

Alexander, Frederick Forrest Lawrie
The British Chess Magazine, 1911

#2 9 + 7

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 12th

Арвид Иванови Куббель (12-11-1889 - 11-01-1938) Russian composer (Arvid Ivanovich Kubbel)

Arvid Kubbel

Arvid Kubbel was Evgeny and Leonid Kubbel's brother and like them he was a chess player and composer. He composed problems and studies, mostly Bohemian threemovers.

Куббель, Арвид Иванович
Neue Leipziger Zeitung, 1933
2nd Prize

#3 7 + 6

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 11th

Anton A.C. Trilling (11-11-1892 - 16-02-1947) German composer

Anton Trilling was specialized in strategic multimovers.
He was the first president of the "Die Schwalbe" association.

Trilling, Anton A. C.
Die Schwalbe, 1938

#5 10 + 9

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Friday, November 9, 2012

November 10th

Josef V. Mařík (10-11-1880 - ?) Czech composer

Josef V. Mařík composed direct mates.

Mařík, Josef V.
Národní politika, 1941
1st Prize

#3 5 + 12

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 9th

Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani (09-11-1719 - 15-07-1796) Italian composer


Domenico Ponziani was "an 18th-century Italian law professor, priest, chess player, composer and theoretician." In 1769 he wrote "Il giuoco incomparabile degli scacchi".
Nuestro Circulo #156 presented an article about Ponziani.

One of the very first selfmates:

Ponziani, Domenico Lorenzo
Il Giuoco Incomparabile degli Scacchi, 1769

s#5  7 + 4

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