Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August 1st

Karl Lorenz Jesper Jespersen (01-08-1848 - 07-08-1914) Danish composer

Jesper Jespersen

Jesper Jespersen composed direct movers. For more details about him, please visit Problemskak.dk (in Danish).
He also composed about 40 studies [thank you Alain!] with good results: 1st Prize, La Stratégie 1900-2, 3rd Prize Rigaer Tageblatt 1895.

Jespersen, Karl Lorenz Jesper
Southern Trade Gazette, 1883
2nd Place

#3 6 + 14

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Monday, July 30, 2012

July 31st

Henry Hosey Davis (31-07-1855 - 07-05-1954) British composer

"Henry Hosey Davis, a British chess player, seated in an ornately carved chair"
[John G. White Collection, Cleveland Public Library]

Henry H. Davis wrote the compilation "Chess problems" in 1906. He composed direct mates and has a very long composing career.

Davis, Henry Hosey
Bristol Mercury, 1892
1st Prize

#2 10 + 8

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 30th

Karel Rodkovský (30-07-1879 - 15-03-1960) Czech composer

Karel Rodkovský started composing Bohemian direct mates after retirement and published his first work in 1953 in "Lidové demokracii", whose problem column was then edited by Emil Palkoska.
Some of his games played in the Blansko tourney 1902 and in Prague 1900, as well as a few problems of his, can be found on jmss.chess.cz.

Rodkovský, Karel
Lidová demokracie, 1953 (83)

#3 6 + 3

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 29th

Peter Philipp Schmitt (29-07-1903 - ?) German composer

Peter Philip Schmitt composed direct mates.

Schmitt, Peter Philipp
Caissa, 1951
2nd Prize

#2 vv 5 + 8

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Friday, July 27, 2012

July 28th

Marcel Duchamp (28-07-1887 - 02-10-1968) French-American composer

Marcel Duchamp playing chess, by Kay Bell Reynal

Marcel Duchamp is considered as a very notable artist of the 20th century. His peculiarity, beyond his unconventional thought and subversive actions, was that he was so infatuated with the game of chess that he almost completely excluded artistic activities. His chess games can be played on chessgames.com.
One of his most famous quote about the subject, and the more relevant for chess composers, is the following:
"The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. ... I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists."
In 1932, Duchamp and Vitaly Halberstadt to publish "L'opposition et cases conjuguées sont réconciliées" (Opposition and corresponding squares are reconciled).

You can see on Ubu "A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements" by Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp and Hans Richter and Duchamp's dada film "Anemic Cinema" (1926).
Here more to understand Duchamp's works.

Duchamp, Marcel
Through the Big End of the Opera Glass, Dec 1943

White to play...[ What is the result? ] 4 + 4

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 27th

Ludwig Erdmann Bledow (27-07-1795 - 06-08-1846) German composer

Ludwig Bledow

Ludwig Bledow was a chess player and the founder of the German magazine "Schachzeitung der Berliner Schachgesellschaft" which later became "Deutsche Schachzeitung". He compiled Stamma's works in "Stammas hundert Endspiele".
In 2006 Jeremy P. Spinrad wrote an article on Chess Cafe about Ludwig Bledow : you may read it here http://www.chesscafe.com/text/spinrad11.pdf
He also composed a few problems:

Bledow, Ludwig Erdmann
Berliner Schachzeitung, 1846

s#6 4 + 2

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 26th

Benjamin S. Wash (26-07-1853 - 1906) American composer

Benjamin S. Wash composed direct mates. According to die Schwalbe, April 2006 A.C. White wrote in 1942 that Benjamin Wash had composed more than 1,000 problems. However White had lost the volume where these problems were recorded and only a small amount of those could be reconstructed. The remaining problems are good enough to make one wonder about the scope of Wash's works.

Wash, Benjamin S.
The Nashville Daily American, 1887

#2 7 + 6

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 25th

Arthur John Roycroft (25-07-1929) British composer and Honorary Master of the FIDE for Chess Compositions

John Roycroft, 1999

John Roycroft is an endgame study composer and International Judge. He founded the studies magazine End Game (EG) in 1965. He has composed little, but has written more: for instance "Test Tube Chess" (1972) revised as "The Chess Endgame Study" (1981), one of the best book about endgame studies.

He is the co-inventor of the Guy-Blanchford-Roycroft code, an efficient way of indexing endgame studies.

Roycroft, Arthur John
Themes 64, 1958
2nd Prize

=b) - wPh6 4 + 4

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Monday, July 23, 2012

July 24th

Edward Dunsany (24-07-1878 - 25-10-1957) Irish writer and composer

Edward Dunsany

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was a famous fantasy writer who inspired H.P. Lovecraft or J.R.R. Tolkien, but he was also a chess player and chess composer interested in retro problems.
He invented a fairy variant called Dunsany's Chess.

Dunsany, Edward
The Week-End Problems Book, 1932

#4 8 + 16

This problem is not what it seems...
Show Solution

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 23rd

Carel Christiaan Wilhelm Mann (23-07-1871 - 30-11-1928) Dutch composer

Carel Mann
[Jan van Reek]

Carel Mann was the first Dutch composer with international importance. He enjoyed studies with two Queens and some light figures and his studies and problems often showed Zugzwang.

Jan van Reek und Henk van Donk wrote about him "Carel Mann" (1991). An interesting extract, about Carel Mann's paranoid schizophrenia, can be found here.

Mann, Carel Christiaan Wilhelm
Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1911

+ 3 + 4

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Another of his problems has remained famous and is reproduced in anthologies:

Mann, Carel Christiaan Wilhelm
De Amsterdammer, 8th Jan 1893

#4 2 + 4

Black is in zugzwang: 1...f5 2.Qh4# or 1...Kf5 2.Qd5# but White cannot keep this position. What can White do?

Show Solution

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 22nd

Théodore Adrien Louis Herlin (22-07-1817 - 02-11-1889) French composer


Théodore Herlin published his first problem in 1845 and until 1860 all his originals were published under the name of "L'Anonyme de Lille". He was noticed and is still remembered for his strategic problems and especially for the Herlin ambush.

Herlin, Théodore Adrien Louis
Le Palamède, 15th Apr 1845 (39)

#4 5 + 2

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Another example:

Herlin, Théodore Adrien Louis
La Régence, 1849

#5 7 + 3

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Something rather different:

Herlin, Théodore Adrien Louis
La Régence, 1860
2nd Prize

#5 10 + 7

Show Solution

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 21st

Edward Bagehot Schwann (21-07-1872 - 07-09-1902) British composer

Edward B. Schwann composed direct mates in 2 or 3 moves.
This threemover is a good training for solvers, as well as this one:

Schwann, Edward Bagehot
Akademisches Monatsheft für Schach, 1898 (13-14/152)

#3 8 + 5

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 20th

Maximilian Philipp Friedrich von Klett (20-07-1833 - 01-10-1910) German composer

Philip Klett was renowned for composing extremely hard to solve problems, often with hidden zugzwang and many variations. He composed direct mates.
In 1878 he published "P. Klett Schachprobleme. Mit einer Einführung in die Theorie des Schachproblems" including 112 problems. It can be downloaded and read from here. The book was reissued 100 years later by John D. Beasley as "A Selection of Chess Problems by Philip Klett, with a solving commentary" (British Chess Magazine, 1978).

Von Klett, Maximilian Philipp Friedrich
Schachprobleme, 1878

#4 12 + 7

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Von Klett, Maximilian Philipp Friedrich
Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1875 (3989)

#4 9 + 12

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 19th

Erich Racz (19-07-1908 - 21-09-1982) Romanian-German composer

Erich Racz was a twomover composer.

Racz, Erich
Die Schwalbe, 1976

#2* v 12 + 8

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 18th

Johannes Kohtz (18-07-1843 - 05-10-1918) German composer

Johannes Kohtz met Carl Kockelkorn when they were still pupils and they engaged in chess composition. They published their first problem when they both were 17. Kohtz and Kockelkorn published their book "Das Indische Problem" in 1903 and "Zur Kenntnis des Schachproblems", a compilation of Bayersdorfer's problems, in 1902.
Even after the death of his close friend Kockelkorn on July 16, 1914, Kohtz still published his problems under both authors names. (source: Wikipedia).

He created the famous Roman theme with Carl Kockelkorn.
"A good defence to a threat is eliminated (usually by means of a foreplan) and a bad defence by the same unit (not previously available) is introduced."

Kohtz, Johannes & Kockelkorn, Carl
British Ty. 1866
2nd Prize, Set

#3 10 + 6

Show Solution

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 17th

Zdenek Oliva (17-07-1941) Croatian composer

Zdenek Oliva composes helpmates and fairy problems, especially good series problems.

Oliva, Zdenek
feenschach, 2002

Ser-=80 1 + 16

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Oliva, Zdenek & Koludrović, Branko & Pernarić, Josip
23rd TT Problemkiste, 2002
2nd Prize

ser-h=25 11 + 10

Show Solution

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 16th

August Alexander Johann von Cywinski de Puchala (16-07-1829 - 01-01-1905) Austrian composer

August von Cywinski de Puchala composed direct mates. Ralf Krätschmer quotes Kohtz & Kockelkorn, who wrote in their book "Das indische Problem" in 1903: "Wir halten ihn für einen der größten Schachstrategen" [We consider him as one of the greatest chess strategist] while Walther von Holzhausen thought he was the most significant foreplan master of the early period ("als den bedeutendsten Vorplan-Meister der Frühzeit").

Ralf Krätschmer provides more details on his site berlinthema.de.

Von Cywinski De Puchala, August Alexander Johann
Illustrirtes Familien-Journal, 1858

#4 8 + 10

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 15th

János Jakab Löwenthal (15-07-1810 - 20-07-1876) Hungarian - British composer

János Jakab Löwenthal

János Jakab Löwenthal was an excellent chess player who played against Morphy in two matches and wrote the compilation "Morphy's Games of Chess". He also occasionally composed some trifles such as this one:

Löwenthal, János Jakab
The Chess Player's Chronicle, 1851

#3 6 + 5

Show Solution

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 14th

Сергей Иванович Пименов (14-07-1907 - 1981) Russian composer (Sergey Ivanovich Pimenov)

Sergey Pimenov
[Thanks to Александр Никитин]

Sergey Pimenov was a twomover composer.

Пименов, Сергей Иванович & Пименов, Виталий Иванович
Труд (Москва) 1935
3rd Prize

#2 11 + 9

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 13th

Ionel Razu (13-07-1908) Romanian composer

Ionel Razu composed mostly direct mates.

Razu, Ionel
Revista Română de Şah, 1984
2nd Prize

#2 12 + 7

Show Solution

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July 12th

Percival Guy Laugharne Fothergill (12-07-1868 - 29-06-1948) British composer

Not much can be said about Percival Fothergill, except that he bears the name of a superhero and he composed direct mates.

Fothergill, Percival Guy Laugharne
Hackney Mercury, 1893
1st Prize

#2 12 + 5

Show Solution

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 11th

Santi Pirrone (11-07-1920 - 12-06-2006) Italian composer

Santi Pirrone was just a solver when he was encouraged to compose by his friend composer Umberto Castellari.

Pirrone, Santi
L'Italia Scacchistica, 1966
1st Prize

#2 vvv 10 + 5

Show Solution

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 10th

Otto B. Wurzburg (10-07-1875 - 19-10-1951) American composer

Otto Wurzburg
[Valery Surkov [broken link] ]

Otto Wurzburg was the nephew of W.A.Shinkman. He composed more than 1200 problems in 3 or more moves. He gave his name to a form of the Plachutta theme, the Wurzburg-Plachutta, whose definition was explained by Emmanuel Manolas on his blog.
Edgar Holladay compiled 200 of his problems in "Wurzburg Artistry" (1974) and Valery Surkov proposed many of his problems with their solutions on his website [broken link].

Wurzburg, Otto B.
Norwich Mercury, 8th Apr 1913

#4 9 + 11

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Wurzburg, Otto B.
The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 15th Jul 1917
1st Prize

#3 10 + 6

Show Solution

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 9th

József Szén (09-07-1805 - 13-01-1857) Hungarian composer

József Szén

József Szén was a strong player and his strength deployed itself all the better in the endgame.

He discovered what is now called the Szén position, a defensive drawing position in K+R vs K+R+B endgame. "Szén's position is the most important for over-the-board players. Compared to the Philidor Position, the kings are not opposite each other and the defending rook can prevent checkmate. The position is a draw only if there is enough room for the defending king on the side with the rooks" (Wikipedia).

More info about Szén can be found on edochess.ca and on the blog of Impala Publications. James O'Fee quotes "The Oxford Companion to Chess" (1984) by Hooper and Whyld and we can thus learn that József Szén had discovered all the mysteries of the "Three Pawns Problem" (initial position wKd1, Pa2, b2, c2 vs bKe8, Pf7, g7, h7) when he played it against Saint Amand and other French players in 1836. The verdict is that whoever plays first wins, for instance 1 Ke2 Kd7 2 Kf3 Kc6 3 a4 h5 4 c4 f5 5 Kg3 Kb6 6 b4 g5 7 a5+ Ka7 8 c5 h4+ 9 Kh2 Kb8 10 b5 f4 11 Kg2 g4 12 Kg1 g3 13 Kg2 Kb7 14 b6 +- (White sets up the last of four successive zugzwangs after which Black can no longer hold up White's pawns.) 14 ... Kb8 15 a6 Kc8 16 c6 Kb8 17 a7+ Ka8 18 c7  +-
The solution was published in 1838 by G. Walker and the English problemist William Bone.

Here is a conditional problem composed by him:

Szén, József
Le Palamède, 1836

#8 with bK mated on d5 3 + 1

Show Solution

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 8th

Karl Kaiser (08-07-1867 - 03-07-1934) German composer

Karl Kaiser composed direct mates.

Kaiser, Karl
Deutscher Arbeiter-Schach-Bund, 1922
1st Prize

#3 7 + 11

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July 7th

Knud Fabricius-Lauritzen (07-07-1890 - 06-10-1932) Danish composer

Knud Fabricius-Lauritzen composed direct mates.

Fabricius-Lauritzen, Knud
Skakbladet, 1931
1st Prize

#3 9 + 4

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 6th

Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (06-07-1818 - 13-03-1879) German player and composer

Adolf Anderssen

Adolf Anderssen was a mathematics professor and one of the world's leading chess players in the 1850s and 1860s. He is renowned for two spectacular games, the "Immortal" and the "Evergreen".

He was also (Wikipedia) "a very important figure in the development of chess problems, driving forward the transition from the "Old School" of problem composition to the elegance and complexity of modern compositions." He was the author of "Aufgaben fur Schachspieler" (1842) which can be downloaded from here.
Two of his most famous and often reproduced problems are this #4 with the Anderssen mate and this #4 with pin mate and critical move of the wR.

Let's have a look at another one:

Anderssen, Karl Ernst Adolf
Aufgaben für Schachspieler, 1852 (41)

#5 8 + 5

Show Solution

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 5th

Cyril Dedrle (05-07-1876 - 24-01-1944) Czech composer

Galerie československých skladatelů - Cyril Dedrle

Cyril Dedrle was a Bohemian threemover composer. I.Mikan and F.Macek compiled Dedrle's works in 1974 in the 11th volume of the collection "Galerie československých skladatelů" (Gallery of Czech composers) which can be read here.

Dedrle, Cyril
Československá republika, 15th Jan 1922

#3 6 + 6

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Dedrle, Cyril
Rudé právo, 9th Oct 1921

#3 5 + 10

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