Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November 1st

Josef Pospíšil (01-11-1861 - 30-12-1916) Czech composer

Josef Pospíšil was one of the masters of the Bohemian school. In 1887 he published "České úlohy šachové́" which included 320 Bohemian problems and an article about Bohemian composition. John D. Beasley translated this outline of the theory of chess problems by Josef Pospisil - with a selection of problems.
In 1907 he compiled the works of J. Dobrusky in "Šachové úlohy".

His own works are presented in two books: "České melodie", published in 1908 by White and Thompson in the White Christmas Series and the volume 2 of "České melodie", entitled "Šachové úlohy 1908-1916"
He can be seen on this photo.

Pospíšil, Josef
British Chess Association, 1886
1st Prize

#3 8 + 7

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Pospíšil, Josef
Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, 1889
Special Prize

#3 7 + 9

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 31st

Rudolf Heinrich Willmers (31-10-1821 - 24-08-1878) Austrian composer

Rudolf Heinrich Willmers was widely known as a brilliant player - the trill was his specialty - and composer... for the piano (source), but he also composed chess problems. "Musicians and Chess" reports the following anecdote:
While playing Schumann's 'Carnival' in a piano recital in Copenhagen, Willmers stopped suddenly, wrote on his cuff, and then continued. He explained afterwards that he had been struggling for a week to solve a difficult problem when the solution came to him in a flash. 'I had to jot it down to get it out of my head and let me concentrate entirely on my playing.
Which, of course, seems completely natural to chess solvers or composers.

Willmers, Rudolf Heinrich
1st American Chess Congress, 1857
1st Prize, set, 1857-1858

#4 6 + 8

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Monday, October 29, 2012

October 30th

A. J. C. E van Heycop ten Ham (30-10-1856 - 29-01-1925) Dutch composer

Source: National Library of the Netherlands - Koninklijke Bibliotheek

A. J. C. E van Heycop ten Ham composed direct mates.

Van Heycop Ten Ham, A. J. C. E.
Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1913

#3  9 + 9

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 29th

Pehr Henrik Törngren (29-10-1908 - 19-01-1965) Swedish composer

Pehr Törngren was a physician, writer, translator and psychoanalyst. He translated Freud as well as Thomas Mann.
His collection of chess problems was later integrated into Klaus Peter Zuncke's collection.
In 1928 he also wrote with Eric Törngren "Schackproblemet: en handbok för alla problemvänner".
He composed in all genres, direct mate miniatures, helpmates, selfmates, fairy problems or items with retro content.

Törngren, Pehr Henrik
Aftonbladet, 1930
1st Prize

     5 + 5

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 28th

Richard Steinweg (28-10-1860 - 1943) German composer

Richard Steinweg
[Berlinschachverband [broken link]]

Richard Steinweg composed direct mates, selfmates, helpmates and retro problems (especially help-retractors).
He composed also several Kegelschach problems (such as this one, this, this or this).
More about him on the Berlin chess club website [broken link] which quotes the magazine "Deutsche Schachblätter" 3/1938 celebrating Steinweg's 50th anniversary as a member of the club.

Steinweg, Richard
E.Birgfeld MT - Die Schwalbe
, 1939
2nd Prize

#3 9 + 7

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Friday, October 26, 2012

October 27th

Kārlis Bētiņš (27-10-1867 - 28-03-1943) Latvian composer

Karl Behting (Deutsches Wochenschach, 5 January 1908)

Kārlis Karlovich Bētiņš (Karlis Betins, Karl Behting) was a chess master and composer of studies, as was his brother Jānis. We remind our readers of the existing brochure by John Beasley about the Behting brothers which can be read on John Beasley's site (BESN special number 52).

Recently John Nunn published on ChessBase some analyses related with Karl Behting's draw study Baltische Schachblätter 1908 which, with the help of a seven-man database, was proved correct.

Bētiņš, Kārlis
Kagan's Neueste Schachnachrichten, 1920 (22)
1st Prize

+  5 + 5

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 26th

Ārons Ņimcovičs / Aaron Nimzovitsch (26-10-1886 - 16-03-1935) Latvian-Danish composer

Aron Nimzowitsch

Aron Nimzowitsch was a well-known chess player, author of the influential "Mein System".
He also composed a few problems and studies, such as this one:

Ņimcovičs, Ārons
Baltische Zeitung, 11th Dec 1918 (26)

#3 7 + 5

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 25th

Friedrich Martin Palitzsch (25-10-1889 - 02-03-1932) German composer

Friedrich Palitzsch was a founding theoretician of the German Logical school. He created, explored and promoted the Dresden theme: A good defence to a threat is eliminated (usually by means of a foreplan) and a bad defence by a different piece (not previously available) is introduced.
In 1917 he wrote "Die Ablenkung, das Element der indirekten Kombination" which exposed the concepts of the neo-German school.

Palitzsch, Friedrich Martin
Svenska Dagbladet, 1929

#3 3 + 4

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Palitzsch, Friedrich Martin
Dresdner Anzeiger, 1925
4th Prize

#3 9 + 9

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 24th

Miroslav Soukup (24-10-1903 - 1981) Czech composer

Miroslav Soukup
[Vaclav Kotesovec]

Miroslav Soukup composed direct mates and selfmates. Vaclav Kotesovec dedicated a page of his site to M.Soukup where he detailed the list of his editorial achievements: columns for chess magazines such as "Československi šach", books dedicated to fellow composers. Such as an homage "Josef Cumpe - Věrný Čech" (1943) can be downloaded from here.

Soukup, Miroslav
Parallèle 50, 1948
1st Prize

#7  8 + 9

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Soukup, Miroslav
Pauly MT, 1934
1st Prize

s#5  12 + 7

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Monday, October 22, 2012

October 23rd

Евгений Иванович Куббель (23-10-1894 - 1942) Russian composer (Evgeny Ivanovich Kubbel)

Evgeny Kubbel was one of the Kubbel brothers. He composed about 150 problems (most of them direct mates in two).

Куббель, Евгений Иванович
Труд (Москва) 1935
1st Prize

#3 12 + 12

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 22nd

Stěpán Zimmermann (22-10-1867 - 19-08-1938) Czech composer

Stěpán Zimmermann composed direct mates, mostly in three moves, in the Bohemian style.

Zimmermann, Stěpán
Plzeňské listy, 1890

#3 7 + 9

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 21st

Johan Axel Åkerblom (21-10-1904 - 05-06-1980) Swedish composer and International Master

Axel Åkerblom

Johan Axel Åkerblom became an International Judge as soon as the title was created in 1956. He composed more than 5,000 problems in 2 or 3 moves and was known as "the Swedish Bohemian".
He was the editor of the problem column of the Swedish magazine "Schackvärlden" (1928-1945).

Åkerblom, Johan Axel
British Chess Federation 68th Tourney, 1947
2nd Prize

#3 4 + 13

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Åkerblom, Johan Axel
Palkoska-Turnier, 1956
1st Prize

#3 9 + 10

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Friday, October 19, 2012

October 20th

Karl Fabel (20-10-1905 - 03-03-1975) German composer and International Master


Karl Fabel composed in all genres with a marked preference for miniatures and for problems with retroanalytical contents. In 1936 he wrote the book "Kleinkunst" together with Massmann and Palatz and afterwards numerous other books, such as "Rund um das Schachbrett", the last book being "Introduction to Retrograde Analysis" (1974).
In 2014 Friedrich Friedel gave examples of problems quoted by Karl Fabel in "Kurioses Schach" on ChessBase.

Fabel, Karl
Die Schwalbe, 1940
4th Prize

#3 5 + 5

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Fabel, Karl
Problemas, 1973

3 + 7

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 19th

Михаил Михайлович Барулин (19-10-1897 - 23-05-1943) Russian composer (Mikhail Mikhailovich Barulin)

Mikhail Barulin
[Grigory Popov]

Mikhail Barulin was the editor of the problem section of the Soviet magazine "64" from 1935 to 1941 and of "Shakhmatny v SSSR" from 1938 to 1941. He is considered as one of the creators of the modern twomover, which he made more popular thanks to his articles published in worldwide magazines. He has popularized white tries in twomovers since 1927.

Vladimir Tyapkin recalled in details on Mat Plus forum in January 2010 the circumstances in which M. Barulin wrote the article "Chaos in thinking" (Сумбур в мыслях) in Chess in USSR №7, 1936, as a reply to an article written by M.Botvinnik and L.Spokoiny. Barulin's scanned article was made available by Vladimir:
1st part.
2nd part.
Sergey N. Tkachenko also wrote about this controversial topic on, reproducing both articles in text and placing the two articles in the larger context of the relation between chess players and chess composition, in the USSR and without.

Барулин, Михаил Михайлович
Шахматы 1929
1st-2nd Prize

#2* 10 + 10

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Барулин, Михаил Михайлович
Pravda, 1926

#3 7 + 9

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 18th

Helmut Lenhart (18-10-1919 - ?) German composer

Helmut Lenhart composed direct mates.

Lenhart, Helmut
Weser-Ems, 1949
1st Prize

#2 9 + 9

Show Solution

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 17th

Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa (17-10-1818 - 27-07-1899) German composer

Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa

Tassilo von der Lasa was a very good chess player and chess historian and wrote the "Handbuch des Schachspiels" (1843) and "Zur Geschichte und Literatur des Schachspiels, Forschungen" (1897) as well as many articles for the "Deutsche Schachzeitung". He also composed studies.

Von Heydebrand Und Der Lasa, Tassilo

= 2 + 4

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Monday, October 15, 2012

October 16th

Hermann von Gottschall (16-10-1862 - 07-03-1933) German composer

Hermann von Gottschall
[Chess Notes]

Hermann von Gottschall was a strong chess player and the chief editor of the "Deutsche Schachzeitung".
He was the author of "Kleine Problem-Schule" (1885), "Sammlung von Schachaufgaben" (1898–1908) and "Streifzüge durch das Gebiet des Schachproblems"(1926).

Von Gottschall, Hermann
Frankfurter Schachzeitung, 1895
1st Prize

#3 7 + 4

Show Solution

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 15th

Norman Martin Gibbins (15-10-1882 - ?) British composer

Norman Gibbins composed direct mates and reflexmates.

Gibbins, Norman Martin
A.C.White-50 JT, The Problemist, 1930

r#2 6 + 3

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 14th

Fridtjof M. Godager (14-10-1883 - 07-06-1967) Norwegian composer

Fridtjof Godager and his son, 1939

Fridtjof Godager composed direct mates.

Godager, Fridtjof M.
Norsk Sjakkblad, 1921

#3 5 + 7

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Friday, October 12, 2012

October 13th

František Dedrle (13-10-1878 - 28-05-1957) Czech composer

František Dedrle

John D. Beasley presented this composer in BESN Special Issue 31 where he also gave a few of his studies with commented solution and which can be read with pleasure:
"The Moravian composer and analyst František Dedrle (1878- 1957) was an all-rounder whose interests embraced problems, studies, and endgame theory. Problemists know him from "Böhmische Schachminiaturen" (1922), from his introduction (in English) to A. C. White's book "Bohemian Garnets" on the problems of Miroslav Havel (1923), and from his trilingual book "Echo" (1927). His writings on the endgame included an article on Drtina's theory of critical squares in pawn endings (1919) and a book "Studie" (1925) containing 150 studies with detailed analysis (...)"
He was also an International Judge.
Read "Böhmische Schachminiaturen" here.

Dedrle, František
British Chess Federation 20th Tourney, 1935
2nd Prize

#3  9 + 10

Show Solution
Dedrle, František
80 Eindspelstudies, 1926

+  3 + 3

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 12th

Aleister Crowley (12-10-1875 - 01-12-1947) British composer

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley (born Edward Alexander Crowley) was one of the most influential occultists of all times but he also composed chess problems. This is his first published work:

Crowley, Aleister
The British Chess Magazine, Dec 1893 (no. 987)

s#2  13 + 8

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 11th

Raymond C.J. Gevers (11-10-1882 - 11-05-1954) Dutch composer

Source: ChessAntiquarian

Raymond Gevers was a twomover composer in the Good Companion style and a theoretician who wrote "All Change Here! A Treatise on the Change-mate Two-Mover together with a Collection of 325 Examples" with Philip Hamilton Williams (1919). This book includes mutate problems.

Gevers, Raymond C. J.
Die Schwalbe, 1932
1st Prize

#2 * 12 + 10

Show Solution

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 10th

Heinrich Cordes (10-10-1852 - 24-04-1917) German composer

Heinrich Cordes

Heinrich Cordes was a writer, chess solver and composer.
The endgame that made him famous was the following reciprocal zugzwang:

Cordes, Heinrich
Rigaer Tageblatt, 1895
2nd Prize

+  6 + 5

Show Solution

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 9th

Maurits Franken (09-10-1891 - ?) Dutch composer

Maurits Franken composed direct movers.

Franken, Maurits
British Chess Federation, 1927
1st Prize

#2 10 + 7

Show Solution

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 8th

Rudolf Bílek (08-10-1882 - 02-12-1966) Czech composer

Rudolf Bílek was a chess player who composed threemovers.

Bílek, Rudolf
Prager Presse, 1927
4th Prize

#3 5 + 5

Show Solution

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 7th

Karel Kámen (07-10-1903 - 19-03-1971) Czech composer

Karel Kámen composed direct mates.

Kámen, Karel
Československý šach, Dec 1967 (220)
2nd HM

#3 7 + 10

Show Solution

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 6th

Arthur Ford Mackenzie (06-10-1861 - 23-06-1905) Jamaican composer

Arthur Ford Mackenzie

Arthur Mackenzie lost his eyesight in 1896 but continued to compose chess problems. His 282 problems were compiled by A.C. White in "Chess Lyrics" in 1905: it was the first volume of the White Christmas series, which can be downloaded and read from here.
More details about this Jamaican citizen can be found on He wrote and published in 1897 in Kingston the book "Chess: Its Poetry and Its Prose", as recalled Edward Winter in his Chess Notes.

His most famous problem may be this one:

Mackenzie, Arthur Ford
Sydney Morning Herald, 1905
1st Prize

#2 12 + 11

Show Solution
Mackenzie, Arthur Ford
Bohemian Chess Club, 1877
1st Prize

#3 10 + 10

Show Solution