The first study of judging

On the older page written about year and a half ago I have expressed some opinions about judging chess composition tourneys, criteria used for judging etc. I even have received some feedback from readers, moreover, I have published slightly revised version in the magazine Probleemblad this year at the beginning of my judgement of its fairies informal tourney 2001. Although I have consumed quite a lot of space in the magazine, the redaction has invited me again to judge their tourney, this time of year 2005.

My situation is now a bit different. I still like to judge, but recently I have done a lot of work over the judgement of FIDE Album 1998-2000 fairies section. Believe me, judging FIDE Album is difficult. It requires a lot of time, a lot of experience, so much that I even think that I might have failed in my effort to accomplish the job successfully. FIDE Album is not only about giving a handful of honours. You have to judge all the problems, mark them with points, you should not give points too high or too low, and it surely does not look well if the points given by two judges differ too much, while in the normal competition there is no one with whom the single judge is compared.

This brings me to the main idea of the present file. Usually, the judge is not compared to anyone. So OK, let's try to compare the judgements (not judges, as in my view any judge has the right to chose his ordering being once chosen to judge the tourney and anyone can like anything). I have prepared dozen problems, in a sense similar, but varying enough, to make judging sensible. All problems are I have chosen h#2 as this genre is the close for the largest part of CCM readers, beeing somewhere between orthodox twomovers and fairies... All the problems are by different authors, they are in different styles, published in different magazines, some of them already awarded, some of them not worthy of awarding at all, simply the usual mix of problems that might compete in the informal tourney.

Simply: How would YOU order these helpmates if YOU were the judge of the informal tourney with these helpmates competing? If you are interested in an answer and you would like to contribute, please do! Send me (to Juraj Lörinc) your ordering of all 12 problems, possibly your comments and anything you find interesting in this context. Let's say, the deadline might be the end of year 2004. Then, if I get at least some answers, I will compile the document describing the results of study.

For the convenience, as the webpage is not the most suitable for offline use, I have prepared 2 files with problems: If you have any other demand or question - just write me, please. I am the most curious about outcome of this study...
Helmut Zajic
Die Schwalbe 2000

1.Be4 Sxe4 2.Kxe4 Bxh7#

1.Rd4 Bxd4 2.Kxd4 Rd8#

Zajic theme (piece moves to a certain square, then it is captured on that square by a piece then captured on the very same square by the king) is shown here in both solutions, e4-B-S-K, d4-R-B-K.

h#2 (9+6)

Anatolij Stjopotchkin
Sachmatnaja kompozicia 2000

a) 1.Kd5 Rc1 2.Qd6 c4#

b) 1.Ke5 Rf1 2.Rd6 f4#

c) 1.Kc5 Rd1 2.Sd6 d4#

Three positions have common elements: 3 moves by bK, 3 moves by wR on the base rank, 3 blocks of d6 and finally 3 mates by pawn double-step.

h#2 (9+8)
b) f4 -» c4
c) b3 -» e3

Mirko Degenkolbe
2nd Place Czechia-Saxony 2000-2002

a) 1.exd1S+ Be2 2.Sxc3 0-0#

b) 1.exf1B+ Se3 2.Bxh3 0-0-0#

1st rank is cleared to allow mating by boh castlings. Black pawn promotes to the same type of piece as is captured, remaining white S or B pins itself on e-file and isn't used in mates. However the whole concept seems to be very original.

h#2 (9+9)
b) a1 «-» h1

Paz Einat
Ofer Comay

5th Comm e.a The Problemist 2000

a) 1.Kxd5 Kf4 2.Kc4 Ke5#

b) 1.Kxf2 Ke4 2.Kg2 Ke3#

Direct royal battery is constructed and subsequently fired, on the way some white pieces are eaten by bK. Thematical twinning gives the paradox - to mate Black, White has to rush with his king to the square occupied by wK in the initial position of the other phase.

h#2 (9+10)
b) e3 «-» e5

Jan Kovalic
Moment 2000

1.Rxc5 Sd1 2.Rd3 exf5#

1.Rc4 Sa4 2.Re3 dxc6#

1.Kxc5 Rxf5 2.Qe6 dxe6#

1.Ke3 Rxe7 2.Qxd5 exd5#

Two pairs of almost totally symmetrical solutions are ended by 4 pawn battery mates with capture.

h#2 (9+11)

Zoltan Labai
5th Prize Martin-Zilina 2000-2001

a) 1.Qxd4 c5 2.Bd3 Sc3#

b) 1.Qxc4 dxe5 2.Be3 d3#

With help of Black White pins the bQ and as soon as appropriate square is blocked by bB, White can mate using the pin of bQ.

h#2 (9+11)
b) h4 -» d1

Efren Petite
Buletin Problemistic 2000

1.Rd3 b3+ 2.Rdxb3 d6#

1.Se2 d6+ 2.Rd5 d3#

1.Ra1 d3+ 2.Sxd3 b3#

Cycle of white moves with tempo motivation: Black needs 2 moves to allow any of three prospective mates, but White lacks tempo moves. So White must check so that Black can parry the check immediately.

h#2 (9+12)

Mario Parrinello
4th Prize diagrammes 2000

a) 1.Kc7 Qg3 2.Sxb3 Re7#

b) 1.Kb5 Qxf5 2.Sxe6 Bc4#

Black Se5 is pinned in two different directions, but the point seems to be in the required jump of Sd4 - he must move away to get guard of b6 by wB.

h#2 (9+12)
b) b5 -» d6

Lev Grolman
Sachmatnaja Poezija 2000

a) 1.Rxb4 Sc4 2.Rxb7 Se3#

b) 1.Rxb7 Rc6 2.Rxb4 Rf6#

Inversion of moves by bR that selfpins twice, but after the first move it is unpinned, the battery is formed and then mates.

h#2 (9+12)
b) h2 -» c2

Menachem Witztum
1st HM Moskovskaja Matreshka, Pula 2000

a) 1.Bd3 Sd6 2.Se3 Sc6#

b) 1.Sd6 Sde3 2.Sd3 c3#

Move Sd5-e3 is repeated by both sides, as is the simultaneous closing of two lines g3-b8 and d8-d4 by knight move to d6.

h#2 (9+12)
b) d5 «-» e5

Valerij Gurov
1st Comm Wola Gulowska 2000

1.Rd6 Qf6 2.Re3 exd6#

1.Rf5 Rf4 2.Se3 exf5#

1.Qd6 Bb6 2.Sa1 cxd6#

The order of Black moves is determined by required anticritical character of first moves - White simply has to move along the battery line to avoing its guard after firing the battery.

h#2 (9+13)

Eliahu Fasher
Problemas 2000

a) 1.Rf5 Bc1 2.Kf4 Sd3#

b) 1.Kd5 Qd2 2.Re5 Sc3#

In the initial position bQ is pinned on the long diagonal by wB. In the mates, however, the same bQ is pinned by wQ on the orthogonal lines, while wB pins bR in the a) position and ... sleeps in b) position. Double pin mates are OK.

h#2 (9+14)
b) e1 -» b1

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
Back to main page of Chess Composition Microweb.