Reflections on section G of WCCI 1998-2000
(If you aren't interested in my ideas and you just want to look at some good problems,
click here. :o) )
On the Marko Klasinc's page he recently published preliminary results of
fairy section of World Composing Championship for Individuals for years 1998-2000
As I am competitive man and fairy chess is my main field of interest, I participated in it. Let me present
now some my views as I have been thinking about the outcome of the competition a bit.
If you by chance don't know the results, here are the names of the winners and the points they got:
1. Petko Petkov 47 (of 48 possible), 2. Reto Aschwanden 35, 3. Tadashi Wakashima 35, 4.Venelin Alaikov 35,
5. Juraj Lörinc 35, 6. Václav Kotesovec 32, 7. Sergej Smotrov 32, 8. Frantisek Sabol 29.5,
9. Alexandr Shvichenko 28.5, 10. Tode Ilievski 28.5, etc.
My first reaction was very negative. Not because of beeing placed "only" 5th, not because of beeing the
most unfortunate of 4 composers getting 35 points and with the worst tie-breaker. No! I was happy to
finish 5th, it is no shame to end behind aces as Petkov, Aschwanden, Wakashima and Alaikov. I finished
just above other two very experienced and respectable fairy composers, Kotesovec and Smotrov. And the
matter of tie-breaker... someone must be the one with bad luck, this time it was me, other time
it will be someone else. It is no problem.
The problem is... how in the hell I can be so high? If top composers didn't ignore the competition
I'd hardly enter Top ten. What about Michel Caillaud, Christian Poisson, Juraj Brabec, Franz Pachl,
Klaus Wenda, Unto Heinonen, Kjell Widlert, Hans Peter Rehm, Yves Cheylan, Hans Gruber, Hubert Gockel,
George Sphicas (previous World Champion based on 1989-1991 FIDE Album), Erich Bartel, Torsten Linß,
René-Jean Millour, Ronald Turnbull
(to name just some of my personal fairy stars)? In fact just after publication of participants list I knew
I'd be almost surely among Top 10.
It was their personal decision not to compete. They don't need any title nor any high place. It is not
critics on their heads. Rather it is directed to PCCC - is there any way to motivate the composers to take
part in the competition? They (almost) all send their works for Album FIDE selections - there is some
crucial difference between FIDE Album and WCCI. It should be found and removed, I think.
So I see my personal result from two perspectives. It will have no impact on my "professional" reputation.
Everyone "in" knows that the competition was weak in the sense of portion of top fairy composers
that took part in it.
On the other hand, it can (and already did) improve my reputation among
outsiders, people having nothing to do with chess composition. Firstly, shortly after the result publication
I tested it with very difficult test.
I let my sisters know about results web page. They are already used to hear about my publications abroad and winning
the distinctions there, there is very little left that can excite them. Nevertheless, reading I was
5th in World Championship, it shook them. Secondly, a few people already congratulated me, including one colleague
from my bank who positively didn't know I do chess composition (How did he find out I finished 5th? It is
a mystery for me...). I can well understand the reason for running the world championships in chess composition
- if the reaction is the same or even stronger for higher placed (but dependent on material conditions) composers,
they can possibly find some sponsors motivated by their success in WCCI.
The system of points that was used, is in my opinion flawed. Again, I don't know the reason, but the outcome is
strange. How in the hell :0) I can have as many points as Reto Aschwanden? I am sure
he is at least one class above me. I see
the only one possible reason - he sent only fairy twomovers and they competed among themselves, losing points that
would be surely earned if there was only one such twomover. I selected my problems with a wish to prevent that situation,
I competed with the following problems:
Strangely enough, they surely aren't my best compositions, due to two reasons: 1. in WCCI wasn't allowed joint compositions
and a lot of better my works I did in collaboration with various composers. 2. The period 1998-2000 was for me
a bit weaker than 1995-1997.
- h#2 with grasshoppers and nightriders
- #2 with Kamikaze chess, vaos, paos, camels
- s#32 with One-way chess and various forced squares
- #2 with paralysing units
- h#11 with grasshopper, nightrider-hopper, moa and royal units
- h#2 with orphans
Last critical remark. It is questionable whether 1.33 composition per year is enough for a composer to qualify for
title of World Champion. Of course, it didn't happen this time, but theoretically it can be enough to compose
4 compositions in 3 years and gain very high placement. In the former Czechoslovakia the Championships were run for
3-year periods too, composers were allowed to submit 8 compositions and 6 best were counted. I think it was better
balance between quality and quantity required.
One interesting piece of information. Did you notice that there are 3 composers in fairy Top ten that gained
exactly the same places in selfmate section? 1. Petkov, 4. Alaikov, 7. Smotrov. :o)
Now, enjoy the works of fairy Top ten composers that could have competed in the just finished WCCI, the compositions
that possibly secured them this success.
5th Prize StrateGems 1999
1.b8G! zz+++ Composition In the Spotlight (CIS) No. 27 +++
1...gxf6 2.Bg3+ Kh3 3.Nd5+ axb1N#
1...gxh6 2.Be3+ Kxf3 3.Gb3+ axb1G#
1...g5 2.Be5+ Kf5 3.CAc4+ axb1CA#
1...g6 2.Bg5+ Kh5 3.Ze3+ axb1Z#
A mix of 4-fold formal themes, typical for Alaikov. We have here: Pickaninny in 1st black move,
star of wB in 2nd white move, star of bK in 2nd black move and mating fairy AUW in 3rd black move.
Spotlight comment by Juraj Lörinc:
Similar syntheses of formal themes are today shown usually in the helpmate form. But as I have recently started small
private campaign for re-popularization of problems with antagonistic aims of sides, like direct mates,
selfmates, reflex mates, etc. Two latest CCM TTs are dedicated to them and I plan to continue in this
direction even if this might mean less popularity among composers. And that is also the reason for pushing
the present fairy selfmate into spotlight. Enjoy and think about the genres.
3+0 zebra, nightrider b4, camel d1, grasshopper g8
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