Award of 11th TT Chess Composition Microweb - orthodox section - C 28.2.2003

Of the 14 entries one was unsound. The diagrams were sent to me anonymously and I solved them all comparatively easily, since after all the queen promotion theme was a very strong hint! Although all of them made pleasant solving, there were some where the familiarity of the ideas made it immediately obvious that they did not belong in the award.

Some small points influenced my decision about certain entries which were in any case not strong contenders. In problem No. 8 I felt that the effect was diminished because in one solution the thematic pawn had a choice of only two, not three, possibilities on its first move, and in No. 11 it seemed regrettable that the thematic bishop moved in only one direction, as opposed to the reversal of direction in the moves of the thematic rook.

Several entries failed to justify their length. Thus, for example, the theme of No. 3 (a h#3) is essentially that of a h#2. I eliminated other entries because of excessive symmetry and/or because of the idleness of thematic white pawns in some phases. Although it is generally considered acceptable to use white pawns which do not participate in every phase of a helpmate, it seems to me that in the case of a white promotion theme such as the one set here, it is a serious defect if the thematic (i.e. promoting) pawns do not have some function (even if it is only to be captured) in each solution.

And so here are the successful entries:

... (see below)

My thanks to the composers for the entertainment provided and to Juraj Lörinc for the invitation to act as judge in this tourney. Though it may not be strictly relevant in this context, I should like to add my congratulations to him on the excellence of his website. All its devotees will surely agree with me in expressing sincere thanks to him for the invaluable work he puts into it.

Stamford, March 12th, 2003
Chris Feather

Valerij Semenenko (Ukraine)
Prize 11th TT Chess Composition Microweb 28.2.2003
No. 2

1.Qf8+ gxf8B 2.Kf4 e6 3.Ke5 e7 4.Kd6 e8Q#

1.Kg4 g8Q+ 2.Kf5 Qa8 3.Ke6 Qxa4 4.Qf5 Qe8#

Ingenious play with early and late queen promotions, ending with very different mates achieved by play to the same square on the final move. Satisfying solving, good differentiation of the BK routes and very skilful construction, on a level which is unmistakably higher than that of the other problems.

h#4 (3+7)

Mario Parrinello (Italy)
HM 11th TT Chess Composition Microweb 28.2.2003
No. 7

a) 1.Bxg7 cxb8Q 2.Bd4 Qg3#

b) 1.Qxc7 gxf8Q 2.Qc4 Qa3#

An apparently original combination of familiar elements (Zilahi, mutual captures, double pin mates) makes up clearly the best of several h#2s. The possibility of alternate routes for the thematic black pieces to their final squares emphasises the logic of the selfpins, but the idea is an extremely obvious one, with no element of surprise.

h#2 (6+8)
b) c4 -» d4

Oleksander Skrynnik (Ukraine)
1st Comm 11th TT Chess Composition Microweb 28.2.2003
No. 1

1...exd7 2.Sc8 dxc8Q 3.b1B Qc3#

1.Sf7 exf7 2.bxc1R! f8Q 3.Rb1 Qa3#

A set play problem in a very oldfashioned style, but tidily constructed and placing an appropriate emphasis on the promotion element in both the white and black play. The tempo capture of the WS makes the solution more satisfying than the set line, which is as it should be. There must be a danger of anticipation, but I have not found anything.

h#3* (4+5)

Menachem Witztum (Israel)
Emanuel Navon (Israel)

2nd Comm 11th TT Chess Composition Microweb 28.2.2003
No. 14

1.Bd8 cxd8Q 2.Bd5 Qxa5#
1.Sxc7 d8Q 2.Sd5 Qxa5#

1.Sxd7 c8Q 2.Sf6 Qh3#
1.Bc8 dxc8Q 2.Bf6 Qh3#

Far from elegant, but strongly thematic, this idea does not entirely escape a sense of the mechanical and symmetrical. The WK position is an astute constructional trick rather than an essential part of the idea.

h#2 (8+12)
b) a5 -» a4

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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