Isaak Kavnatsky 90th Jubilee Tourney

(Complete award.)

A total of 78 sound (C+) and thematic entries by 49 composers from 17 countries participated in this formal tourney for helpmates in three or more moves (h#3-n) showing the Chernous Theme, as defined below. Of these, 20 problems were retained. The award standard was high, and the prizewinners were particularly enjoyable.

I wish to thank Vladimir Chernous for his thematic inspiration, Dan Meinking for his directorial efforts, and all the imaginative composers for their artistic contributions. It was a great honor to receive and judge so many wonderful creations. Our newly classified Chernous Theme has indeed made a successful debut!

Isaak Kavnatsky
Oak Park, December 2001

Chernous Theme Definition

The Chernous Theme features the following events in h#3-n form:
(1) A black line piece (BLP) checks the white King, either directly or as the rear piece of a battery;
(2) A white unit (WU) self-pins by interfering on the check-line, and is later unpinned by Black;
(3) The BLP moves again to self-block;
(4) The WU delivers mate.

The BLP may be promoted. The unpin of the WU may be by withdrawal or by line-closure.

Note: All underlined moves are specific to the Chernous Theme.

Claims of anticipation by July 1, 2002 to: Dan Meinking / 663 Steiner St. / Cincinnati, OH 45204 (USA) or by email:

Marcel Tribowski
1st Prize Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

A classic Chernous Theme twist: twice the pre-pinned Knight is self-unpinned, self-pinned (again), and unpinned. Perfect harmony and construction. Brilliant!

1.Kf2 e4! (K~?) 2.Ke1 Sc6 (Sc2?) 3.Rxe4+ Sb4 4.Re2 Sd3#

1.Sf2 g4! (K~?) 2.Sh1 Se6 (Se2?) 3.Rxg4+ Sf4 4.Rg2 Sh3#

h#4 (4+6)

János Csák
2nd Prize Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

The rich Chernous sequences blend batteries, Umnovs, critical self-blocks, and line-closing unpins effortlessly!

1.d6+ Sd7 2.Bd4 b5 3.Rc5 Sb6#

1.Sd6+ Se4 2.Qc6 e3 3.Bc4 Sc3#

h#3 (4+9)

Ion Murarasu
3rd Prize Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Elegant consecutive unpins draw the distant Knight to opposite mating squares via Umnov re-occupations.

1.Bh3+ Sf1 2.Rb6 Sd2 3.Sb4 Sb3#

1.Sh4+ Sf3 2.Qb4 Se5 3.Sd4 Sd7#

h#3 (4+8)

Vitalij Shevchenko
Gennadij Shinkarenko
V. Shum

4th Prize Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Superb motivation in this grab-and-return showpiece. Echoed Umnovs and blocking patterns arise naturally.

a) 1.S4xe5+ Sc4 2.Qb5 Sb2 3.Sc4 Sd3#

b) 1.S6xe5+ Sc6 2.Rb5 Sb8 3.Sc6 Sd7#

h#3 (4+9)
b) + black Pb4

Marcel Tribowski
5th Prize Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Three echoed mates from separate Rook promotions, an impressive task! The logical Queen control shows real finesse.

1.Kd7 Qxb4 2.b1R+ Qe1 3.R1b8 Qe8+ 4.Kc8 Qc6#

1.Re8 Qxc4 2.c1R+ Qf1 3.R1c8 Qa6 4.Kd8 Qd6#

1.f2 Qxg3 2.f1R+ Qg1 3.R1f8 Qb6 4.Ke8 Qe6#

h#4 (2+13)

Valerij Semenenko
1st HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Winding ODT treks spur the Knights into position. Achieving this in a twinless Meredith is splendid!

1.Rh5+ Se5 2.Rf5 Se6 3.Rf2 Sc4#

1.Bc3+ Sb4 2.Be1 Sb3 3.Bf2 Sd5#

h#3 (4+8)

Jurij Gordian
Jevgenij Orlov

2nd HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

A patent h#3 matrix colorfully extended to h#4 form. Gallant Knight forays feature line-opening keys and dual-avoidances.

a) 1.Re3 Sxe6 2.Rf2 Sxc7 (Sd4+?) 3.Qd7+ Sb5 4.Qg4 Sd4#

b) 1.Rf2 Sxd7 2.Rbe2 Sb6 (Se5+?) 3.Qd4+ Sc4 4.Qe3 Se5#

h#4 (2+15)
b) d5 -» d7

Christer Jonsson
3rd HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Crisp Zilahi captures afford the Queen speedy access to f7.

1.Qxg3+! Bf2 2.Qc7 Be3 3.Qf7 Bg5#

1.Qxg1+! Sf1 2.Qa7 Se3 3.Qf7 Sd5#

h#3 (5+8)

Dan Meinking
Kostas Prentos

4th HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Reciprocal line-opening checks lift the mating units past the sentinel guards. Pin-models and dual -avoidances complement its airy appearance.

a) 1.Qxh5+ (Qxf3?) Rg6 2.Qxf3 Bb7 3.Qg2 Rh6#

b) 1.Qxf3+ (Qxh5?) Bf5 2.Qxh5 Rh8 3.Qh2 Be4#

h#3 (8+5)
b) e8 -» f8

Nikolaj Nagnibida
5th HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

An intensive ODT mesh combining bi-valve self-pins, reciprocal Umnovs, and pin-models. The clever Knight coups cap this sparkling gem.

a) 1.Qa6+ Rb7 2.Qe2 Bc4 3.Sf7 Rxf7#

b) 1.Qf8+ Be8 2.Qf2 Rf5 3.Sb5 Bxb5#

h#3 (7+12)
b) a4 -» h6

Unto Heinonen
6th HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Unified self-block keys preface sweeping Zilahi migrations en route to distinct flight plugs.

1.d3 Bg3 2.Qxh6+! Bh4 3.Qd2 Bxf6#

1.Sd3 Sf7 2.Qxb8+! Sd6 3.Qb2 Sxe4#

h#3 (5+9)

Christopher Jones
7th HM Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Apparent 'batteries' disarmed in favor of an entertaining ODT system with switchback mates.

a) 1.Rxd3+ Bf3 2.Rxa3 Rg6 3.Ra4 Be2#

b) 1.Bxf5+ Rg4 2.Bc8 Bf3 3.Ba6 Rg5#

h#3 (8+11)
b) a5 -» a4

Ion Murarasu
1st Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Complex interplay provides three blocks and three guards.

1.Rd5 Sd4 2.Qb5+ Sd3 3.Qd7 Sc5 4.Be5 Sb7#

1.Sc5 Sb4 2.Qf5+ Sf3 3.Qd7 Se5 4.Se6 Sf7#

h#4 (3+10)

Dan Meinking
2nd Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

This unassuming miniature is full of surprises!

1.b1Q+! (Ra5?) Sc1 2.Qh7+! Bh3 3.Ka6 Sd3 4.Qa7 Bf1 5.Ra5 Sc5#

h#5 (3+4)

Miroslav Henrych
3rd Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

A morsel of good humor: double Chernous precedes double switchback!

1.Qh8+ Bh2 2.Qa1+ Bg1 3.Qa4 Bh2 4.c4 Bd6#

h#4 (3+8)

Alexandr Semenenko
4th Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Beautiful coordination of angular Queen sorties and matching Pawn two-steps.

1.e5 Kd3 2.Qa3+ c3 3.Qd6 c4#

1.Kd6 Kd4 2.Qxa4+ c4 3.Qd7 c5#

h#3 (4+8)

Jorge Joaquin Lois
Jorge Marcelo Kapros

5th Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

This double Grimshaw matrix adapts perfectly to the Chernous Theme! If not for a close predecessor by Nikolaj Vasjucko, this would have placed much higher.

1.Re6+ Sf6 2.Ke5 h6! (c6?) 3.Bf4 Sfg4#

1.Be6+ Sd5+ 2.Kf5 c6! (h6?) 3.Rf4 Sde3#

The composers sent me recently a note that this problem is anticipated and will be removed from the award in its final version!

h#3 (6+6)

Nikolaj Nagnibida
6th Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Distinct promotions trigger reciprocally deployed tempi.

a) 1.a1Q+ Qf1 (Qe1?) 2.Qb1 Qe1 3.Qh7 Qe8#

b) 1.a1R+ Qe1 (Qf1?) 2.Rb1 Qf1 3.Rb8 Qa6#

h#3 (2+7)
b) g8 -» a8

Kostas Prentos
7th Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Pointed play, including Royal unpins, highlight this majestic Meredith.

a) 1.Bc5+ Rb4 2.Be7 Sd3+ 3.Kd6 Rd4#

b) 1.Qd3+ Sb3 2.Qg3 Rxe4+ 3.Kf3 Sd2#

h#3 (3+9)
b) e5 -» f4

Grigorij Mordukhovich
8th Comm Isaak Kavnatsky 90 JT C 1.10.2001

Symmetry notwithstanding, this twinless 'double-triple' (unpin) presents a noteworthy task.

1.Qd8+ Sd6 2.Qxa5+ Sb5 3.Qa4 Sd4#

1.Qg5+ Se5 2.Qd2+ Sd3 3.Qc2 Sc5#

h#3 (7+9)

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