Award of Menachem Witztum 50 Jubilee Tourney C 2.9.2002

Award by Menachem Witztum is dedicated to the memory of his parents Yafa and Shmuel Witztum

(See an announcement and an example.)

List of participants

The director received 105 entries by 44 composers from 21 countries. 38 problems by 9 composers (20 of them by a single composer) were found non-thematic and/or unsound, and were returned to their authors. 9 of these came back as corrected versions. On 2 September 2002, 76 sound problems were submitted (anonymously) to the judge, Menachem Witztum, for evaluation. A number was assigned to each correct entry as follows:

Uri Avner (Israel) 1, 5, 5a, 10, 18; Anatolij Vasilenko (Ukraine) 2; Árpád Molnár (Hungary) 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 75, 76; Yoel Aloni (Israel) 11; Jean Haymann (Israel) 12, 13, 14; Jozef Lozek (Slovakia) 15, 16 Michael Shapiro (Israel) 17, 29-32, 37, 53, 54, 58; Fadil Abdurahmanoviĉ (Bosnia & Herzegovina) 19; Ricardo de Mattos Vieira (Brazil) 20; Johan de Boer (Netherlands) 21; Viktor Syzonenko (Ukraine) 22-24; Mircea M. Manolescu (Romania) 25-28; Michal Dragoun (Czech Republic) 33-35; Michal Dragoun & Dieter Müller (Czech Republic & Germany) 36; Colin Sydenham (England) 38, 74; Leonid Lyubashevsky (Israel) 39; Leonid Lyubashevsky & Leonid Makaronez (Israel) 40; Vito Rallo & Roberto Cassano 41; L. Togookhuu (Mongolia) 42-44; Jozsef Pasztor (Hungary) 45-47; Miomir Nedeljkoviĉ (Yugoslavia) 48, 49; Mario Parrinello (Italy) 50-52 Raffi Ruppin (Israel) 55; Alexander Semenenko (Germany) 56; Valerij Semenenko (Ukraine) 57; Jorge Humberto Brun (Argentina) 59; Henryk Grudzinski (Poland) 60; Strahinja Mihajloviĉ (Yugoslavia) 61; Borislav Gadjanski (Yugoslavia) 62; Vito Rallo & Roberto Cassano (Italy) 63, 64; Kamlik Karapetyan (Armenia) 65; Manfred Rittirsch (Germany) 66; Ion Murarasu (Romania) 67; Christer Jonsson (Sweden) 68; Franz Pachl (Germany) 69, 70; Franz Pachl & Dieter Müller (Germany) & Helmut Zajic (Austria) 71; V. Gorbunov, V. Shevchenko & V. Melnikov (Ukraine) 72; Amith Sadeh (Israel) 73.


A lot of deliberation went into finding a theme for this tourney, preferably an original one that had never been used before.

The theme finally selected is paradoxical:
rem In a H#2, two pieces, black and white, must evacuate a line for a line-piece to arrive at the line for delivering the mate; also, the black King must actively arrive at the line. On first sight, these prerequisites may look irrational and impossible to obtain. The composer's challenge, then, would be to prove otherwise.

I must admit that for a short while I was concerned lest the constraints posed by the theme would deter potential composers, so that I would remain with the prizes. To my great surprise and joy, more than 100 problems by 44 composers arrived (76 of which—thematic), most of them of a very high level. The difficulty, so it seemed, had only motivated many composers to try and cope with the challenge.

There were a number of possibilities to overcome the technical problems inherent in the theme.

To prevent the thematic black piece from interfering with the mate, several mecha-nisms are possible:
Also, white must guard the square vacated by the black King by using one of several devices: The possible combinations of these different black and white options had given rise to a wide array of problems (also, in conjunction with additional themes).

The judging process was not easy, reflecting the difficulty to tell between good problems. Surely, many problems not included in the award will do well in other tourneys.

Special thanks go to the devoted director, Emanuel Navon, who did an excellent job every step of the way. Thanks to Zivko Janevski for the originality checking (only 3, very partial, predecessors where found). Further thanks to Michal Dragoun who dedicated 2 interesting problems to me in the Czech magazine (of which one is brought in the annex). They were unfit for the tourney as they utilized a Zeroposition.

My thanks to Uri Avner for translating the Hebrew text into English, and making this publication possible.

Finally, many thanks to all the participants for the great pleasure their problems have given me. A problem composed in collabo-ration with the tourney director, comprising the Schiffmann effect, is dedicated to them (see annex).

I ranked the problems as follows:


Menachem Witztum
Tel Aviv, June 2003

Fadil Abdurahmanovic
1st Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Bg3 Sf5+ 2.Kf4 Qb8#

1.Bb3 Sc4+ 2.Kd4 Rd7#

An impressive mechanism. The 1st black move allows the black King a non checking 2nd move, which pins a black piece, while White's 1st move shuts-off a white Rook's line. All this, in an economical setting without twinning. The problem is enjoyable and rich in content.

h#2 (7+10)

Michal Dragoun
2nd Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Bd5 Rxc4+ 2.Kxc4 Qh4#

b) 1.Rc6 Qxc5+ 2.Kxc5 Bf8#

By means of a first-rate technique, the thematic white pieces sacrifice themselves while capturing black pieces, thus letting the black King reach his final destination through grabbing them. The final accord is provided by the mating piece which replaces its sacrificed colleague on the line. An excellent and surprising problem, despite its imperfect twinning mechanism and the somewhat clumsy construction.

h#2 (7+13)
b) g4 -» c2

Borislav Gadjanski
3rd Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Sd3 Se6+ 2.Ke3 Qa7#

b) 1.Se6 Sd3+ 2.Kf5 Rb5#

An additional colorful element is provided by White's 1st move. Besides guarding the black King's square, it also unpins the appropriate mating piece in each phase. A nice problem, showing a clever mechanism. The composer indicates 2 further tries in each phase showing moves from the other twin. The price for these tries are additional black pieces. However, the tries could be given up, making it possible to replace Re2 with a Pawn and shift the black Queen to d2.

h#2 (9+15)
b) d4 -» e5

Franz Pachl
4th Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kd1 Sc7 2.Sxf3 Rd6#

b) 1.Kf2 Bc7 2.Sxd2 Rf6#

In the 2 phases Rb6 is unpinned by the arrival of the Knight and Bishop at c7. This is combined with interesting pinnings of the black Knight. The twinning device concords with the theme.

h#2 (7+13)
b) d2 «-» f3

Mario Parrinello
5th Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kf3 Bxb7 2.Sxf2 Kxd6#

b) 1.Kd2 Rxd6 2.Sxf4+ Kxc5#

A royal battery combined with different self-pins of the black Knight, producing, due to the twinning device, an impressive problem.

h#2 (8+11)
b) e4 «-» d3

Uri Avner
6th Prize M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kh4 Ra4 2.g3 Ke5#

b) 1.Kg2 Bxc6 2.f2 Kd4#

Creation of a royal battery where the white King must choose the correct square to avoid closing the white line just opened by black – the Mari theme. The wBe3 of the 1st twin disturbs a little. A very light setting.

h#2 (4+11)
b) -wBe3

Jean Haymann
1st HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Kc3 Bf8 2.Sxc6 Qh8#

1.Kd3 Re7 2.Sxf3 Rd8#

A smooth execution, where the mate is given by a line-piece that replaces the line-piece that has left the interval to guard squares next to the black King.

h#2 (9+5)

Franz Pachl
2nd HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Ke4 Qc4 2.Qb7+ Bxb7#

b) 1.Kf6 Qc3 2.Qa6 Rxa6#

The white Queen is the white piece that is leaving the interval, whereas the mate is given by another line-piece which captures the sacrificed black Queen. A clever mechanism. The twinning concords with the theme.

h#2 (5+11)
b) d5 «-» e6

Miomir Nedeljkovic
3rd HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Se3 Sd4+ 2.Ke4 Bb7#

b) 1.Sf6 Se4 2.Ke5 Ra5#

A pleasing execution where the black King reaches the squares previously guarded by 2 white pieces.

h#2 (9+4)
b) c6 -» c5

Franz Pachl
Dieter Müller
Helmut Zajic

4th HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kd3 Bg6 2.Rf7 Sf6#

b) 1.Ke5 Re1 2.Bc1 Sd2#

An interesting combination of interferences. There is a self-interference by the parting black piece on the square left by the white piece, while the 2nd white piece interferes with the line of the interfering black piece.

h#2 (9+13)
b) e1 -» f1

Viktor Syzonenko
5th HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Be2 Rf5+ 2.Ke4 Qh4#

b) 1.Se2 Rd4+ 2.Ke5 Qh2#

In each phase a white Rook interferes with a white Bishop, a black piece is pinned, and a mate is delivered by the white Queen. Interesting.

h#2 (6+10)
b) d4 -» c3

Uri Avner
6th HM M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Se2 Qxd5+ 2.Kg4 Ra4#

1.Bc6 Qxf4+ 2.Ke6 Bb3#

The unbelievably free white Queen captures the unemployed black piece in each solution. A nice construction with model mates.

h#2 (5+7)

Lkhundevin Togookhuu
1st Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Be5 Rh4 2.Kd4 Kxf3#

b) 1.Sd2 Bh5 2.Ke2 Kxf4#

A royal battery where the white King captures the corresponding black piece. A light construction, but the twinning by moving a thematic piece is a bit disappointing.

h#2 (4+8)
b) g7 -» f7

Alexandr Semenenko
2nd Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.g5 Sc5+ 2.Kc6 Rh6#

1.f4 Sd8+ 2.Kc8 Qh3#

The white Knight interferes with a white line in both solutions. A nice and efficient mechanism.

h#2 (4+12)

Mircea Manolescu
3rd Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Kc1 Qh6 2.R4f6 gxf6#

1.Kd3 Qd6 2.Se6 dxe6#

A unified mechanism of capturing the black piece by a white Pawn.

h#2 (9+9)

Jean Haymann
4th-8th Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kd3 Sb5 2.Qxd7 Rxd7#

b) 1.Kc3 Rd5 2.Qxg7+ Qxg7#

An interesting mechanism, where the white Queen and Rook reciprocally capture the black Queen that captures one of them. A problem by C.J.Feather shows a similar representation, not including the reciprocal capturing.

h#2 (8+8)
b) e3 -» a1

Mircea Manolescu
4th-8th Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Qf3 Bc5+ 2.Kg3 Qb8#

1.Qe3 Qf7 2.Kf3 Be6#

Different moves by the black Queen belonging to 2 thematic lines, bring about different mates by the white Queen, and this – without twinning.

h#2 (5+11)

Michal Dragoun
4th-8th Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Qb2 Qh8 2.Kc3 Rxb5#

b) 1.Qb4 Qg4 2.Kc4 Bxc2#

The black Queen takes refuge behind the black King. Cute!

h#2 (5+13)
b) d3 -» b2

Raffi Ruppin
4th-8th Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

1.Sa5 bxc6+ 2.Ka6 Bd3#

1.Ra6 d6 2.Ka8 Be4#

Indirect and direct unpinning of the white Bishop. A feathery position. The capture of the black Rook impairs a little.

h#2 (6+4)

Colin Sydenham
4th-8th Comm M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Kg4 Qc8 2.Rfb5 Re5#

b) 1.Kg5 Qg1 2.Re3 Bf3#

The black Rook closes black lines while its own lines are closed by white pieces. This determines the move order. Interesting.

h#2 (5+13)
b) f5 «-» g3

There are two additional problems I would like to mention, not so much because they are better than other problems not included in the award, but because they show certain elements not tackled by the problems above:
Arpad Molnar
M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Ka8 Bh1 2.Rd4+ Kxd4#

b) 1.Kc6 Bg2 2.Re5+ Kxe5#

The black King moves in 2 directions on the thematic line, while the white Bishop has to reach the right square on this line as well.

h#2 (7+9)
b) h3 -» c7

Jorge Humberto Brun
M. Witztum 50 JT C 2.9.2002

a) 1.Rxd4+ Rg5 2.Ke5 Qh2#

b) 1.Be4 d5 2.Kxd5 Qd1#

The black pieces pin themselves. the two phases are imbalanced and short of unity.

h#2 (6+12)
b) g3 -» e1


Michal Dragoun
Sachova Skladba 2003
Dedicated to M. Witztum 50

a) 1.Ke3 Sxe6 2.Sgxe6 Qh6#

b) 1.Kd3 Sxf5 2.Sxf5 Rd7#

h#2 (6+15)
a) d6 -» b2
b) f4 -» d1

Menachem Witztum
Emanuel Navon

M. Witztum 50 JT award 2003
Dedicated to participants of the tourney

a) 1.Kd6 Sc5 (Sf4?) 2.Qxd2 Rxd2#

b) 1.Kf5 Sf4 (Sc5?) 2.Qxc2 Bxc2#

h#2 (9+8)
b) d4 -» e4

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.
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