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The November magazines have today (27th November 2018) been sent out by Royal Mail to all subscribers who have elected to receive paper copies. PDFs have also been sent out to all subscribers who have chosen that method of delivery. PDFs have been sent out to non-member-contributors.

Weekly Chess Problem

Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to Michael McDowell using the ‘Contact’ item in the menu above.

Archive of Weekly Chess Problems

Latest news

  • 2018/11/06 – Brian Harley Award for Twomovers, 2015-16

    Written by Steve giddins

    Judging for the above award will shortly begin. Any problems by Commonwealth composers (that are not joint compositions) published in British sources (eg. The Problemist, Problem Observer, British Chess Magazine or others) during the calendar years 2015 and 2016 are eligible. Problems which have been awarded in those publications for the relevant years will automatically be shortlisted for consideration. Any Commonwealth composers of twomovers, published but not awarded in any UK source in the period, are invited to submit them to the Controller, Steve Giddins, by email (steve.giddins@gmail.com) before 15 December 2018, if they wish them to be added to the shortlist for the judges’ consideration.

    It is hoped to publish the judges’ decision in the May 2019 Problemist.

  • 2018/08/18 – Mind Sports Olympiad Chess Solving Tourney

    Written by Christopher Jones

    At the Mind Sports Olympiad this year there will be a chess problem solving event, which should cater for inexperienced, as well as more experienced, solvers. The event is at the JW3 centre, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET, in the early evening (18:45) of Sunday 26 August. The event, run by Christopher Jones, will consist of two one-hour rounds. Fuller details on the MSO website , and if you are thinking of taking part, you can just turn up, though it would be helpful to notify the MSO organizers in advance.

  • 2018/07/30 – Results of the British Championships Chess Problem Solving Tournament

    Written by Brian Stephenson

    13 solvers sat down in Hull City Hall last Saturday night to compete in The British Championships Chess Solving Tournament. Due to the unavailability of the intended room, solving started at 19:45 rather than 19:00. Because of this I reduced the time to 90 minutes from the intended two hours.

    There were three solvers in each of the Open and Minor sections and a very welcome 7 in the Junior Section. Results were as follows:

    • OPEN 1st: Thomas Villiers (10/30 - £20)
    • MINOR 1st: Nigel Dennis (20/30 - £20)
    • JUNIOR 1st: Joe Varley (20/30, [faster time] £30); 2nd/3rd=: Jonathan McKay and Julia Volovich (20/30 - £15 each).

    The BCPS wishes to thank Hull and District Chess Association for arranging this event, and for providing the prize-fund. Our special thanks go to Stephen Greep.

    The problems set, and their solutions, can be viewed here.

  • 2018/07/16 – The British Championships Chess Problem Solving Tournament

    Written by Brian Stephenson

    This year, as in recent previous years, there will be a chess solving event at the British Chess Championships. It will be held on the evening of Saturday 28th July between the hours of 19:00 and 21:00 at Hull City Hall. There will be three sections:

    1) Open for experienced solvers and stronger players.
    2) Minor for those with an International Solving Rating of less than 1700 or an otb ECF grade of under 160.
    3) A Junior section.

    Entry is free and there will be money prizes on the night. Instructions for entry can be found at the British Championship website. Although this is a chess event, it is not listed in the main schedule, but in the Events and Social Program .


    To mark the 80th birthdays in 2017 of four of its members, Barry Barnes, Michael Lipton, John Rice and Colin Sydenham, all of them probably best known for their 2-move compositions, the Society announces a composing tourney for orthodox direct-mate 2-movers featuring “Newotnys”, i.e. something new in the Nowotny field, on its own (for example, a task record) or in combination with some other currently popular theme. The example below shows the Barnes theme arising from a Nowotny by White’s first try, with its two threats separated by the second try and the key, each cutting only one of the thematic lines. Entries using non-orthodox force, boards or conditions are not acceptable. Intending competitors may like to consult one of the databases available online with multiple examples of 2-move themes, to assist in the search for originality.

    The tourney will be judged by Wieland Bruch (Germany), to whom we offer our thanks for his willingness to undertake this role.

    Send entries, preferably by email as pdf-attachment, to the Tourney Director Michael McDowell: mmcdchess@freeuk.com Closing date for submission: 30th June 2018.

    Prizes in the form of cash and/or books will be awarded to the highest-placed entries.

    John Rice

    The Problemist, 2017


    Mate in 2

    1.Sd6? (2.Bh6/Be7) 1...Bxd6/Rxd6/Sxf7 2.Bh6/Be7/Qxf7#; 1...Sg4!
    1.Sef6? (2.Bh6#) 1...Rxf6/Bd2/Sg4 2.Qa8/Rb8/Sd7#; 1...Sxf7!
    1.Sc5! (2.Be7) 1...Bxc5/Re6/Rf6/Rh6+/S~/Sxf7 2.Rb8/Sxe6/Qa8/Bxh6/ Sd7/Qxf7#

    70 Nowotny examples by Messrs Barnes, Rice, Lipton and Sydenham, are available in the download section.


    Written by Michael Lipton

    A and B below were found in August 2017. The settings, in an apparently new matrix*, are least-force renderings of a theme much worked by John Rice and developed intensively by us both more than fifty years ago. Is it past its sell-by date? Readers are invited to:

    (1) work out the full solutions (with any set or try content): very easy, so do this before accepting.

    Gift 1: the full solutions by clicking on the 'Show solution' buttons alongside the diagrams.

    (A) Michael Lipton



    Mate in 2

    (B) Michael Lipton



    Mate in 2

    (2) state the full thematic content (theme or themes);

    (3) identify the main advantages and disadvantages of each setting;

    (4) compose a better problem, building on the ideas and matrix in these two settings; and/or reducing or avoiding their defects; and/or enriching them with other relevant content. No restriction on piece numbers or on other ideas, but orthodox #2s. NB: the relative positions of bK, bR and bP must be as in A and B.

    Gift 2: I am providing £50, to be divided among the best responses to (4) to reach mlipton@onetel.com before 31st August 2018. This date has been extended from the date mentioned in the March Problemist. The award will be announced as soon as possible thereafter.

    Gift 3: John Rice has kindly agreed to judge the competition.

    Hint: John believes one defect, in one of the above settings, is extremely serious. Michael doesn't like it either, but regards the content as far outweighing the defect. Of course, you don't know which defect or setting is referred to – and anyway Michael is not the judge. Warning: both of us have made further versions and transformations, such as the following: 2B3R1/16/1K3p1r/3p1R1S/3PS1Bk/16; but there is lots of room for more and better.

    * Note: No anticipation has been found in two databases, Albrecht-Leiss-Bruch-Degener and yacpdb.


    Written by Steve Giddins, Hon. Treasurer

    Subscribers should please note that the reciprocal arrangement between The Problemist and StrateGems has now been terminated, with immediate effect. UK readers wishing to subscribe to StrateGems should contact Mike Prcic and arrange to pay direct. Likewise, US subscribers to The Problemist should pay by one of the means detailed here. Payments made before end-Jan 2018 will be passed on, but no further amounts will be accepted.

Archive of News items


Welcome to the website of the British Chess Problem Society

The British Chess Problem Society, founded in 1918, is the world’s oldest chess problem society. It exists to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of chess compositions, and membership is open to chess enthusiasts in all countries. The Society produces two bi-monthly magazines, The Problemist and The Problemist Supplement (the latter catering for beginners), which are issued to all members. It organises the annual British Chess Solving Championship (sponsored by Winton Capital Management), and selects the Great Britain squad for the World and European Chess Solving Championships. Members are invited to attend BCPS lectures, which are held in London on the last Friday of each month between September and April. The Society holds an annual residential weekend, with a full programme of solving and composing tourneys and lectures. Members are entitled to use the resources of the BCPS library.

Membership enquiries, subscriptions, notification of change of address, resignation or claim for issue not received should be addressed to the Membership Secretary Jim Grevatt via the ‘contact’ menu item above.

Latest additions to the site

About this site

For those who prefer to dip their toes into the water before plunging into it, here is a description of all the content on the site and how to navigate around the site to find it all. This is a large site and there is lots of content. Please feel free to explore at your will.

The menu is above, immediately beneath the logo. Unless you select one of the options that go to a sub-site (WBCSC and Members, described later) it is always there. Selecting a menu item will take you to further pages, many with a sub-menu on the left-hand side, from which you can navigate further. A brief description of the menu items follow:

Home Always leads to this home page.
BCPS Leads to items on joining the BCPS, the Officers of the BCPS, Notice of Lectures, a note on the BCPS Library, a few Reviews of the Year and an archive of News items.
Magazines Back issues of The Problemist, The Problemist Supplement the the Fairy Chess Review.
Solving Advice on solving and where to find problems to solve.
Composers Articles on several well-known British Chess Composers.
Books Books produced by our members.
Photos Photos from various BCPS events over the years.
For Beginners Introductory articles on chess problems generally and on specific types of chess problems. Includes a list of recommended books.
Downloads A collection of free e-books about chess problems.
Links Links to other sites featuring chess problem material.
Contact A list of clickable links to a selection of those who perform various tasks for the BCPS.
Members Not yet active.

Selecting WBCSC or Members (when it is active) will take you to a sub-site with its own horizontal menu, much like the main site. It can be navigated in much the same way as the main site – via its horizontal menu beneath the logo and sub-menus on the left-hand side of the page.

WBCSC is the Winton British Chess Solving Championship. At that sub-site will be found details of the current year's event and an archive of material from past years. When active, the Members' sub-site will enable members to login and download their magazines and, eventually, to pay their subscriptions and to maintain their membership details.

Implemented with HTML5, Perl (with, inter alia, CGI::Simple, HTML::Template & XML::LibXML) & CSS/Javascript (jQuery, Bootstrap & DataTables).

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.