Chess Composers C. J. Morse The Master of the Task: The Life and Work of Sir Jeremy Morse
 

 

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The Master of the Task: The Life and Work of Sir Jeremy Morse
Written by John Rice   
Article Index
The Master of the Task: The Life and Work of Sir Jeremy Morse
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The chess problem is arguably the highest type of problem or puzzle. It is much older and more widespread than the draughts or bridge problem. It is not confined by language like the crossword puzzle. It is less abstruse than the mathematical problem. Furthermore, its artistic content is richer and more easily appreciated than in other types of problem. Formal and strategic patterns abound, exhibiting such ideas as thematic unity, economy, paradox, reciprocity, asymmetry, and so on. This explains why the chess problem has an exceptionally high ratio of composers to solvers. Sometimes indeed the artistic element overshadows the original puzzle element, although ideally both elements should be present and in good balance.

These words, a beautifully formulated summary of the nature of the chess problem, appear on page 8 of Chess Problems: Tasks and Records, by Jeremy Morse. The book is well known throughout the problem world, the author much less so. The aim of this article, to which Sir Jeremy himself has kindly contributed biographical details and the accompanying problems, is to enable people who have never met him to become better acquainted with this remarkable problemist, his compositions and his lifelong devotion to the specialised field of tasks and records.

Jeremy’s meticulous approach to this field is illustrated by his summary of the definitions offered by earlier experts, such as A. C. White, T. R. Dawson and N. Petrovic;. Of “tasks” he writes: “A ‘task’, following the ordinary meaning of the word, is a definable achievement, usually difficult and often new, which a composer sets himself or has set for him by others. ... It will normally but not always have a numerical expression to it, and it may be a new record ... but equally it may not be.” He goes on to point out that “record” is a narrower term, a numerical maximum. Thus, writes Jeremy, “all records are tasks, but not all tasks are records”. His own view of the place of such problems is “that artistry is the problemist’s primary aim, and that tasks and records serve to show how far the artistic medium and material can be stretched”. This is why in the book he uses a system of stars to highlight examples showing particular artistry: “good” problems get one star (*), and very good problems or masterpieces get two (**). A dagger (†) is given to exceptional records having a special merit, regardless of aesthetics defects. The reader may not always agree with the author’s assessment (and one correspondent was totally opposed to the award of stars at all), but they are not an impediment to an appreciation of the book as a whole, and of the enormous amount of work that has gone into the collection and ordering of its contents. Chess Problems: Tasks and Records (dubbed “das Morse-Buch” in Die Schwalbe!) has already appeared in two editions (1995 and 2001), and a third, fully updated and recast, is due for publication shortly.

It’s time for some of Jeremy’s problems.

1. C. J. Morse (after J. C. J. Wainwright)

London Evening News, 1960

3b2b1/S6p/pp1P3P/5Q1R/p1k4r/K1p1P2p/1s5P/2R5

Mate in 2

No. 1 is a dual-free setting of white Queen-cross, derived from two problems by Wainwright, all introduced by a thoroughly respectable key 1.Rd1 (-). In addition to the 12 Q-mates, there are R-mates on d4 and h4.

2. C. J. Morse

1st Place, England v Israel, 1960-61

4S3/7B/2P1PR2/pP1p4/K1pk4/S5Q1/2P2R1P/8

Mate in 2

In no. 2 the wQ plays to g7 in the try and g1 in the key, giving the bK three flights to add to the flight on c5: 1.Qg7? (-) Kc5/Ke5/Ke3/Kc3 2.Qa7/Rh6/R6f3/R6f3, but 1...c3! 1.Qg1! (-) Kc5/Ke5/Ke3/Kc3/c3 2.R2f5/Re2/Rg2/Qa1/Re2. This one appealed to the FIDE Album judges for the period.

3. C. J. Morse

v The Observer, 1961

8/8/8/4B2P/5S2/2PQ4/2KRsksR/3B1b2

Mate in 2

Three flights are again given in no. 3, which shows a record 5-fold duel between wS and bK: 1.Qf5 (-) Ke1/Ke3/Kf3/Kg3/Kg1 2.Sd3/Sd5/Sxg2/Sxe2/Sh3.


Jeremy Morse was born in London in 1928 and educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford. On his father’s side he came from a Norwich brewing family. Had he gone into the family business, he would have been the sixth generation in the brewery. His mother’s forebears were in business in Liverpool in the 19th century, and his paternal grandmother came from an old Genevese family. Jeremy therefore regards himself as three-quarters English and one-quarter Swiss. After leaving school he did two years’ National Service with the army in Northern Ireland, Palestine (as it then was) and Egypt, before going up to New College to study Classics. On leaving Oxford in 1953 he joined Glyn, Mills & Co., where he was trained in banking, and became a Director in 1964. Later that year he moved to the Bank of England, where he was Executive Director with varying responsibilities until 1972. At that point in what was already becoming a distinguished career he was chosen to be Chairman of the Deputies of the Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues (Committee of Twenty) of the International Monetary Fund, a position he held for two years until the Committee was disbanded. Having been plain Mr Morse up to this point, he was knighted in 1975 for his international work. In the same year he joined Lloyds Bank, becoming Chairman in 1977, a post he did not relinquish until February 1993. During this period he held a wide range of other important posts in banking, insurance and similar fields, including various directorships.

How did Jeremy seek relaxation in this busy professional life? He first came to chess problems in 1953 when he started work after university. He had been solving crosswords and other problems in the newspapers for some years, and he thought he might try chess problems alongside them, as purveyed by Brian Harley in The Observer, C. H. O’D. Alexander in the London Evening News, Murray Davey in The Tablet and ‘Assiac’ in the New Statesman. Jeremy is modest about his achievements in the field of cryptic crosswords, but there is a tale to tell in this connection. He was for many years a regular prizewinner in the “Ximenes” crossword published in The Observer. Another solver, whose name also featured frequently in the prize list, was N. C. Dexter – Colin Dexter, now well known as a writer of detective fiction. When Dexter was at work on his first novel, he needed surnames for his principal characters and decided to take them from those of his fellow crossword enthusiasts. This is how Jeremy’s surname was attached to a detective whose fame has spread worldwide, thanks in large part to the medium of television: Inspector Morse was born!

Over a period of some 60 years Jeremy has published about 450 twomovers and 130 problems of other types, including threemovers, moremovers, studies, stalemates, selfmates, helpmates, series-movers and fairies (though never with unconventional pieces or boards). Of the three elements puzzle, art and task in the chess problem, his only pure puzzles were five moremove selfmates sent to the New Statesman in the 1950s. Although interested in tasks from the outset, he concentrated on artistry in the 1960s, and most of his handful of first prizes and Album entries date from that period.

Here are some more of them.

4. C. J. Morse

2nd Prize, Bristish Chess Magazine, 1962

6B1/4s3/4s2Q/2S1SRp1/pB1kP1K1/1b5P/1P3P2/4R3

Mate in 2

No. 4 showed for the first time 4-fold dual-free cyclic Black Correction without promotion key. The mechanism involves play of the bB along different diagonals to North-East/South-West and to South-East, with corrections on each one. 1.Qf8 (-) S7~/Sd5/B~SE/Bd1+/B~NE,SW/Bc4/S6~/Sxc5 2.Bc3/Sxe6/Sxe6/Rxd1/Rd1/Sf3/Sf3/Bc3. This one appears in the FIDE Album for the period.

5. C. J. Morse

Busmen’s Chess Review, 1963

8/K1ppr2Q/5Bs1/R1Pk2S1/2pS4/2p5/7b/8

Mate in 2

In no. 5 a white line is closed three times with interference and gate-opening for the wQ. The key gives a flight and the play is dual-free. 1.Sc2 (>2.Sb4) Re5/Be5/Se5 2.Qxd7/Qh1/Qe4.

6. C. J. Morse

1st Prize, The Observer, 1964

4S1R1/7K/2pp4/1B1r1k2/Q2b2p1/2SpR1P1/8/2s5

Mate in 2

A record of seven gate-openings for the wQ is shown in no. 6, a deserved 1st prizewinner. 1.Qc4 (-) cxb5/Re5/R~/Be5/Bg7/Bxe3/d2/c5/S~ 2.Qc8/Qf7/Qe6/Qxg4/Qf4/Qe4/Qf1/Bd7/Qxd3.

7. C. J. Morse

1st Prize, BCPS Ring Tourney, 1964

8/4Qp2/2P2rp1/P2k2P1/r2P4/8/P1S2B2/1KR2B2

Mate in 2

No. 7 is another 1st prizewinner, with 5 selfblocks by bRs. 1.Bd3 (-) Rxc6/Rd6/Re6/Rc4/Rxd4 2.Qe5/Qe4/Qc5/Be4/Se3, and 1…Ra~,Kxc6/Rf~ 2.Sb4/Qd7.

8. C. J. Morse

4th Prize, The Problemist, 1964

8/3r1B2/1P3Q2/2k5/4P3/8/2K5/1RR5

Mate in 2

No. 8 shows 5 corrections by a wR in a Meredith setting, after an unexpected flight-giving key. 1.Be8 (-) Rd8,d5/Rd6,Kc4/Rd4/Rd3/Rd2/Rd1 2.Kb3/Qc3/Qc6/Kxd3/Kxd2/Kxd1.

9. C. J. Morse

problem, 1965

8/5s2/6p1/1pQq1p1R/3Sk3/R5r1/sKP1P1SB/1B3b2

Mate in 2

Despite its poor key, no. 9 is an interesting setting of transferred Albino. Set 1...Rb3+/Rxa3/Rxg2/Rd3 2.cxb3/c3/c4/cxd3. 1.Sf3 (>2.R,Qe3) Qb3+/Qe5+/Qxc5/Qd3 2.cxb3/c3/c4/cxd3, and 1...Rxf3/Qd4+/Qd2/Qc4/Sc3 2.exf3/Qxd4/Sxd2/Re3/Qe3.


After this period Jeremy turned his attention more and more to tasks, composing them — often to fill gaps in the records — and writing some 70 articles about them in The Problemist and elsewhere. These articles and the correspondence they have brought him have formed the basis of the book referred to above. In 2006 Jeremy was granted the title of Honorary Master of the FIDE for Chess Composition. This is a title that is bestowed on those who have made a significant contribution to chess problems and their development in ways other than purely composing, and there is no doubt that in his case it is very well merited. He is one of only three living holders of the title.

You might think that a full-time career in banking coupled with a dedication to chess problem tasks might have left Sir Jeremy Morse with little or no time for much else. But he is a great family man. He and his wife Belinda have three sons and a daughter, who between them have produced 14 grandchildren. They divide their time between a house in Kensington and another one set in the Gloucestershire countryside, where they spend much of the summer away from the bustle of central London. Among Jeremy’s other interests he counts poetry, classical music, family history, golf, and “keeping the Classics alive”, this last a praiseworthy effort to help ensure that the study of Latin and Greek is not neglected in our materialistic age. He shares this aim with another chess problemist, Colin Sydenham, who is likewise distinguished in the classical field.

Let’s now look at some more of Jeremy’s problems.

10. C. J. Morse

problem, 1965

4K3/p2Q4/rp2S3/4q1P1/PP1PPR1P/2S4k/R1p4p/2r1B2B

Mate in 2

No. 10 appeared in that fine Yugoslav magazine problem, edited by Nenad Petrovic. It shows 15 mates by two wSs, after a rather indifferent key 1.Ra3 (>2.Sc~).

11. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1975

2R5/S2p4/2q5/8/S1ks1rb1/p5r1/PP1Q2Bp/6bK

Mate in 2

The point of no. 11, solved by 1.b4 (>2.Sb6), lies in the defence 1...Sf3, which carries seven line-effects: opening of g1-b6 to parry the threat, opening of d2-d5 apparently to allow the secondary threat 2.Bd5 but simultaneously closing g2-d5 to defeat it, and closing four black lines to permit the mate.

12. C. J. Morse

2nd Prize, The Problemist, 1990

1BqS1Ks1/p1P5/1p1k1P1Q/R7/S1P5/1p5B/7b/3r4

Mate in 2

No. 12 is a “blend record”: 11 mates by the wQ plus four promotions by a wP. 1.Qe3 (-), and in addition to the 11 variations leading to wQ-mates we have 1...Qxb8/Qd7/Qf5/Qxd8+/Rd5 2.cxb8Q/c8S/c8Q/cxd8S/Rxd5.

13. C. J. Morse

Comm., The Problemist, 1995

s3S2b/r2PkP1r/1P1RPR1P/5P1b/q1P5/4Q3/5B1K/8

Mate in 2

Can the black K provide correction play? Look at no. 13 and decide for yourself! The key 1.Sg7 threatens 2.d8Q and 2.f8Q. A random move of the bK (to d8 or f8) allows 2.e7, but capture of the Rs on d6 and f6, while still allowing 2.e7, invalidate the move as a mate. Instead we see 1...Kxd6 2.Qc5 and 1...Kxf6 2.Bh4. The two threats are separated by the moves 1...Bxf7,Bxg7 (2.d8Q only) and 1...Qxd7,Rxd7 (2.f8Q only).

14. C. J. Morse

The Problemist Supplement, 1999

sr3b1R/2Pk1PSs/pp1PS2r/3Q3p/1B2R2K/8/8/8

Mate in 2

In no. 14 each square within the bK’s immediate field, including the square on which the bK stands initially, is occupied by a mating unit in answer to Black’s nine thematic defences, the threat square being outside that field. 1.Rc4 (>2.cxb8S) Rb7/Rd8/Re8/Sxc7/Kc8/Be7+/Rc8/Bxd6/Rxe6 2.c8Q/cxd8Q/fxe8Q/Rxc7/d7/dxe7/Qc6/Qxd6/Qxe6. Like most of the problems in the present selection, this one is dual-free, a feature to which the composer attaches considerable importance.

15. C. J. Morse

Suomen Shakki, 1999

R3S2B/1P6/3p4/1P1Rp2P/2K2p1p/3S1Psq/r2P2sp/kr5Q

Mate in 2

The admittedly obvious key of no. 15 introduces a 10-fold Fleck (10 threats fully separated) combined with 10 threat-defeating (Karlström) variations, a record blend achieved, as ever, without duals. 1.Rxe5 (>2.Re~) Sxh5/dxe5/Rc1/Rd1/Rxa8/Ra~ 2.Rxh5/Bxe5/Qxc1/Qxd1/bxa8Q/RxR.

16. C. J. Morse & J. M. Rice

1st Special Comm., The Problemist, 2004

1B3Srs/3BpqRS/3pbP1p/3QpkpR/2p2P2/2p1P2P/4s3/K7

Mate in 2

I was privileged to have a hand in the construction of no. 16, though I must confess to being largely responsible for the cluttered position and the lazy Bb8! The wP on f4 gives seven different mates spread over three phases, without promotion — again, a record. 1.Qf3? (>2.e4) Sg3/e4/exf4 2.fxg5/Qg4/Qd5, but 1...d5! 1.fxe5? (>2.exd6) Bxd7/Qxf6/Sf4/dxe5 2.e6/exf6/e4/Qxe5, but 1...Sg6! 1.fxg5! (>2.g6) Sg6/Qxf6/Qg6,xh5/Sg3/Sf4/hxg5 2.gxh6/gxf6/Bxe6/Qf3/e4/Rhxg5.

17. C. J. Morse

2nd Comm., Problem Observer, 2004

8/8/p2P2p1/Rb3kS1/p1rP2SP/2QKP2P/1P1p1r2/1BB2R1s

Mate in 2

No. 17 shows four double-checks by Black over set and actual play. The price to pay for this achievement is a fair number of unprovided checks! Set 1...Rxc3+/Rxd4+ 2.Kxc3/Kxd4. 1.Kc2 (>2.Kd1,Qd3) d1Q+/dxc1Q+ 2.Kxd1/Kxc1, and also 1...Rxc3+/Rxd4/Rc5/Sg3 2.Kxc3/Qc8/Qxc5/Rxf2.

18. C. J. Morse

4th Comm., The Problemist, 2005

8/1p3p2/4P3/p7/1P1K1Q2/B3p3/p1BPp3/k7

Mate in 2

The wK in no. 18 is busy, providing 8 tries, each refuted by check from a bP. The wQ is no slouch either, making 5 tries and the key 1.Qg3! (>2.Qe1). 1.Kc5?/Kd5?/Ke5?/Ke4?/Kxe3?/Kd3?/Kc3?/Kc4? b6+!/fxe6+!/f6+!/f5+!/e1Q+!/e1S+!/axb4+!/b5+!

19. C. J. Morse

4th HM., BCPS 2012 Tourney

1s2R2K/r2p2P1/s2S1p1R/1P1kb3/PP2r1p1/2P1Q2p/2S4q/1B6

Mate in 2

A 5-fold cycle of black line- and square vacations is seen in no. 19. 1.Sc8 (>2.g8Q) f5/B~/Rxe3/Kc4/d6 2.Sb6/Qxe4/Sxe3/Ba2/Sb6, and also 1...Bd4/Sc5,c7 2. Ba2/Q(x)c5. The tourney in which this problem competed asked for “imaginative interpretations of the Olympic symbol” (the 5-fold interlaced rings).

20. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 2014

7B/RQ6/1P6/3K4/8/8/rqpS4/k7

Mate in 2

In the diagram position of no. 20 the black defences 1...c1~ and 1...Qxh8 are not provided with replies. So White tries 1.Qc8? (-) c1~/Qxh8 2.Qxc1/Qxh8, but 1...Rxa7! refutes. Likewise, 1.Qc7? fails to 1...Qxh8! 1.Qa6? (>2.Qxa2) looks better: 1...Ra3/Ra4/Ra5+/Rxa6 2.Qxa3/Qxa4/Qxa5/Rxa6, but 1...c1S! is too good. 1.Qa8? fails to the same refutation. With 1.Qg7? (>2.Qxb2) White tries a different line of attack: 1...Qc3/Qd4+/Qe5+/Qf6/Qxg7 2.Qxc3/Qxd4/Qxe5/Qxf6/Bxg7, but now 1...c1Q! is Black’s effective response. Correct is 1.Qh7!, with no threat but answers to all Black’s moves: 1...Ra3/Ra4/Ra5+/Ra6 2.RxR, 1...Qc3/Qd4+/Qe5+/Qf6 2.BxQ, and finally — a lovely addition! — 1...c1S 2.Qb1 and 1...c1Q 2.Sb3. The column editor, David Shire, was quite rightly enthusiastic: “This change play task is expressed with supreme economy and artistry”; and solver Michael Lipton wrote: “A magnificent find! The key is the last move I tried, yielding 5 changes on the file and 4 on the diagonal. The exquisite final touch is that dual avoidance follows the promotions 1...c1S/Q. Thanks to the brilliant use of the bP and the ambush key, Jeremy has made a real chess problem out of this matrix, far superior to earlier attempts.”


When I asked Jeremy about other composers and other problems he particularly admired, he mentioned Loshinsky and his 11-piece 3-fold Grimshaw (Tijdschrift v.d. N.S.B., 1930), a fine piece of construction with a perfect key, and of course Comins Mansfield and his wonderful book Adventures in Composition (1948). The names Jørgensen and Petrovic came up too, as did those of more recent composers of task problems such as George Sphicas and Unto Heinonen. The mutates of Tony Lewis, now sadly no longer with us, were also praised. Among favourites in Jeremy’s library of problem books are Brian Harley’s Mate in Two Moves (1931, rev. 1941), A. C. White’s Tasks and Echoes (1915), and — perhaps more surprisingly — Jean-Pierre Boyer’s Problèmes d’Echecs en deux coups (1983).

With the next problem we move away from the twomover to illustrate other genres.

21. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1978

8/2p2p2/5p2/1B3p2/5p2/p2s4/kp1K1p2/b4r2

Mate in 38

No. 21 is a mate in 38, a length record for wK + wB. 1-3.Bc4-xd3-c4+ 4.Bxf1 Ka2 5.Bc4+ 6.Kd1 f3 9.Kd2 f6 10.Kd1 c6 11.Kd2 c5 12.Kd1 f1~ 13.Bxf1 Ka2 14.Bc4+ 15.Kd2 (not 15.Be6? c4 16.Bxc4+ 18.Kd1 f3 19.Kd2 f1~ leading to mate in 39) f2 ... 34.Kd1 f1~ 35.Bxf1 Ka2 36.Bc4+ 37.Kd2 38.Bd3#.

22. C. J. Morse

v London Evening News, 1955

K1k5/7q/P7/2p5/1s6/1P6/2P1Q3/8

Win

The study no. 22 was originally published with wPb3 on b2, allowing a small dual in the play. 1.Qe8+ Kc7 2.Qb8+ Kc6 3.Qb7+ Qxb7+ 4.axb7 Sa6 5.Ka7 Kb5 6.c3 Ka5 7.c4 Sb4 8.b8S S~ 9.S(x)c6#. It has been established that this S-promotion was shown here for the first time.

23. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1987

6K1/ps5s/2p3Q1/P1P5/Bp5p/p5p1/pbP3pr/rk5b

Stalemate in 201

No. 23 is another of Jeremy’s compositions selected for the FIDE Album, and thus better known than some of his work. Its 201 moves represent a record for a stalemate problem. The well-known basic matrix was first used by W. A. Shinkman in 1903 and later developed by Otto Blathy. 1.c4+ 2-29.Qh6-xh7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-e1-xb4-e1-e4-e5-f5-f6-g6-g7-xb7-h7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-g1+ 30.a6 Kb2 31-47.Qd4-e4-e5-f5-f6-g6-g7-b7-h7-h6-g6-g5-f5-f4-e4-e3-g1+ 48.Kf8 Kb2 66.Ke8 Kb2 120.Kb8 Kb2 138.Kxa7 Kb2 156.Kb8 Kb2 192.a8Q Kb2 (not …Rh3? 193.Qxc6) 193.Qd4+ 194-6.Qb7-h7-h6+ 197.Qg1+ 198.Qd2 199-200.Bxc6-d7 201.Bxh3=.

24. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 1991

B1q5/1PPP2Pb/kPp3p1/b1B1p1P1/Q1KSp3/4P3/8/8

Selfmate in 2

No. 24 shows another record: 5 parallel promotions to wB in selfmate form. 1.Sb3 (>b,dxc8S) Qxa8/Qb8/Qd8/Qf8/Qh8 2.bxa8B/cxb8B/cxd8B/gxf8B/gxh8B, and 1...Qe8/Qxc7/Qxb7,d7 2.dxe8S/bxc7/Qb5+.

25. C. J. Morse

London Evening News, 1957

8/4Qp2/5p2/p3bB1p/R6S/4k2p/4p1pP/1S2K3

Selfmate in 4

The fine selfmate no. 25 also found favour with the Album judges. 1.Sd2 (-) g1Q,R 2.Sf1+ exf1B/exf1S 3.Qa3+/Qc5+ Bc3/Bd4 4.Qxc3+/Qc1+ Bd3/Sd2; 1...g1B 2.Qe8 Bxh2 3.Qg8 ~ 4.Q(x)g3+ Bxg3; 1...g1S 2.Qa3+ Bc3 3.Sf3 h4 4.Qb3 Sxf3.

26. C. J. Morse

New Statesman and Nation

8/8/8/4S3/1p1p1p1p/1R1Q3P/r4Bk1/3BK3

Selfmate in 8

No. 26, a longer selfmate, is surely very tricky to solve. 1.Qf1+ 2.Bg1+ 3.Be3+ 4.Sg4+ 5.Qg1+ Kxh3 6.Bxf4+ 7.Qf1+ 8.Se3 d2; 5...Rg2 6.Bd2+ 7.Sf2 8.Rxb4 Rxg1.

27. C. J. Morse

v EG, 1984

8/pp2r1q1/1p6/1pkr4/2p5/1pp5/sK6/1b6

Self stalemate in 4

The selfstalemate no. 27 is a length record for this genre with wK solus. 1.Ka3 b4+ 2.Ka4 b5+ 3.Ka5 b6+ 4.Ka6 — and any move by Black is stalemate. The stipulation could equally well be “White to draw”.

28. D. H. Hersom & C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 2000

4brk1/3s1p2/2p2p2/8/2P5/PPK5/Rppppp2/2Rqbr1s

Helpmate in 5

Only 5 moves are needed in no. 28 to achieve 5 black promotions, which equals the helpmate record. Black gets four new Rs and one S. 1.b1R Rxd1 2.c1S Rxe1 3.d1R Rxf1 4.e1R Rxh1 5.f1R Rg2#. According to bernd ellinghoven, this is a unique position: any alteration would make it unsound.

29. C. J. Morse

2nd HM., StrateGems, 2009

7K/8/8/8/3s1Q2/3pP2k/ppppppp1/8

Helpstalemate in 7

The record for promotions in helpstalemate is 6; no. 29 achieves only 5, but in striking fashion. The section editor of StrateGems, Radovan Tomaševic, ensured the setting’s soundness by adding the unmoving wQ. 1.a1B Kg7 2.g1R+ Kf6 3.Rb1 Ke5 4.d1R Kxd4 5.d2 Kd3 6.e1B Ke2 7.c1B Kf1=.

30. C. J. Morse

The Serieshelpmate, 1978

b7/kSp4p/2Kp3p/1PP2P2/2p5/PpqP3p/1P2Pp1P/8

Serieshelpmate in 44

No. 30, also to be found in the FIDE Album, was the first setting of 7 promotions in series-helpmate, which is still the record. 1.f1S 2.Sxh2 3.Sg4 5.h1R 7.Rg5 12.h1R 14.Rhg6 19.h1R 20.Rh8 22.Rxb7 28.Kxf5 29.Qf6 32.c1B 33.Bxb2 34.Be5 36.b1B 38.Be6 43.c1B 44.Bf4 e4#. To the delight of the authors of the book, this problem was offered as an original to the survey The Serieshelpmate (A. S. M. Dickins and J. M. Rice, 1978).

31. C. J. Morse

Mention, British Chess Magazine, 1970

8/8/8/4S3/2R4p/4p3/2ppkp2/7K

Serieshelpmate in 4 Duplex

AUW is seen in the duplex no. 31. Black plays: 1.f1B 2.c1R 3.Re1 4.d1S Rc2#; White plays: 2.Rg2 3.Rh2 4.Kg2 f1Q#.

32. C. J. Morse

The Problemist, 2010

8/8/8/8/8/8/PRB3p1/K3k3

Selfmate in 16 Checking zigzag

In a “checking zigzag” Black moves only to check. No.32 shows a wK-Rundlauf in miniature, with a model mate. 1.Rb5 4.Kd3 5.Ke4 6.Re5 7.Ke3 g1Q+ 8.Kd3+ Qe3+ 9.Kc4 Q~+ 10.Kb3 Qe3+ 11.Bd3 12.Re4 13.Kb2 Qe2+ 14.Ka1 15.Bb1 16.Re5 Qxe5#; 7...g1B+ 8.Kf4+ Be3+ 9-13.Bb1 14.Ka1 15.Rh5 Bd4#.


Now aged 86, Sir Jeremy Morse has been fully retired for some time but shows little sign of cutting down his many activities. He and Belinda are kept busy by their children, their grandchildren and their wide circle of friends. Some of those friends, of course, are the problemists with whom Jeremy has corresponded over the years. He derives great pleasure from this correspondence, especially with other taskers, whose names will be found among the contributors to Chess Problems: Tasks and Records and to the fifteen updates that have appeared in The Problemist. In a recent such update (November 2012) he expresses his indebtedness and his thanks to them all. So do the rest of us in the chess problem world, along with our particular thanks to Jeremy himself for his unrivalled contribution. His best problems? In his own words, “those which my writings have inspired others to compose!”

CJM, Lloyds Final, 1981

In the late 1970s the BCPS decided to institute a British Solving Championship, to assist with the selection of a team for the World Championship. Thanks to Jeremy sponsorship was obtained from Lloyds Bank, which lasted for twelve years. Here he presents Iain Sinclair with his prize at the 1981 Final. (Photo: Chess Scotland)

CJM, Kingston, 1999

Jeremy lecturing at the BCPS weekend at Kingston, 1999. (Photo: Barry Barnes)

CJM, Cheltenham, 2002

Another lecture, at Cheltenham 2002. (Photo: Barry Barnes)

CJM, 2015

Jeremy at home, January 2015. (Photo: © Andrew Crowley / Telegraph Media Group Limited 2015)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:25
 
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