Issue Reviews 2004 The Problemist, January 2004
 

 

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The Problemist, January 2004
Written by Michael McDowell   

The January issue featured a lecture report by John Rice on the problems of the late Norwegian composer Nils van Dijk, and an article by the eminent Ukrainian duo Viktor Melnichenko and Valentin Rudenko on the Schiffmann theme in three-movers. Historian Chris Ravilious recounted attempts in the newspapers of a century ago to identify the favourite composers of the day. George Jelliss recalled his fairy magazine Chessics for “In the Library”, and the awards for moremovers of 2001 and threemovers of 2002 were published. In the Supplement Geoff Foster examined the role of luck in composition.

Nils G. G. van Dijk

American Chess Bulletin, 1958

SKb5/Bp1pp3/P1PP1P2/q2k1B1S/R1R1pQ2/2P5/1P6/8

Mate in 2

One of van Dijk’s most famous problems, showing eight different mates after the moves of two pawns - the Pickaninny theme doubled.

1.b3 Waiting. The main variations are

1...bxa6 2.Rxa5
1...b6 2.Sc7
1...b5 2.Rc5
1...bxc6 2.Rd4
1...exd6 2.Qxe4
1...e6 2.Bxe4
1...e5 2.Qd2
1...exf6 2.Sxf6
and the by-play variations 1…e3 2.Qd4 and 1…Qb6 2.Sxb6 round off an excellent task achievement.

Lev Loshinsky & Evgeny Umnov

Tijdschrift vd NSB, 1934

K6s/2PQ2BB/6Pr/3R3r/2pPkPPp/2p1S1p1/4R3/2S4b

Mate in 3

An early example of a three-mover featuring Schiffmann strategy. After the key 1.g5 there appear to be three ways of creating a threat; however 2.Qc6?, threatening 3.Rf5, fails to the Schiffmann defence 2...Rxg6! 3.Rf5? Rxc6!, and 2.Qg4?, threatening 3.f5, fails to 2...Sxg6! 3.f5? Sf4!. The correct threat is 2.Rf5!, threatening 3.Qc6 or d5. Now after defences on g6 White exploits the mutual obstruction: 1...Rxg6 2.Qg4! and 3.f5 (2...Sxg6??), and 1...Sxg6 2.Qc6! and 3.Rf5 (2...Rxg6??). The by-play defence 1...g2 prevents a potential check for 2.Re5+ Kxf4 3.Qg4.

Jean-Marc Loustau

4th Prize, The Problemist, 2002

6Q1/2pR4/sp2P1bb/2k4r/B7/KPSp4/1S6/4Rr2

Mate in 3

In the words of the judge, Franz Pachl: “A problem of classical beauty and unity.” The checking tries 1.Se4+? and 1.Re5+? fail simply to captures. After the key 1.Qb8, threatening 2.Qxc7+ Sxc7 3.b4, Grimshaw defences on f4 lead paradoxically to Nowotnys on the square on which Black has just placed an additional guard. 1…Rf4 2.Se4+ Bxe4 / Rxe4 3.Rc1 / Sxd3 and 1…Bf4 2.Re5+ Rxe5 / Bxe5 2.Qf8 / Rd5.

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