Issue Reviews 2007 The Problemist, May 2007


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The Problemist, May 2007
Written by Michael McDowell   

The May issue contained a full report of the BCPS weekend at Torquay, plus two lectures from the meeting, John Rice presenting some problems by a quartet of distinguished composers who were born in 1927, while Michael Lipton asked “Is content in the eye of the beholder?”. In another lecture report Jörg Kuhlmann compared logical preparation over the board and in the problem. Browsing in the library discussed A century of two-movers, the first volume in the famous Overbrook series. In the Supplement John Rice continued his survey of fairy pieces by examining the use of Berolina pawns, and paid tribute to two recently deceased composers, Efim Rukhlis and Venelin Alaikov.

Michel Caillaud

2nd Prize, Chlubna MT, 2006


Helpmate in 2: 3 solutions

1.f1R Sa5 2.Ra1 d4
1.f1B Sc5 2.Bc4 d3
1.f1S Sd6 2.Se3 dxe3

A problem quoted by Christopher Jones in his Selected Helpmates column. After each promotion there is only one possible hideaway, and the white knight is forced to close different lines. The light construction is excellent.

Efim Rukhlis

1st Prize, Uzbekskogo KFC, 1955


Mate in 2

Set play:
1...g2 2.Sc2
1...Se6 2.Sf5

1.Qc7 (>2.Qf4)
1...Se2 2.Sc2
1...S4e6 2.Sf5
1...g2 2.Qc1
1...S8e6 2.Sg4

Rukhlis here demonstrates the combination of changed and transferred play which became associated with his name. In the Rukhlis theme at least two set defences gain new mates after the key, while the original mates follow new defences, and much of the interest lies in the mechanism which allows the theme to operate.

Gyorgy Páros

1st HM., British Chess Magazine, 1938


Mate in 2

1.c8Q (>2.Ba6)
1...Rh4 2.Sg4
1...Rh2 2.Sg2
1...Bc4 2.Sc2
1...d2 2.Sc4
1...Bxc6 2.Bxc6

Quoted from A century of two-movers, and an example of a great composer knowing when to break the conventions. A. C. White commented: “The promotion to queen is both brutal and obvious. Yet there is a quaintness about the step, which combines with the almost incredible oddness of the defences and mates, and makes this an outstanding problem, if not one that is artistically very satisfactory.”

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