2018 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.

  • 2018/03/07 – BCPS CENTENARY WEEKEND in DERBY 6th – 9th April 2018

    Written by Christopher Jones (President and Hon. Secretary)

    The 2018 BCPS Residential Weekend is a special occasion, marking the founding of our Society. We hope our friends near and far will make an effort to be with us. The event will take place at the Hallmark Midlands Hotel, Derby, from 6th to 9th April. The Hotel is opposite the entrance to the railway station, and is on a direct bus route from East Midlands Airport.

    The cost of the three nights accommodation (with breakfast, light lunch and dinner) is the same as it was for the 2017 Weekend: £229 per person for a double bedroom for sole use, and £194 per person for twin/double bedroom for shared use.

    There is no deposit to be paid and full payment will be taken no sooner than 6th April 2018. Credit/debit cards are required to secure your booking and there are no card charges.

    An online booking form is being made available at: www.guaranteedevents.com. Alternatively, UK members can use the free-phone number 08000 346 246, which is available from 9.00 to 17.15 Monday to Friday and from 9.15 to 13.15 on Saturdays. Overseas members can also use this number (+44 8000 346 246), but it is chargeable.

    If you have any difficulties or queries please contact Christopher Jones using the contact facility from the menu above. He. will also be very glad to hear from you with offers of (mini-) lectures, competitions and any other contributions as he puts together a programme of events for the weekend.

    We will enjoy a warm reception, comfortable beds, good food, buffets, first-class facilities assured, and the price is fully inclusive.


    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.

  • 2018/01/06 – International Solving Contest on Sunday 28th Jaunary 2018

    Written by Brian Stephenson

    There will be two venues in Great Britain for the 2018 International Solving Contest (ISC) ‐ Surbiton and Sheffield. At each venue solving will start at 10:00 am, break for lunch (which will be provided) at 12:00 and resume at 13:00 pm, to finish at 15:00 pm.

    John Rice will control the competition in Surbiton. Some solvers have already registered with him and any solver wishing to take part in Surbiton should contact him using the Contact item in the menu above. There is very limited space at this venue, so register quickly.

    Brian Stephenson will control the event in Sheffield, which will be at Jury's Inn. and will be able to cope with up to 12 solvers. Early registration with him is advised via the Contact item in the menu above.

    Solvers registered so far for the Sheffield event

    • Harry Feather
    • David Hodge
    • Michael McDowell
    • Chris Shephard
    • Victor Snaith
    • Ian Watson

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.