29 November 2010

Why composing?

Here and there, you can read about people's beginnings as solver of chess problems. Sometimes they tell at least when they started. In some other cases you even learn why/how they began. I like to read such things. I'm always interested in getting to know some more about how other people approached this hobby.

Now, what about the composers? You may ask yourself the same questions: Why did they become a composer? When was that? What were their first steps? I tried to find information about the why on the net. But I often just read things like "I am / He was / is a solver and composer." Well, that's not so thrilling. I stopped googling after some attempts. The best I could find was this: "Immediately I started solving and composing chess problems." Wow! Magic! How did he do that? When I saw a chess problem for the first time, I didn't have the faintest idea about how to solve not to mention how to compose nor did it come to my mind (yet) to try to construct a chess problem myself.

So, I am left quite clueless. It looks like several people met a fairy who transmuted them into a composer overnight. They must have woken up one day and thought "I am a composer. Today, I'll construct my first chess problem." Seriously, this is so puzzling! Anyway, I can think of the following: There is a solver who thinks he (or she, but I'll stick to the masculine pronoun) can do it better and searches for ways to improve a problem, e.g. using less pieces. Or he even cooks a problem and attempts to find a correct version. Maybe someone has a – as he thinks – totally new idea/scheme/theme which he wants to demonstrate. Another possibility is that he is not satisfied with just solving and starts to experiment with board, pieces and stipulations. Exactly this last scenario applies to me. But it took at least two or three years until I was ready for this step. And about two more years passed by until I dared to show a highly-respected problemist one of my works.

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