16 January 2011

Another look into the past

In the 1980s, I had a lot of mail correspondence (yes, letters sent via mailing delivered by the letter carrier!) with Dr. Werner Speckmann. He was my first contact in the world of chess problems, patiently answering my letters. More than once, he advised me to be more careful whith checking my compositions before sending them to him. Not so easy for a young boy of 16, without any further equipment except a few books.

Anyway, when he saw my interest in fairy chess, he turned my attention to a book which was just published at that time. It was the German translation of A Guide to Fairy Chess by A. S. M. Dickins. Not much later, I bought it and though I didn't understand everything, I learnt quite a lot. Some explanations of pieces, conditions or stipulations in the book are simply not comprehensive enough to get the picture, the more if you are quite new to all this. Very much later, thanks to the Internet, I finally found out more about this and that. I even had the opportunity to have a look at the original version of the book — but I must say it looks even more confusing than the German!

I found a nice miniature composed by Dickins. You'll find the solution without help, right? Just move the bishop ... ?? Yes and no!

Anthony Stewart Mackay Dickins
Mat 3/1979

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