13 January 2011

Too late (2)

Today some more about the fact that having composed a nice chess problem is not always sufficient — you have to be lucky that nobody else had the same idea before and beat you to it.

Diagram B was shown together with the solution to my composition (diagram A) and obviously it was published before. It was awarded with a first prize, though having a promoted piece and two black pawns which don't do much, especially not in the final position. On the other hand, the solution is less obvious. Anyway, it's too bad I sent in my work "too late" and to the "wrong" magazine.

  AGerson Berlinger  
Europa-Rochade 4/1989
 
[R6N/7P/1P5P/7P/P1N2P2/1B3P1P/8/B4K1k]
  ser-h#31(14+1)  

  BPer Grevlund  
Thema Danicum 1990
1st Prize
[k6N/p7/PRPP3P/1PB1p3/4B3/1R1K1P2/1P6/N6R]
  ser-h#31(15+3)  

You will figure out the solutions on your own, right? Just let the black king visit all four corners and return home to get mated. Clicking on the respective diagram will give you more information.

The second example is the first case I know of where I was quicker. Both problems have the same solution. Do you manage to crack the puzzle? Choose the one you like better.

Gerson Berlinger
Europa-Rochade 3/1987
[8/p1p1p3/p1B1P3/k2K4/P2P4/P1P5/P7/2R5]
  #6(9+5)  

Michael Barth
Leipziger Volkszeitung, 2010
[8/p1p5/p1Bp4/k2K4/P1pP4/P1P5/P7/7R]
  #6(8+6)  

Finally, there is a really frustrating experience. Last year, in summer, I started to experiment with proof games. Nothing spectacular, just trying out things. But I created some interesting little puzzles. And one of them was actually a real good one, as it combined several themes and apparently nobody else had done this before. So, I sent my composition to a chess problem magazine. Only three weeks later, I learned the bitter truth, browsing through the latest problems having been added to the Chess Problem Database Server. Just a few months earlier, "my" problem had already been published (see diagram). Argh!

Yaakov Mintz
feenschach 01-03/2010
[rnbqkbnr/1ppp1pp1/8/8/8/8/P1PPP1PP/RN1QKBNR]
  SPG in 7,0 moves(13+13)  

Solution: 1. f4 a5 2. f5 a4 3. f6 a3 4. fxe7 axb2 5. exf8=N bxc1=B 6. Nxh7 Ba3 7. Nf8 Bxf8. The themes are
  • Homebase
    All pieces in the diagram of at least one colour are on their respective starting square.
  • two (straight) Excelsiors
    A pawn moving from its starting square to promotion in the course of the solution (without intermediate moves).
  • Prenix
    Phoenix theme (a promoted piece takes the place of a similar captured piece of the same colour) reversed, i.e. first promotion, then capture.
  • Donati
    A promoted piece leaves and returns to the promotion square.
  • Ceriani-Frolkin
    Capture of a promoted piece.
  • Pronkin
    Phoenix theme with the promoted piece standing on the square of the original piece in the initial game array.

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