07 October 2011

Turn! Turn! Turn!

Most probably you know this tune by Pete Seeger which became a No. 1 hit in the mid-60s when it was covered by The Byrds. This title (not necessarily the lyrics, though) presents an appropriate transition from the Oktoberfest time and the joke problems back to the more serious chess compositions. I guess I don't have to further elaborate on that, right?

I like chess problems where the twinning is done by rotating the position on the board. I learnt that there was a composing tournament with that theme in Messigny (France) as part of the 31ème RIFACE (Rencontre Internationale en France des Amateurs de la Composition Échiquéenne), that's an annual French meeting for chess composition enthusiasts. Here are some of the awarded problems for you (rotation is always done clockwise):

  1Mario Parrinello  
Messigny 2010
1st Prize
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 90°

  2Marcos Roland  
Ricardo de Mattos Vieira
Messigny 2010
2nd Prize
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 270°

  3Carlos Lago  
Messigny 2010
3rd Prize
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 90°
c) Rotate 270°

  4Menachem Witztum  
Messigny 2010
2nd Special Prize
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 270°

  5Dieter Müller  
Messigny 2010
1st Honourable Mention
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 90°

  6Franz Pachl  
Dieter Müller
Messigny 2010
3rd Honourable Mention
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 90°

1a) 1. Nc8+ bxc8=Q 2. Ke4 Qc2#
b) 1. Nf8 gxf8=Q 2. Ke4 Qxe7#
Harmonious solutions with knight sacs and self-pins.
2a) 1. Rd4 Nb7 2. Rbd2 f4#
b) 1. Qe4 f7 2. Rg5 Ne3#
Rather random moves by White compared to the homogeneous play of Black, but nice model mates.
3a) 1. Bd6 Kf3 2. Qe5 e4 3. Kd4 Ke2 4. Bc5 Nb5#
b) 1. Be4 Na7 2. Bd5 c6 3. Kd6 cxd5 4. Qe7 Nb5#
c) 1. Bb3 f6 2. Qg7 fxg7 3. Bd1 g8=Q 4. Be2 Qb3#
Impressive miniature. The third solution is not consistent with the other two, though. It's surely difficult for a composer to just not mention it, but it would provide a better picture.
4a) 1. f1=B Rd1 2. Bf2 Bxf2#
b) 1. g5 Rh6 2. gxf4 Re6#
Very nice. Just this black rook ...
5a) 1. Bg6 Nxc5+ 2. Kf5 e4#
b) 1. Kd5 Nf7 2. Bd4 e4#
Beautiful problem with model mates. Black pieces follow each other, the white pawns on e2 and g5 reciprocally take a flight and checkmate.
6a) 1. Kb6 Rd6+ 2. Ka7 Rh7#
b) 1. b5+ Rxb5 2. 0-0-0 Rc1#

Diagram 6 inspired me to experiment a little bit searching for a more economical version. Finally, I arrived at the following result.

Gerson Berlinger
a) Diagram
b) Rotate 90°
        The solutions are

a) 1. Bd3 Rxb2 2. 0-0-0 Rc5#
b) 1. b5 Re3 2. Rh5 Rb4#

In both phases, the white king is protected from a check by the black rook. The white rooks swap roles.

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