17 February 2012

Another composer from Grand Rapids

Let's now turn towards another pioneer of chess composition, Otto B. Wurzburg, a nephew of Shinkman. Not only did he display outstanding skill in construction both strategic and model mate compositions, but he was also a strong chess player.

Wurzburg composed very many spectacular chess problems. Surely we all have seen at least some of them as they have often been reprinted. One interesting fact is his sparing use of white pawns. Did you know that? I was quite astonished when I learnt it. Maybe, I haven't seen enough of his work, yet. And quite possibly, I haven't paid a lot of attention to such things.

The last thing to mention is the theme that is named after him, the Wurzburg-Plachutta. You can find an example here.


1
The Des Moines Leader, 1902
[7n/1b4b1/1p2N2p/1B1k3K/3N4/4Q3/8/8]
  #3(5+6)  

2
The Gazette Times, 1912
[6n1/B7/KRP2P2/RBQ5/1p2kN2/1rp5/3qN1Pn/8]
  #3(11+8)  

3
The Problem, 1914
 
[N2N4/kBR5/p1K5/7n/8/5r2/1R6/3n4]
  #3(6+5)  

4
The Chess Review, 1942
Loyd-Memorial, 1st Prize
[1q5k/4R3/8/8/1p6/1B6/5R2/1K6]
  #3(4+3)  

Solutions
11. Qg3! (threats 2. Bc4+ Ke4 3. Qel#; 2. - Kxc4 3. Qb3#; 2. - Kc6 3. Qc7#)
1. - Be5 2. Qb3+ Kd6 3. Nf5# or 2. - Ke4 3. Qf3#
1. - Bxd4 2. Nc7+ Ke4 3. Bd3# or 2. - Kc5 3. Qa3#
1. - Ba6 2. Bc6+ Kc4 3. Qb3#
1. - Ke4 2. Bc4 3. Qf4,e1#
Four different model mates, two of them follow self-blocking moves by the black bishop.
21. c7! (threats 2. Qe3+ Kxe3 3. Re6#; 2. - Qxe3 3. Bc6#; 2. - Kf5 3. Bd7#)
1. - c2 2. Qe5+ Kxe5 3. Bd3#
1. - Qxe2 2. Qd4+ Kxd4 3. Re6#
1. - Qxf4 2. Qd5+ Kxd5 3. Bd3#
1. - Ng4 2. Qf5+ Kxf5 3. Bd3#
Sort of a task problem with queen sacrifices on five different squares.
31. Kd5! (threats 2. Nc6#)
1. - Nc3+ 2. Kc4 Rf4+ 3. Be4#
1. - Ne3+ 2. Kc5 Rf5+ 3. Bd5#
1. - Nf6+ 2. Ke6 Re3+ 3. Be4#
1. - Nf4+ 2. Kd6 Rd3+ 3. Bd5#
1. - Rf5+ 2. Kd4 Rc5 3. Bc6#
1. - Rd3+ 2. Ke5 Rc3 3. Bc6#
The white king directly walks into consecutive checks. In four variations the knight moves block a black rook.
41. Ra2!
1. - Qc7..g3 2. Ra8+ and 3. RaxQ#
1. - Qc8..g8 2. Rh2+ and 3. RhxQ#
What a rich miniature. We see a very nice duel rook vs. queen with an excellent key that puts black into zugzwang. But the solver should also pay attention to the seven tries.
1. Rc2? Qc7!
1. Rd2? Qd6!
1. Rg2? Qg3!
1. Rf1? Qa8!
1. Rf3? Qc8!
1. Rf6? Qf4!
1. Rf7? Qg8!
There is an eighth but non-thematic try: 1. Rd7? Qf4,d6!

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