Pestaño: Chess problems—an inherent part of Chessmoso

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


FOR more than 10 years now my column always has a side feature featuring chess problems.

There is a prize to be won, in this case, any flavor pizza from Handuraw outlets. For Sun.Star Cebu, the pizza can be claimed from the Gorordo branch. For Superbalita, the winners claim their pizza from the Kasambagan branch in Mabolo (behind Sarrosa hotel), while those of Bisdak Magasin will go to JY Square in Lahug.

Prior to these, there were additional prizes. Aside from pizza, like P100 loads from Globe as sponsor, through the late Jerry Yntig.

It is just amazing. A good number of my followers now have been with me since the beginning!

Handuraw was located then in Mabolo, formerly Coaco Bldg., which has been transformed into the Persimmon Complex.

There is a difference between a chess puzzle and a chess problem. A puzzle is a position derived, sometimes with some improvements, from an actual game while a problem is composed.

Almost all Chessmoso problems are composed. A person who creates such problems is known as a composer. Not all chessplayers, even grandmasters have the ability to compose a problem and like music or art is a unique gift.

A chess problem should have every one of these features.

There is a specific stipulation, that is, a goal to be achieved; for example, to checkmate Black within two or three or more moves.

There is a theme (or combination of themes) that the problem has been composed. For example, in our problem today there are two themes used by our composer, Jerish Velarde, a 7-year-old chess prodigy and an awardee of SAC-SMB All Sports Awards.

The problem exhibits economy in its construction: no greater force is employed than that required to render the problem sound.

The problem has aesthetics value. Problems are experienced not only as puzzles but as objects of beauty.

Solutions of problems and studies are usually not obvious and demand certain mental efforts. Solving such positions, “the player develops his combinational abilities, gets to know original ideas, cultivates analytical skills, and improves his play in the endings. That is why chess players often include solving of problems and studies into their plans of preparation to tournaments and matches.”

A chess player also derives pure enjoyment and arouses in him sheer satisfaction once a problem is solved.

A problem should have only one solution. If a side-solution is discovered (another one, different from the author’s), such a composition loses its right to exist.

When starting to solve a problem, it is advisable first of all to analyze the black King's position and that of White's pieces which surround him. A special attention should be paid to the presence of threats.

There are various different types of chess problems:

Directmates: White to move first and checkmate Black within a specified number of moves against any defense. . In composing and solving competitions, directmates are further broken down into three classes: two movers, three movers and 4 or more movers.

Helpmates: Black to move first cooperates with White to get Black's own king mated in a specified number of moves.

Selfmates: White moves first and forces Black (in a specified number of moves) to checkmate White.

This puzzle by Jerish, problem 311, has originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity and unique from one so young. A lot of imagination is needed in solving this difficult puzzle.

Cepca, our monthly tournament for April is on the 27th. Please bring a set and clock, if you have, as there is a concurrent tournament on that date. Also get involved with our proposed tournament for inmates of BBRC.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 21, 2014.

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