Dom i Thema Danicums hjælpematturnering 1999 (fra TD 103) v/ Thomas Maeder (CH) Tilbage til forsiden

Dom i Thema Danicums hjælpematturnering 1999
ved Int. dommer: Thomas Maeder (CH), Spærrefrist: 1. oktober 2001

The competition consisted of 46 helpmate problems (7607-7620, 7704-7713, 7768-7777, 7850-7861).

First some comments on problems that I don't award: Read here
[The webmaster, not being restrained by the limitations of a printed magazine, has supplied diagrams and solutions for all non-awarded problems mentioned in this section, and has also supplied diagrams for all anticipations and reference problems throughout the article. In order not to focus too much on the non-awarded problems, this whole section has been moved to the end of the article.]

Now to the problems that, in my opinion, deserve a distinction. As usual in Thema Danicum, the overall level was satisfactory. I give relatively many commendations; among them are several pleasant, nicely constructed problems where I would have liked more surprise in the solution.

Diagram 7709
Rolf Wiehagen & Torsten Linss (D)
1. Pr. Thema Danicum 1999
H#3.5 B: wBg1 C+ 5+13



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The play after the first white move has been shown several times as a h#3; the oldest example I have found is diagram 8451. Using less material than most of the h#3 settings, the authors of diagram 7709 have managed to extend this by "half a peri-anticritical move" per phase (they are not totally peri-anticritical because the thematical pieces aim directly at the point of intersection (vs. at a square behind it) in the diagram position)!

Diagram 8451
Jorge T. Yamanishi, Henk le Grand & Jan Hartong
1. Pr. Feenschach 1966
H#3 B: wBg7 C+ 7+13



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Diagram 7857
Toma Garai (USA)
2. Pr. Thema Danicum 1999
H#3 B: bPd5 C+ 6+11



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Very harmonious play on four (un)pin lines. A twinning mechanism without a white pawn on d5 (allowing for a black pawn on f7) would have been possible, and I would have preferred it; but this is just a matter of taste probably.

Diagram 7769
Michal Dragoun (CZE)
3. Pr. Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 B: Rd3 -> e5 C+ 7+8



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It's surprising that this idea seems to be new. Nice ensemble of Zilahi, Bristol and annihilation in a very satisfactory setting.

Diagram 7775
Unto Heinonen (FIN)
1. HO Thema Danicum 1999
H#3 B: Pe4 -> e3 C+ 4+3



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Humourous problem in a perfect setting.

Diagram 7771
Markus Manhart & Franz Pachl (D)
2. HO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 2.1.1.1 C+ 8+8



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An extremely well known matrix, but in a new interpretation. The elements have been shown before, of course.

Diagram 7708
Christer Jonsson (S)
3. HO Thema Danicum 1999
H#3 B: Bd5 -> g6 C+ 4+7



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This is an improvement over diagram 8452. The only purpose of the first black moves is to provide a blocking piece, whereas the first rank has to be opened in the predecessor. This means that the author had to find a different way of determining the order of the black moves; anticritical play is an elegant and economical solution.

Diagram 8452
Toma Garai
Thema Danicum 1985
H#3 B: Kc5 -> g4 C+ 6+6



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Diagram 7611
Unto Heinonen (FIN)
1. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 A-D: Remove the mating piece C+ 5+11



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This immediately reminds one of the famous problem by Abdurahmanivic & Rehm (feenschach 1989), but diagram 8453 is much closer and adds a Rundlauf of the black Bishop

Diagram 8453
S.K. Balasubramanian
The Problemist 1995
H#2 A-D: Remove the mating piece C+ 9+7



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On the other hand, I like the construction of diagram 7611 much better, especially the minimal white material which underlines the twinning mechanism and contrasts well to the underused wB in Balasubramanian's c) part.

Diagram 7610
C.J. Feather (GB)
2. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 2.1.1.1 C+ 4+10



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The first black moves have two effects contributing to the solution. One is common to both moves, the other (opening of the 8th line vs. loss of guard of f7) makes the difference between the two solutions. I would have preferred the solutions to be differentiated by negative effects (reciprocal dual avoidance).

Diagram 7860
C.J. Feather (GB)
3. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#6 C+ 2+9



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Intricate play. The author kindly provided a similar problem of his with the solution, which, in my opinion, is more interesting, especially its first black move.

Diagram 7859
Christer Jonsson (S)
4. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#5* C+ 2+5



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Good miniature with promotion change and exchange of places. The set play form seems to be new, and it doesn't cost a single piece!

Diagram 7710
Christer Jonsson (S)
5. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#4 B: bKd8 C+ 3+10



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Echo mates by initially pinned white knights. If one (like me) is not so interested in the white moves being identical, the idea could in principle be shown in 3 (or even 2.5) moves.

Diagram 8454
Felix Sonnenfeld & Jose Figueiredo
1. Pr. Israel Problem Association 1965
H#3 2.1.1... C+ 3+11



These authors have made an attempt a long time ago.

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- but here the primary motive of Black's second moves is to block; the pin is just needed for determining the order of Black's second and third moves.

Diagram 7773
Almiro Zarur (BR)
6. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2** 2.1.1.1 C+ 9+9



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The actual play has been realized many times, but the addition of a well matching set play seems to be original. The construction is better than it seems at first look.

Diagram 7850
Unto Heinonen (FIN)
7. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 4.1.1.1 C+ 10+9



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The author has shown the 4fold cyclic Zilahi with this thematic material before: diagram 8455.
Diagram 7850 almost achieves a cycle of White's first and second moves, which would have deserved a much higher award.

Diagram 8455
Unto Heinonen (FIN)
Magyar Sakkélet 1988
H#2 4.1.1.1 C+ 7+12



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Diagram 7612
Zivko Janevski (MAC)
8. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 2.1.1.1 C+ 4+12



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This adds a new twist (switchbacks after battery openings) to a very well known matrix (cf. diagram 7773 [6. HO]).

Diagram 7609
Michal Dragoun (CZE)
9. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 2.1.1.1 C+ 6+6



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Very nice, but what else could Black do than opening white lines and unpin white pieces?

Diagram 7704
Valeri Gurov (RUS)
10. RO Thema Danicum 1999
H#2 B: Sg3 -> h3
C: Sg3 -> f5
D: Be1 -> d2
C+ 7+12



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Anticipatory self-pins and Albino pin-mates would have been enough for a higher distinction (Albinos at the mating move are much less frequent than at the beginning of the solution or at irregular times), but in c), the self-pin isn't anticipatory, and I don't like the twinning.

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[Here is the "misplaced" section about the non-awarded problems.]

Diagram 7607
R. Vieira (BRA)
H#2 B: Bc6 -> c5 C+ 6+6


Show solution

Nice, economical setting of a pleasant idea. But diagram 8445 and 8446 are more interesting as the first white moves are thematical, too.

Diagram 8445
C. J. Feather
3rd HM, Springaren 1997
H#2 B: Sg3 -> b7 C+ 8+8



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Diagram 8446
Jorge Kapros
Bikos MT 1991
H#2 B: Sa4 -> b6 C+ 7+13



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Diagram 7613
V. Kopajev (RUS)
H#2 B: Lh7 -> h5
C: B+ Sc8 -> c2
D: C+ Bc3 -> f5
C+ 10+10


Show solution

Another diagram wasted for a duplicated publication of a problem by this author. Diagram 7613 also appeared as 6942 in feenschach 1996.

Diagram 7619
Miroslav Henrych (CZ)
H#4* 0.1.1.... C+ 3+2


Show solution

This mate is anything but new, and even the tempo twist has been shown before: diagram 8447.

Diagram 8447
Edgar Holladay (USA)
Chessics 1983
H#2.5* C+ 3+2



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Diagram 7620
Christer Jonsson & Rolf Wiehagen (S . D)
H#4 0.2.1.... C+ 3+6


Show solution

More interesting things have been done with this material, e.g. diagram 8448..

Diagram 8448
Michail Sosedkin & Jurij Gordian
Probleemblad 1972
H#3 2.1.1... C+ 4+5



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Diagram 7705
Ricardo de Mattos Vieira (BR)
H#2 B: Lg7 -> g1 C+ 9+9


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Bad twinning changing the position of one of the thematical pieces.

Diagram 7707
Leonid Makaronez & Semion Shifrin (IL)
H#3 B: Sc2 -> b2 C+ 4+11


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Masked unpins can be shown in two moves. Also, the construction isn't optimal. If we make c2 a black pawn, we can save the Pa4 and move the Ba8 to b7; the latter would slightly intensify the thematical play because the bB has the option of moving away from the diagonal to unpin the wS.

Diagram 7711
Josef Krawczyk (PL)
H#4 2.1.1... C+ 5+4


Show solution

Anticipated by diagram 8449

Diagram 8449
Josif Kricheli
Schach 1969
H#4* C+ 4+3



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Diagram 7853
Henryk Kruk (PL)
H#2 2.1.1.1
B: Kg7 -> d3
C+ 5+9


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The comparison to diagram 7850 [7. RO] is interesting, even if 7853 shows two Zilahi couples and 7850 a cycle. 7853 is more economically constructed (minimal white force!), and the twinning mechanism moving the black king doesn't cost a lot of black material as seen so often. What made the difference for me was the fact that the only capture of strategical interest is that of the bishop, while the other white pieces have to be taken because they happen to stand on squares where the black pieces have to move to.

Diagram 7854
Aurel Karpati & Rolf Wiehagen (USA . D)
H#2 2.1.1.1
B: Se8 -> e3
C+ 5+9


Show solution

Better anticipated diagram 8450.

Diagram 7855
Viktor Tchepijnyi (RUS)
H#2 2.1.1.1 C+ 6+12


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Is just a slight improvement over Jurij Gordian & Valentin Rudenko, 2nd WCCT 1980-83, 16-176th place e.a. in that the black pieces return to their initial squares on their second move.

Diagram 7858
Wenelin Alaikov (BG)
H#4 0.1.1...
B: Be5 -> g3
C+ 3+9


Show solution

Rundlaufs are much more convincing if there is no capture.

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We would like to thank Thomas Maeder for his great job judging this tournament!