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(1) Posted by Administrator [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 02:32]

MatPlus.Net Jubilee Tourneys

This announcement as also available in PDF format:
(English) (132 Kb)
(Srpski) (160 Kb)

On occasion of its 5th anniversary MatPlus.Net (launched on August 28th 2006) announces four theme tourneys which will reflect the format of Liga problemista. This competition was one of the most popular activities in the first three years of the site, until the administrator was asked by group of domestic Internet absentees to "return" the competition back to them.

Nevertheless, the same LP rules will be applied for these tourneys, only this time all four groups ("rounds") will be run simultaneously. For details see:

Since the experiment with collective judgement gave more than satisfactory results both in view of its objectivity and efficiency, the same method will be used in this contest.

One author can participate with up to 3 entries per group. Each pair, trio etc. of authors will be counted as one competitor (meaning that each member of the "team" can take part also as an individual).

Tourney director is Milan Velimirovic.

    Problems should be sent until the August 28th 2011 (which is the fifth birthday of the site) in one of the following ways:
  • (Preferable way!) Direct entry on the original's entry page - click "Submit original" in the main menu and select the group.
  • (Less preferable.) By E-mail to For entries sent in an imege format or as a screen shot please supply the text transcription with algebraic notation and complete solution.
  • (The least preferable, but if there's no other way...) By snail-mail to the director's postal address: Milan Velimirovic, Milentija Popovica 35/6, 11070 Novi Beograd, Serbia.

The shedule:
August 28th 2011
Closing date for submission of entries.
Start of judging.
November 30th 2011
Closing date for judging.
December 7th 2011
Preliminary results will be publish on the site.
December 31st 2011
Final awards will be publish on the site.
early in 2011
Awards will be printed in the first issue of Mat Plus magazine to come.

Themes for all four rounds have been stipulated by Milan Velimirovic. The intention was not in the originality, but rather to make the themes not too demanding and yet attractive to work on.


Group A: Direct twomovers (#2)

Mates after black thematic set moves are after the key shifted so that the first mate becomes threat, the second mate is transferred to first defence (and so on, in case of more than 2 defences), and the last set defence is met by a completely new mate. Or schematically...

... for two variations:

... for three variations:


Milan Velimirovic Wola Gulowska 2010
(= 10+6 )
Set Play:
1... Rxe3 (a) 2.Sf6# (A)
1... Kd3 (b) 2.Bxc2# (B)

1.Re2! ~ 2.Sf6# (A)
1... Rxe3 (a) 2.Bxc2# (B)
1... Kd3 (b) 2.Sc3#

Also, but not required by theme:
1.Rxc2? ~ 2.Rc3#, 1... Rxe3.Kd3 2.Re2,Rf2#, 1... Rd3!
1.Bf4? ~ 2.Sf6#, 1... Rxe3!
1.Sxg4? ~ 2.Sdf6#, 1... Rf3!
1.Sxc2? ~ 2.Sf6#, 1... Rf3 2.Sce3#, 1... Rxg3!

Group B: Direct threemovers (#3)

Dual avoidance on the quiet second white move. The second move "tries" must be defeated by unique black refutations.

Shlomo Seider Probleemblad 1991 (v)
(= 9+13 )

1.fxe3! ~ 2.Qd4+ Kb4 3.c5#
1... Sce6 2.Rg6! (2.Rg7? Ra7!)
1... Sfe6 2.Rg7! (2.Rg6? Rh4!)

Tries (not required by theme): 1.Rg6? Qe7!, 1.Rg7? Qf5!

(Note: wPd5 is added to clean-up duals after 1... Sb5 and 1... Qxg8/Qf7/Qd7)

Group C: Selfmate threemovers (s#3)

Dual avoidance on the quiet second white move. The second move "tries" must be defeated by unique black refutations.

Michael Keller The Problemist 1987
(= 11+13 )

1.c5! ~ 2.Qf4+ Kd5 3.Sxc3+ Q/Bxc3#
1... Sxb5 2.Bxc6 ~,c2 3.Qe4+,Qf5+ Bxe4,Kxf5# (2.Bc8? Sd4!)
1... Rxb5 2.Bc8 ~,c2 3.Qf5+,Qe4+ Bxf5,Kxe4# (2.Bxc6? Rxb4!)

Tries (not required by theme): 1.Bc8?/Bxc6? c2!

Group D: Helpmate twomovers (h#2)

Theme: At least two phases (set play, try, solution, twin) each ending with the Anti-Levman mate (or masked B theme, masked Somov: black opens a masked white line allowing white to close another white line on the mating move).

Peter Heyl
Schach-Aktiv 2002
(= 6+8 )
h#2   2 solutions
1.Sfxd3 Sc3 2.Sb2 Se2#
1.Rxd3 Se3 2.Rd5 Sg2#
Roman Fedorovich
feenschach 1996
(= 5+8 )
h#2   2 solutions
1.Rg2 Bf2 2.b5 Bb7# - not Anti-Levman!
1.Ba7 Rc5 2.Rd3 b5#

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(2) Posted by Uri Avner [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 15:19]; edited by Uri Avner [11-04-23]

Interesting themes, congratulations! Gives a good fight to the WCCT!
In Fedorovich's H#2 where's the masked white line on the 1st solution?
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(3) Posted by Sarah Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 15:21]

It's f2-a7, obviously?
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(4) Posted by Uri Avner [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 15:27]; edited by Uri Avner [11-04-23]

Wrong answer :)
But now I understand there is a choice masked/non-masked. Right or wrong??
BTW, may Black open the (masked?) white line in advance?
(Read Only)pid=6874
(5) Posted by Administrator [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 16:32]

Uri: In Fedorovich's H#2 where's the masked white line on the 1st solution?

You're right Uri, there's no white masked line in the first solution. If nothing else it can serve as an example what is not Anti-Levman (a remark has been added in the announcement). I'll try to provide few more examples (there are not many of them existing, probably only a dozen or so).
(Read Only)pid=6875
(6) Posted by Administrator [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 17:02]

Few more examples for Group "D"

Ivan Soroka &
Roman Zalokorsky Problem Online 2006
(= 6+8 )
h#2   2 solutions

1.Bf5 Qe7 2.Bd2 Sf2#
1.Be6 Qh7 2.Rd2 Sc3#
Andreas Schonholzer
Skakbladet 2004
(= 6+11 )
h#2   2 solutions

1.Se3 Re1 2.Sd5 Sd6#
1.Sd4 Rb4 2.Sf3 Sg3#
Wolfgang Berg &
Udo Degener &
Mirko Degenkolbe

cm. Schach-Aktiv 1989
(= 5+14 )
h#2   b) d6 → c5

a) 1.Sc2 Be6 2.Rg4 Be5#
b) 1.Rf5 Rd1 2.Rgg5 Bd4#

(Read Only)pid=6876
(7) Posted by Administrator [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 17:05]

Uri: BTW, may Black open the (masked?) white line in advance?

No, the opening must immediately precede mate. In other words: on mating move white unmasks the (white) line just opened by black, and at the same time closes another white line!
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(8) Posted by Vladimir Tyapkin [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 18:25]

Milan, I have a question about judging: will it be possible to judge problems in all 4 sections even if I take part in only some of it or just sections I submit problems to?
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(9) Posted by Sarah Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 18:39]

@Uri: My apologies then. I never delved deep into helpmates.
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(10) Posted by Administrator [Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 12:39]

Vladimir: will it be possible to judge problems in all 4 sections even if I take part in only some of it or just sections I submit problems to?

Yes it would be possible, even desirable! In principle more judges means better award and therefore participants will be stimulated to take also part as judges. More details in Instructions on Judging and Rules of Liga Problemista.
Note: Hopefully there will be an improved version of the application we already used for judging two final rounds of Liga Problemista 2009, but I promise nothing, we'll see :-)
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(11) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 17:47]

@Siegfried - it will come as a shock to you that even the second
variant is doubtful: since the pawn threatenes in the same line
direction as the bishop, many 2# experts will insist it doesn't
mask the line, ergo no Anti-Lewman. :P

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(12) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011 19:02]

In most of the examples of the helpmate section, the thematic piece whose line is closed, is useless in the final mating position. It seems difficult to find a role for this piece.
Should this possibility be tolerated by the judges, in view of the thematic requirements? If yes, the quality of the problems will inevitably be low, by definition. If not, the risk of very similar entries will grow.
I am interested to see other opinions.
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(13) Posted by Dan Meinking [Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011 22:21]

@Kostas: While it's true that "normally" one strives to have all white officers participate in all mating positions of a Helpmate, the theme for this tourney would be considered an exception. In such "Somov mates", a white officer's guard of a potential flight-square is "thematically closed" to allow the mate to occur. This should not be viewed as lowering the quality of the play, and will surely be tolerated (even expected) for entries in this tourney.
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(14) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Thursday, Apr 28, 2011 16:33]

Dan, I understand that the problems of this tourney can be forgiven for this specific drawback. However, will this be ignored, if the problems are being examined independently of the theme? In other words, how would a FIDE album judge, for example, evaluate this "flaw"?
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(15) Posted by Dan Meinking [Thursday, Apr 28, 2011 21:32]; edited by Dan Meinking [11-04-28]

@Kostas: Somov mates are standard fare, IMHO. I, personally, would not downgrade a problem for using them, if they are employed properly. How some hypothetical FIDE Album judge might view it, however, is unpredictable. But surely after you land 1st Prize, your masterpiece will transcend any differences in judgment. :-)
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(16) Posted by Boris Shorokhov [Friday, Apr 29, 2011 18:08]

for example Album FIDE 1998-2000 (E67 & E73).
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(17) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Friday, Apr 29, 2011 21:46]

E67 Milivoj Nesic & Milomir Babic
Liga na Makedonski Problemisti 2000,
1st Place
(= 8+9 )
1.Bxd3 Rb5 2.Bxe2 c3#
1.Sxd3 Re5 2.Sc1 Sac3#
1.cxd3 Rc5 2.d2 Sbc3#

E67 has no such problems. The white Rook participates in all solutions, by closing a black line to the mating square.

E73 Petko Petkov,
Orbit 2000,
4th Prize
(= 8+14 )
1.Bxg3 Kxg3 2.e5 Rf6#
1.Rxg2 Kxg2 2.b2 Ra3#
1.Qxf2+ Kxf2 2.d4 Bb7#

E73 has a white piece which does not participate in the mating position. We can assume that this caused some controversy, as two of the judges gave it 3 points and the third 1.5.

I am sure there are more examples like E73 in FIDE albums. And it seems that most people agree that this "flaw" is excusable, provided that it can't be avoided and that the rest of the play offers enough compensation.
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(18) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Friday, Apr 29, 2011 22:59]

You can't remove white officer in none of the 3 final positions for wK would be in check, so they are not completely excessive. That would partially justify the existence of 3 white thematic pieces. But, in one phase each one mates, in the second it is captured (so far we have cyclic Zilahi) and in the third it is pinned which adds the cycle of dual-avoidances. Thus the very passivity of check-preventing white piece turns out to be thematic, it can not mate exactly because it prevents check to wK - it is pinned. Even 3 points look scarce to me, perhaps the idea was partially anticipated.
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(19) Posted by Kostas Prentos [Saturday, Apr 30, 2011 01:07]

Nikola, this is exactly what I meant with "enough compensation". Sometimes, however, it is difficult to measure that. See one of the examples for section D, which I repeat here for convenience:

Ivan Soroka & Roman Zalokotsky,
Problem Online 2006
2nd Prize
(= 6+8 )
1.Bf5 Qe7 2.Bd2 Sf2#
1.Be6 Qh7 2.Rd2 Sc3#

A nice problem, but is the use of the "examined" white pieces completely justified? If you remove the wBh4 from the diagram, there is only one solution (starting with 1.Bf5). Removing the wRc6 leaves only the second solution. So, the choice is between zero-position, or two solutions with an extra effect at the cost of an idle white piece. Hardly anyone would choose the first option, especially if the latter was acceptable.
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(20) Posted by Nikola Predrag [Saturday, Apr 30, 2011 04:50]

Hello Kostas, it is an interesting discussion.
Esthetic criteria are not a kind of divine laws given in the beginnig of time, before the first chess problem was composed. Their development comes after and from the experience of already composed problems and the original ideas explored in them. Those criteria are not to be modified every day but they have to develop along with the deep and complex ideas.
One thing is a degree of tolerance of the flaws, when we accept that a demanding construction of some task just can not be flawless. Quite another thing is to modify a formal definition of some criteria, in this case a definition of a useless piece. We do not have to change the criterion that useless piece is a flaw, but we always have to value a THEMATIC USE of a piece before we call it useless and declare as a flaw.
I see E73 as an idea for the all-time anthology, not only for 3-years period. None of 3 thematic pieces is pinned initially, but wK closeS all 3 lines. One piece is captured to enable wK to open the other 2 lines but one thematic piece becomes pinned actively - as a result of B1 and W1 (not artificially set in the beginning). Those finally pinned pieces have the most important THEMATIC USE, and again, NOT ARTIFICIALLY SET but obtained by THE PLAY in the solutions.
The 'uselessness' is actually present in another detail, commonly accepted as not being a flaw - the piece captured in the first black move could be a wP in each phase. In each solution the respective officer is a thematically excessive force.

The other problem is different. Dual-avoidance depends on the bR/bB and wQ, the closure of white lines is accidental, not depending on the white B/R (which are totally static), so each of them respectively is thematically useless in one phase. These closures of white lines are artificially declared as thematic. The unguarded flight e2 in the second solution spoils a bit the purity of anti-dual mechanism. Nevertheless, it is nice and here we can argue about the 'enough compensation' for the flaw.
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