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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Reconstruction exercise: Milan Vukcevich, 2nd prize, The Problemist, 1971
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(1) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 01:45]

Reconstruction exercise: Milan Vukcevich, 2nd prize, The Problemist, 1971

Yesterday, 27/07, I was the arbiter for the XVII Brazilian Solving Championship. One of the problems I chose was this fine fourmovers by Milan Vukcevich, which won 2nd prize in "The Problemist", 1971:

(= 7+13 )


The solution given by the author is 1.Ng6, threatening 2.Kf8 and 3.Ne7+. There are two thematic variations: a) 1...Bd3 2.Ne5! Bc4 3.Dd5! and b) 1...Rg3 2.Qd5! Re3 3.Ne5!
Unexpectedly, one of the competitors, Leonardo Mano, pointed out today that the problem appears without solution after 1.Ng6 Na4!. I realized that Mano is right and became to think why Milan needed the knight on b2. Soon I discovered that, without that knight, the problem presents a major dual in the variation 1.Ng6 Rg3: 2.Da4!, and if 2...Bb5, 3.Bxe6+, etc.
I don't know if someone had noticed this before. If not, I think it would be worthwhile to try improving the original set by the great Milan.
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(2) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 02:36]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [08-07-29]

I rather think, it would be worthwhile to improve your sources. :-)

My source gives the problem with bPa4 when it is correct.

(= 7+14 )

Milan Vukcevich
The Problemist 1971-1972, 2nd prize
Mate in 4

So this is for Michael McDowell or anyone else who has old Problemist issues: Does the problem in any of the two original sources appear without bPa4 or was Marcus Roland's source wrong?
C5346, The Problemist, March 1971
The Problemist, September 1973
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(3) Posted by Michael McDowell [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 06:51]

The original had BP on a4.

The diagram was simply misprinted. It happens!
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(4) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 14:07]

Unbelievable! My source was Milan himself: "Chess by Milan", MIM Company, Burton, Ohio 1981, page 79, diagram 97; there's no pawn on b2, I just checked once more. Any way, the "reconstruction exercise" would be rather easy...Thank you, Siegfried and Michael.
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(5) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 15:29]

Chess by Milan is a very enjoyable book, but there are quite a few misprints in it; this is not the only one.

On a side note, and please do not consider this as a blame, the controller of a solving competition should thoroughly computer test the entries. Are the results and the problems available in the Net?
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(6) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 16:48]

I fully agree with you, Harry, that was my fault. I computer-checked some of the problems, not all of them. Any way, it happens with all beginners...I think the ideal situation is two people working together in the selection of the problems, so that one can check the work of the other one. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Next year we'll improve the job.
Results and problems will be soon (I believe tomorrow) in the site
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(7) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 17:48]

Well, one clear upshot of the "affair" is that I could see
this wonderful problem for the first time.

BTW, it was an interesting task to dissect the problem into
its pieces and try to replace the Qa5 with something less
heavy. Naturally I failed :-)

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(8) Posted by Leo Mano [Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 19:33]

Photos, diagrams, solutions and results

Final round (live)

semifinal (by post/mail)
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(9) Posted by Georgy Evseev [Wednesday, Jul 30, 2008 07:06]

For future solving competitions:

The judge should _always_ computer-test all the problems. And the main reason is not the possible misprints, but the clearness of solution itself. Some problems look very nice when printed in book with authors solution, but can only be called an unclear mess when computer tested. It is simply unfair to present such messy problems to participants. This is mostly important for moremovers section, but often should also be taken into account for threemovers and selfmates.
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(10) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Wednesday, Jul 30, 2008 09:08]; edited by Jacques Rotenberg [08-07-30]

Well, you have to take care...

Sometimes the solution with the computer looks messy when in fact it is cristal clear !

(for example, let's say you have the variation 1...S~, the computer may give it 8 times, and if in 1 or 2 of them you have duals you may have a very long list of moves - that are completely irrelevant!)

And also, the redaction by the computer of the solution is often partial because when you have a double threat (like in a Novotny) the thematic variations are not true defenses.

To be complete in moremovers (and also sometimes in #3) you should often computer-test the problem itself and also the variations and sub-variations!

So the advice of Georgy should be followed and moreover it has to be done carefully. Though you are with computers all is not yet automatic !!
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MatPlus.Net Forum Competitions Reconstruction exercise: Milan Vukcevich, 2nd prize, The Problemist, 1971