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(241) Posted by Rajendiran Raju [Monday, Sep 27, 2021 19:24]

I am not easily forgot this problemist helpmate in 2 of him...!!

Saddened to heard of his...passing away.

Rest in Peace.

Ian Shanahan 🇦🇺 (Australia)
The Problemist
September 2012

(= 4+5 )

H#2 2 Solutions
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(242) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 13:23]

I received news that study composer Marco Campioli has died on 17 October 2021.
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(243) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Saturday, Jan 15, 2022 14:52]

I'm sorry to say that I received confirmation today that Johannes Markus Ott died on 1-Oct-2021 after a long illness. I didn't know him well, but we did collaborate very amicably a couple of years ago on a few retros, and I was struck by his unique intelligence.

In PDB a few years ago, I organized his PDB problem set for him (he used different names at different points in his life). There are only 153 there but remarkably 26 of them are Prize-level in tournaments.

If anyone has any other corrections or additions to his oeuvre, I'd be happy to edit them into PDB.

Thanks all,
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(244) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Saturday, Jan 15, 2022 22:48]

Very very sad news

One of his striking problems I specially remember :

1st Prize
(= 4+7 )


1.Ba4 Sf2 2.Ke3 b3 3.Sf3 Sd1‡
1.Ra4 Sf5 2.Ke2 b4 3.Rf1 Sd4‡
(Read Only)pid=22168
(245) Posted by Marcos Roland [Sunday, Jan 16, 2022 00:37]

Excellent problem, Jacques! Thanks for sharing it.
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(246) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Sunday, Jan 16, 2022 01:01]

Very sad.
Markus was a striking encounter I had in Wiener-Neustadt, my first participation in a WFCC meeting (1980).
He presented me a brillant set of proofgames (some of them composed with Roland Baier who was also there). He was convinced that this was a promising field to explore (before that, I was only aware of the famous SPG 41.5 by Karl Fabel). Well...
Here is one from the pioneer set he presented me, with an idea that was used later by many others (including myself).

Markus Ott Concours yougoslave 1981(?) (= 16+16 )
SPG 8.0 C+
1.f3 Sf6 2.Kf2 Sd5 3.Kg3 Sf4 4.Kg4! d5+ 5.Kh4 d4 6.Kg3 Qd5 7.Kf2 Qg5 8.Ke1 Bf5
It is stored in my notes as "published in a yugoslav newspaper". When I asked him later, he couldn't give me more precision.
(Read Only)pid=22170
(247) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Sunday, Jan 16, 2022 01:52]

In 1977, two 17-years old boys, Markus Ott and Reto List, came to Malinska to represent Switzerland in the 20th WCCC and 1st WCSC, together with Roland Baier, the future World champion in solving. At first, I was shocked to see someone younger than me, but soon after I was deeply impressed by their sharp minds, hungry to produce highly original, ambitious and harmonious combinations. Their trips through ex-Yugoslavia in later years included Belgrade, where we composed a couple of problems together.
This incredible tandem cooperated only several years, mostly 1977-82. After that, Reto stopped appearing in press, except under pseudonyms. Luckily for chess composition, Markus kept producing masterpieces, as the h#3 presented here. His spirit will keep living through these diagrams.
(Read Only)pid=22171
(248) Posted by Alain Villeneuve [Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022 23:10]

I did not know Markus Ott but I shall never forget this 2-mover, the 1st problem of my 1st congress (Turku 1995) that I... could not solve !

(= 8+10 )

I don't give the solution to let you the pleasure af solving, and be better than me !

The next day, I tried to solve the 3 helpmates he composed with D. Borst. Unfortunately, I solved... none ! I thought of suicide, but I felt better when I knew that the (still) world champion A. Zude did the same as me !!

Dieu ait son âme.
(Read Only)pid=22174
(249) Posted by Joost de Heer [Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022 09:48]


There are only 153 there

Which is of course a very important number for Markus Ott, see
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(250) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Thursday, Jan 20, 2022 01:02]

Yes, Joost, this ingenious fusion of two different mechanism for length records is another evergreen and breakthrough.
Composed being only twenty ...
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(251) Posted by Darko Šaljić [Thursday, Jan 20, 2022 08:54]

Thank you for sharing this wonderful problem!
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(252) Posted by Michael McDowell [Thursday, Jan 20, 2022 09:48]

I remember someone describing the black king in Markus's problem as "a racing car with a singularly incompetent pit crew".

I think it is one of the finest problems ever composed.
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(253) Posted by Joose Norri [Thursday, Jan 20, 2022 11:51]

The black king is in the Zeller trap, see
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(254) Posted by Thomas Maeder [Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022 18:29]

Thanks, on behalf of the Swiss problemists, for the many kind of kind words!

Markus, or Johannes Markus, as he chose to call himself in recent years, will be missed.

Sadly, his health didn't allow him recently to compose on the same high level as in his younger years. His contribution to the first reciprocal setting of the Rehm theme in a orthodox helpmate is a notable exception:

Fadil Abdurahmanović
bernd ellinghoven
Johannes Markus Ott
feenschach 2018
1st commendation
(= 9+12 )

h#4 2 solutions

1.Qg6 Bf5 2.Qg4 d4 3.Qe4 Kd2 4.Qxc2+ Bxc2#
1.Qe4 Ba6 2.Sd3 Bc8 3.Sc1 Bf5 4.Qxc2+ Bxc2#
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(255) Posted by Jorma Paavilainen [Tuesday, Feb 15, 2022 10:44]

I regret to inform that Jorma Pitkänen has died on February 8, 2022. He was born on April 7, 1941.
Jorma was a very prolific composer with more than 8 000 published compositions. In addition, he organised composing competitions and published booklets presenting his compositions. We will miss him.
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(256) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Mar 21, 2022 06:09]

From the new Schwalbe (or rather the preview version for editors for corrections) I learned that a great German (not only) study composer has passed away.

Gerd Rinder (3 July 1935 - 20 January 2022). There would be far too much to write about him, so let's only quickly see his over-the-board titles. German youth champion 1954. German team champion four times in München 1836 chess club. His Mother (I think Friedl/Elfriede Rinder) was multiple times German champion as well (title for women).
Rinder also was an excellent solver, winning three of the first four German solving championships: 1977, 1978, 1980. I assume there was one in 1979 as well that he didn't win.

I posted my favorite study of Rinder elsewhere on MatPlus, it is an AP study where White is stalemated in the initial position but must prove he can't take en passant by preventing Black from castling later.
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(257) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, May 7, 2022 22:58]

Today, on 7 May 2022, at the age of 100, the endgame study composer and theoretician Yuri Averbakh has entered the halls of the heroes.

I wrote about him three months ago in my monthly column, celebrating his 100th birthday:

Here is an extensive review of his life:
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(258) Posted by Michel Caillaud [Thursday, Aug 4, 2022 23:54]

Jean Morice (16/08/1930-22/03/2022)
We just learned with sadness that Jean died some monthes ago.
He was among the 18 founders of L.A.P.E., an association around Camil Seneca, which created the Thèmes-64 magazine. Later, he was a long time Vice President of AFCE, the current french problemists association, a regular attender at the french meetings and a great contributor to the Phénix magazine (with a lot of articles in particular).
He was greatly affected by the death of his wife in 2019, and afterwards stopped most of his problem activities.
In the 1980s, he was one of the leading force, with Jean Bertin and Pierre Drumare, of the weekly meetings in Paris that welcomed a generation of composers (Alain Biénabe, Denis Blondel, Jean-Marc Loustau, Jacques Rotenberg, myself...).
As a composer, he was a disciple of Camil Seneca, with a classical taste.
Outside the orthodox field, he had a special liking for reflexmates with tries.

Jean Morice Thèmes-64 1973
dedicated to Camil Seneca for his 70th birthday
(= 7+9 )
r#2 (6+7) C+
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(259) Posted by Marjan Kovačević [Friday, Aug 5, 2022 23:00]

A sad news ... and a beautiful problem ... Perhaps the right example for memorial tournament?
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(260) Posted by shankar ram [Saturday, Aug 13, 2022 17:47]

R.Ganapathi, the Indian composer, passed away yesterday (12-Aug-2022), in Chennai, after a short illness. This was informed to our WhatsApp group by his son Sriram.
Ramaswamy Ganapathi, who also called himself "Gani" Ganapathi, was born on 6-Sep-1929. He would have been 94 next month. He wanted to visit the recently concluded chess olympiad in Chennai, but that remained an unfulfilled wish.
He served in the Indian Navy and retired with the rank of Commodore.
He was a versatile composer, dabbling with happy abandon in orthodox, as well as varied fairy and retro types, many times in collaboration with other composers, both Indian and Overseas. WinChloe lists 155 of his problems (under both Ramaswamy and Gani names), while has 63 and PDB 30.

Edit 14-Aug: Some corrections and additional information given by his son.
He did his Bsc. in Physics from the Presidency College, Madras.
His rank in the Indian Navy was Commander, not Commodore.
He was an avid Bridge player and Crossword enthusiast and was also a composer in both.
He contributed articles on music, literature, Madras city(as Chennai was earlier called) and the Indian Navy to The Hindu and Madras Musings newspapers.
He is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Obituaries