In 2007, our organization accepted the idea of the famous Ukrainian Grandmaster of Chess Composition Valentin Rudenko (1938-2016) to name January 4th as the International Day of Chess Composition. According to the proposal, on January 4th 1869, the Czech (Bohemian at that time) magazine “Svetozor” published an article by Antonín König (1836-1911) where he described chess composition as an independent form of Art.
It was, in fact, a joint proposal by Ukraine and Russia in 2007. It was accepted, but has never got an essential acceptance by the majority of WFCC member countries. In reality, the International Day of Chess Composition was mostly celebrated in the same two countries, Ukraine and Russia, with lively meeting of problemists, adding sometimes competitions to mark it. Without a wider appreciation, January 4th was gradually losing its importance. To add to the controversy, later research in the archive of “Svetozor” has never proved the existence of that particular article, published on that particular day.
So, what would be the reasons for us to celebrate it today? We do it, not only to respect our own decision, but to glorify the greatest events and personalities from our history. No matter what day we may choose, it is a historical fact that Antonín König – a well known painter, illustrator, and chess player – promoted chess composition as equal to other forms of art, and founded the Bohemian school, the first attempt to define aesthetic models on the chess board.
It’s also well known that magazine “Svetozor” served as a high platform for that. Surfing through its old archive, you may be amazed to see that chess problems were the main, if not the only, content of the Chess column of that magazine. We should proudly recall how it was 150 years ago, and use every possible reason to celebrate our existence and unity.
Solvers’ ratings as of January 1st 2023 produced by the Solving Tournament Manager are published on the WFCC Solving Portal. 10 tournaments of the 4th quarter 2022 are included: 31st Kedainiai Cup 2022, 37th Open Swiss Solving Championship 2022, 27th Belgian Championship 2022, 31st Henk Hagedoorn Memorial 2022 Cat A, 3rd Branko Babic Memorial 2022, 4th Ukrainian Cup 2022, Open Solving Tournament of WCCC 2022, 45th World Chess Solving Championship 2022, 4th Pavle Orlov Memorial 2022, 7th Greek Chess Solving Cup 2022. Ranking of the top ten solvers: World Champion Danila Pavlov has overtaken Georgy Evseev and is now also the leader in the ranking, Eddy Van Beers has overtaken Kacper Piorun to the 6th place; in addition Ural Khasanov and Marko Filipović are new in the top 10 on places 9 and 10. Largest five gains: women junior Kamila Hryshchenko, (+163.20), junior Kevinas Kuznecovas (+143.61), junior Nikita Ushakov (+95.16), women junior Denisa-Andreea Bucur (+73.70), Bilguun Sumiya (+64.82).
During the summer, awards of the 10th FIDE World Cup in Composing were appearing one by one. In October, the director Aleksey Oganesyan ended his job and announced the final results.
World Solving Cup 2021/22, under the firm control of Roland Ott, lasted throughout the year, using the organizing resources of 13 different countries.
The final stage of the WSC was in Fujairah. In November, the United Arab Emirates hosted the 64th World Congress of Chess Composition. The first ever WCCC in Arabian Peninsula was an outstanding event in many ways. Dr. Abdulla Ali Aal Barket assured the memorable conditions for promotion of chess composition, and Mohammad Abdul Ghani was there to execute every single task.
The red dates in our calendars will be 29th January (19th ISC), 2nd-4th June (16th ECSC in Bratislava) and 2nd-9th September (65th WCCC in Batumi).
Apart from regular competitions, we will have a joint duty to come closer to a much wider audience. The first steps in this direction were made a week ago, registering the WFCC in different social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), with some introductory posts for each of them.
To find our stable place there we need more contributors from different countries, to “feed” the media with short but attractive and frequent posts. Some longer posts, for instance from national championships, may appear on the FIDE website, as announced by their Marketing and Communications Officer David Llada.
It’s perhaps time to recall words by our Honorary President Dr. Klaus Wenda, dedicated to the Golden Jubilee of our organization, in 2007:
There is no doubt that the status of the contemplative occupation of chess problems among the young is lower nowadays; that is confirmed by an alarming lack of young problemists in virtually all the member countries. It only makes the task of the commission more important, though: creating new incentives and new ways to arouse interest in chess composition. I know that there is no easy answer, but the important thing, in accordance with Herakleitos’s dictum, is to recognise new trends quickly and react to them appropriately.
Dear WFCC community, our composers, solvers, judges, organizers, supporters, and all friends of chess composition, have a Merry Christmas! Enjoy your winter holidays as much as you can, with family, friends, and a chess board too! Before we finalize the year 2022, here are some recent news and nice materials for you to see:
The 65th WCCC will be held from 2nd to 9th September 2023 in Batumi.
The WCCC2022 Bulletin (171 pages!) has been compiled, with generous help from Hannu Harkola.
We’ve got an invitation from the FIDE to promote our most important events, on their official website.
We live in the times of social media, and now please welcome the WFCC in this open air too! See icons for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram on the top right corner of the official website. Whichever of them you use, please, visit our introductory post and join the WFCC followers! Let’s keep in touch!
The thickest ever FIDE Album 2016-2018 (an official selection of the world’s best and most representative chess compositions) has been published. 912 pages, 1984 diagrams, 306 authors, 1.6 kg. Comments, indexes, registers, statistics in English. Hard-cover blue clothbound. Price 54 euro. Orders preferably at fidealbum.com (or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org). Sample pages available as a PDF file there.
The first ever World Congress of Chess Composition in Arabian Peninsula was held from 12th to 19th November 2022. Behind the results and decisions of the 64th WCCC in Fujairah – to be found on the official WCCC 2022 website – some important general aspects of this adventure – for both participants and organizers – should be mentioned.
Unite Arab Emirates are new in our field, but the hosts from the Fujairah Chess & Culture Club have invested in 64th WCCC more than any country with a great tradition in Chess Composition. And, not only the highest ever prize-fund, the spectacular decoration and techniques for the Solving hall, or an unprecedented media coverage – there were all kinds of surprises, aimed to impress the rare guests.
Chess problemists from around the world have felt a great hospitality. We were offered different excursions (Fujairah tour, desert safari, and visit to Dubai), great facilities for the WFCC Meeting including options for the online members (not used enough by our distant delegates), and a rare appreciation by the high FIDE officers, lead by Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board. Finally, a big Blitz OTB tournament on Saturday 19th November attracted hundreds of active chess players – including our regular participants – and completed a genuine chess festival.
With so many pompous chess events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, chess composition surprisingly became the Fujairah brand in UAE. That’s why the Crown Prince of Fujairah, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hammad Al Sharqi, supported 64th WCCC so cordially, and for the first time opened the doors of his palace to any chess players.
Planting flowers in a desert isn’t a fast process. We have expected more participants from Asian countries in our competitions, but the first appearance of the very important Indian delegation (Shankar Ram, Seetharaman Kalyan, Velmurugan Nallusamy and Anirudh Daga) was enough to declare the choice of location as successful.
The WFCC Meeting will be remembered for the acceptance of India – the leading chess country in the World – into our small family of the WFCC members. You should have been there to see Velmurugan Nallusamy coming all the way from India for two days only – with both parents, wife and daughter – to celebrate his victory in the FIDE World Composing Cup, Section Retros. Or, to see the 14-years old Anirudh Daga going so many times to the stage in his new suite, to collect his 11 distinctions in composing tournaments and a prize for solving.
And this may be only the beginning of the wider opening of the WFCC to the outside world, to new generations and new countries.
Marjan Kovačević, WFCC President
Highlights & Decisions of the Congress, include the results of the WCCT & WCCI, FIDE Album 2016-18, New Titles and Elections.
The next meetings: 16th European Chess Solving Championship (ECSC) in Bratislava, Slovakia 2-4 June 2023 65th World Congress of Chess Composition (WCCC) and 46th World Chess Solving Championship (WCSC) in Batumi or Tbilisi (Georgia), August or September-October 2023. Place and dates will be announced in due course.
Exciting competition, nice debut by solvers who for the first time performed at the biggest stage, and constant rise of already established juniors, might be the most recognizable moments from the 45th WCSC. Danila Pavlov defended his individual title (overall and among juniors), in a drama where second-placed Ural Khasanov, third-placed Piotr Murdzia and fourth-placed Bilguun Sumiya had the lead after fifth, fourth and third round respectively. In the team contest, Poland made a strong performance and finished first, ahead of Serbia and Germany. The senior competition was won by Jorma Paavilainen, and the women’s competition by thirteen-year old Anna Shukhman. Ivan Denkovski, 45.WCSC Director
WCCC Open Solving 2022 | 14th and last tournament of World Solving Cup 2021/2022: Participants: 94 | Winner: Danila Pavlov (FID) ahead of Eddy Van Beers (BEL) and Ofer Comay (ISR) 2nd GM norm of Aleksey Popov (FID), 1st FM and IM norms of Nikita Ushakov (FID) and Kevinas Kuznecovas (LTU) Average rating of top ten solvers: 2569.59 | WSC category: 2 Final standing Top 5: 1. Danila Pavlov (FID) 96 points (+41), 2. Eddy Van Beers (BEL) 71 points (+36), 3. Martynas Limontas (LTU) 58 points, 4. Nikos Sidiropoulos (LTU) 49 points (+23), 5. Piotr Murdzia (POL) 46 points. More details are published in Competitions→Solving→World Solving Cup (WSC)→2021/22.
Belgian Solving Championship 2022 | 13th tournament of World Solving Cup 2021/2022: Participants: 12 | Winner: Dmitrijus Chocenka (LTU) ahead of Eddy Van Beers (BEL – Belgian Champion) and Peter van den Heuvel (NED) Average rating of top ten solvers: 2317.10 | WSC category: 7 Top 5 World Solving Cup: 1. Martynas Limontas (LTU) 58 points, 2. Danila Pavlov (FID) 55 points, 3. Piotr Murdzia (POL) 46 points, 4. Dmitrijus Chocenka (LTU) 37 points (+19), 5. Eddy Van Beers (BEL) 35 points (+16). More details are published in Competitions→Solving→World Solving Cup (WSC)→2021/22.
The International Solving Contest next year will take place on Sunday 29.01.2023. The event is happening simultaneously in all participating countries.
There will be three categories: one for experienced solvers. The second category is intended for weaker, inexperienced solvers. This second category is not open for solvers with a rating (or half-rating or non-active-rating) of more than 2000. The third category is intended for youngsters born after 31.12.2009.
37th Open Swiss Solving Championship 2022 | 1st tournament of World Solving Cup 2022/2023: Participants: 16 | Winner: Martynas Limontas (LTU) ahead of Arno Zude (GER) and junior Kevinas Kuznecovas (LTU) Swiss championship: Roland Baier ahead of Roland Ott and Klaus Köchli Average rating of top ten solvers: 2338.56 | WSC category: 7 Top 5 World Solving Cup: 1. Martynas Limontas (LTU) 19, 2. Arno Zude (GER) 16 points, 3. Kevinas Kuznecovas (LTU) 13 points, 4. Vidmantas Satkus (LTU) 10 points, 5. Marek Kolčák (SVK) 8 points. More details are published in Competitions→Solving→World Solving Cup (WSC)→2022/23.