Minutes Netanya 1999

Minutes Netanya 1999



42nd Meeting in Netanya, Israel 23.10.
– 30.10.1999

Official Participants

Bedrich FORMÁNEK, Slovakia, President
Jakov VLADIMIROV, Russia, 1st Vice-President
Kjell WIDLERT, Sweden, 2nd Vice-President
Milan VELIMIROVIC, Yugoslavia, 3rd Vice-President
Günter BÜSING, Germany, Secretary
Klaus WENDA, Austria, Delegate & Hon. Pres.
Agshin MASIMOV, Azerbaijan, Delegate
Ignaas VANDEMEULEBROUCKE, Belgium, Delegate
Fadil ABDURAHMANOVIC, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Delegate
Josip VARGA, Croatia, Delegate
Jaroslav BRADA, Czechia, Delegate
Hannu HARKOLA, Finland, Delegate
Michel CAILLAUD, France, Delegate
David GURGENIDZE, Georgia, Delegate
Bernd ELLINGHOVEN, Germany, Delegate
John RICE, Great Britain, Delegate
Laszlo LINDNER, Hungary, Delegate & Hon. Member
Uri AVNER, Israel, Delegate
Francesco SIMONI, Italy, Delegate
Tadashi WAKASHIMA, Japan, Delegate
Zoran GAVRILOWSKI, Macedonia, Deputy for Zivko Janevski
Henk le GRAND, The Netherlands, Delegate
Wladislaw ROSOLAK, Poland, Delegate
Virgil NESTORESCU, Romania, Delegate
Marko KLASINC, Slovenia, Delegate
Thomas MAEDER, Switzerland, Delegate
Jewgeni REITZEN, Ukraine, Delegate
Mike PRCIC, USA, Deputy for Newman Guttman 

Initially 24 of the 38 member countries were represented. After the
late arrival of some delegates 27 of the 38 member countries were represented.

The following delegates were not present:

Petrovich SITCHOV, Belarus
Jan MORTENSEN, Denmark
Toivo LUKATS, Estonia
Byron ZAPPAS, Greece
Kir SIVERTSEV, Kazakhstan
Albert IVANOV, Moldova
Sonomun CHIMEDTZEREN, Mongolia
Manuel MUNOZ, Spain

No delegates were nominated by Brazil, Bulgaria and Latvia.

Active visitors fulfilling tasks as members of subcommittees, tourney
directors, assistant directors, etc., were: Ofer COMAY (Israel), Colin
SYDENHAM (Great Britain), Igor VERESHCHAGIN, Anatoli SLESARENKO, Nikolai
KRALIN (all Russia), Victor MELNICHENKO (Ukraine), Hans GRUBER (Germany),
Bo LINDGREN (Sweden), Dirk BORST, Peter BAKKE (both The Netherlands) and
Edward STOFFELEN (Belgium). Also several Israeli assistants worked very
effectively in the background.

§1 Opening address, remembrance for deceased problemists

After words of welcome President Bedrich Formánek expressed his
thanks to Uri Avner and his helpers from the Israel Chess Composition Society
for the invitation to the meeting, and then declared the meeting open.

Thereafter the President regretted the death of several prominent problemists.
A minute of mourning and remembrance was held for: Leonid Zagoruiko, Herman
Menkis, Louis C. Schade van Westrum, Jan Schogt, Theodorus C. L. Kok, Joseph
Theodor Breuer, Hans Hofmann, Janos Kiss, Valeri Karpov, Anatoli Zinchuk,
Yair Kost, Hilding Fröberg and Piotr Golovkov.

§2 Verification of Attendance and Voting Rights

Initially, 24 member countries out of 38 were represented. The meeting
was declared legal.

§3 Approval of the St. Petersburg minutes 1998

The minutes of the 41st Meeting in St. Petersburg (1998) were approved
with the following correction in § 5.3: Milan Velimirovic did not
resign from the WCCT subcommittee but was a member thereof. In addition,
the WCSC subcommittee observed that Mr. Paavilainen’s score in the WCSC
was 0.5 points higher than indicated in the minutes.

§4 Checking of the Standing Subcommittees

1. WCCT:
Regular members J. Jelinek, B. Zappas and Z. Janevski were not present.
Previous member H. Gruber resigned from this subcommittee.

2. World Championship for Composing (WCCI):
Last year’s member P. A. Petkov was not present.

3. WCSC:
The regular spokesman H. Axt was not present and was replaced this year
by M. Klasinc.

4. FIDE-album:
H. GRUBER (new member)
Regular member D. Blondel was not present.

5. Qualifications:
Regular member J. Jelinek was not present.

6. Computer Matters:
(new member)

 7. Studies:
Last year’s members O. Pervakov and V. Vlasenko were not present.

8. Terminology:
Last year’s member Z. Janevski was not present.

9. Codex:
Regular member H. Axt was not present.

10. Presidium Election Procedure (new):
K. WENDA (Spokesman), J. RICE, T. MAEDER

11. Judging (new):

§5 Proposals by Members

5.I A proposal by The Netherlands to create the possibility of
withdrawing the title of International Judge was discussed in the qualification
subcommittee. It was considered that the proposal was not in line with
the statutes according to which the title is given for lifetime.

5.II The proposal to establish a subcommittee for judging (see
§4.11 above) was discussed. The President asked whether this subcommittee
was actually needed. John Rice was of the opinion that the subcommittee
could not make real proposals but it might be possible to make recommendations
for judges (rather than for the commission). Uri Avner said that a provisional
subcommittee should discuss internally what kind of work can be done and
a framework for the activities should be developed. Ignaas Vandemeulebroucke
pointed to some relations to the qualification subcommittee. It was then
decided to establish the subcommittee.

Later, John Rice reported to the Commission that the subcommittee had
agreed on the following primary objectives:
1. to consider the different kinds of judging that have to be undertaken;
2. to assemble material from books and magazines relating to the evaluation
of chess problems and studies;
3. to invite prominent personalities in the world of problems and studies
to contibute their views on this subject.
The spokesman said that the subcommittee would like to emphasize, right
at the outset, that it has no intention of actively criticising judges
or their awards, and does not wish to be seen as some kind of watchdog.
But the very fact that this subcommittee has been proposed and established
shows that there are concerns among problemists about standards of judging.
Perhaps at some time in the future the subcommittee might be in a position
to offer examples of good practice to any existing or prospective judges
who might wish to seek guidance.

5.III Klaus Wenda, the spokesman of the subcommittee for the
presidium election procedure, informed the Commission that the subcommittee
has decided to use the draft submitted by John Rice as a basis for its
work, which will continue during the year.

5.IV Further proposals

Further proposals were discussed in various subcommittees and are referred
to under other paragraphs of these minutes (§6.II WCCT, §6.III
WCCI, §7 Qualifications).

§6 Competitions

6.I 6th WCCT (World Chess Composition Tournament)

Uri Avner reported that the booklet with the entries had been distributed
and that the protest phase was still running but about to end soon. There
will be a further two month term, with a fixed end date, for replies of
the team captains before the judges should do their final work. Details
of the subcommittee’s report are given in ANNEX 1.

6.II Future WCCTs

Uri Avner reported that, following last year’s decision that future
WCCTs should be based on 5 judgements, a scheme has been worked out by
John Rice according to which judges should award points to the competing
problems. (The scheme is annexed to these minutes as ANNEX
) After discussion of some aspects of the proposed judging system,
this new system, which includes judging by 5 (or 4) countries and ranking
according to the average result, was accepted in a vote by unanimous

The 7th WCCT will presumably start in 2001. Details of the subcommittee’s
proposal are given in ANNEX 1

6.III WCCI (World Championship for Composing)

Marko Klasinc gave a report of the subcommittee‘s activities during
the year and presented a paper with a skeleton proposal of the rules for
the WCCI which was discussed in detail by the Commission. The following
decisions were taken:

a) The WCCI is organized in 8 sections (the same sections as in FIDE
albums) (vote: 18+ (in favour), 3- (against), 4= (abstentions))

b) The WCCI is organized in 3-year-periods (vote: +14, -3, =6).

c) The WCCI is open for all composers (vote: +20, -0, =3).

d) A composer can take part only with compositions that have been published
(vote: +19, -3, =1).

e) Joint compositions are not allowed (vote: +16, -5, =5).

f) Every composer can participate with a maximum of 6 compositions in
each section. The four compositions marked best by the judges are considered
for the final score (vote: +17, -1, =4).

g) There are 3 judges in each section (vote: +19, -1, =6).

h) Judges are not allowed to participate in the section which they judge
(vote: +19, -2, =5).

i) The judges shall mark all compositions (vote: +17, -0, =8).

j) The composer who gets the highest sum of scores for his 4 best marked
compositions becomes the world champion (vote: +21, -0, =4).

After having decided on these questions of principal, Marko Klasinc
informed the Commission that many technical details still have to be discussed
in the subcommittee. He said that the subcommittee will prepare a detailed
announcement until next year’s meeting. He suggested that the first WCCI
period might be 1998 – 2000, a possible closing date could be in 2001.


6.IV.1 22nd World Chess Solving Championship

The WCSC subcommittee informed the Commission that different versions
of the results of the 22nd WCSC in St. Petersburg were published.
It was in particular stated:

„The final results of the 22nd WCSC were not correctly published
in the booklet on the last day of the St. Petersburg congress, because
the booklet was printed before the last corrections of the scores (caused
by the protests) were accepted by the judges. Two versions of results were
published (different for the teams and for the individuals). The more accurate
version was that one for the individuals and even in that one the score
of Mr. J. Paavilainen has to be corrected in the selfmate section (from
8.5 to 9.0 points) and the second team of Russia should be added on the
end of the list as unofficial."

6.IV.2 23st World Chess Solving Championship

Bo Lindgren selected the problems for the 23rd WCSC. He and Dirk Borst
directed the WCSC.

The final results of the 23rd WCSC were as follows:

a) Teams:

1. Russia (World Champion) 148.0 points (660 min)
2. Germany 146.5 (631)
3. Israel 143.0 (599)
4. Yugoslavia 135.5 (587)
5. Finland 130.5 (692)
6. Great Britain 129.0 (706)
7. Netherlands 125.0 (706)
8. Ukraine 121.0 (710)
9. Poland 117.0 (685)
10. Slovakia 115.0 (711)
11. Japan 107.0 (686)
12. Czechia 101.5 (643)
13. Switzerland 94.5 (710)
14. Slovenia 93.0 (684)
15. Hungary 73.5 (717)
16. Romania 60.5 (716)
17. Macedonia 57.5 (716)
18. Azerbaijan 57.0 (717)
19. Belgium 52.0 (714)
20. Moldovia 35.0 (717)
Israel–2 85.5 (702)

The team Israel-2 was an inofficial participant.

b) Individuals:

1. Ofer Comay (Israel) 76.0 points (274 min) (World Champion)
2. Sergey Rumyantsev (Russia) 75.0 (337)
3. Jorma Paavilainen (Finland) 73.0 (335)
4. Michael Pfannkuche (Germany) 71.0 (324)
5. Dolf Wissmann (Netherlands) 70.5 (353)
6. Boris Tummes (Germany) 68.5 (341)
7. Vladimir Pogorelov (Ukraine) 68.5 (350)
8. Tadashi Wakashima (Japan) 66.0 (333)
9. Michal Dragoun (Czechia) 64.0 (318)
10. Piotr Murdzia (Poland) 61.5 (328)
11. Henry Tanner (Finland) 61.0 (357)
12. Arno Zude (Germany) 60.5 (321)
13. Jonathan Mestel (Great Britain) 60.5 (359)
14. Milan Velimirovic (Yugoslavia) 60.0 (274)
15. Michel Caillaud (France) 60.0 (359)

and 53 further participants.

6.V FIDE-Album, Report by the Subcommittee

6.V.1 General

Last year‘s proposal by Toma Garai concerning the work of preparing
and producing the albums has been discussed by the subcommittee. Kjell
Widlert, the spokesman of the subcommittee, reported that the text has
been edited in the meantime. The subcommittee suggested not to publish
the text in official form but rather in a magazine. The subcommittee will
contact Toma Garai to get his approval for publication.

The President raised the question of how to treat compositions with
promoted force in the FIDE album. The subcommittee’s view that compositions
with promoted force are not automatically excluded from the various album
sections was generally accepted by the Commission.

6.V.2 FIDE Album 1986-88 and 1989-91

Kjell Widlert reported that the new edition of the FIDE-album 1986-88
in three languages has not yet been printed but may be available before
the end of 1999. New copies of the Album 1989-91 have been bound and this
album is available.

6.V.3 FIDE Album 1992-94

The spokesman informed the Commission that all judges have finished
their work but that some minor questions have still to be dealt with. The
work on the index is in progress and it is hoped that the album can be
ready until next year’s meeting.

6.V.4 FIDE Album 1995-97

This album has been announced in early 1999. As compared to last year’s
proposals, there were some minor changes of directors and judges but all
posts have been filled now.

§7 Qualifications

Ignaas Vandemeulebroucke gave a report on the work of the subcommittee
which included the following proposals.

7.I Honorary Master

The proposals to grant the title of Honorary Master of Chess Composition
to Mr. Savo Zlatic from Croatia and to Mr. Giorgio Mirri of Italy were
supported and accepted by the Commission (23 in favour, 1 against and 1

7.II International Judges

The subcommittee recommended to award the title of international judge

    Paz Einat, Israel, for twomovers and threemovers;
    Thomas Maeder, Switzerland, for helpmates and fairies;
    Markus Manhart, Germany, for helpmates and fairies;
    Michael McDowell, Great Britain, for helpmates;
    Anatoli Slesarenko, Russia, for twomovers;

The subcommittee further recommended the following extensions of the
title of international judge:

    Franz Pachl, Germany, for helpmates;
    Hans Gruber, Germany, for helpmates and selfmates

The Commission accepted this proposal (25 in favour, 1 abstention).
Later, the Commission also accepted (17 in favour, 2 against and 8 abstentions)
to grant the title of international judge to

    Valeri Barsukov, Russia, for helpmates.

7.III Titles for solvers

Based on the results of the open solving tourney and WCSC, the award
of the following titles was recommended:

Grandmaster in solving for

    Jorma Paavilainen, Finland

International Master in solving for

    Boris Tummes, Germany
    Piotr Murdzia, Poland

FIDE Master in solving for

    Michal Dragoun, Czechia
    Marek Kolcak, Slovakia

This proposal was generally accepted by the Commission.

Subject to confirmation by FIDE, all the proposed titles were thus granted.

7.IV Solver title norms

John Rice referred to a decision taken a few years ago according to
which title norms for solvers can be obtained in events other than the
WCSC. He asked whether details of the procedure have been worked out in
the meantime. The spokesman Ignaas Vandemeulebroucke informed the Commission
that two subcommittees were involved, i.e. the qualification and the WCSC
subcommittee. Proposals had been drafted from the spokesman of the WCSC,
Hemmo Axt, and himself and an exchange of letters between them had taken
place. However, he had no information about the discussion within the WCSC
subcommittee in this matter. According to Marko Klasinc, this year’s spokesman
of the WCSC subcommittee, the matter has so far not been discussed in the
WCSC subcommittee. The President suggested that I. Vandemeulebroucke and
M. Klasinc should discuss the matter internally and then decide which subcommittee
should take further action. Later, Marko Klasinc informed the Commission
that it was agreed that the WCSC subcommittee should prepare general principles
which are then presented to the Commission and/or to the qualification

In this context, Hannu Harkola noted that it was decided before that
only the title of FIDE Master can be obtained in „external" solving
tourneys; it was also discussed in previous years that such tourneys should
have qualified judges. He asked whether any progress has been made in this
matter. Ignaas Vandemeulebroucke replied that this was only a general proposal
which had not further been considered so far. The President suggested that
the WCSC subcommittee should make a detailed proposal until next year.

7.V The Qualification subcommittee asked the delegates
to submit information about the international judges of their countries:
name, address, birthdate and wheter or not they are willing to do further
international judging work. The information should be sent to the subcommittee’s
spokesman as soon as possible so that a list can be prepared until the
next meeting.

§8 Computer Matters, Report by the Subcommittee

The spokesman Thomas Maeder gave a report on the activities of the subcommittee
which concentrated on 5 topics:

1. The subcommittee agreed that the PCCC was not the appropriate body
for establishing and maintaining a collection of information about problemists
and publications, as proposed by Macedonia. It suggested not to take a
decision on this proposal.

2. It was considered how the work of the PCCC could benefit from the
use of the Internet. The spokesman informed the Commission that there are
presently two mailing lists used by the PCCC, one for PCCC members and
the other for the subcommittee for computer matters. He is prepared to
install and administer new mailing lists upon request. He also drew attention
to an unofficial Web-site run by Hannu Harkola which can be used for publishing
information about the work of the PCCC. Such information should be sent
to Hannu Harkola (e-mail: hannu.harkola@sci.fi).

3. With specific regard to the recent publication on CD-ROM of the helpmate-collection
of Dr. J. Niemann, the subcommittee suggested to collect information about
problem friends who have collections and who are willing to collaborate
in projects that make the collections publicly available. A questionnaire
has been prepared for this purpose.

4. The work on a standard format for the textual representation of chess
compositions has been taken up again and it is hoped to finish it soon.

5. The subcommittee will establish contacts to the International Computer
Chess Association (ICCA).

Details of the report are annexed to these minutes as ANNEX

§9 Studies subcommittee

As the spokesman of the subcommittee, John Roycroft reported to the
Commission about the selection of the Study of the Year for the period
1995-97. The subcommission further considered how to deal with studies
that are extracted from databases and that take part in tournaments.

A detailed report is annexed to these minutes as ANNEX

§10 Terminology Subcommittee

The spokesman John Rice informed the Commission that the subcommittee
had decided to discontinue ist work for the time being.
The full report of the subcommittee is annexed to these minutes as ANNEX

§11 Codex, Report by the Subcommittee

The spokesman Günter Büsing reported that the work of the
subcommittee concentrated on three topics: a) publication of the codex;
b) reactions on the codex; and c) possible amendments or additions.

a) Publications have so far been made in German (Die Schwalbe,
XII/1997; also in Rochade Europa, V/1998 and in feenschach
VI-VII/1998), French (Phénix V/1998), Russian (Schachmatnaja
No.22/1998), English (The Problemist VII/1998) Czech
(Sachova skladba several issues) and in Italian (Internet 1999).

b) The subcommission is aware of several articles that have been published
and discussed the contens thereof. It will continue to collect reactions
and consider them in view of possible amendments or improvements of the

c) The subcommittee presently has the intention to add an introduction
to the codex. As a preliminary measure, a text has been drafted that can
be used together with publication of the codex and which is annexed to
these minutes as ANNEX 6.

§12 Future Meetings and future WCSC

A proposal to organize next year‘s meeting in Pula, Croatia, was accepted.
A further proposal from The Netherlands to organize the meeting in 2001
in Wageningen was also accepted by the Commission. The Slowenian delegate
informed the Commission that Slovenia considers an invitation for 2002,
either in Portoroz, Bled or in Piran. This event is somehow related to
the chess olympiad that will take place in Bled in 2002. However, this
was not yet a real proposal to organize the meeting.

§13 Any other Business

Bo Lindgren made a suggestion concerning the organization of future
open solving tournaments. His idea included a splitting of the tournament
into two sections which can run simultaneously, one covering „orthodox"
compositions (2#, 3#, n#, studies, h# and s#) and the other fairy chess
(e.g. problems with Circe, maximummers, fairy pieces). Each solver can
take part in any one of the sections, or in both, and the organization
would be very simple if the compositions to solve were distributed as two
separate sets and the solutions to each set were evaluated separately.
Josip Varga said that he would be prepared to organize next year’s open
solving tournament accordingly. Marko Klasinc said that hte WCSC subcommittee
would consider the idea during the year.

John Roycroft made a suggestion concerning the citation of compositions
which are awarded in congress composition tourneys. The proposal was to
indicate as source „WCCC, Town where the meeting takes place, Year"
and the specific tourney. The terms „FIDE-meeting (plus serial number of
the meeting)" or „PCCC" should not be used.

As there was no further other business, the President finally expressed
his thanks for the good work of the delegates, the secretary, the subcommittees,
the organizers of this meeting and all others who contributed to the success
of the meeting which took place in a friendly atmosphere, and then declared
the meeting closed.

Bratislava, December 1999

      München, December 1999

Dr. B. Formánek

      G. Büsing




1. WCCT | 2. WCCT Judging
| 3. Computer Matters | 4. Studies
| 5. Terminology | 6. Codex


WCCT Subcommittee meeting, 24.10.1999 (Netanya)

A. 6th WCCT

It was unanimously agreed that:

  1. Comments from team captains on thematic aspects of the entries should
    not be passed to the respective judge;
  2. only claims relating to soundness and originality should be published
    by the Director and circulated to team-captains;
  3. a maximum of 2 months should be allowed for team-captains to submit
    comments on the claims;
  4. the Director should specify a date by which judges would be expected
    to complete their work (recommendation: 4 months after the receipt of team-captain’s
    final comments).

B. 7th WCCT

The following arrangements are suggested:

  1. 5 countries should be invited to judge each section.
  2. Suggestions regarding methods of judging would be made by the WCCT
  3. Each of the 5 countries would award points to each entry, on a 9-point
    scale (as for FIDE Albums), i.e. from 4 to 0, including half points. Countries
    would not, however, award points to their own entries. Each country would
    thus receive a potential maximum of 20 points, entries from the judging
    countries being given the 4 scores gained (potentially 16 points) plus
    the average of those 4 scores.
  4. The process would start in 2000, with individual experts being selected
    by the subcommittee to be invited to submit theme-suggestions. The final
    selection of themes would then be made in 2001.


WCCT Judging: A possible framework for the award of points

The basic plan is for a scale of points from 4 down to 0, divided into
5 sections. Within each section points would be allocated for a problem’s
artistic features in the context of the set theme. Whether the award should
be from the higher or lower end of the section would be determined by technical
features, e.g. construction and economy.

Points Artistic features Technical features


Outstanding problem: accurate and intensive
rendering of the theme, without blemishes in any of the main lines, and
showing originality and flair.
Perfect construction and economy.

Possibly some small constructional weaknesses.
Perhaps not ideally economical.



Either: a very good problem showing
the theme clearly but not intensively or very originally;
or: a task rendering that does not reach the highest artistic standard.
Good construction and economy.

Constructional weaknesses.
Economy less than ideal because of intensive setting.

2 Good problem, probably worth HM or Commend
in a reasonably strong tourney, but not original or intensive enough to
be worth more than about 50% of the points.
Adequate-to-good construction and economy,
though perhaps small improvements possible.




A very ordinary piece of work, with no features
of real merit; typical of many average columns but hardly up to award standard;
possibly only just thematic.
Construction and economy acceptable, though
possibly without obvious good features.

Serious constructional defects.




A poor, uninspired problem only just acceptable
for publication.

A problem below publication standard or a non-thematic entry would score
minimum points.

Construction possibly adequate, but not good
enough to redeem the problem.

Economy possibly suspect or poor.


Report of the Subcommittee for Computer Matters

The Subcommittee for Computer Matters held one meeting during the Netanya
congress. Five topics were treated:

  • Proposal of Macedonia (Collection of information about problemists
    and publications)
  • The PCCC and the Internet
  • Support for developers of chess composition databases
  • Standard format for the textual representation of chess compositions
  • Contact with the International Computer Chess Association (ICCA)

1. Collection of information about problemists and publications [0]

The subcommittee agrees that the PCCC is not the appropriate body for
establishing and maintaining such a collection; for a similar reason, the
second part ("and publications") of the name of the current "Subcommittee
for FIDE Albums" was abandoned some years ago. On the other hand,
the PCCC could make use of its international connections to support a team
running such a project, if such a team were formed and could give the PCCC
some guarantees about the longevity of the collection.

The subcommittee suggests the PCCC

  • not to take a decision about the proposal
  • to reconsider the question if a country (or group of people) will declare
    its intention to run such a project (including making the collected informations
    publicly available and keeping them up-to-date) and could give appropriate

Two technical observations regarding the proposal:

  • electronical data entry forms should be preferred to printed ones as
    suggested in the proposal
  • the collected information should be made publicly available in electronical
    form (Internet) rather than (or in addition to) printed form.

2. The PCCC and the Internet

How could the PCCC work more efficiently by using the possibilities
of the Internet?

Two Internet "media" are considered to be of most value for
the moment: Mailing lists and the World Wide Web.

A Mailing list is a service that forwards E-Mail messages to a group
of subscribed members. Membership can either be open (everybody can subscribe)
or controlled by a list administrator (who invites members to subscribe).
Messages sent to a Mailing list are stored in an archive so that new members
can look up discussions led before they joined the list.

Currently, there are two Mailing lists used by the PCCC; one is open
for the PCCC members, the other one for the Subcommittee for Computer Matters
(plus other people interested in chess problem computer matters). While
lively discussions are going on in the latter, the former hasn’t been very
successful so far; only a part of the invited members have subscribed,
and the number of messages is very low. [1]

The Subcommittee for Computer Matters encourages the delegates and other
Subcommittees to use Mailing lists to make their work throughout the year
(between the PCCC meetings) more effective; the spokesman will be glad
to install and administer new Mailing lists upon request. [2]

The only drawback that Mailing lists could currently suffer from is
the restricted availability of the Internet in some countries. Problems
to the work of the PCCC could be caused should some of the members have
the feeling of being locked out of important discussions. It can’t be in
the interest of the PCCC and most certainly isn’t in the interest of the
Subcommittee for Computer Matters to erect a new "Iron curtain".

The World Wide Web (WWW) is currently used for publishing information
about the work of the PCCC and results of the official competitions on
a unofficial site (http://www.sci.fi/~stniekat/pccc). PCCC members and
other people doing PCCC work are invited to send informations to be published
on this site to Hannu Harkola (E-Mail: hannu.harkola@sci.fi);
he will also be glad to this site links to other sites related to chess

3. Support for developers of publicly available chess problem databases

Some problem friends invest a lot of their free time providing the community
of chess problem friends an invaluable service by collecting chess problems
and making the result of their work publicly available by answering queries
from the whole world, e.g. from judges asking for help finding anticipations.
The most notable examples are the two-mover collection started by Hermann
Albrecht (continued by Hans-Dieter Leiss and Udo Degener) and the helpmate
collection established by John Niemann (currently hosted, but not continued
by Hans Gruber), each containing tens of thousands of problems.

It has never been easier than nowadays to give many problem friends
access to these collections than using the possibilities of current personal
computers and the Internet. One example is "PDB", a CD-ROM containing
all the helpmates collected by John Niemann up to 1989 (and more). While
the PCCC (or its Subcommittee for Computer Matters) is not the appropriate
body for running projects like this, the Subcommittee agreed that the PCCC
should make profit of its international connections to support problem
friends who do run such projects.

One thing that the PCCC can do is to collect information about problem
friends who are collecting problems or who are willing to collaborate in
projects that make collections publicly available. A questionnaire for
this purpose is added as an annex to this report in three languages; the
PCCC members are asked to reprint the questionnaire (or a translation thereof).[3]

4. Standard format for the textual representation of chess problems

There are a number of programs that problem friends can use for their
hobby (testing, collecting, typesetting, …). One of the problems that
users of such programs face is: How can we enable these programs to talk
to each other? Or, in other words: How can we avoid having to type in the
same information again and again?

An international group of problem friends is currently working on a
standard format that would solve this problem. We hope to come to a conclusion
that could be approved as a standard by the PCCC soon.

5. Contact with the International Computer Chess Association (ICCA)

The contact of the Subcommittee for Computer Matters to the International
Computer Chess Association will be established again by the spokesman,
both to keep informed about their work and to give them a sign of our existence.

Notes added after the Netanya meeting:

[0] "Problemists" always includes
endgame study friends in this text.

[1] Those members will be invited again when
the Netanya minutes (including this text) will have been sent to the PCCC

[2] One such request is already being processed.

[3] The questionnaire will appear in a future
issue of ‘infoblatt’, an addendum to a number of West European chess problem
magazines, but reprints in other places and languages would be very welcome.
The text is available in electronical form in the three languages given
here from Thomas Maeder (E-Mail: maeder@glue.ch).


Annex: Questionnaire about the support for problem database projects

As the new spokesman of the Subcommittee for Computer Matters of the
Permanent Commission for Chess Composition of the FIDE, I would like to
find out about ways to support the PDB project and on extending it to problem
domains other than helpmates. Please direct replies to the following questions,
and any other relevant information that you consider to be of interest,
to Thomas Maeder, Wylerstrasse 17, CH-3014 Bern, E-Mail: maeder@glue.ch:

  • Who is currently running large collections (thousands) of problems,
    on electronic and other media?
  • Is it possible that the collection be put into the public domain?
  • How is the collection organized? On what computer platform is it run
    / can it be accessed?
  • Are you willing to collaborate on making problem collections available
    to the public?

To problem magazine editors:

  • Do you manage your original/quoted problems using computer tools? How?
  • Are you willing to regularly send the problems printed in your magazine
    to a publicly available collection?
  • Are you willing to do extra work for this purpose?

To programmers and other computer enthusiasts:

  • Are you willing to contribute in keeping collections up-to-date (typing
    in, writing conversion scripts, …)?
  • Are you willing to assume leadership of a team establishing and maintaining
    a publicly available problem collection?
  • How do you think that the task of establishing and maintaining such
    collections should be "tackled"?

Als neuer Sprecher des Subkomitees für Computerfragen der Permanenten
Kommission der FIDE für Schachkomposition suche ich nach Wegen, wie
das PDB-Projekt unterstützt und auf andere Problemgattungen ausgeweitet
werden kann. Bitte schicken Sie Ihre Antworten auf die untenstehenden Fragen
und weitere Informationen, welche Sie in diesem Zusammenhang von Interesse
sind, an Thomas Maeder, Wylerstrasse 17, CH-3014 Bern, E-Mail: maeder@glue.ch:

  • Wer führt grosse Sammlungen (mit Tausenden von Problemen), mit
    dem Computer oder anderen Mitteln?
  • Ist es möglich, die Sammlung der Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung
    zu stellen?
  • Wie ist die Sammlung organisiert? Auf welcher Computerplattform läuft
    / kann auf sie zugegriffen werden?
  • Sind Sie bereit, bei der Verfügbarmachung von Problemsammlungen

An Herausgeber von Zeitschriften:

  • Verwalten Sie Ihre Ur- und Nachdrucke mit dem Computer? Wie?
  • Sind Sie bereit, die in Ihrer Zeitschrift abgedruckten Probleme regelmässig
    an eine öffentlich verfügbare Sammlung zu schicken?
  • Sind Sie bereit, für diesen Zweck Mehrarbeit zu leisten?

An Programmierer und andere Computerbegeisterte:

  • Sind Sie bereit, beim beim Vervollständigen von Sammlungen mitzuarbeiten
    (Eintippen, Verfassen von Umwandlungsskripts, …)?
  • Sind Sie bereit, die Führung eines Teams für die Erarbeitung
    und Fortführung einer öffentlich verfügbaren Problemsammlung
    zu übernehmen?
  • Wie sollte Ihrer Meinung nach der Aufbau und die Weiterführung
    solcher Sammlungen angepackt werden?

En tant que nouveau directeur du sous-comité ordinateur de la
Commission Permanente pour la Composition Echiquéenne de la FIDE,
j’aimerais bien trouver des possibilités pour soutenir le projet
PDB et pour l’étendre à d’autres genres de problèmes.
Adressez SVP vos réponses aux questions suivantes et d’autres informations
à ce sujet à Thomas Maeder, Wylerstrasse 17, CH-3014 Bern,
E-Mail: maeder@glue.ch:

  • Qui maintient une large collection (contenant des milliers) de problèmes,
    à l’aide de l’ordinateur et autrement?
  • Est-il possible que ces collections deviennent accessibles au public?
  • Comment la collection est-elle organisée? Sur quel type d’ordinateur
    est-elle maintenue / peut-elle être accédée?
  • Etes-vous prêt à collaborer pour rendre des collections
    accessibles au public?

Aux éditeurs de revues de problèmes:

  • Est-ce que vous gérez les problèmes publiés/cités
    dans votre revue à l’aide de l’ordinateur? Comment?
  • Etes-vous prêt à envoyer régulièrement les
    problèmes imprimés dans votre revue à des collections
    accessibles au public?
  • Etes-vous prêt à y investir du temps supplémentaire?

Aux développeurs de programmes et autres enthousiastes de l’ordinateur:

  • Etes-vous prêt à collaborer pour mettre des collections
    à jour (taper, écrire des programmes de conversion, …)?
  • Etes-vous prêt à conduire un groupe qui établit
    et maintient une collection accessible au public?
  • A votre avis, comment devrait être "attaquée"
    la tâche d’établir et de maintenir de telles collections?


Studies Subcommittee

convener/speaker: A. J. Roycroft

informal minutes

There were the following four items reported verbally to the full Commission.

1. Study of the Year The FIDE Album 1995-97 judges will be requested
to choose one study representing each of the three years and suitable for
popularising studies in non-specialist chess columns. The selections can
be publicised on the Internet.

2. Open Solving The subcommittee expressed regret that no study
was included in the Open Solving event at Netanya.

3. FIDE Web Site The subcommittee reported with pleasure that
Hannu Harkola (Finland) had agreed to incorporate official subcommittee
material in his FIDE-related web site for world-wide access by composers,
judges and tourney organizers. The two major items to be displayed will
be the Guidelines for Organizers of Formal International
Tourneys for Studies
promulgated at the PCCC Meeting in Bratislava
in 1993, and the report set out below.

4. Studies ‘extracted from databases’ The appended report is
a tentative first effort to address a current thorny subject, and as such
is in the nature of a discussion paper rather than a firm statement. Six
signatures – Noam Elkies (Israel/USA) opted not to sign – were acquired.


Studies extracted from, or suspected of having been extracted from,
‘total information 5-man endgame databases’ as opposed to having been composed
in the time-honoured manner give rise to doubt, controversy and consternation
when they appear in tourney awards. The FIDE Studies Subcommittee that
met at Netanya in 1999 made a first attempt to address this matter. Its
report follows.




conversion – the consequence of a move in an odb solution (ie
series of optimal moves by both sides) where the force present changes,
ie by capture or promotion.
database – see odb
depth – the number of consecutive optimal moves needed by the winning
side to checkmate or to conversion.
metric – the component of the algorithm used to generate on odb
whereby the program can refer to all target winning positions. There are
in general only two metrics: checkmate; and (winning) conversion. The first
task of the algorithm is to obtain or generate all winning positions according
to the chosen metric.
odb – ‘oracle’ database, otherwise known as total information database
or tablebase. An odb is generated by algorithm implemented by computer
program for specific chess force. When complete an odb can yield on request
the true result of any position for the force in question, the optimal
move or moves (if any) where there is a win, and similarly the depth. Odb’s
for five chessmen (the kings included, but with no more than a single pawn)
have been in the public domain since the 1980’s. Pawnless odb’s with six
chessmen have been generated and many results published, but with rare
exceptions six-man odb’s are not yet (in 1999) publicly available. It is
commonly assumed that odb’s for one more chessman will be produced every
ten years. Although not in general use the term ‘oracle database’ is useful
to distinguish it from other types of database.
optimal – an optimal move in a position that is a win is a move
that will win in fewer moves than any other move (if any), or a move of
the defence that will delay loss longest. A similar definition can be applied
to a position that is drawn. Technically, an optimal move by the winning
side reduces the depth by 1, and an optimal move by the defender maintains
the depth unaltered. See also metric.
table-base – a compressed odb.

1. In recent years judges and editors have been faced with the insurmountable
difficulty of distinguishing between a ‘malyutka’ (five men only) study
composed traditionally and one that may have been extracted from an odb.
The studies subcommittee has considered the situation and reports as follows.

2. The skills needed to extract ‘studies’ (ie optimal series of unique
moves to win or to draw) from an odb are distinct from the talent, creativity,
technique and persistence needed for traditional study composing.

3. The subcommittee proposes two principles:
3.1 Traditional and odb studies should not compete in the same tourney.
3.2 However, the use of computers should be encouraged, because they can
both assist in ensuring soundness and be a source of ideas.

4. The subcommittee therefore makes the following recommendations.
4.1 The use of odb’s to verify the correctness of variations is acceptable.
4.2 The use of odb output in a main line is acceptable, provided only that
the initial position has at least one more chessman present than is the
maximum supported by odb’s on the market.
4.3 Obscure lines of play should be accompanied by prose text explaining
what is happening. This explanation must satisfy the judge. The source
of the text may be collective.
4.4 Separate tourneys for odb ‘studies’ ®LA1¯s®LA2¯should
be organized.
4.5 Judges of study tourneys should familiarize themselves with odb technology
and with current publicly available odb’s.

Signed: John Roycroft (speaker), London; Hillel Aloni, Netanya; Ofer
Comay, Israel; Gady Costeff, Israel and USA; David Gurgenidze, Tbilisi;
Nikolai Kralin, Moscow

Netanya, October 1999



A document containing definitions of around 40 chess problem terms was
drawn up after last year’s meeting in St.Petersburg and circulated with
the Minutes. Attached was a request for reactions and observations. Disappointingly,
only one delegate responded to this request, which suggests that the subcommittee’s
work has not been very exciting and so has aroused little interest.

The subcommittee for terminology, at a brief meeting held on 24th October,
has decided to discontinue its work for the time being. It will therefore
become dormant, but, like a piece in Volcanic Circe, it may be reborn at
a later date, if and when the need for it arises. It may be useful, for
example, for it to reconvene when the themes for the 7th WCCT are being
selected (probably in 2001), to ensure that any terms used in the theme-announcements
are correctly defined. Other occasions may arise when the subcommittee
is called upon for advice.

One factor influencing the subcommittee in its decision to suspend its
activities is that a lexicon of 2-move terms is currently in preparation,
to be published in due course in the Editions feenschach-phénix.
The original author of this work, Gerhard Schoen, has written the text
in German, and additions and amendments, along with translations into French
and English respectively, have been made by Claude Wiedenhoff and John
Rice. Suggestions have also been contributed by Viktor Melnichenko. Clearly
this work will provide a source of reference for many of the terms that
might have been defined by the subcommittee.

As spokesman I should like to express my thanks to all members of the
terminology subcommittee, both past and present, for the time and effort
they have contributed, and to other delegates, few though they be in number,
who have shown an interest in our work.

John Rice (Spokesman)

October 1999



Codex Subcommittee:

Preliminary Draft for an Introduction:

This codex deals with general principles of chess composition activities
such as composition, solving and publication. The codex is intended to
be descriptive, rather than prescriptive, and it is also intended to offer
constructive guidance in areas where there has been no central guidance
before. It is not intended to be a body of established law which problemists
must observe on pain of being condemned of heresy or worse; problemists
are independent spirits, and it would be pointless for the PCCC to attempt
to legislate in that way.

Part One is descriptive. It represents an updated attempt to articulate
the most important features of the world of chess composition, as they
are actually known and practised. It is a distillation of experience rather
than a statute. The same applies to Chapter VII, which treats of tournaments
for the first time.

The whole of Part Two, which deals with the public aspects of chess
compositions, breaks new ground. Its first two Chapters (V and VI), which
tackle the topics of publication and priority, are different in character
from Part One. They cannot be called a distillation of experience, because
these are areas where there are no generally accepted views, and no shared
experience to distil. They represent to some extent a compromise between
the interests of editors and composers, arrived at after a painstaking
discussion of alternatives. Although expressed as rules, these Chapters
should be understood as guidance, which, it is hoped, can for the first
time form the basis for coherent common practice in the future.

Annex II is explicitly a form of guidance, offering detailed guidelines
for tournaments.

The subcommittee intends to keep the working of the codex under review
and to take account of any criticism and to recommend changes from time
to time if they seem necessary. 


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