Happy Chess Composition Day, with the 1st OSCY launch!

Since 2007, our community has been marking January 4th as the International Day of Chess Composition, inspired by an article from 155 years ago, where chess composition was declared a kind of art. Today we are doing it in the contemporary spirit, launching the 1st WFCC Online Solving Challenge for Youth (OSCY).

The 1st OSCY unites efforts of very different generations. You may see here the OSCY video promotion made by the young Anirudh Daga, who also contributed to some elements of design.

And here is the Press Release text by our senior member Brian Cook, the heart and soul of the whole project:

As the WFCC announce their new bi-monthly Online Solving Challenge for Youth (OSCY), never has there been a better time for young chess players from 5 to 21 years old to test their skills at chess problem solving. It isn’t unusual to find that those who have taken the plunge converting their modest FIDE ratings into much higher solver ratings, earning norms and titles in the process. Free of the need for detailed knowledge of openings and strategy, their exceptional tactical skills have flourished with astonishing results. Rather than solving/composing a fast evolving web of typical threats & traps set by/for their opponents, solvers are generally confronted with a few won positions (often composed by GMs of Chess Composition) of greater complexity and/or featuring an unusual concept. Greatest of the many success stories in this regard are GMs of Solving:

Danila Pavlov – 21 year-old 3 x World Champion and No.1 (rated 2820 for solving, 2361 by FIDE), Ural Khasanov – 17 year-old World No.5 (solving at around 1000 rating points higher than he plays), not to mention 14 year old Anna Shukhman, World No.1 for women.

Full OSCY details are provided at the tournament website along with  much of what needs to be known by beginners PLUS World Champion coaching and, except for <€10 for coaching, it’s all FREE. See the WFCC Announcement.

As Online and @Home solving has become more popular (at both grass-roots and elite levels), a smooth pathway is emerging from informal to the many rated/physical tournaments at which titles are earned. So, please give OSCY a try and avoid missing out on what may be your personal chess paradise.

NOTES:

  1. Unusual pieces such as ‘nightriders’, ‘grasshoppers’, etc are not indulged in OSCY. They remain strictly for the ‘fairies’
  2. For anyone pressed for time – the home of our QuickStart Guide

Solvers’ ratings January 1st 2024

Solvers’ ratings as of January 1st 2024 produced by the Solving Tournament Manager are published on the WFCC Solving Portal.
8 tournaments of the 4th quarter 2023 are included: 21st Greek Chess Solving Championship 2023, 32nd Kedainiai Cup 2023, 38th Open Swiss Solving Championship 2023, 4th Branko Babic Memorial 2023, 28th Belgian Solving Championship 2023, 32nd Henk Hagedoorn Memorial 2023, Solving Championship of Romania 2023, 8th Greek Chess Solving Cup 2023.
Ranking of the top ten solvers (unchanged): 1. Danila Pavlov (FID) 2820.30, 2. Georgy Evseev (FID) 2747.29, 3. Kacper Piorun (POL) 2715.44, 4. Piotr Murdzia (POL) 2678.75, 5. Ural Khasanov (FID) 2649.49, 6. John Nunn (GBR) 2629.68, 7. Eddy Van Beers (BEL) 2616.38, 8. Aleksey Popov (FID) 2575.00, 9. Kevinas Kuznecovas (LTU) 2574.54, 10. Marko Filipović (CRO) 2564.95.
Largest five gains: junior Alexandru Mihalcescu, ROU (+29.23), Wouter van Rijn, NED (+21.86), junior Ioannis Kollias, GRE (+13.70), Martynas Limontas, LTU (+12.42), Jakub Marciniszyn, POL (+12.34).


Happy New Year 2024!

The winners of the WFCC Christmas Gallery Contest 2023

M. Witztum & E. Navon
1. Place CGC 2023/A (133 points)

Živan Šušulić
2. Place CGC 2023-A (125 points)

Andrey Frolkin
3. Place CGC 2023-A
(113 points)


Udo Degener
1. Place CGC 2023-B (114 points)

Jorma Paavilainen
2. Place CGC 2023-B (104.5 points)

Alexey Gasparyan
3. Place CGC 2023-B (103.5 points)


Zlatko Mihajloski
1. Place CGC 2023-C (124 points)

Janos Koczian
2. Place CGC 2023-C (121 points)

Henry Tanner
3. Place CGC 2023-C (116 points)


Happy New Year 2024 to all friends of chess composition!

There will be many challenges for chess composers, and some of those you may find in the online WFCC Composing Calendar, established at the beginning of this month. It is still in the process of completing, and you can contribute to it by sending links to the announcements and awards to the given address.

The last tournament of 2023 was the friendly WFCC Christmas Gallery Contest, announced on 09.12. In less than 2 weeks it attracted 34 authors from 17 countries, with 43 compositions. They were all published in our Christmas post, and the solutions with comments followed there on 27.12.

Till 29.12 we got 37 awards in Sections: A (14 awards), B (9), and C (14). The suggested system of collective judging worked well thanks to CGC director Kenneth Solja, WFCC webmaster Julia Vysotska and the next 23 judges from 15 countries:

Hauke Reddmann (Section A), Vlaicu Crisan (A&C), Ralf Kraetschmer (C), Andrey Frolkin (B&C), Udo Degener (A), Kenneth Solja (A), Mario Parrinello (B&C), Srećko Radović (B&C), Wilfried Neef (A&C), Mikhail Shalashov (B&C), Aleksandr Feoktistov (A&C), Bela Majoros (B&C), Nikola Petković (A), Janos Csak (C), Živan Šušulić (B), Alexey Gasparyan (A&C), Piotr Gorski (A, B & C), Zlatko Mihajloski (A), Jorma Paavilainen (A&C), Henry Tanner (A&B), Menachem Witztum (C), Brennan Price (A), and Viktoras Paliulionis (A&B).

Altogether, the CGC 2023 engaged 36 contributors (composers + judges) from 19 countries, and inspired 43 Christmas compositions. We hope you will like the winners of all 3 sections published here, as well as many of the remaining entries in the Final placements (PDF).

As Solving Tournaments Calendar shows, there will be a lot of fun and challenge on the table already in January, starting from the 1st WFCC Online Solving Challenge for Youth (14.01). A week later (21.01), the 20th International Solving Contest will unite participants from many countries around the world. February will bring the first 2024 competitions of the World Solving Cup 2023-24, simultaneously in Helsinki and London (17.02). The highlights of the solving year will be 17th ECSC in Hagen (19-21.04) and during 66th WCCC in Jurmala (27.07-03.08), including the 47th WCSC.

Have a fruitful, joyful and peaceful 2024! – Marjan Kovačević, WFCC President


Merry Christmas!

Dear composers, solvers, judges, organizers, volunteers, and all lovers of chess composition, have a Merry Christmas!
For those of you who are not putting aside chess thoughts during winter holidays, we offered a chance to compose, solve, analyze and judge some original helpmates, inspired by different Christmas joys and symbols.

Our friendly Christmas Gallery Contest has attracted not less than 43 entries in less than 2 weeks – hopefully a sign of your good mood!

The next phase will be judging, and you will be the judges, if you want it.

The contest for the most popular compositions will be held in 3 sections, separated according to the length:

We invite everybody to take the roles of judges, by ranking these anonymous entries and marking them. The scales for marking will be from 12 (the best) to 1 inside the Groups A & C, and from 16 (the best) to 1 inside the Group B. The same mark may be given to more than one entry.

All composers who sent their original entries are invited to mark the problems in the group(s) where they didn’t take part!

The marks should be sent by 29th December at latest, to the email address webmaster@wfcc.ch.

As you could see in the WFCC Composing Calendar, this event was announced in Section E, for orthodox helpmates only. The entries D1, D2 & D3 use unorthodox elements and will not take part in the contest, but that will not deprive you from solving and enjoying them here, in the section D.


WFCC Christmas Gallery Contest

Here is a friendly contest for everybody: join the WFCC Xmas Gallery Contest with your original helpmate problems inspired by Christmas!

You may send up to two original helpmates to the Gallery Director Kenneth Solja (kenneth.solja@gmail.com) till 22nd December.

All received problems, with hidden solutions, and without the names of the composers, will be published on 24th December 2023 on the WFCC website. All visitors will have time till 29th December 2023 to send their marks (the system of marking will depend on the number of entries) to the entries that give them the most pleasure and good spirit.

Examples: You may find some examples shaped as Christmas trees in the YACPDB (open database created by Dmitri Turevski). Most of them are marked with the keyword Christmas tree, but some may be found with the keyword Scaccografia, too (together, not more than 20 helpmates). Christmas shapes could be presented in mating positions, too, but they are harder to find.

->Show the solution to example problem

Composing Calendar

The first version of the online Composing Calendar has been published on the WFCC website (Competitions -> Composing -> Calendar).
It presents the formal tournaments (A-H sections) and the informal ones (I section), in chronological order of their deadlines, with columns reporting possible themes, judges and directors, as well as links to the announcements and awards (when available).

The Calendar contains not only current tournaments, but also those whose deadline has expired (see “All tournaments”). Info about the already closed tournaments will be extended in the future with links to the awards, once they are reported by the involved persons. Some of them you may already see in the Awards column, with the mark “published”.

This draft version will be under construction for a longer time, and will continue with a permanent development. The quality of the Calendar will depend on all interested parties and whoever wants to help.

The work on Calendar started a year ago, with the draft templates created by Ilija Serafimović, and later sent to the delegates. During the Batumi WCCC Kenneth Solja offered to volunteer in contacting the organizers and compiling material. He has largely enriched the content, and has been passionately continuing the same process ever since. During the previous month Julia Vysotska spent many hours organizing and adjusting the content of the excel tables to become a part of the WFCC website. The next steps will depend on the enthusiasm of delegates, organizers, editors, judges, directors, and other individuals.

Please, send your contributions to the Calendar Coordinator Kenneth Solja.
The first step will be to compile all possible corrections (names, dates, themes, links …) and all missing info (new tourneys, announcements, awards …). It’s desirable to have texts in English, and instead of pdf documents to send only the adequate links.

Marjan Kovačević, WFCC president


Bedrich Formánek (6.6.1933 – 19.11.2023)

Bedrich Formánek passed away on November 19, 2023, at the age of 90. A long-time the President of the Slovak Chess Composition Organization (SOKŠ) and later its Honorary President, a former President of the Permanent Commission for Chess Composition (PCCC) and then the Honorary President of the World Federation for Chess Composition (WFCC), member of the SOKŠ Hall of Fame, chess composer, judge, lecturer, organizer, author of several books on chess composition and its tireless promoter, author of 7,475 chess composition columns in newspapers, chess godfather of many Slovak chess composers, but above all a great person and a good friend.
We will certainly return to his work, life and compositions for a very long time.

Bedrich, rest in peace.

Executive Board of the Slovak Chess Composition Organization


Jurmala will host 66th WCCC and 47th WCSC (27.07 – 03.08.2024)

WFCC online Meeting, 8th November 2023

30 Member Countries took part in the WFCC online Meeting that was mostly devoted to discussion about the future WFCC events and the host of the 66th WCCC and 47th WCSC 2024.

At the beginning, the FIDE Album Committee spokesman Harry Fougiaxis announced the new title-holders in chess composition:

  • Grandmaster: Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen (DEN)
  • International Master: Karen Sumbatyan (RUS)
  • FIDE Masters: Sergiy Didukh (UKR), Daniel Keith (FRA), Jan Sprenger (GER), Aleksandr Stavrietsky (RUS)

Congratulations!!

These norms were fulfilled according to the results of the Section D (endgames) of the FIDE Album 2019-2021, published on 4th November.

→read more: WSC rules and discussion by country…

This long-lasting session was interrupted after speeches of some other delegates, to execute secret voting while all participants were still present. Out of 30 delegates in the Zoom Meeting 21 gave vote to Jurmala, four to Rhodes and three to Rio de Janeiro. One delegate didn’t vote and one was abstained. After adding two more votes sent by email, Jurmala convincingly won straight majority with 23 votes from 32 delegates.

With such a wide support, we will be preparing for a memorable Congress in Latvia, from 27th July to 3rd August 2024!

After the voting some delegates had to leave, while others continued the review by countries.

→read more: discussion by country…

This Zoom Meeting was excellently organized by the secretary Mohammad Alhallak. He also replaced the UAE delegate Abdulla Ali Aal Barket in presenting optimistic plans about development of solving in the UAE, in neighboring countries and in the whole Asia.

Marjan Kovačević, WFCC president


Solvers’ ratings October 1st 2023

Solvers’ ratings as of October 1st 2023 produced by the Solving Tournament Manager are published on the WFCC Solving Portal.
Only 4 tournaments of the 3rd quarter 2023 are included: 5th Ukrainian Cup 2023, 31st Czech Chess Solving Championship 2023, Open Solving Tournament of WCCC 2023, 46th World Chess Solving Championship 2023.
Ranking of the top ten solvers: Ural Khasanov (FID) moved up 4 places from 9th to 5th place and Aleksey Popov moved up 7 places from 15th to 8th place!
Largest five gains: women junior Anna Shukhman, FID (+123), junior Nikita Ushakov, FID (+111.34), women junior Daria Dvoeglazova, ISR (+85.84), junior Egor Sokolov, FID (+77.62), Kacper Piorun, POL (+70.78).


WCCC2023: Open Solving

(05.09.2023, 15:30) The FINAL RESULTS of Open Solving tournament are announced and can be found on WSC calendar (click on “R” of the open in the calendar – there are also the norms and WSC-points)!

(04.09.2023) Open Solving tournament.
We decided that solvers who did not write tin the first study the black moves 6…Qf1+ and 7….Qh3+ will get not more than 3 points. Appeals and protests are possible until Tuesday 3 pm.
Director: Axel Steinbrink | Assistant director: Marko Klasinc

Preliminary individual RESULTSPROBLEMSSOLUTIONS

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