Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pestaño: Chess problems and puzzles

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CHESS puzzles or problems are an integral part of Chessmoso. We’ve been at it for the past eight years, although with some brief interruption.
Like music, poetry or painting, not everybody can compose a chess problem. It is a gift endowed on a selected few. Even if you are a grandmaster, you cannot create masterpieces that those gifted can do in a matter of hours.
We exercise to keep our bodies fit like going to the gym or running which is quite popular now. Solving chess puzzles or problems is fun and keeps our minds agile. It gives a peculiar feeling of satisfaction when you finally find the key move.
Every chess player knows about the Polgar sisters. Judit is the strongest lady player of all time while Susan is a five-time women’s world champion and Sofia is a strong International Master.
They were trained since early childhood to play chess and part of their training was solving a chess puzzle or problem every day.
Solving chess puzzles is a common technique to train the beginner. Although it is unlikely that the same position will occur in a game, the recognition of certain patterns can help . As long as you have the desire to try to find the solution yourself without asking others to help you, you can become a better player.
There is a difference between a chess problem and a chess puzzle. A puzzle comes as a result of normal play or with some slight improvements, while a chess problem is composed .
All of the problems that are featured in Chessmoso are pure mates in two or three moves. Those with four moves or over are difficult to solve. Other types like “white to move and win” are not appealing to the general public.
Other types of chess puzzles are helpmates, where black moves first and cooperates with white wherein black’s king is mated in a certain number of moves. Another one is self-mate, where white moves first and forces black to checkmate white also in a certain number of moves.
A chess problem’s key move must be unique. If there are more than one key move, then the puzzle is said to be defective or in chess parlance “cooked.”
The key move of the solution to the puzzle should not be obvious. Obvious moves such as checks, captures, and moves which restrict the movement of the black king are not good puzzles.
Other conditions are that there should be no promoted pawns in the initial position and every piece on the board should serve a purpose, either to help in the solution, or to exclude other solutions.
Great chess problems composers are Samuel Lloyd,Miroslav Havel, Comins Mansfield, Godfrey Heathcote, Michael lipton, Frederick Gamage, Alain White, William Shinkman,etc. There are a lot more who are just as good.
Pinoys shine in Malaysia. The Malaysian chess festival was recently held in Kuala Lumpur and featured three sections.
The top IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Chess Tournament, with 176 players from 14 countries, was won by GM Joey Antonio Jr. while The Astro Rapid Open Team Championship had 66 teams participating and was won by Quezon City.
Compatriot Ronaldo Nolte finished with 9/10,the same score as Joey but the latter won the gold medal on better tiebreak.
Cebuanos who played were Richard Bitoon, who finished just a half point behind Nolte amd Joey with 8.5, and Eden Diano with 8 points.
Picpa. The Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants recently sponsored a 4-players team tournament at J Centre Mall in Mandaue City.
Eight teams played and the team Balbona—composed of family members Felix Shaun, Jessa and dad Felix and ably anchored by Merben Roque--won the top prize of P10,000 plus trophy. Organizer was CPA-Lawyer Rheneir P. Mora.

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