Friday, October 2, 2015

Pestaño: Legendary composers of chess problems

SOMETIME ago, I wrote about chess problems as an inherent part of Chessmoso. This time, I will write about the composers of chess problems.
Just like music and poetry, chess problem composers are a unique breed. Even grandmasters cannot create masterpieces, which come naturally to these people.
Composers are also given titles—International, Grandmaster, International Master, Fide Master and National Master.
Edith Helen Baird (1859-1924), born Winter Wood, was the most famous female chess composer. She published her problems using the name “Mrs W. J. Baird.” She composed over 2,000 problems. In 1902 she wrote 700 chess problems.
Vladimir Bron (1909-1985) was a top Soviet chess composer. In 1969, he wrote Selected Studies and Problems. He won 31 first prizes in composing tourneys and was awarded the International Master title for chess composition in 1966 and the Grandmaster Composer title in 1975.
André Chéron (1895–1980) is a French chess player, endgame theorist, and a composer of endgame studies. He was named a Fide International Master of Chess Composition in 1959, the first year the title was awarded.
Eugene Cook (1830-1915) was the first American chess composer of note and personally composed over 800 chess problems.
Fadil Abdurahmanovic (1939- ) is a Grandmaster of chess composition (1992). His best work is in the form of helpmates and fairy problems.
Thomas Rayner Dawson (1889-1951) was considered the father of Fairy Chess. He composed over 5,000 fairy chess problems and over 6,500 problems total. He invented the Nightrider and the Grasshopper.
Vincent Lanius Eaton (1915-1962) was one of America’s greatest chess composers. He graduated from Harvard at the age of 18. He worked as a scholar at the Library of Congress from 1939 to 1941 and was the Problem Editor of Chess Review.
Henrikh Kasparian (1910-1995) was one of the first Grandmasters of Chess Compositions. In 1980, he wrote Domination in 2545 Endgame Studies. Cyril Kipping (1891-1964) also composed over 7,000 chess problems, while another noted one is Karl Leonid Kubbel (1891-1942), who was a Russian endgame composer and problemist. He composed over 500 endgame studies.
Sam Loyd (1841-1911) was known as the Puzzle King. He produced over 10,000 puzzles in his lifetime, often with interesting themes. He was the most famous American chess composer. At his peak, Loyd was one of the best chess players in the US and was ranked 15th in the world, according to
Comins Mansfield (1896-1984) composed chess problems for 72 years. In 1972, he was one of the first four to be awarded the title of Grandmaster for Chess Compositions. The other three were Genrikh Kasparyan, Lew Koschinsky, and Eeltje Visserman.
William Meredith (1835-1903) was a problem composer. A problem which there are 8 to 12 men on the board is called a Meredith.
Another famous composer was Joseph Peckover (1897-1982) in the early 20th century. He was born in England but migrated to New York in 1921. He was the endgame editor for the American Chess Quarterly from 1961 to 1965 and composed over 100 endings.
William Shinkman (1847-1933) was one of America’s greatest chess composers. He published over 3,500 problems.
Alexei Troitsky (1866-1942) is regarded as the greatest chess composer of endgame studies. He has over 1,000 studies to his credit.
Alain Campbell White (1880-1951) was an American problem composer and chess patron. For 32 years, from 1905 to 1936, he published the Christmas series of chess problems. He did more than any other player to promote worldwide interest in chess problems.

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