Wenigsteiner selection by Andreas Thoma

A couple of ,,Wenigsteiner” to enjoy for beginners and masters
Andreas Thoma

Dedicated to Julia

I want to thank Julia for the friendly way, she handles all the problems, we bother her with. Though I do not know whether she is a “proca-fan”, I hope she likes one or the other.

The author presents a selection (PDF) of 15 Proca Retractors with Anticirce Cheylan condition, each using not more than 4 pieces on the board. Please, see the first page with diagrams only if you would like to try solving. The second page gives some hints, and the third page presents the solutions.

Published with the gratitude to Andreas! (Julia)

See the definitions of Proca Retractor and  Anticirce Cheylan.

CGSN – 70: Selected Chess Compositions

cgsn70-annCGSN – 70: Selected Chess Compositions
N.Shankar Ram

This e-booklet is a small tribute to CGSN, to celebrate his 70th birthday, which was on 24-Mar-2017. The 70 compositions included here form approximately 25% of his total oeuvre. I hope my selection captures his best and delights all readers.

CGSN, C.G.S.Narayanan, Chithathur Gopalan Sathyanarayanan is one of the world’s eminent chess problem composers. His main area of interest being the orthodox 2-mover, in the modern style, with changed mates and cyclic relationships. He is also strong in the orthodox 3-mover, which he started composing in the late 90s. He also composes to a smaller extent in other areas like helpmates, selfmates and fairies. Whatever be the area, his problems are marked by excellent construction, originality, economy and good solving difficulty. He avoids the hyper modern style where the content takes priority over other aspects…

Originals 09-231215



Original Problems
& Updates


09-23rd of December, 2015

  • (23.12) No.978 – Juraj Lörinc (semi-r#4; Lion; PAO; VAO). 3+1 variations in semi-r# problem.
  • (20.12) No.969.1 – Sébastien Luce (h#12,5; Maximummer; White Maximummer). A new version to No.969 after comments: White & Black Valladao.
  • (19.12) No.976, 977 – Chris Feather (h#3.5; Circe Equipollents; Isardam). Isardam specific mate positions reached with a help of Equipollents Circe: setplay in No.976 & duplex in No.977.
  • (17.12) Fairings No.46 – Chris Feather, distributed by Stephen Emmerson, is added to the Articles section!
  • (17.12) Some photos are added to the Tourneys/Gallery section: diplomas & sweet prizes of the last JF’s competitions sent in December. 🙂
  • (16.12) No.975 – Aleksey Oganesjan & Vitaly Medintsev (hs#4). Inspired by No.973 inspired by No.962… – a joint composition created as the result of sequence of inspirations and a work of four authors. 
  • (15.12) No.974 – Aleksey Oganesjan (hs#2*). “Perpetuum mobile” in hs#.
  • (15.12) No.973 – Ladislav Packa & Daniel Novomeský (hs#5). Inspired by No.962, orthodox version, with a Happy birthday wishes to Aleksey Oganesjan!
  • (15.12) No.965.1 – Michael Grushko (PG 19 ; Grasshopper). An improved version to No.965.
  • (15.12) No.972 – Petko A. Petkov (hs#3; Super-Pawn; Berolina Super-Pawn). Two kinds of Super pawns in a triple batteries’ transformation.
  • (13.12) No.971 – Nicolas Dupont (PG 27). 2+2 thematic parts in PG problem.
  • (12.12) No.970 – Aleksey Oganesjan (h#6; Circe). Circe in a minimal Pawn Miniature.
  • (12.12) No.969 – Sébastien Luce (h#13,5; Maximummer; White Maximummer). Double Valladao.
  • (11.12) No.968 – Petko A. Petkov (h#2,5; Take&Make Chess; Anti-Take&Make; Super-Pawn; Berolina Super-Pawn; Grasshopper). Rich thematic complex in two phases with combination of conditions Take&Make + Anti-Take&Make.
  • (10.12) No.966, 967 – Erich Bartel. Four promotions in each problem: AUW in No.966 (h==5; PWC; Madrasi RI; Alphabetic Chess) & fourfold N in No.967 (h==4.5; PWC; Madrasi RI; Alphabetic Chess; Nightrider).
  • (09.12) No.965 – Michael Grushko (PG 19,5 ; Grasshopper). Fairy promotions in PG problem.
  • (09.12) No.964 – Krassimir Gandev (h#2; Dabbaba; Nightrider; 2,4-leaper). Two pairs of solutions with reciprocal play.

Animated diagrams use Py2Web by Dmitri Turevski and WinChloe’s graphics.

All previously published problems you can find in the subsections of Original Problems menu on the top. The judge of informal fairy tournament JF-2015(II) – Ofer ComayThe judge of Retro and PG problems 2015-2016Thomas Brand.







ist der dreizehnte Band der EDITIONS FEE=NIX (begründet im Jahre 1992

von Denis Blondel † & bernd ellinghoven) herausgegeben im August 2015

im feenschach-Verlag von bernd ellinghoven, Königstr.3, D-52064 Aachen

Auflage: 300 Exem­plare

davon 32 numerierte & vom Autor signierte Sonderausgaben im Leder-Einband

–> read more

Originals 03-180215, Fairings-42


03-18th of February, 2015

  • (18.02) No.728Cornel Pacurar (-2b & h=1). Series Retractor showing the BB/SS/RR/QQ uncapture pairs.
  • (18.02) No.716.1Cornel Pacurar (-2b & h=1). An improved version to series retractor No.716!
  • (16.02) No.727Stephan Dietrich (h#5; Functionary chess). 100$ theme with Functionary Chess.
  • (16.02) No.726Anatoly Stepochkin (h#4; KoKo; Lion). An interesting play of white and black (promoted) Lions!
  • (16.02) No.725Sébastien Luce (ser-=10; Take & Make). Non-standard realization of Albino theme!
  • (15.02) No.724Ladislav Salai jr. & Emil Klemanič (h#2; LEO; PAO; VAO). HOTF problem with Rukhlis theme’s motives.
  • (13.02) No.723Peter Harris (h#2,5; Royal pieces; Super-Circe). Aristocrat-Miniature with a very interesting line closings of the royal Q in finals!
  • (12.02) No.722Sébastien Luce (h==6,5; Madrasi). Interesting finals created by paralyzed white and black pieces!
  • (11.02) No.721Kjell Widlert (h#6; Imitator). 100$ theme with Slow excelsiors!
  • (11.02) No.719, 720Chris Feather – two problems:
    No.719 (h#4; Nereid; Bishop-Locust; Diagram Circe) – A very interesting play of white Pe2!
    No.720 (ser-#10; Symmetry Circe; Diagram Anti-Circe) – White Excelsior combined with surprising black self-blocks!
  • (11.02) No.708.1Krassimir Gandev (W5→Ser-h=23; Reverse Pawn). Author’s improvement to No.708!
  • (10.02) No.718Gani Ganapathi & Juraj Lörinc (h#2,5; Nightrider ). HOTF problem with model mates!
  • (10.02) No.717Anatoly Stepochkin (h#2**; Lion). Lion in 2 setplays and 4 solutions!
  • (10.02) No.716Cornel Pacurar (-2b & h=1). Wenigsteiner Series Retractor with a three sets of SBRQ uncaptures!
  • (09.02) No.715Karol Mlynka (#2; UltraSchachZwang; White Super-Transmuting King; Royal Grasshopper; Nightrider). Pressburger King as Reх solus!
  • (07.02) No.709.1Oliver Sick & Stephen Emmerson (h#5; Imitator). Nice improvement to No.709, Miniature!
  • (06.02) No.714Peter Harris (hs#3; Royal pieces; Sentinels; Chameleon Chess). Rich and interesting play with only two pieces on the board!
  • (05.02) No.712, 713Stephen Emmerson. Two White and black retracts: No.712 (White and Black retract for h#1 / h=1); No.713 (White and Black retract for h#1; Circe).
  • (04.02) No.711Pierre Tritten & Chris Feather (h#2; Take&Make). Very interesting strategy and surprising echo model mates!
  • (04.02) Fairings No.42 – Chris Feather, distributed by Stephen Emmerson, is added to the Articles section!
  • (03.02) No.709, 710Oliver Sick. Interesting excelsiors with black underpromotions! No.709 (h#5; Imitator); No.710 (ser-h#13; Imitator).

Animated diagrams use Py2Web by Dmitri Turevski and WinChloe’s graphics.

All previously published problems you can find in the subsections of Original Problems menu on the top. The judge of informal fairy tournament JF-2015(I) – Kostas Prentos. The judge of Retro and PG problems 2015-2016Thomas Brand.

My Participation in WCCC2014 Tournaments

jv-aug2014-greenMy Participation in WCCC2014 Tournaments

It’s my 4th participation in WCCC’s tournaments, and the most active for now. I like thematic competitions, fast judging, limited time.. and the whole dynamics and special emotions around the Congress.

Happy to have 5 problems in the Awards and some more ideas for the future composing!
With a gratitude to all organizers of these competitions! – Julia. → Read more…

My Participation in WCCC2013 Tourneys

DSCN7497-cropMy Participation in WCCC2013 Tourneys

This year is the 3rd time when I participate in WCCC tourneys. I’ve submitted just 3 problems – one for each of the following tournaments:56WCCC-logo

And I’m happy to see all of them in the Awards! See all 3 problems with my comments !

My Participation in WCCC2012 Tourneys

My Participation in WCCC2012 Tourneys

This year is the 2nd time when I participate in WCCC tourneys. I’ve choosen 3 of them:

Previous year have participated in 2 of them – Bulgarian Wine and Sabra, but this year believed that it would be good to do more in comparison with the previous year.

Tzuika was the most complicated for me, and this is actually my the 1st problem with 3 solutions.  

Nothing much to boast, twinning everywhere, but still all 3 problems are in the Awards. Happy about it! 🙂  

→ See the whole topic…

Ideas with KoBul Kings


May, 2012

Ideas with KoBul Kings

I’d like to present you 4  fairy problems with KoBul Kings, all composed in 2012 for the KoBulChess-TT-2012 (see the Award at kobulchess.com – by Diyan Kostandinov, the innovator of KoBul Kings). 
KoBul Kings – When a piece (not a pawn) of its own side is captured, a King transforms into a Royal piece of the same type as the captured one. When the King is in the form of any Royal piece and there is a capture of one of the pawns of its own side, it becomes a normal King again. Сaptures are illegal if their result is self-cheсk because of the transformation of the Кings according to KoBul rules. Castling is allowed only if the KoBul King is on its initial square in the form of a normal King and if it has not already moved; however it may already have been transformed. In the case of capture by a King in AntiCirce it reborns on its initial square and may castle. If the capture is by a King which is in the form of some Royal piece, it reborns on the initial square of that piece.

In the problems below I wanted to show the different ideas I’ve got after studying the examples of KoBul Kings. Few words about them:

  • No.1 (h#2) – just 5 pieces and 2 solutions! The advantage of Kings’ transformation which gave more possibilities to the white King to attack and less possibilities to the black King to defend. Composed in less than an hour – the most “quick” problem I ever had. Light and easy.
  • No.2 (hs#3) – the main thing I wanted to show was how the only possible defense of the white King – capture of the mating piece – fails because it transforms the black King into a piece which gives a check to the white King again.
  • No.3 (h#2,5*) – another “paradoxical” situation with KoBul Kings: how the white pawn, which occupies the square, can guard this square? – normally impossible thing!
  • No.4 (h#2,5) – joint problem with Petko A.Petkov, who’s helped me a lot with learning Locusts’ behaviour. The battery play and activity of the both KoBul Kings.

No.1 Julia Vysotska
1st Hon.mention
h#2          2 solutions         (3+2)
KoBul Kings
I. 1.Sxa6(wK=rR)! Bd3 2.Ka3 rRxa6 (bK=rS)#
II. 1.Sxb5(wK=rB)! rBe3 2.Sa3 Rxa3 (bK=rS)#
Activity of both Kobul Kings:
– the phases of white King are changed with the
 Captures of white R and B;
– the phases of black King are changed with the passive and active sacrifices of black S.
5-men problem – aristokrat with ideal mates.
No. 2 Julia Vysotska
2nd Prize
hs#3           2 solutions        (5+5)
KoBul Kings
White Grasshopper d3
Black Leo c1
I. 1.Qd4 cxd4 [wrK=rQ] 2.rQd1 LEd2 3.Gd5 + LExd5 [wrQ=rG] #
– not 4.rGxd5(bK= brLE)?? – self-check!!
II.1.Qb3 cxb3 [wrK=rQ] 2.rQg3 LEe3 3.Ga3 + LExa3 [wrQ=rG] #
– not 4.rGxa3(bK= brLE)?? – self-check!!
Realization of the KoBul fairy condition with activity of the both KoBul Kings:
– Active phase of the white KoBul King after sacrifice of the white Q – transformation to the Royal Q, which moves to the mating positions.
– Passive phase of the white Kobul King on the mating move – transformation to the Royal G, which has no possible moves to avoid the mate.
– Passive phase of the black KoBul King – the only possible defense of the white King (in the Royal G phase) – capture of the mating piece (bLE) – fails because it transforms the black King into Royal LE piece giving the self-check.
Double Ambush – black (Le) + white (rQ);
Bristol theme – wG opens lines for the second moves of bLE; ODT; Model mates.
No.3 Julia Vysotska
h#2,5*                                       (3+4)
KoBul Kings
1… … 2.Sf7 f5 3.Bf4 rSxf4 [brK=rB] #
– not 4.rBxf3(wrS=wK)?? – self-check!!
1…rSd4 2.Sg4 rSf5 3.Bf6 fxg4 [brK=rS] #
– not 4.rSxf4(wrS=wK)?? – self-check!!
The black King in the rB/rS phases can’t capture the white pawns f3/f4 because it transforms white rS into the King phase giving the self-check. Sacrifices of the black S/B with the transformation of the black King.
No. 4 Julia Vysotska & Petko A.Petkov
3rd Prize
h#2,5           2 solutions        (6+7)
KoBul Kings
Rook locust d8; Bishop locust g8
Leo b1, g3
I. 1…LEd3 + 2.rLExd3 [wrK=rLE] rLEd7 3.rLEd6 rLExa7 [brLE=rK] #
II. 1…LEb3 + 2.rLExb3 [wrK=rLE] rLEf7 3.rLEe6 rLExf3 [brLE=rK] #
Activity of the both KoBul Kings:
– Sacrifice of the white LE to the black Royal LE changes the phase of the white King to rLE, then is created a WHITE BLACK Bristol LEO –LEO!
– Battery play (direct and indirect) with the white King in LE phase with the simultaneous capturing of the black pawn for changing the phase of the black King from rLE to K and controlling the squares of the black King.

The diagrams created at ankona – www.ankona.ch – prime site for organizing chess problems: diagram images, cataloging and solving interface.

RE: Kangaroo or Lion?


It’s a great pleasure for me to present the following comment to the post “Kangaroo or Lion?” from the 23rd of April, 2012, and to the further discussion, by IGM Petko Petkov

Kangaroo or Lion?



Problem No. 4 is a very interesting work from Julia! My congratulations to her, about this nice h#2 whose mechanism is very rich and many modifications are possible here! Julia`s opus provokes also some important theoretical questions which deserve attention in practical aspect. (By the way, I accept Diyan`s proposal to change w.Pe5 with bl. Pe5).  

The author defines the thematic complex so: “Zilahi, Umnov, Critical KA-moves, cycle AB-BA of black self-block moves, creation of anti-batteries.

OK, but here is needed to add: “Line-opening for white Kangaroos after black S-moves”.  

The main theme of Julia`s problem is possible to define so: “A black piece “X” blocks square around the black King and simultaneously opens line for white piece “Y” (from Hoppers-type). “Y” makes a critical move and then White creates an anti-battery and gives mate”. 

This complex, which reminds a classical “Indian theme”, is sufficiently difficult and interesting and it can be an independent theme in many other problems.

Therefore, I recommend to the readers to apply this theme in theirs own compositions, using different fairy pieces from Hopper`s type! 

But let we return again to No. 4. Here the author marks also other motives: cycle AB-BA of black moves and theme “Zilahi”. A special attention deserves the question about “Zilahi”. In my opinion, here we have only “Half-Zilahi” (we can say also “Partial Zilahi”)! 

My argumentation: here the mates follow after play of anti-batteries. But every anti-battery is constructed from two pieces: forward battery-piece (every kind of piece can execute this function) and rear battery-piece (only Hopper-piece can execute this function). For example: in I solution: I. 1.Sxd2(A) KAe6 2.Se2(B) Be4# the forward piece is the white Bishop but the rear piece is the white Kangaroo. The joint play of these figures follow to mate.

But attention! Here Black captures only one of these pieces – white Kangaroo! Therefore there is only “half” Zilahi effect. A whole Zilahi-effect would be possible only if Black captured the both white battery-pieces!

This argumentation must be valid also for standard direct or indirect batteries.

Two Kangaroos, or only one?

According to Seetharaman`s proposal 

seetharaman says:

April 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

With the experts joining, this discussion is proving to be very interesting and educative. I have one question for the experts:

Suppose in Version 4, we remove Kangaroo e2. Now the problem can be twin (a) Diagram. (b) Move d2 to e2. The theme, play and content are unchanged. Would you prefer the twin setting with one Kangaroo less, or use two white Kangaroos for “multi solution” form ?Similar twinning possible for version 4.1 also.

N 4 can be modify to the following version – 4A :

Here we have of course one Kangaroo less but there is in N 4A no “Half-Zilahi”. In my opinion here the choice between N 4 and N 4A can be a subjective estimate of author. 

Myself I think that the version with both Kangaroos and 2 solutions is better. Speaking for economy as the main principle in Chess composition, we cannot perceive this principle as a fanatic postulate which always should be interpreted as much as possible strictly. Between two Kangaroos in N4 exists a functional thematic subordination and it is not desirable to break this important effect which have also aesthetical value. 

Whether the Lion is better?

seetharaman says:

April 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Excellent imagination to show different effects with the similar settings of Nos.4 and 6. Can No.4 be more economical if Lions are used instead of Kangaroo.?

Julia`s answer:

About the Lions: Yes, I can take off the white pawns (e5, g5) in case of Lions, but at the same time I won’t need to block the squares e2/d2 on the blacks’ second move. So, have to find some other idea for this move.For now I’ve composed 2 versions of the problem No.4 – with Lions (4.1) and with neutrals: Bishop-Lion and Rook-Lion (4.2).Of course, some more motivations are possible to the black knights on the 2nd move.

I quite agree with Julia’s opinion that in this scheme the application of Lions instead of Kangaroo changes thematic complex. N 4.1 and N 4.2 are good problems of course but here exist also some important theoretical & practical questions.

At first it is possible, for example, to change the “Queen”-Lions in 4.1 with Rook-Lion and Bishop-Lion without any other thematic modifications – Version N 4B. 

A simple rule, which have also subjective character: We should use always Rook-Lion(s) and Bishop-Lion (s) if the use of Queen-Lion (s) is not needed!  

The same rule is valid also for Kangaroos! We can define therefore three kind of Kangaroos: Queen`s Kangaroo (the well known standard type) , Rook-Kanagoo (plays only on Rook-lines) and Bishop-Kangaroo (plays only on Bishop-Lines). 

Therefore, in N4 we can change both Queen`s Kangaroos with theirs modifications: N 4C

But what says the solver?

Changing Queen`s Lion or Queen`s Kangaroo with theirs slighter analogs, we submit an economy principle. OK. But this “thrift of power” has also negative effect.

As common conclusion we can say, that all pieces from type “Hoppers” are figures with rather limited mobility. Often on a diagram such pieces even cannot play, as Bishop-Kangaroo on the square “d2” in position 4C, for example. Here also Rook-Kangaroo on “e2” is almost immovable – it can play only on “e5”. In our basic problem – N 4 from Julia, every white Kangaroo has only one move: KAd2 – to g2, and KAe2 – to h5.

Such strong limited or full limited mobility of Hoppers in every case means an easy solution, of course, if the “move-distance” is short (2 moves) and the position is not heavy. Such compositions are a “facile drink” for the solvers, from other side, the strong limited mobility of Hoppers is obviously a negative fact in aesthetical attitude.

In my opinion, all these negative effects in one or in other degree exist in problems with short number of moves and especially – in help-genres. 

In this relation I can make the following general recommendation: if it is possible, compose Your problems in 2,5, 3 or more moves, in which yours Hopper –pieces have more possibilities for play. An interesting chance in this aspect is application of neutral or half-neutral pieces.