Composing Tournaments of the RIFACE 2020, C13.07.2020

The 41st RIFACE 2020 (Rencontre Internationale en France des Amateurs de Composition Echiquéenne) will take place at Dardilly (Lyon), July 11-14, 2020.

Themes of composing tournaments:

Thème aidés.pdf | Thème féerique.pdf | Thème rétro.pdf

Address to send the entries : for Helpmates and Fairies problems ; for retro problems
Time limit to send the entries : Monday 13th July
 at 15:00

Updated in Original Problems

Dear visitors/composers,
The serious update to Original Problems section has been done during the last few days. The change of code with some better ideas/implementation for keeping and presenting the tournaments with the lists of related problems. But the changes in implementation (good ones!) created some changes in the hierarchies and design and referencing links too. Applying too many changes in a short time period I’m not sure that haven’t missed something, more like sure I have! So, please, I’d be very much grateful to all of you for checking at list your own problems – if they are included in related tournaments, if the links to them work from posts and tables or published problems.

Where to look for the news? Two top menus updated:

  • Original Problems – has some general information on the main page, and two submenus for the search options. The search is also an easiest way to find your own problem by the number, to to see some selections of the problems by the given criteria. I’ll try to add some more search possibilities later.
  • Tournaments – presents current list of all informal tournaments on JF, Fairy and PG/Retro. Selecting the tournament from the list you can see the problems participating in the tournament.

Critical / important thing to check: The links to all original problems (starting No.214, Y2013) are updated the way that their URLs contain one hierarchy level less, and will always look like (where NNNN – the number of your problem) – this is how you can always find your problem if even some direct links are broken. I hope I’ve done most of the updates on JF’s pages. PDF files (like, links in PDF awards) will be updated too. Please, please, report to me whatever bugs you see! I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but after 8 years of work, starting from zero knowledge and getting some more in a process, and also because of the necessity of update pushed by the upgrade of the environment, I had no other choice!

Please, don’t worry! Your problems are all on the place, nothing disappeared!
Whatever doesn’t work now – will be fixed!

– Julia, your editor

Fairy Terms page updated!

fairy-piecesFairy Terms
updated with some new code, new look, new possibilities

By default just some most known fairy elements are shown on the page. You can use the dropdown menus to select all or some concrete Fairy piece / Fairy condition , or you can use the empty field to enter the name / part of the name / keyword from the definition to find the selection of pieces/conditions meeting your search key. Use [RUS] checkbox to see also the definitions in Russian.

You’re welcome to enter the missing definitions to the database yourself, using the links INSERT fairy piece | INSERT fairy condition!

Well, it is just made and some more testing is needed for sure! Please, be careful with entering new fairy elements if you do so and report to me if anything goes wrong. Will see if the spammers might attack it too… 

JF-2020/I complete!

JF-2020/I complete!

Dear Friends,

So time goes fast and one more informal tournament on JF is over. And as any finished project it brings some thoughts and some emotions too… Half of this period was hard for all of us, but the summer coming with its light, and warmth and hopes for the best!

There’re general things we can think about and there’re also relatively little things, but those which can make our days. So, before thanking all of you who participated in JF-2020/I, who were patient and supportive, who were writing nice and instructive comments… I’d like to say a special THANKS to Shankar Ram! And not only for one more index page of the tournament, or for his statistics you can see on the top, but for bringing me smile every time when I read his mails! 

Dear Eric, now the competition is in your hands! I hope you’ll enjoy the work! 
Dear composers, please check one more time if your problems are included in the list of Fairy problems  JF-2020/I.

What to say more? Talking about the rational things, I have to mention that I still don’t have a judge for the next fairy competition, and that I still need to make some technical work for JF to keep it working in the future… so, I’d like to ask you to be patient and wait for me for several weeks. And if about irrational things.. I have to say at this period of isolation, of some unclearness in the air, I’m also moody, maybe more emotional about the both, positive and negative things, maybe less creative, but the same time more hardworking… Wishing to all of us to survive this emotional pressure and to support each other with our smiles! – Julia, your editor

DANKA PETKOVA – 100 MT 2020 (C15.11.2020)


On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Danka Petkova (1920-1993), mother and first chess teacher of the Bulgarian composer Petko Petkov, the grandmaster organises an International thematic tournament “Danka Petkova 100 M.T. 2020”.

The tournament will be held in three sections:

a) Direct mates in 2-4 moves.
b) Helpmates (stalemates, double ==) in 2-4 moves with at least two phases

(2 or more solutions, set play and solution, twins but no zeropositions.).
c) HS# (=, ==) in 2-4 moves with at least two phases.

The theme in each section is free , but with the obligatory use of at least one of the new Bul (Bulgarian) fairy pieces invented by Petko Petkov: Bul Grasshopper, Bul Lion, Bul PAO, Bul VAO. The colour of these 4 pieces can be white, black, neutral or semi-neutral. Also allowed are Royal pieces of Bul type. The usual kinds of G,LI, PAO and VAO are not allowed. No other fairy pieces or fairy conditions are allowed.

Originals must be sent to the organiser GM Petko Petkov: no later than November 15th, 2020
The results will be published by the end of 2020 | Prizes: books by Petko Petkov | Examples and details  in PDF announcement. Bulletin – issue 18, June 2020

Issue 18, June 2020, of the Bulletin is available online at http://Bulletin.ChessProblems.caIncludes Original problems, TT8 Award, and the Articles: Vaclav Kotesovec: Records in ser-#= PWC problems with one white piece p.876 | Jeff Coakley & Andrey Frolkin: The Continuity of Ambiguity p.885 | Arno Tungler: Series-mover Artists: Michel Caillaud p.894 | Arno Tungler: Record Breakers IX p.897

The bulletin is published by Cornel Pacurar since March 2014 and is mainly dedicated to Fairies, Series-Movers in particular.

Originals June 2020




Original Problems JF-2020/I


June, 2020

The judge of JF-2020/I: Eric Huber
The judge of Retro & PG problems 2019-2020: Vlaicu Crișan

Dear friends, I’m sorry for the unstable work of JF during the last week of June! Some changes from the hoster’s side, moving to the new platform, the same way some work I have to do as part of my code is not compatible with the new requirements.
Now the half-year competition JF-2020/I is over, all awaiting problems published. Please, wait with your next sending until the new tournament will be announced not earlier than in the middle of July! I need some time for technical work to keep JF up and running.

  • (30.06) No.1521 (PG 5.0 ; Transmission menace) Eric Huber (Romania).
  • (30.06) No.1520 (ser-h#25 ; Circe Equipollents) Chris Feather (England).
  • (29.06) No.1518, 1519Petko Petkov (Bulgaria). No.1518 (h=4 ; Bul Grasshopper) Dedicated to Christian Poisson! No.1519 (h#2 ; Bul VAO, Bul PAO) In Memoriam to my mother Danka Petkova.
  • (29.06) No.1517 (h#2 ; Rook-Lion, Bishop-Lion) Ladislav Salai jr. (Slovakia).
  • (29.06) No.1516 (hs#3.5 ; Circe Power Transfer) Cornel Pacurar & Adrian Storisteanu (Canada).
  • (13.06) No.1289.1 (h#2.5 ; Bishop-Lion, Rook-Hopper) Francesco Simoni (Italy). A version to the problem  No.1289 from the tournament JF-10/2017-3/2018 (the Award from 03.02.2019).
  • (13.06) No.1515 (hs#3.5) Valerio Agostini & Mario Parrinello (Italy).
  • (12.06) No.1514 (h#4 ; Bul Grasshopper) Sébastien Luce (France).
  • (11.06) No.1513 (hs#3 ; Grasshopper ; Make & Take) Stephan Dietrich (Germany).
  • (10.06) No.1496.1 (-14 & #1 Proca ; Anti-Circe) Paul Rãican & Klaus Wenda (Romania/Austria). Improved version after a cook 1.Kc5:Rd5(>Ke1) Rd8-d5+ -2.Pf7:Se8=B(>Bf1) & 1.Kb6# discovered in No.1496.

All previously published problems & informal competitions you can find on the top menu page of Original Problems or its subsections. 

Animated diagrams use Py2Web by Dmitri Turevski and WinChloe‘s graphics, Christian Poisson


~ ~ ~   60 Jubilees!  ~ ~ ~ 

Judge: Francesco Simoni (Italy)
Judge: Petko A. Petkov (Bulgaria)

Judge: Paz Einat (Israel)
Helpmates in 3,5 or more moves showing the Perpetuum mobile theme are required. By making the key, a new problem comes out, which is solved by returning the key piece to the starting square. In addition…. -> Are required Helpselfmate (HS≠) in n moves with any kind of cyclic play; all fairy pieces and conditions are allowed. The problems must be cheked (C+) by any known solving program.  Are required ≠2, free theme. Fairy pieces or conditions are not allowed. 

All problems will be submitted to the judge anonymously. Deadline 31/12/2020.
Send originals by e-mail to the tournament director Antonio Garofalo:

See examples in the PDF announcement (English and Italian).

229th theme tourney of the Schwalbe

schwalbe-logo229th theme tourney of the Schwalbe

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Franz Pachl,
the Schwalbe announces a THEME TOURNEY.

Required are helpselfmates in 2-4 moves where the mating move is performed by a neutral piece (not by a semi-neutral one!). Fairy pieces and conditions are allowed. Twins (including zero positions) and multiple solutions are allowed, but all phases must be thematic.
Tourney director: Rainer Kuhn, e-mail: | Judge: Franz Pachl (Ludwigshafen) | Prize money: 200 €
Closing date: July 08, 2020 (postmark or date of email) | The award will be published in the February issue of Die Schwalbe 2021.

Originals May 2020




Original Problems JF-2020/I


May, 2020

The judge of JF-2020/I: Eric Huber
The judge of Retro & PG problems 2019-2020: Vlaicu Crișan

Coming soon: Paul Raican (Romania) & Klaus Wenda (Austria), Stephan Dietrich (Germany), Sébastien Luce (France), Valerio Agostini & Mario Parrinello (Italy), Francesco Simoni (Italy), Adrian Storisteanu (Canada)

  • (29.05) No.1512 (Ser-h#24 ; Neutral pieces ; Alphabetic Chess, Circe, Einstein Chess, Republican Chess, Take&Make Chess) Michael Grushko (Israel).
  • (27.05) No.1511 (h#2 ; LEO, PAO, VAO) Michael McDowell (Great Britain). “I seem to be going through a little burst of fairy composition at the moment!” (Author)
  • (27.05) No.1510 (PG 8.5 ; Alphabetic Chess) Andrew Buchanan (Hong Kong) & Thomas Thannheiser (Germany). “We are currently working together on “Shortest Shorstes Proofgames”. Enclosed our longest problem. We want to summarize the others in an article (coming soon) on the topic.” (Authors).
  • (24.05) No.1509 (PG 9 ; Fuddled Men) Stephen Emmerson (U.K.). Inspired by No.1505 by Bernd Gräfrath.
  • (24.05) No.1508 (h#2 ; Take & Make) Frank Richter & Daniel Papack (Germany). Warm welcome to Frank in Original problems section of JF!
  • (15.05) No.1507 (hs#4 ; Cardinal ; KoeKo) Anatoly Stepochkin (Russia).
  • (14.05) No.1506 (hs#3.5 ; Superguards, Take&Make) Vlaicu Crișan (Romania) & S.K.Balasubramanian (India).
  • (13.05) No.1505 (PG 10.5 ; Fuddled Men) Bernd Gräfrath (Germany). Dedicated to Siegfried Hornecker.
  • (12.05) No.1504 (s#13 ; Spiralspringer) Torsten Linß (Germany).
  • (12.05) No.1503.1-3 by Alexandre Leroux and No.1503.4 by François Labelle (Canada) – original PG problems presented in the article by Alexandre Leroux “Pandemic: a new fairy condition.  The article is included in the Articles section of JF. But 4 original problems marked 1503.1-4 will participate in the current Retro/PG tournament. My special gratitude to the author for wonderful technical preparation of the article, including html/animation and PDF version!
  • (05.05) No.1502 (PG 9.5 ; Anti-Take&Make) Paul Raican (Romania) & Michel Caillaud (France).
  • (03.05) No.1501 (hs#3 ; Masand) Kenneth Solja (Finland).

All previously published problems & informal competitions you can find on the top menu page of Original Problems or its subsections. 

Animated diagrams use Py2Web by Dmitri Turevski and WinChloe‘s graphics, Christian Poisson