Chess is full of artificial divisions. Over-the-board players have little contact with postal players and neither of these groups talks to problemists. Even in the little world of chess composition there is a division between problem composers and study enthusiasts. This book aims to help break down some of these barriers by introducing over-the-board players to chess problems and studies.
Basically, a chess problem is a composed position together with a target which must be achieved in a specified number of moves (e.g. mate in two, selfmate in three, etc.). There should be a (unique) solution achieving the target and it is the solver's task to uncover this solution, which is usually well hidden. A study is again a composed position, but in this case the objective is either to win or to draw, without limit on the number of moves. This is precisely one's ambition when playing a game over the board, so studies are much closer to practical play than problems and, indeed, they are frequently of value in endgame play.
On one level problems and studies may be looked on as puzzles, more refined than the daily crossword perhaps, but still puzzles. This is the point of view taken by most over-the-board players who take an interest in solving, and it is the one adopted in this book. The composer will probably have a different opinion. He may be more concerned with the fact that he has conceived a novel theme, never shown before in precisely the same way, than with whether or not his creation makes a good puzzle.
One of the most frequently debated questions about chess is whether it is a sport, a science or an art. If the hurly-burly of tournament play emphasises the sporting aspect, and the cool calculation of postal play the scientific, then the artistic element finds its best expression in the world of chess composition. Chess problems are an unusual art form in that the audience (solvers) have to participate actively, by solving the problem ...
1) Two-movers 2) Studies I 3) Three-move problems 4) Longer problems
5) Studies II 6) Helpmates 7) Selfmates and reflexmates 8) Series problems
9) Novotny, Grimshaw and Plachutta 10) Retro-analytical problems
Solutions to problems for solving
Index of composers
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