The Problemist 2020-2021

Строгий судья конкурса Стеффен Нильсен отметил только половину участвовавших этюдов:
“В итоге я отобрал 25 этюдов, хотя чувствовал, что легко мог бы присудить 35 почетных и похвальных отзывов”.

1 приз. Два слона решили сбежать с шахматной доски. Добежали до бортика и узнали, что слоны могут покинуть доску только после того, как их зарежут. Фильмец так себе, на любителя систематической беготни.

2 приз. Во дворе у детворы хватило фантазии прицепить консервную банку к хвосту кота, чтобы он бежал быстрее. А два шахматных кузнеца подковали блоху лошадиными подковами, чтобы она допрыгнула до приза. Удивительно, как эта блоха с таким балластом взлетела так высоко.

3 приз. Я ждал обычное слабое превращение, а двинулся слон – пошел по минам отрезать ладью. Икнулось, но без отрыжки. Значит, блюдо было хорошим, но немного сухим – на две звезды.

4 приз. Идея одного отшельника-фейсбучника.

Спецприз. Я понимаю, чем отличается российский мхедрулецкий от грузинского мхедрулишвили, но не вижу оснований переименовывать мхедрулецкого в мхедрульян.

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2 месяцев назад
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2 месяцев назад
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2 месяцев назад
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Я привел один и тот же этюд, но из двух разных баз, в качестве комментария к этюду Я. Тиммана, который был удостоен специального приза в данном конкурсе. Ведь не каждый может войти в базу Х. ван Хейгена. И теперь можно сравнить и поговорить об оригинальности идеи.Обращаю внимание на то, что этюд был составлен почти четверть столетия назад. То есть в докомпьютерную эпоху. Тогда теория эндшпиля была не такая, как сейчас. А потому тогда понадобилось ввести слона, без которого Я. Тимман обошелся теперь. Но я считал. и считаю сейчас, что это было вполне оправданно. Ведь в итоге получилась миниатюра в аристократическом исполнении. Я остался удовлетворен работой. Ведь как этюдист-синтезатор я тогда соединил две известные позиционные ничьи. Одна из них — в финале этюда. Вторая — Мхедрули — во вступлении. Я. Тимман добавил еще несколько ходов, чтобы получить версию этюда, в корректности которой в настоящее время не стоит сомневаться..

Chiga
Chiga
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

В фейсбуке у Жукова была очень похожая позиция ещё в 2018. Как картинку прикрепить, так и не понял…

Chiga
Chiga
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

Ага, спасибо

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Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад

Lots of studies at HM level, indeed, but prizes?

Costeff is a genius, but not everything he does is ingenious. La chasse au fou ne vaut pas une messe: too much stuff on the board for a rather superficial idea. Not every existence proof is beautiful. (Also, what makes the try 2. Ra8? “thematic”, given that the bishop hunt is the theme? It looks to me like a normal try or even secondary line.)

I don’t like the introduction of the Avni/Minski study. The idea of the study, which is good, deserves something lighter and more coherent with the final.

Timman third prize, okay, good play, but more game-like than artistic.

The Stavrietsky/Timman study (sp. prize) is the one I like best. Really wonderful.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

I am neither enthusiastic about the prize studies, but which ones should Steffen have chosen instead? None of the honorable mentions and commendations struck me (at first sight) as a strong candidate. Perhaps the second commendation could be ranked higher, the content is good and instructive, but for a prize, something is missing. So the only option seems not to award a prize at all…

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

A question, from a terrible newbie, to Jan and Serhiy: what’s wrong with Costeff’s first prize?
Does it lack surprises? Has a bad initial position? Not enough artistic content? Weak technique shown?
Or a simple bad overall impression?
Steffen is not an indulgent judge, expecially about grotesque positions, but here he had no doubts. So didn’t Steffen understand anything giving Costeff the first prize?
I am missing some point … or many points.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

I see your point. My first reaction was an astonishment, like “Wow, such a mechanism can be created and made possible?”. The keyword here is “mechanism”. This seems like a research task that has a chessboard as research field. And this can be exciting! But I agree that one can like it or not.

Probably it’s a matter of points of view. In our case, I guess they’re totally opposites.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti

The Russian word for “task” and (chess) “problem” is the same: задача.

Research tasks belong to tasks/problems, not to studies. They can be fascinating intellectual achievements, but they are often suffocating the play. And studies, like OTB chess, are about play! Even if a Babson or an eight-knight promotion were possible in a study, they would be the most ugly monsters ever.

As always, there are exceptions, but probably not Costeff’s study. The board is cut into two halves, with a great wall in the middle and lots of stuff that is just standing around. Perhaps it would have been to better to present the naked idea (1. Bg7! etc.) and to take off some of the material (if possible).

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

I have thought many times to a possible complete Babson in a study. And I also tried to compose one, just for fun. Surely, if it exists, is a terrible position with a terrible play. But if someone will find it, it will be a monumental achievement, in my opinion! The limits of chess composing pushed even further.

You got the point, however. “Fascinating intellectual achievements”. This is very close to my concept of chess composition. I think that this aspect should be separated from the play. Maybe two types of studies exist: play studies, and achievement studies. And one can choose and dedicate to his favourite, or maybe both, why not?

Chess_poet
Chess_poet
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Didukh

Да, спецприз можно было дать, вместо первого приза. В задачах это было бы призом.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад

I guess Gady composed the first-prize study for this event because he knew Steffen’s love for systematic movements. So he created a nice study on this topic.
But there are several awarded studies that I didn’t like and some of them have already been mentioned here.
The main problem is that Steffen judges mostly according to his taste and a good judge must judge not according to his taste. He must evaluate all the elements of the study.
Studies are not only systematic movements.
I sent 3 studies to the tournament. Not my best, because I knew that even if I sent my best study, Steffen wouldn’t evaluate it enough.
But even in this case I was very surprised that none of my studies were awarded. At least one HM or commendation… The studies are not so bad… The explanations also present in my opinion the taste of the judge.

I only hope that in the 2019-2021 album the judgment will not be based on personal taste or the name of the composer and the best studies will be chosen…

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

For once I agree with Serhiy. It’s impossible to evaluate a study without basing on personal taste. Otherwise, a well-instructed computer could judge studies with perfect objectivity, basing on rigid pre-decided parameters. And no human contribute would be necessary…

Michael, probably Steffen does not like your composing style, but that’s not necessarily a problem. Just send your studies elsewhere, trying to find a competition judged by someone who likes your compositions. I guess we all do this, more or less (even if someone it’s funny to “risk”, as I did sending some of mine to this site contest 🙂 ).

About judging the names and not the studies: it’s inevitable, as I wrote in another comment. Full impartiality and objectivity is for robots, not for human beings. That’s why I prefer to send studies to formal tourneys: at least the submission are anonymous.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

Michael, before we speculate about whether or not Steffen (or any other judge) likes or dislikes your style: we composers tend to overestimate our own studies. This is natural. I am no exception. If you think yourself that the studies you sent to TP are so-so, probably the judge thought the same. Steffen also mentions in his report that you composed some great studies recently, so I would not be too worried for the FA.

Moreover, what do you want with a commendation? You are an ambitious composer. Personally, if my study is at least somewhat ambitious (and not just a “Gelegenheitskomposition”), I prefer no distinction at all to a commendation.

You can also post the studies here and then we can discuss whether they would have merited inclusion into the award. It’s better to discuss about studies than about judges 🙂 (that’s also what Martin told me after my rants about the WCCI).

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

Jan, I do not agree with you that we can’t criticize judges. Sometimes composers spend weeks to create a beautiful study and some judge don’t like some element of a study
and do not look on it deeper. It hurts our hobby.
Don’t be a judge if you don’t have time to look on a study more carefully.
I understand, that I can choose next time not to send study to judge that I don’t agree with him, but what happens if this judge judges an event like Fide Album ?
I have no choice and this judge will decide about my study, which I prepared for a completely different judge. 
And Daniele, you say that may be a judge doesn’t my composing style – but it is impossible. I have no specific style,
I compose each study in different way . Also in this tournament – all 3 studies were composed each in a different style.
You mean by that , that the judge looks who the composer is instead of looking at the study. This is absolutely not correct! A judge must look at the study and not who is the composer.
And regarding my attached studies : 
The first study is from my first studies (end of 2019), ironically it is on the subject of thematic movement…
I sent this study before I knew who the tournament judge would be and it was published on 1/2020. I composed most of it when I was with my daughter in London, while she attended the Royal Academy of Dance and Ballet course (she received it as a prize).
So I called it “dancing rook”. By the way even computers do not find the solution here. 
The second study is endgame, with few nice elements. I also checked that this study is not anticipated and the position has not appeared before.
The third study is something special – I haven’t seen anything like this before – white promotes knight on first move in a complicated position, while queen promotion is a very interesting thematic try.
Only at the end white promotes second knight with ideal mate. I know that a drawback of the study is that 2 pieces where captured unmoved in main line, but it is not too important, because those pieces are very active in the study and are moving in alternate lines.
Yes, I also usually don’t like unmoved pieces, but in this case it is is strongly compensated by the main idea. If Nielsen didn’t like this study because of this reason – then how he awarded first prize with 2 unmoved black pieces ?
Good judge looks on all elements of the study and not disqualifies study because of one element he didn’t like.

Martin Minski
Martin Minski
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

Michael, is that a masterpiece?
I think that’s boring .

A study does not get better or worse when judged by a judge.

Everyone who participates in a tournament “risks” the judge’s judgment. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to participate.

There is no guarantee that a study will be included in the FIDE Album. But there are three judges. That’s more objective than just one.

You should write some awards, then you’ll see how hard it is to live up to everything.

Steffen is a good judge because he takes all styles into account.

I recommend formal tournaments.
Either the study is in the award or you can publish it somewhere else.
Several times a study by me was not in the award and on the second attempt first prize and FIDE album. This is all normal. Don’t take it so seriously and important.

All “injustices” balance each other out.

From my point of view you are now a great composer. You no longer need to complain. You’d better accept that Minski and Nielsen, for example, don’t think this study is that great.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Martin Minski

You didn’t read what I write before. I write that these are not of my good studies. I just expected at least to receive some commendation or HM.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

I remember this study, you posted it also on Facebook. And I liked it! I found it amusing and entertaining to watch.
Maybe it’s not a masterpiece but surely it could deserve a HM or at least a commendation.
But judging is not only carefully studying all variations. This could be true for some sort of studies, deep and intricated ones. This, instead, looks simple in its idea and flow. It’s immediately comprehensible, and an impression can immediately raise, whether good or bad. Maybe this is the reason why it was not awarded: could have left a bad impression, maybe boring as Martin says. We cannot influence the judge’s personal taste and emotional reaction to different forms of composition. Would you award a prize to a study that left you no emotions or sensations? Surely not.

In important tourneys as FIDE albums, it’s the same. Judges of FIDE album are not robots, are humans, and have a lot of work to do. Probably so much work that they are more confident in their feelings than calculations. But this is a supposition of mine, of course.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti

Which one do you mean ? There are 3 studies in the list. All of them I also shared in facebook , and people liked them . There are some people (also composers) that liked very much some specific study. But to dislike all 3 of the studies looks something strange for me

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

I meant the Kd5-Kd1 one.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

Why strange? It is not a conjuration … I see your studies constantly winning prizes, HMs, commendations … More than me for sure! And Steffen wrote in his award that he could have awarded at least 35 studies instead of 25, but they were too many. Maybe yours were in those 10.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti

This is not a problem. I can live with the fact that some judge dislikes my studies. As you wrote, I can send to other tournaments, where there are other judges. But if the same judge is judging in FIDE album, and he also will dislike my studies in Fide Album – this will really be not fair. Judge that is watching who is composer and not what is the study must not judge on official Fide event. Of course , I don’t know if it is the case, and may be I am wrong and there is nothing personal in this judgement. And I don’t say this just for this specific case. It is in general. I think every judge must forget what he thinks about the composer and to look on every study specifically.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

That’s right, but seems that you’re calling a personal matter without evidence that there is any. Who told you that Steffen’s judgement was based more on the composer’s name, rather than on the studies themselves? It’s your suspicion but there’s no proof. As you can have no proof even in general case, unless you have a declared war with someone.

By the way, if you want the judge to completely forgot about the composer and be totally objective, the only way is the anonymous submission of formal tourneys.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

Maybe the judge did not dislike them, but simply liked others more.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

I would like to add another point. I don’t think that judges are intentionally and sadistically willing to ruin our work of months just to see our sad face when we discover that our study won nothing. I don’t think that someone says “Oh, this is Pasman’s (or Gatti’s) study, I have to disqualify it, he deserves it!”. Except for some psychological subjection to great champion-composers (which can lead you to give higher rankings to their studies), we barely know each other, so it does not make any sense this idea. I think judges just decide if a study pleased them or not. When I like a study of mine and it does not win anything (a frequent situation), I don’t think that someone wanted to punish me, but that they simple did not like or did not understand my expression 🙂 Another person would have made the opposite. So I was unlucky or not too smart in the selection of the tournament. That’s all!

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

Here are my two cents:

I like the rook vs knight endgame since it is indeed instructive. The tablebase lines don’t worry me too much since the win is always based on responding to Nb2 with Rh4. This is commendation level for me: nothing really new, the manoeuvres are in endgame books, but a clean implementation and a good way of underlining the zugzwang mechanism and the futility of the h-pawns. On a generous day, I would even consider a HM because of the nice intro with 1… c5.

I find the pawns against knight endgame a bit boring. We have seen a zillion of similar zz malyutkas by Kuzmichev. *yawn* Perhaps a more technically oriented judge would appreciate.

And I agree with Steffen that the introductory play in the tactical study is too violent. One capture of an unmoved piece, or one heavy exchange, perhaps, but you have three exchanges and two captured pieces on the original square. This is simply too much. Trash bin.

You have also used elements of the final before. I forgot in which study you used a tactic similar to e5+. The final checkmate is also identical to your UAPA 14 study. So it is really unclear on which grounds this study should be in the award.

The 1st HM from the World Cup (perhaps yours?) is a better implementation of the theme. You have also other good studies with knight promotion and checkmate. A given theme does not yield an infinity of commendable works.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

Thank you for your time, Jan. I like your comments and agree with them partially.
As I said, I also am not completely satisfied with exchanges in third study. 
But on the other hand first promotion of the knight in full of pieces position is very surprising and different from other similar studies. I also received support about that from others. 
But I understand that it may be a matter of taste.
About the 1st HM from the World Cup – I only can say that it is not mine, but I still want to maintain anonymity about my study in this event (and about whether the study is even on the awards list…)

Steffen Nielsen
Steffen Nielsen
2 месяцев назад

I agree with Daniele and Serhiy that it is not possible to put aside ones personal tastes. No need in hiding them.

Things I value more than the average judge (incomplete list):

  • Ambition (even task-ish)
  • Natural starting position (but ambition trumphs)
  • Flow
  • Long tactical studies (like Minski and Avni’s for the Problemist, which I don’t think needs an economical introduction, Jan)
  • Epic studies
  • Visual effects (Shock!)
  • Clarity in the lines
  • Game-like elements (for instance pawn structures known from specific openings)

Things I value less than the average judge (incomplete list):

  • Mutual zugzwang
  • Classical (ideal) mate studies. I believe I find the build up too predictable (in most cases).
  • Studies with gradual progress and repeated patterns, like Pasman’s no 1 for the Problemist or special prize for FIDE World Cup (composer still unknown).
  • Some material distributions like RR vs RN or RN vs pawns. Also numerous pieces vs queen.
  • Studies based on known endgame theory (since I am no expert on that, I might miss the point if it is not explained to me by the composer)
  • Abstract connection between moves (like changed play, cyclical stuff etc)
  • Logical studies without additional entertainment
  • Minor promotions, phenix theme

I was not aware that I have a special fondness for systematic movements (I made only 4 of those studies myself). But it is true, that I have awarded such studies quite a lot in the past, so there is probably some truth to that.

And true, I will probably tend to spend less time on evaluating studies that don’t correspond to my preferences. But for the Album I will make an exception. Only 1000 studies to go…

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Steffen Nielsen

Thank you for the effort in putting down this rather exhaustive list, Steffen. Useful guide for the Minski & Nielsen tournament. 🙂

I guess originality is supposed to be part of ambition (making something nobody did/managed to do before)?

Coherence of the plot of a study is also important, imho. Introductions should be as thematic as possible and feature additional material only to the degree that it underlines the main expressive idea of the study. “Main expressive idea” is, of course, not to be confused with the final pointe.

Pasman
Pasman
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Steffen Nielsen

What you like it may be good for Minski & Nielsen tournament , but it can’t be good for official Fide Album.
Many other judges and composer like exactly opposite things that you like and so Fide Album can’t be judged by these principles.
The studies sent to this album were composed not for your taste.
Even if you will say that there are other judges, still 33% is too much and may prevent good studies from entering the album.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
2 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Pasman

This issue could be solved recruiting more judges. For the WCCI each study is judged by 5 judges, for FIDE album only 3. But even with 5 judges, or 10, the main problem remains the same: how will you ensure that all those judges will be perfectly objective? Keeping in mind that chess composition is an art and then perfect objectivity cannot exist as a principle?