Congress Quick Composing Tourney
Section B: Helpmates in 2 moves
Judge: Harry Fougiaxis & Pavlos Moutecidis (Greece)

The first black move opens a line for a black piece, and/or the first white move opens a line for a white piece, which subsequently plays along this line in the second move. At least 2 solutions are required. Twins and duplex are allowed, but no zero-positions.

39 compositions were submitted, a satisfactory number for a quick tourney. The average level was good. Unfortunately, some nice entries proved to be anticipated: Michal Dragoun (Kh2/Ke5) by Claude Goumondy feenschach 1981 (P0542311) and Claude Goumondy Schach-Echo 1982 (P0543744), Gruber/Maeder/Rehm/Widlert (Kg7/Kd4) by Josif Kricheli 1 Pr Schachmaty v SSSR 1972 (P0527819), Dieter Müller Schach 1979 (P0533491) and bernd ellinghoven 3 Place WCCT 1972-75 (P0547765), Michel Caillaud (Kd7/Ke4) by Toma Garai Scacco! 1986 (P0566519) and Franz Pachl 2 Pr Boletim da UBP 1988 (P0504106).

The Kopyl/Krivenko/Pogorelov entry (Ka4/Ke5) is not thematic, since the black queen evacuates the square d5 and does not open lines for the T/L.

H. Gruber, T. Maeder
H-P. Rehm, K. Widlert
1 Pr H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Valery Gurov
Rashid Usmanov
2 Pr H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Aleksandr Semenenko
Valery Semenenko
3 Pr H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
b) pb3<=>Kd3
b) pg2=>f2
b) Kd5=>g1

1st Prize: Hans Gruber, Thomas Maeder, Hans-Peter Rehm & Kjell Widlert
a) 1.g2 Kc6+! (Kc5?) 2.Lxd6 Lc4#
b) 1.exf3 Kc5+! (Kc6?) 2.Txe6 Td3#
Excellent and very modern rendering of the theme: the wK has the plan to open either the Le6 or Td6 line so that they move and deliver mate in the next move (positive effect for White), but at the same time he gives a redundant check to the bK (negative effect for White), which Black has to cope with by opening the lines of Lh2 / Te3 respectively to capture the obtrusive white piece. One should not miss the white dual avoidance, too. All in all, an impressive achievement for a 3-hours quick composing tourney.

2nd Prize: Valery Gurov & Rashid Usmanov (Russia)
a) 1.Txd6+ Kxd6 2.Dxe3 Txe3#
b) 1.Lxf7+ Kxf7 2.Txg4 Lxg4#
The gate openings carried out by the wK are quite familiar (for instance, Torsten Linss 4 HM Boletin da UBP 1985, P0551612 and Chris Feather Moultings 1990, P0537202), but we have the feeling that the combination with the additional wL/T captures and black line openings is original enough to justify the distinction.

3rd Prize: Aleksandr & Valery Semenenko (Ukraine)
a) 1.Lxd4 Tc3 2.Dd6 e4#
b) 1.Df3+ exf3 2.Lh2 Te1#
Reciprocal gate openings for both Black and White in Meredith. The strategy is undoubtedly not deep and the motives of the B1 and W1 moves in part (a) somewhat impure, but this composition is highly thematic and to our opinion it deserves a prize. One may complain about the bK-shift twinning, yet it seems this is the only way to achieve the idea.

A. & V. Semenenko
1 HM H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Colin Sydenham
2 HM H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Menachem Witztum
3 HM H#2 Quick Comp Ty (v)
Halkidiki 2004

1st Honourable Mention: Aleksandr & Valery Semenenko (Ukraine)
i) 1.g4 Da3 2.Lf6 Lc4#
ii) 1.b5 Lg4 2.Te7 Df1#
Pure gate openings for Black to allow self-blocks, blended with mutual white D/L openings.

2nd Honourable Mention: Colin Sydenham (Great Britain)
Black: 1.e5 Tg6 2.Lc4 Lxd7#
White: 1.e5 Lg6 2.Td4 Tf3#
Gate openings for both Black and White in duplex form, with the distinctive feature that the first moves work as openings for the opposite colour, too.

3rd Honourable Mention (v): Menachem Witztum (Israel)
i) 1.Sg2 Sc1 2.Le3 Da1#
ii) 1.Sd6 Lxf3 2.De3 Dd5#
Interesting matrix with black half-pin and changed self-blocks on e3, combined with wS/D gate opening and wL/D Bahnung line clearance. This is a substantially improved version of the originally submitted problem, which avoids the drawbacks mentioned in the congress bulletin (the effects of the B1 moves did not match, the construction looked rather heavy and the twinning was weak, since it involved displacement of one of the thematic pieces.)

Hannu Harkola
4 HM H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Jean Haymann
5 HM H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
b) bTg6
b) pa3=>e3

4th Honourable Mention: Hannu Harkola (Finland)
a) 1.Kf6 Sd3+ 2.Tf5 Lh4#
b) 1.Kh4 Se4+ 2.Tg3 Tf4#
The white play and the black self-pins are, of course, well-known (refer to PDB No. P0527819, P0533491 and P0547765), yet the black gate openings are novel.

5th Honourable Mention: Jean Haymann (Israel)
a) 1.Lc7 Sh5 2.b5 Tc6#
b) 1.Sb4 Sg4 2.Lb5 Ld4#
Black and white gate openings with changed self-blocks on b5 in somewhat unbalanced execution: B1 move is interference in part (a), but self-block in (b), while the W1 move is unpin in (a) and interference in (b).

Ivan & Gligor Denkovski
Nikola Stolev
Com H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Johan de Boer
Com H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
Igor Vereshchagin
Com H#2 Quick Composing Ty
Halkidiki 2004
b) Kg6=>h2
b) Sb3=>d4

Commendation: Ivan & Gligor Denkovski, Nikola Stolev (Macedonia)
a) 1.Kf5 c3 (c4?) 2.Tg6 Txf2#
b) 1.Kg2 c4 (c3?) 2.Th2 Lxe4#
Gate openings by the white pawn with dual avoidance due to wD line closures and pin-mates; pity that the black moves are not thematic.

Commendation: Johan de Boer (Netherlands)
i) 1.Se6 f3! (f4?) 2.Le5 Se7#
ii) 1.Sc6 f4! (f3?) 2.De4 Sc7#
Gate openings by the black knight with dual avoidance based on pinning and guard in light setting with model mates.

Commendation: Igor Vereshchagin (Russia)
a) 1.Sd7 Sc5 2.0-0-0 Db7#
b) 1.Dg7 Sxf5 2.0-0 Dxg7#
Interesting black gate openings to allow castlings, but the white play, even if thematic, is rather pale.