Solving Shows
Halkidiki, 8 and 9 September 2004

First, a brief description for those visitors who are not familiar with the Solving Show. The 16 participants are randomly paired and they compete in knock-out matches; the objective is they find the solution of directmates in 2 moves, which are displayed to them via a PC and video-projector. The problems have max. 15 pieces and the solvers have 3 minutes at their disposal per problem. If a solver thinks that he has found the solution, then he presses a button in front of him and he announces the "key" (the first move). If it is correct, he gets one point, if not then his opponent gets one point... The first one who gets 3 points wins the match. The 8 winners continue to the next round and these four maches also finish at 3 points. 4 points are necessary in the semi-finals and 5 and 6 in the finals for the third and the first place, respectively. The event is like a TV show and solvers have to be fast and careful, at the same time...

For the very first time this year, a Fairy Solving Show was also organized! This was an excellent idea, proposed by Petko Petkov (Bulgaria), who also composed all the originals (130!) to be cracked by the solvers. The twomovers featured five well-known fairy pieces (grasshopper, nightrider, locust, pao and vao) and they had no more than 15 pieces, as usual; this time, 3½ minutes per problem was allowed to the solvers.

Michal Dragoun (Czech Republic, left) was in best form and he dominated in both events against Tadashi Wakashima (Japan, right)! Thanks to L'ubomír Širáň for the photo, taken from his excellent Solving Chess site, as well as to Mike Prcic, the StrateGems editor, who donated the three book prizes for the winners.

Fairy Solving Show, 8 September 2004

Round 1                
Michel Caillaud 3           Kohey Yamada 2
Vidmantas Satkus 3           Henry Tanner 0
Michael Pfannkuche 3           Ofer Comay 0
Tadashi Wakashima 3           Dinu-Ioan Nicula 2
Eric Huber 3           Jonathan Mestel 1
Dolf Wissmann 3           Valery Kryvenko 2
Vasyl Dyachuk 3           Hitoshi Yanami 1
Michal Dragoun 3           James Quah 1
Vidmantas Satkus 3           Michel Caillaud 2
Tadashi Wakashima 3           Michael Pfannkuche 2
Dolf Wissmann 3           Eric Huber 0
Michal Dragoun 3           Vasyl Dyachuk 2
Tadashi Wakashima 4           Vidmantas Satkus 2
Michal Dragoun 4           Dolf Wissmann 0
3rd Place Match                
Vidmantas Satkus 5           Dolf Wissmann 2
1st Place Match                
Michal Dragoun 5           Tadashi Wakashima 0

Solving Show, 9 September 2004

Round 1                
Marjan Kovačević 3           Eddy van Beers 0
Michal Dragoun 3           Arno Zude 2
Dolf Wissmann 3           Ofer Comay 0
Roland Baier 3           Piotr Murdzia 1
Tadashi Wakashima 3           Mark Erenburg 2
Aleksandr Azhusin 3           Noam Elkies 0
Michael Pfannkuche 3           Vladimir Podinić 1
Jonathan Mestel 3           Eric Huber 1
Michal Dragoun 3           Marjan Kovačević 2
Roland Baier 3           Dolf Wissmann 1
Tadashi Wakashima 3           Aleksandr Azhusin 0
Michael Pfannkuche 3           Jonathan Mestel 2
Michal Dragoun 5           Roland Baier 3
Tadashi Wakashima 5           Michael Pfannkuche 1
3rd Place Match                
Roland Baier 5           Michael Pfannkuche 2
1st Place Match                
Michal Dragoun 6           Tadashi Wakashima 3