Looking back at Chennai: WCh solving contest

12/15/2013 – One of the daily attractions of the World Championship in Chennai last November was the problem and study contests that were held in the hotel lobby during every round. Scores of competent, enthusiastic and highly motivated solvers participated. The organiser of the solving contest, C.G.S. Narayanan, kindly sent us a set for our readers to solve. You have 90 minutes to do so.

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The solving contests were staged in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, venue of the World Championship

The competitions were organised by C.G.S. Narayanan, FIDE Master for chess composition

The Hindu wrote before the start of the World Championship:

Visitors and chess enthusiasts will be able to test their skills and win prizes, and they don’t even need to play an entire game of chess. In the hotel lobby, to keep audiences engaged, the organising committee of the championship will conduct solving contests on all match days. “The participant will not have to play an entire game with his opponent, but he will have a composed position to analyse," said C.G.S. Narayanan, FIDE Master for chess composition who is coordinating the event. "The composition will try to mislead the solver with close tries. He needs to understand the composer’s idea and not fall into his trap. What matters is how quickly and gracefully he ends the game. Every participant will get to solve five problems in 90 minutes. At the end of the event, the themes of the compositions will be explained along with the solutions. The approach to a chess composition is an art in itself, very different from playing the game. It is about knowing the many ways in which you can win the game, rather than just winning it once.

C.G.S. Narayanan (51), Editor of the AICF Chronicle and an international chess problemist of repute, was awarded the title of FIDE Master for chess composition at the 56th World Congress of Chess Composition in September this year.

Every day we could watch scores of mainly young chess enthusiasts solving chess problems

Narayanan kindly sent us a set of chess problems that were presented to solvers during one of the rounds. They are given below for you to try your luck with. Remember, you have 90 minutes to solve them all. The solutions will be added to the bottom of this page in a few days.

Touw Hian Bwee – 2 Prize, Israel MT, 1962

Mate in two

C.J. Feather – 3rd Comm, Feenschach, 1970

Helpmate in two (three solutions)

We strolled amongst the participants and were witness to the intensity and
enthusiasm of the solvers. Above is a young boy working on the Feather helpmate

T. & J. Warton – Source unknown

Mate in three

Beljakin/Kopnin - I Prize, Shakmaty, 1967

Mate in three

I. Kovalenko – Shakmathy vs CCCP, 1968

White to play and win

Above right is 14-year-old IM Karthikayan Murali, whom we first met two years ago at the London Chess Classic. Karthikayan has "matured" into a well-spoken and affable young lad who participated in the problem solving contest every day – and more often than not won it. You can read more about Karthikayan in this ChessBase report.

Solutions to the above problems

Select the problem from the dropdown menu above the board

This is the task sheet presented to solvers during an different round...

... with a solver working on the first mate in two position

Frederic Friedel


The games were broadcast live on the official web site, with special coverage on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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