ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney Awards – Part five

by ChessBase
5/19/2012 – "Congratulations to ChessBase on attracting such high quality entries!" writes problem expert David Friedgood. "The first prize winner is truly amazing, showing a fight of rare equality of brilliance between the protagonists." There were many more laudatory messages from problemists and amateurs alike. Today's studies are from USA, Spain, France, Argentina and Hungary. Final installment.

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of ChessBase in June last year the Israeli IM and study composer Yochanan Afek, together with ARVES, the Dutch-Flemish Association for Endgame Study, announced a commemorative composing tourney for endgame studies (win or draw). There were no restrictions on the type of study. ChessBase offered some of their products as prizes. First prize: A copy of the famous Fritz program signed by over-the-board world champions. Special prizes were reserved for the best composing debutants. GM Dr. John Nunn (Great Britain), three-times world champion for solving, was appointed tourney judge, while the tourney director was Luc Palmans (Belgium), chairman of ARVES (an international association promoting the art of the endgame study).

The ChessBase-25 Study Tourney

Award by John Nunn

A total of 73 eligible entries were received for this tourney, an excellent response from composers. As might be expected with so many entries, the level was variable, but the average standard was high with many interesting and original studies. The studies were given to me without the composers’ names and in the end I included 22 in the award.

Tournament judge Dr John Nunn

In part five I present the next set of prize winners, once again as diagrams. At the bottom of the page you will find the solutions, replayable on the ChessBase JavaScript board. I urge you to try and solve the studies yourself with the help of the notes provided before you look at the solutions.

Robinson,Yechiel, CB 25 revised, 3rd Comm, 2011

White to play and win

A simple but neat tablebase position in which considerable content is condensed into just a few moves. The first move, blocking the rook and knight battery, is already unexpected, and on the second move White allows Black to take his knight with check. If the knight is taken, White’s king performs a switchback, firing the battery which was set up in a masked form by his first move.

Gomez,Luis, CB 25 revised, 4th Comm, 2011

White to play and win

The sacrifice of White’s rook leads to a battle in which his bishop-pair overcomes the numerically superior enemy force. The accurate move 7 Be8 leads either to a technical win on material or to a neat mate. The numerous black pawns mar the initial position.

Pallier,Alain, CB 25, 5th Comm, 2011

White to play and draw

The main point of this study is the surprising switchback of the white knight to a8. It’s rather unfortunate that White’s kingside pawns are only there to make some sidelines work and play no real part in the main line.

Garcia,Mario Guido, CB 25, 6th Comm, 2011

White to play and draw

A complicated study in which White attempts to reach a positional draw by giving up his rook for Black’s f-pawn. It’s amazing that White has to play his rook to h1 in order to draw, but the play is rather difficult and hard to understand.

Akobia,I, Mikitovics,J, CB 25, 7th Comm, 2011

White to play and win

After some introductory play the play reduces to a tablebase position of B+2P v B with opposite-coloured bishops. In order to win this White must play with great accuracy, and while it’s an instructive position, the play is rather dry and technical.


Note that you can select the individual studies in the dropdown menu. Click on the notation will cause the board to display the position. You can also download the studies as a PGN file to replay and analyse with Fritz.

This completes the provisional award of the ChessBase-25 Study Tourney. Claims of anticipation or unsoundness should be sent to the tourney director Luc Palmans (palmans.luc at before July 1st, 2012. This award will then be finalized at August 1st, 2012.

If you enjoyed these endgame studies, you may be interested to try the puzzles in John Nunn's book Endgame Challenge, which features 250 of the world's greatest endgame studies.

GM John Nunn is the Chess Director of Gambit Publications, a specialist chess publishing company, owned and run exclusively by chess masters and grandmasters. Gambit is committed to producing high-quality, instructive books suitable for all levels of chess player and currently have over 200 titles in print. Visit the Gambit website for details of current and forthcoming books.


ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney
08.06.2011 – Special occasions in the chess world are often accompanied by a chess composition tourney. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of ChessBase, the Israeli study composer IM Yochanan Afek, together with the Dutch-Flemish Association for Endgame Study, ARVES, has announced a commemorative tourney. All are invited to test their creative skills.
ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney Awards – Part one
30.04.2012 – Special occasions in the chess world are often celebrated by chess problemists with a composition tourney. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of ChessBase we staged a commemorative tourney. A total of 73 eligible entries were received for this tourney, an excellent response. The tourney judge Dr John Nunn selected 22 prize winners and commendations. Today we bring you the top four.

ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney Awards – Part two
30.04.2012 – This tourney attracted wide participation – 73 entries, from which the tourney judge GM John Nunn selected 22 prize winners and commendations. In a second instalment of new studies, selected by the tourney judge, Dr Nunn, in his wonderful explanatory style, presents some dramatic themes, and also looks at two predecessors to one of the prize winning entries.

ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney Awards – Part three
30.04.2012 – We continue our tour of chess studies, guided by GM John Nunn, who explains the finer points with great care. The studies were all submitted as part of a composing tourney to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ChessBase last June and came from all over the world. In today's installment we encounter studies from Ukraine, Germany, Austria, Russia and Holland.
ChessBase 25 Composing Tourney Awards – Part four
01.05.2012 – We come to the Honourable Mentions and the Commendations in the tourney. Four studies by composers from the USA, Hungary, Norway and Germany. One of the studies was the successful correction of an earlier attempt which had a "cook" in the second move. The tourney judge, Dr John Nunn, presents each study and then explains it in a way that even non-experts can understand. Enjoy.

Anniversary articles for 25 years of ChessBase

ChessBase is 25 – everything 25% off in our shop
19.05.2011 – It is difficult to determine the exact date when ChessBase was born. Was it when a science journalist and a future World Champion discussed computer databases? Or when a very talented programmer started to actually write one? We think it was when the two showed the prototype to the World Champion and decided, at his urging, to commercialise the product. That was May 19, 1986.
Greetings from Pál Benkö for 25 years of ChessBase
20.05.2011 – "Congratulations to ChessBase on your 25th anniversary! Your news page is the the first thing I look at every day when I go on the Internet. You do such wonderful work. Keep up your great service for the whole chess world." Heartening words from legendary great chess player, theorist, author and problem composer – who in addition sent six anniversary puzzles for our readers.
ChessBase is 25: Birthday greetings from Anand
01.06.2011 – Our company was born on May 19, 1986, twenty-five years ago, and on May 19, 2011 one of our most loyal friends, World Champion Viswanathan Anand, logged into the Playchess server and sent us a ten-minute birthday greeting. It was quite moving to be reminded of the early days by one who was present at the time – and who has remained a close friend ever since. Must-watch historical video.
Kasparov on 25 Years of ChessBase
08.06.2011 – He was there at the start – actually before that, when a chess database was just an idea in the minds of a few enthusiasts. And when he saw the first prototype Garry Kasparov immediately pushed for its completion. For the 25th anniversary of ChessBase he sent us a very moving statement, recorded in his study in Moscow, describing the birth of what he calls the ChessBase generation.

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