Chess Informant 50th Jubilee Tourney (2)

by Yochanan Afek
6/27/2017 – A while ago we brought you the prize-winners of the composition tournaments, run by Yochanan Afek for the Chess Informant (Šahovski Informator). Today we present the "honourable mentions", special prizes and commendations, for you to enjoy. The studies are given on JavaScript boards where you can enter move to analyse – and the full solutions are provided at the end, where you can check the lines with engine support, all on the report page.

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Chess Informant – 50th Jubilee Tourney

Final award by Yochanan Afek

The world famous chess periodical Sahovski Informator, founded in 1966 by GM Alexander Matanovic who headed a group of strong and enthusiastic players, celebrated its 50th anniversary by organizing an International composing tourney for endgame studies. Privileged to act as its judge I received 36 anonymous entries from the tourney director Gady Costeff, to whom I am grateful for his invaluable assistance in checking the candidate entries for soundness and originality.

The general standard of the field was very good. I gave some priority to players' friendly entries i.e. those with “digestible” settings as well as comprehensive ideas and solutions. Most of the entries luckily did match these unwritten requests. Personally I am not particularly fond of artificial efforts to stretch a sufficiently lengthy solution by either multiple piece exchanges (in this case on the very same square) or unnecessary BTM stipulation.

Two of the more serious candidates suffering from these flaws I decided to allow a second chance in another tourney instead of ranking them low. Two other entries improved on prize-winners from previous major events which I had judged. I hesitated before deciding to award each of them a deserved special honourable mention.

Here is my top ranking. You know that you can move the pieces on the board to analyse the positions. So why not try to solve them before looking at the solutions at the end.

S. Slumstrup Nielsen, Denmark, First honourable mention


All three white pieces are sacrificed in the course of a fierce struggle to keep the seventh rank closed in order to secure promotion.

You probably know that on our JavaScript board you can move pieces to analyse, and even start an engine to help you. You can maximize the replayer, auto-play, flip the board and even change the piece style in the bar below the board. At the bottom of the notation window on the right there are buttons for editing (delete, promote, cut lines, unannotate, undo, redo) save, play out the position against Fritz and even embed our JavaScript replayer on your web site or blog. Hovering the mouse over any button will show you its function.

M. Miljanic, Serbia, Second honourable mention


A very attractive logical miniature displaying an original reciprocal zugzwang.

A. Rusz, Hungary, Third honourable mention


A surprising capture refusal allows the single tempo required for dominating the black knight. A pleasant discovery!

J. Polasek, Czech Republic, Special honourable mention


A fine improvement on H. van der Heijden, 4th Prize Olympic tourney Dresden 2008 in which I acted as the judge. Here we witness two additional logical tries, significantly upgrading the original version which should naturally be regarded as a partial anticipation.

V. Tarasiuk, Ukraine, Special honourable mention


Another significant improvement on an earlier study by L. Tarasiuk, 4th prize, FIDE Cup 2015, in which I acted as the judge.

P. Arestov, Russia & V.Tarasiuk, Ukraine – Special Prize


The final pin stalemate is not new (Kasparyan, 1st Pr. Revista Romana de Sah 1938); however the tactical play leading to it is well constructed.

S. Slumstrup Nielsen, Denmark, Second commendation


Two Black Q+ B batteries, unleashed against the white monarch, are unable to tame the advanced pawn owing to white's accurate play.

Replay all the solutions on our analytical board

Yochanan was born (1952) and grew up in Tel-Aviv, and now lives in Amsterdam. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of chess, both as a professional and a volunteer, for the last 50 years, and remains an active player, composer, writer, organizer, trainer and commentator. He is an International Master and International Arbiter for chess as well as International Grandmaster for chess composition, and the author of Extreme Chess Tactics (Gambit 2017) and Practical Chess Beauty (Quality Chess 2018).


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