Studies with Stephenson

by ChessBase
7/18/2023 – There were three competitions in the British Chess Solving Championship. Chess problemist Brian Stephenson, who for twenty-five years directed the Championship, and has directed several World Chess Solving Championships, shows us three of the competition studies. It is your opportunity to join the competition and test your own solving skills. Or at least enjoy some very clever chess compositions.

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The Final of the Winton British Chess Solving Championship, 2022-2023, was held at Nottingham High School on Saturday 20th May this year. There were three competitions. The first was the Closed event for British solvers who’d qualified from the postal round. The second was the Minor event for those British solvers who hadn’t qualified or who were rated under 2000. This had a second, easier set of problems. The third was an Open, part of the World Solving Cup, an international grand prix of solving events. This used the same set of problems as the Closed event and featured all the British solvers in that event plus several foreign visitors. No solver could win more than one prize.

The closed event was won by David Hodge, who is thus British Solving Champion. Second was veteran solver Jonathan Mestel, just a point behind. In third place was Kamila Hryshchenko, originally from Ukraine, but now resident in Hull. The top three in the Minor Championship were Matthew Reisz, Sydney Jacob and Lyndon Gurr, all experienced solvers of long standing. The top three prizewinners in the Open were Kevinas Kuznecovas (Lithuania), Nikos Sidiropoulos (Greece) and Roland Ott (Switzerland).

The British Chess Problem Society remains extremely grateful to Winton Capital Management for their continued support of this event.

The first study the competitors in the Minor Section had to face was this nice straightforward one. In this and the following diagrams you can move the white pieces and try to solve the studies. The diagrams will defend for Black. At the bottom of the page you will find the solutions to all three studies in a special replay board.

Here’s the second study that the solvers in the Minor Championship had to solve, and it’s our challenge for you to solve. It is White to play and win, but first a few words about castling. In chess problems and endgame studies the convention is that castling is legal unless it can be proved to be illegal. In this position such proof is lacking, so kingside castling by Black is legal.

This was the April's competition study, and the winner was Mike Read of Norwich.

And here are all three positions with full solutions. You can click the fan button below the board and analyse with an engine to answer any residual questions you may have.

Brian Stephenson is a chess problemist and ex-president of the British Chess Problem Society. He is a retired programmer. He started playing chess in his early teens, but in his early twenties discovered chess problems and got hooked. He still plays, but very rarely and very badly.

For twenty-five years Brian directed the British Chess Solving Championship and has directed several World Chess Solving Championships. In 2012 he was one of the first four recipients of the FIDE Solving Judge title.

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The above feature is reproduced from Chess Magazine July/2023, with kind permission.

CHESS Magazine was established in 1935 by B.H. Wood who ran it for over fifty years. It is published each month by the London Chess Centre and is edited by IM Richard Palliser and Matt Read.

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