Two puzzles by Vlastimil Hort

by ChessBase
3/5/2021 – Grandmaster Vlastimil Hort, who loves to travel, is severely restricted in his activities by the coronavirus crisis. What can he do? He is writing his second book of chess stories, and he keeps his friends busy solving chess puzzles. He sent us two.

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Two challenges

As a chess player, you have to pass the time somehow. Vlastimil Hort, the great storyteller, is currently working on his second book of memoirs. But you can’t just work all day. There are no chess tournaments at the moment, only a few on the internet. And the former World Championship candidate doesn’t enjoy playing with the mouse — his cats would take offence at that.

What can he do to stay mentally fit? Puzzles are the perfect solution. Try to find the solutions by yourself, and then check if you got it right by clicking ‘show’ below each diagram.


1.g7 f2 2.Be7 f1Q 3.Bf6 Qxf6 4.gxh8Q+ Qxh8 (4...Kxh8 5.exf6 Kg8 6.f7+ Kh8 7.f8Q#) 5.d4 Qg7 6.hxg7 h5 7.e6 h4 8.e7 h3 9.Kd7 h2 10.e8Q+ Kxg7 11.Qe5+ Kg6 12.Qxh2 with mate in six.

The second puzzle is easier, according to Hort:


1.Nf5 Kf1 (1...f2 2.Ne3 f1Q 3.Nc2#) (1...e3 2.Nxe3 f2 3.Nf4 f1Q 4.Nd3#) 2.Ne3+ Ke1 3.Kc2 f2 4.Kc1 f1Q 5.Nc2#

Vlastimil Hort
176 pages, hardback, Nava, 1st edition 2020.
 ca. €24.00


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JoshuaVGreen JoshuaVGreen 3/6/2021 01:00
@Turm_Eric, thank you as well.
JoshuaVGreen JoshuaVGreen 3/6/2021 01:00
@Frits Fritschy, thanks for the correcting the record on these. The title of "Two puzzles by Vlastimil Hort" could easily give the reader the impression that Hort constructed these positions.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 3/6/2021 10:57
The division between problems and studies isn't that strict. A position with a forced mate can be entered for a study tournament. Loyd's composition has some endgame theory elements in it, so it isn't strange that it can also be found in Van der Heijden's endgame study database.
I don't like the use of the word 'puzzle' either, but I could understand it if chessbase wants a low threshold for the uninitiated. Although I think it's always better to use the proper words and explain them.
It is a different thing with disregarding other people's artistic property rights. Even if the author forgets about it, the publisher has the responsibility to correct this.
Turm_Eric Turm_Eric 3/6/2021 06:25
The second one is a #5 by Sam Loyd, "The Chess Montly" 1858

...So it's not a Study (although it's really have the chaeactervof an Endgame) It's a PROBLEM (not a sic "puzzle"). People could read, for instance Loyd's bio by Alain White, and learn the difference between Chess Problens and puzzles (as Loyd was a great creator in both fields
Michael Jones Michael Jones 3/5/2021 10:12
Lovely puzzles, although I was nowhere near to solving either of them.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 3/5/2021 02:39
Creating these 'puzzles' (commonly known as 'endgame studies' or 'studies') can take many hours (or even months!) They are the art form of chess. It is only proper to mention the name of the maker. People now might get the impression that GM Hort is the creator - I suppose that is not his intention.
The first study is composed by Aleksandr Guljaev – also a Grandmaster, of chess composition. It was first published in Shakhmaty v SSSR 1940 and was awarded a special prize. Any serious chess publication would mention this, and I propose chessbase follows this example.
To show your good intentions, you might try to find out the omitted data for the second study. There must be someone in the Chessbase offices with access to the Van der Heijden study database. And with Fritz software, you can search by position – did you know that...?