Youth Chess Composing Challenge

by Frederic Friedel
8/12/2021 – The 5th Youth Chess Composing Challenge is open to the U23 generation, born no earlier than 01.01.1998. The thematic condition for the Mate in 2 contest is that in the initial position all four bishops, which should be fully involved in the play, must be in the corners of the board. There are examples of problems that more or less fulfil these stipulations, and now young composers are asked to come up with the finest examples.

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The Youth Chess Composing Challenge (YCCC) is an individual competition established by the Serbian Chess Problem Society to promote chess composition under the auspices of the World Federation for Chess Composition (WFCC). In 2018 the Youth Committee of WFCC was established with one of its goals to develop and promote the YCCC. The Youth Committee is also planned as the body to help all young composers and trainers with information and advice. The contact address is

Rules & Themes of the 5th YCCC

The 5th YCCC 2021 is open to the U23 generation (born no earlier than 01.01.1998), matching the age limit for juniors in the WFCC solving competitions (WCSC, ECSC, ISC).

This year the YCCC contains three sections with certain thematic conditions, two of which contain certain thematic conditions, while the third is open for all kinds of compositions. Each composer may send one entry per section. Joint works are not accepted.

Section A – Mate in two moves

Thematic condition: "Mate in 2 moves, with all four bishops in the corners of the board in the initial diagram (in any of the possible combinations). All four bishops should be fully involved in the play, as actively as possible. They may be used in the set-play (the variations prepared in the initial position, Example 2); in performing the first white move (Example 2); in the solution only (Example 1); in the possible tries and refutations, (Example 3 and 4), etc. The lines of bishops may be closed in the diagram (Examples 1, 2 & 4). Whatever the content, it is desirable to use all bishops in the solution. Using a white bishop only for a static pin of a black unit isn’t considered to be an active role."

Judge: David Shire

The Albrecht collection with more than 250,000 two-movers, contains only four (!) entries with all bishops in the corners. In the following diagrams you can try to mate in two – the attached engine will make countermoves, attempting to thwart your efforts.


Section B – Endgame study

Thematic condition: At some point during the solution a white pawn is pinned by a black bishop against a white bishop. The pawn moves anyway, sacrificing the bishop. Black can either accept the sacrifice (see thematic example 1) or play something else (see thematic example 2).

Judge: Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen


Section C – All genres

This section is open for endgames and problems of any kind, length and content. Judges: a group of experts in different genres.

You can play through and analyse all the above examples. Switch on an engine (fan icon below the board) for assistance in your analysis.


How to prepare and send your entries for the 5th YCCC 

All entries (not more than one per section) with complete solutions and possible comments, should be sent by email to the tournament director Julia Vysotska at not later than 30th September 2021

If possible, send your endgames in PGN format. It is very much preferable that you check the soundness of your entries with computer programs, and indicate the name of the program you used. For majority of problems you can use the open Olive program (download Windows version), created by Dmitry Turevski. 

The participants are kindly asked to send their date of birth, postal address, and a recent photo of good quality, together with the entries. 

Dear participants, you are encouraged to ask any questions and to consult with experts in the field until the deadline, through the official email of the tournament ( The results of your composing attempts will not be only your placings or medals. The YCCC is a composing workshop, offering valuable comments on your entries, and worthy recommendations for your future work. 

The results are planned to be announced on 22nd October 2021, during the closing ceremony of the Rhodes WCCC 2021. The three winners of each section will receive medals and certificates. Complete awards will be published afterwards, on the Congress website. 

The World Federation for Chess Composition (WFCC) is the successor of the Permanent Commission for Chess Composition (PCCC). The goal of the WFCC’s existence and work is the dissemination and encouragement of chess composition throughout the world.

YCCC coordinator Marjan Kovacevic

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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