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MatPlus.Net Forum Threemovers An elegant XIX century threemover
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(1) Posted by Marcos Roland [Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 17:52]

An elegant XIX century threemover

This is one of my favorite threemovers. Of course, my choice is greatly influenced by the nationality of the author: Brazilian, like me. But I think every solver will be delighted by the "finesse" and subtility of this bohemian masterpiece, even if he finds it not so hard to solve.
The author, Caldas Viana, was a lawyer and journalist born in Rio de Janeiro, 1862. He was also well known as an enthusiast of every facet of chess activities. As a chessplayer, he was by far the best south-american player of his days; so strong he was that he could draw a match with Richard Teichmann in Rio de Janeiro, 1905. As a problemist, I think this composition shows his great talent. Unfortunately, only a few of his problems (mainly twomovers and threemovers), selected by Arthur Napoleão (a portuguese pianist and chessplayer) for his book "Caissana Brasileira", published in 1896, reached us.

(= 7+6 )

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(2) Posted by Branislav Djurašević [Monday, Aug 20, 2007 00:29]

Really nice problem with excellent key! I prefer position one line/column right. It is pity that knight doesn’t have bigger role.
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(3) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Monday, Aug 20, 2007 16:27]

The original place and date of this problem's first appearance was a newspaper from Rio de Janeiro, in the early 1880s (sorry for not having here at hand in moment the complete data...). The 3# was reproduced in "Caissana Brasileira", 1898, and short after in a spanish treatise by Tolosa y Carrera, 'with high praise', as stated by Idel Becker, who also reproduced it in his "Manual de Xadrez", late 60s or early 70s, many successive reprints. Caldas Vianna also played the "Brazilian Imortal", vs Silvestre, Rio de Janeiro 1900, already in NICbase online
During decades, just the decisive moves were available for a wider public, analysed in Lasker's "Manual of Chess" (Dover reprint)

*** ps Roland - se não me falha a memória, acho que os dados da fonte original estão na Caissana
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(4) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Monday, Aug 20, 2007 18:56]; edited by Harry Fougiaxis [07-08-21]

Indeed, very fine problem considering his time of course. It is included in the WinChloe database with the source "Chess Monthly 1882", which is apparently a quote. Btw, his name appears in this database as G.C. Viana, how is the correct spelling - with single or double "n"?
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(5) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Monday, Aug 20, 2007 19:48]

Thanks for the search, HF. Brazilian composers where in touch with European and North-American magazines, so it's possible that "Chess Monthly 1882" is in fact the right source, and my memory failed when I stated that a local newspaper was the source in this instance, as it was in others :) - Caldas Vianna (with 2 ns) is probably the spelling of the old suppliers of information, but I realized quickly googling around that both forms - Viana and Vianna - should be tested for a proper research, as some writers introduced a new spelling with a single 'n'
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(6) Posted by Michael McDowell [Monday, Aug 20, 2007 20:20]

What I find interesting about the problem (and Zalmen has just confirmed!) is that it seems to indicate that the composer gained his knowledge of problems from American or English columns. There is a striking Loydesque key and English-style complete accuracy, but no appreciation of true economy or unity (neither set variation involves the knight). Had the composer been following Bohemian principles you would have expected at least one model, but here only one mate is economical and none is pure.

Brian Stephenson’s Meson database says that the problem was published anonymously in Chess Monthly in 1881. Brian will have added this from the original source, but of course the CM may have quoted without indicating as such.
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(7) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 01:07]

Now I can see the relevant passage in Arthur Napoleão's work (1898)- he refers to "Brentano Chess Monthly" 1882, but without an assertion of a primary source; so Brian Stephenson's diligence is worth the highest praise - thanks Michael for the search, and to Marcos for rousing the present thread.
Napoleão also states clearly that the treatise I mentioned above was already published in 1898 - in Leo Mano's site I found that it was the "Traité Analytique du Problème d'Echecs" Paris, 1892, by Tolosa y Carrera (well, so a french book, with a spanish-sounding author, and not published (sic) 'shortly after 1898', but six Years before.) Another brazilian problem featured there:

Rodolpho Eichbaum
"Jornal do Commercio" 1887
Ist prize

(= 7+3 )

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(8) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 01:58]

Kalispéra, Harry. The full name of the author was João Caldas Viana Neto. And I agree with Zalmen, some sources (specially the old ones) will give Viana with two "n".
According to an article that I myself wrote for a chess magazine twelve years ago, this problem was published by Chess Monthly, in 1882. But I choose all the problems for my article from "Caissana Brasileira" (I had borrowed the copy from a "historical" chessplayer, Fernando Vasconcelos). That book in fact assembles the most complete collection of problems of Brazilian composers from that time, so in that sense it's the primary source of information for those who want to dig into the origins of chess composition in Brazil.
By the way, I don't know if this nice threemover is registered in any database:

Caldas Viana
Reproduced in "Caissana Brasileira" 1998

(= 12+9 )

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(9) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 15:20]

...In the first problem the spetacular key suggests Loyd's influence (very probable indeed: most Brazilian composers love Sam Loyd's problems), the accuracy of the whole construction (no duals at all) is a strong mark of English school, etc. In this sense, I agree with Michael's comments.
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(10) Posted by Marcos Roland [Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 15:56]

Maybe it's a "spectacularly" quiet key... Anyway, the Loyd's influence on Caldas Viana is quite probable. On the other hand, the second composition of the author shows a diferent picture (maybe it's typical of German school), so I think one cannot draw general conclusions from the few problems of his we know. In fact, Viana was very young at the time he probably composed these problems, his father was a subscriber of many European and American chess magazines, so he was under the influence of several schools.
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(11) Posted by Geoff Foster [Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 23:55]

I sent this thread to Bob Meadley, who has a great collection of chess problem books, and he replied as follows:

I have a hand stamped copy of 'Caissana Brasileira' done by Max Weiss of Bamberg in 1904 and he ink stamped the diagrams and then stamped on all the men as I used to do so many years ago. Napoleao's book was obviously rare and when it came out in 1898 (not 1896) it must have created quite a stir such that many European problemists wanted it. It is also handwritten in German and Weiss writes CALDAR VIANNA as his name. There are 6 #2, 12 #3, 1 #4, 1 #5 and 2 fairy types.
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(12) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 03:15]

Max Ignaz Weiss was German, born on May 11th 1870 and died on 18th December 1943. So sadly the book is still protected by law until 2013. In 2014, I highly suggest to publish it.
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(13) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 04:43]

Siegfried: Wouldn't the copyright for this book have resided properly with Arthur Napoleao? (Sorry I can't type the a-tilde in his name...) In which case the book may well be in the public domain. And even if it's not, scanning it (e.g. for Vaclav Kotesovec's website) will not make money for anyone but would provide an invaluable service by making it available to all - and rescuing it from total obscurity...
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(14) Posted by Vladimir Tyapkin [Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 04:50]; edited by Vladimir Tyapkin [08-03-20]

Siegfried, if you want to make the book available don't pay attention to the copyright issue. It was probably published privately, most likely the copyright belonged to Napoleao himself and he does not care anymore. Even in the unlikely case if copyright owner exists and asks you to remove it, all you need to do is to take it down. If you afraid to host the file send it to me or Vaclav Kotesovec. I promise to credit your efforts.
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(15) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 07:13]

Anyone noticed I don't have the book? So you should ask Mr. Foster.
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(16) Posted by Geoff Foster [Friday, Mar 21, 2008 10:12]

I don't have the book either! It belongs to Bob Meadley, who lives in another city. I could ask Bob to photocopy the book, then the photocopies could be scanned. Would this be acceptable? Alternatively, as there are not many problems I could ask Bob to send me the FEN, and I could then put them all on this forum, or Milan might agree to include them in Mat Plus Review?
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(17) Posted by [Friday, Mar 21, 2008 13:16]; edited by [08-03-21]

>So sadly the book is still protected by law until 2013. In 2014, I highly suggest to publish it.

That copyright extends only to the form that is original with Max Weiss. Original contents
is almost certainly out of copyright by now.

I'm not sure it would be a good idea to republish from a hand-made copy: all kinds of errors
and additions enter the material, and confuse the reader. And Max Weiss is not particularly
known for his accuracy on such matters.
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(18) Posted by Milan Velimirović (+) [Friday, Mar 21, 2008 14:20]

Geoff: could ask Bob to send me the FEN, and I could then put them all on this forum, or Milan might agree to include them in Mat Plus Review

In principle, I would be happy to include everything interesting in the Review. However, I'd like to see the material first, and then decide if and in what form it would be published. Geoff, I will contact you as soon as I come back from Antalya (Turkey) - at the moment I must use all the time I can find to prepare myself for the responsible duties I'll have there.
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(19) Posted by Zalmen Kornin [Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 13:12]

The original book may be a rarity, but surely found in some libraries, including the best chess collections in Europe and North-America. I have no notice on the existence of some specimen in all brazilian South region, the excerpts I quote here and in were taken some decades ago in Rio in a very draft form of (xerox?!)-copy, and later forwarded to the late chess problem enthusiast Gerd Giebel, who sent me a copy's copy of that material (probably the original is still in the "Royal Portuguese Reading Room" !?). I translated some passages from Portuguese to English during a chat on Arthur Napoleão here

Siegfried: I'll search for that copy and oportunely send You all I have here
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(20) Posted by Geoff Foster [Monday, Apr 7, 2008 08:06]

I misunderstood Bob Meadley. He told me that there are 23 problems, but he meant 23 problems by Caldar Viana. There are a lot more than 23 problems in Caissana Brasileira! This is what Bob has to say:

"There are certainly copies of Caissana Brasileira in existence. One at least is in The Hague because I consulted that catalogue when informing you of the date of publication (1898). There would be others in Cleveland and South American libraries. ... Enclosed is a CD of an attempt at digitising some of the stamped diagrams using a camera. Only a few. This is a massive book and scanning it is out of the question. It would damage the book which is not in very good condition."

Bob has sent me the FEN for the Caldar Viana problems. Here is a #3.

(= 10+6 )


This problem would qualify for the "110 years of Caissana Brasileira" tourney, which is for #3 where the white king makes the key. The key is a pure waiting move 1.Kh1! Ke5 2.Bg1.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Threemovers An elegant XIX century threemover