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MatPlus.Net Forum Helpmates Janos Csak - WCCT theme
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(1) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, May 1, 2007 23:43]

Janos Csak - WCCT theme

In the discussion
there was discussed that problems with WCCT themes should not be published.

So compare now competing e.g. E20 with this problem by Janos Csak, Orbit 2007:

(= 6+15 )

h#3 b) pe6>e5

a) 1.Sb5 axb5 2.Be5 Sb1 3.Rd4 Sc3#
b) 1.Sf5 gxf5 2.Rc4 Bd3 3.Bd4 Be4#

Bitter rant: Some editors do not care although they can be safely supposed to know WCCT themes and asked rules... Some of them are PCCC members, aren't they? Some of them have organized WCCT in the past, haven't they?
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(2) Posted by Miodrag Mladenović [Wednesday, May 2, 2007 07:45]

That rule has never been enforced completely. I remember that even "The Problemist" that is the official magazine of PCCC used to published Andernach helpmates before results were published for one of the earlier WCCT. Actually it's very hard to enforce the rule. I think that in most of the cases editors unintentionally publish originals showing the required theme. Since helpmate theme is very easy to achieve accidentally by trying to show some other theme it's very easy that editor can miss the fact that problems shows 8th WCCT theme.
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(3) Posted by Michael McDowell [Wednesday, May 2, 2007 10:41]

Anyone who enters any formal tourney runs the risk of being anticipated by a problem published before the closing date.

Have some sympathy for the composer whose work is not entered for the WCCT. Some years ago I composed a nice helpmate which met the theme requirements of a WCCT section and added other features. It was rejected for the British entry because the selectors felt that the judges would be more favourably inclined towards a task setting which packed in as many solutions showing the theme as possible (the view that you don't pick the problems you think best but rather those you think will gain most points from the judges seems ludicrous to me...). I held back from publishing my problem and was very annoyed when the same problem with an inferior construction appeared in the WCCT award. My view since then has been that if I felt I was in danger of losing a good problem I would have no qualms about publishing. It seems to me to be related to the situation of a composer who attends a meeting and finds he already has an unpublished problem which meets the requirements of a Quick Composing Tourney. He may feel bad about having an unfair advantage over the other competitors, but equally he knows that if he doesn't enter his problem he runs the risk of someone else composing it.

The WCCT rules say that it is open to all member federations of FIDE. I take it this refers to big FIDE, not the PCCC. If someone composes a masterpiece but is unlucky enough to come from a country which is not a member of FIDE (I presume there are some) why should they be expected to wait until the WCCT is completed before publishing their problem? A similar question applies to those countries who have strength in depth, and may compose more excellent problems than they are allowed to enter.

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(4) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Wednesday, May 2, 2007 12:24]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-05-02]

I'm sorry to say but I have to agree with Michael McDowell. I also sent a study that shows WCCT 8 theme to "Problem Paradise" because:

- It shows a task that can be said to "belong" to me in these days (I don't know if I was the first to consider it a task at all, btw) and it fills one of the white patches on that task's map.
- The theme of WCCT 8 is not shown intentionally and doesn't add any value to it
- There is no similar study in the entries of WCCT 8 (that was an important one)
- I published some studies with that task over the past few years, starting in 2005 (now 4 studies, conaining of a twin (in 2 different magazines) and two others; composing started in 2004)
- There is no setting to keep all contents of the study without accidentally showing WCCT 8 theme
- This version of the study was composed on 2006/02/13 and another I sent in on 2006/02/19, before I even knew of the WCCT 8 theme
- As far as I know in "Die Schwalbe" there will be an article about the task soon making it likely I'd be anticipated if I don't "throw it out"

oh, and it shows a rundlauf, too
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(5) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Wednesday, May 2, 2007 19:24]

Oh well, while I tend to agree with your arguments, I have to point to the previous discussion.

Anyway, your arguments show that as a result of current demand of PCCC -
- those who obey are penalized.
- those who do not care profit.
Equally valid point for both composers and editors.
That is something undesirable.

PCCC should change its approach as regards publication status of WCCT problems.

More specifically, regarding Csak problem: Hungary is member of both FIDE and PCCC. Problem was published in January issue, so that it probably had to be sent for publication already in 2006, in any case long before WCCT closing date.
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(6) Posted by Uri Avner [Thursday, May 3, 2007 21:51]

I can understand everybody's dissatisfaction. After all I am a composer myself... BUT, sorry to say, most of the preceding arguments are one sided. Take for example Michael McDowell's story. Now, imagine that Michael's problem, if published, would anticipate one of the WCCT entries. Please remember that we are talking about a problem composed for the WCCT, but not chosen by the respective country. The result: an unselected problem gets priority over a selected one. How would you solve this dilemma in a better way than the one suggested by the WCCT organizers? A kind of absurd situation, isn't it?
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(7) Posted by Michael McDowell [Friday, May 4, 2007 09:31]

Agreed, Uri. The essential point is that no matter which attitude you adopt there is potential for someone to lose out.

In an activity so individual, class-free and boundary-free as chess composition there is something absurd about competitions based on nationality, the WCCT being just the extreme example! But that is a different discussion...
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(8) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, May 5, 2007 19:21]

I believe the WCCT problems should be considered as published in terms of anticipation and get the two years priority and must be officially published in this time.
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(9) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Monday, May 21, 2007 11:04]; edited by Harry Fougiaxis [07-05-21]

I think that in most of the cases editors unintentionally publish originals showing the required theme. Since helpmate theme is very easy to achieve accidentally by trying to show some other theme it's very easy that editor can miss the fact that problems shows 8th WCCT theme.

I would agree, Misha, but if you check the comments in the specific magazine pointed out by Juraj (the solutions are printed alongside the originals), you will see this is not the case; in fact, some more originals with the WCCT-8 "theme" are published in the latest April issue, too.
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(10) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:33]

Harry, I am really disappointed to hear that news about comments from the magazine. I have seen the problem in the monthly update of WinChloe database, not in the magazine. Your information removes any benefit of doubt for editors and casts real shadow on how things work. Current publication status of WCCT problems simply has to be changed, if editors of magazines ignore PCCC kind requests (and my remark from the start of the topic about magazines editors and former WCCT organizers is still valid). There are other examples of twomovers and fairies in the recent The Problemist (!)... but this is no more about nice helpmates here, so I stop ranting. :-)
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(11) Posted by Thomas Maeder [Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 09:23]

Another unintentional case happend in the latest issue of idee & form.

The problem in question is a real WCCT entry, though. One of the authors inadvertedly submitted it to i&f, because he attached the wrong file to an E-Mail message:

Franz Pachl & Marcel Tribowski
idee & form 94, April 2007
(= 10+14 )


(== C/50 in the 8th WCCT)

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(12) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 13:58]

Ouch, that hurts, I think... just on Monday I have been browsing through the moremovers and I do remember that one.
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(13) Posted by Frank Richter [Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 08:00]

Yes, it is pity. Here slept both - one of the authors and the editor (sorry, Thomas!). So the nice problem has to be rejected from the WCCT and should take part in the idee & form tourney.
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(14) Posted by Thomas Maeder [Friday, Jun 8, 2007 20:54]

I think that it is very unfair to blame my colleague in charge of the i&f informal tourney, Frank!
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(15) Posted by Frank Richter [Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 18:00]

I don't want to blame your colleague, of course I know "to err is human". I sent you some background information in a separate mail, so you will see what I meaned.
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(16) Posted by Steven Dowd [Saturday, Jun 9, 2007 18:25]

A good comment by Frank R. I sometimes wonder if this world we stick ourselves into, chess problems, makes us think with blinders at times. Even where I previously, in another post, bemoaned my lack of placing in an informal tourney, I would never criticize the man - first of all, he is a good composer and one that I believe discharged his duties with proper diligence. I just think he was wrong! And humans get to err - in my online columans, I make mistakes and always admit them freely - something I learned long ago to do as a teacher. None of us are perfect, and even the "experts" can be wrong!
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(17) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Monday, Jun 11, 2007 19:35]; edited by Harry Fougiaxis [07-06-11]

I just came across the h# award of Shakhmatnaya Kompozitsiya 2006. The following problem was published during the composing phase of WCCT-8 in a magazine whose editor is also a member of the relevant sub-committee. Like Juraj, my intention is not to blame anyone, I only would like to present another example of the lack of co-ordination regarding the present recommendation-unofficial rule.

Pyotr Zabirokhin
2 HM Shakhmatnaya Kompozitsiya 2006
(= 6+12 )

h#3 b) c2>c4

a) 1.Sxe5 Sxe3 2.Sc4 Sxg4 3.Se3 Se5#
b) 1.Sxb4 Sxc3 2.Sd5 Sxa2 3.Sc3 Sb4#
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(18) Posted by Harry Fougiaxis [Friday, Jul 13, 2007 22:14]

And another one published in Variantim, which btw is anticipated by a composition of mine (please don't miss the white self-unpins).

Perhaps Mat Plus could also deviate from the recommendation now, as and if necessary.
Anatoly Styopochkin
1610 Variantim 44 March 2007
(= 6+7 )


1.Ke4 g4 2.Sf5 Bxf6 3.Se3 Rd4#
1.Kc5 a4 2.Sc6 Rxd7 3.Sb4 Bd4#
Harry Fougiaxis
15 Pl WCCT-4 1989-92
(= 6+8 )


1.Kd6 g3 2.Sc7 Bxb7 3.Se6 Rd5#
1.Kc4 g4 2.Sb4 Ra5 3.Sd3 Bd5#

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(19) Posted by Uri Avner [Saturday, Jul 14, 2007 00:52]; edited by Uri Avner [07-07-14]

@ Harry
Oops... this one escaped the attention of Variantim's Originals editor (Y.Aloni), and myself as general editor.
Such oversight is, however, not a license for repeating the same mistake knowingly...
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(20) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Saturday, Jul 14, 2007 08:54]

(... taking into account that this forum is far from complete as regards documenting all WCCT-themed problems ...)

So many mistakes in such a short time after so much effort for WCCT of so many experts? It does not sound convincingly. While some of cases the most probably are mistakes, indeed I do not believe that all are ones - by both authors as well as editors.
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MatPlus.Net Forum Helpmates Janos Csak - WCCT theme