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MatPlus.Net Forum General Shortest Proof Games
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(1) Posted by Jeff Coakley [Monday, Aug 13, 2012 17:06]

Shortest Proof Games

Hello everyone,

Does anybody have a copy of Shortest Proof Games (1991) by Gerd Wilts and Andrey Frolkin? I would like to know what they say about a couple positions.

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(2) Posted by John Rice [Monday, Aug 13, 2012 18:43]

Yes, I have this book, and very good it is too. Which problems are you interested in?
John Rice
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(3) Posted by Jeff Coakley [Monday, Aug 13, 2012 20:41]

Hello John,

I am interested in problems 99 and 100, the 4.0 proof games by Geza Schweig 1938 and Ernest Mortimer (version by Andrey Frolkin) 1991. Could you tell me the text that accompanies these problems, if there is any?

In particular, I'd like to know if there is any discussion about the similarity between the two problems. And especially, if it gives the date of publication for the original (unrevised) problem by Mortimer.

I hope to get a copy of this book someday. The Retro-Corner says that Gerd Wilts is working on an updated edition.

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(4) Posted by Geoff Foster [Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 00:40]

There is no discussion about those problems. They appear on the same page under the heading "The Wrong Knight". There are no source details for the Mortimer problem.
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(5) Posted by Jeff Coakley [Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 01:19]

Thanks, Geoff.

Does anyone know any biographical information about Ernest Clement Mortimer? He had numerous problems published between 1916 and 1942, many of them in The Chess Amateur.

The original proof game (4.0) by Mortimer has appeared on various chess blogs the last few years. The position is:
White -Ng1
Black -Ng8 -d7 +d5
It has four solutions.

Does anyone know when and where it was published?
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(6) Posted by John Rice [Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 12:51]

Geoff is absolutely right. There is no commentary in my copy either.
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(7) Posted by Jeff Coakley [Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 16:29]

Hello John,

Are you the author of An ABC of Chess Problems? It's a great book and an excellent reference for problem terminology.

I appreciate the assistance by you and Geoff concerning the Wilts/Frolkin book. All of the problems are in the Chess Problem Database Server, but without the text. I look forward to buying the updated edition when it comes out.

The Schweig and Mortimer proof games will be included in an article next week at

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(8) Posted by John Rice [Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 21:16]

Yes, I admit to being the author of An ABC of Chess Problems, updated and substantially revised as Chess Wizardry (1996). I'm pleased to hear you find it useful. So do I, when I've forgotten what I wrote.
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(9) Posted by Jeff Coakley [Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 16:37]

That's funny, John.

I received a nice letter from Gerd Wilts yesterday. He did not have any information on the Mortimer problem. He said that they are no longer preparing an updated edition of Shortest Proof Games. Too bad.
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(10) Posted by Andrew Buchanan [Saturday, May 23, 2020 15:28]

I found today that the UK Imperial War Museum has 4kg of private papers of Mortimer, who was a Chaplain in WW1, serving in Egypt and Palestine from 1916-1919, see Given that overlaps with his publication career, we might see some mention of chess in these papers, to address the vexed question of this composition date of this famous composition. Mortimer was still active in 1959, when he published on Blaise Pascal 12-Feb-1959 London Methuen. See: "Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1959: Jan-Jun".
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Shortest Proof Games