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(121) Posted by shankar ram [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 16:21]

C.K.Ananthanarayanan, Indian composer and inventor of the popular "Sentinels" fairy condition, passed away today (15-Sep-2015) in Bangalore. He was aged around 65 and is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

He was active in the 80s - composing orthodox 2 movers. Never very prolific, the invention of Sentinels in 1984 was the high point of his chess problem career.

One of his best sentinels problems:

C.K.Ananthanarayanan, Phenix, 1988
(= 9+3 )

#2 Sentinels

1.Gb6! waiting
1…Kd6(+e5) 2.Bc6(+d5)‡
1…Kf4(+e5) 2.Gb8(+b6)‡
1…Kd4(+e5) 2.Sc5(+a4)‡
1…Kf6(+e5) 2.Be6(+d5)‡

BK Star Flights + Sentinel and G specific mates.
(Read Only)pid=13802
(122) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 17:08]

So sad. During my recent frequent visits to Bangalore I did try to meet him, but we had lost touch (even Shankarram also who lives in the same city) and did not manage a meeting (or even a phone call). I remember meeting him in the 80s as a nice gentleman who was keenly interested in Problems. In later years completely lost interest in chess problems. It is a sad loss to our small set of Indian composers.
(Read Only)pid=13804
(123) Posted by seetharaman kalyan [Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 23:12]

Two nice memorial problems by the Maestro Petkov and the Indian veteran Ganapathi.
(Read Only)pid=13857
(124) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, Oct 29, 2015 14:03]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [15-10-29]

I just received the new EG and with it the sad news that Jan van Reek has died at the age of 70 (10vii1945 - 8viii2015), Alexander Manvelyan has passed away at the age of 79 (4vi1946 - 21vi2015) and EG supporter Adam J. Sobey, composer of at least 58 studies, at ca. 90 (1925 - 2015).
(Read Only)pid=13938
(125) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 17:27]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [16-02-09]

Already two years ago, on 23.ii.2014, Ingenieur Nikolai Dimitrov of Varna, Bulgaria has died. He was organiser of many national solving contests in Germany.
The website by Diyan Kostadinov was not updated on this yet, it seems.

EDIT: There was a news, however.
(Read Only)pid=14306
(126) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Apr 2, 2016 20:45]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [16-04-02]

Valentin Rudenko has died today.

According to de-Wikipedia [W] which gives an article of Andrey Selivanov as source, [1] Rudenko was Ukrainian Master of Sports. He proposed January 4th as International Day of Chess Composition.
With over 1000 compositions he had received over 200 points in the FIDE albums and the title of GM of composing.

Rudenko's chess reached space levels when his threemover of Suomen Shakki 1957, 1st prize, was aboard the mission SOYUZ 9 (it is now on display in a museum in Cheboksary).


I see there is an earlier thread, apologies:
(Read Only)pid=14456
(127) Posted by Sven Hendrik Lossin [Saturday, May 7, 2016 20:24]

I am very sad to announce that Wichard von Alvensleben (11.07.1937 - 02.05.2016) has passed away.

I met him who lived in the same area as me at the Problemfreundetreffen in Lüneburg. Today I read about his death in the newspaper.
(Read Only)pid=14578
(128) Posted by Thomas Brand [Monday, May 9, 2016 16:49]

Wichard was not only a Chess problemist (mainly helpmates), but also an excellent Go player (5d -- 4 times in 1961 to 1964 European Champion) -- and a very kind man, sometimes visiting Andernach fairy chess meetings where I met him a few times.
(Read Only)pid=14580
(129) Posted by Rajendiran Raju [Monday, May 9, 2016 19:40]; edited by Rajendiran Raju [16-05-09]

may his soul rest in peace ---

Pls post his few helpmates or collection links ---
(Read Only)pid=14581
(130) Posted by Hauke Reddmann [Tuesday, May 10, 2016 19:45]

Strange you sometimes come to know people only
when they die (I didn't know he was an excellent Go player).

I'll never forget when at Lüneburg he showed his excellent
#2 wLK problem (unfortunately not on YACPDB?) and we discussed
that the only minor weakness was the rook on d1 (?).
Which of course provoked me to come up with 10-20
new matrices to avoid the rook...which all miserably
failed until I gave up.

(Read Only)pid=14585
(131) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Aug 7, 2016 23:17]

The message was forwarded to me at the day I traveled to the WCCC so I missed it by a few hours:


Gesendet: Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016 um 13:53 Uhr
Von: "Ralf-Rainer Hoffmann" [e-mail address removed for privacy]
An: [Schwalbe]
Betreff: Fritz Hoffmann
Sehr geehrter Herr Gräfrath,

leider muss ich Ihnen mitteilen, dass mein Vater, Fritz Hoffmann, am 12.
Juli 2016 verstorben ist.

Ich fand in seinem Nachlass mehrere Stapel "Die Schwalbe" - woraufhin
ich Ihnen dies schreibe.

Beste Grüße
Ralf-Rainer Hoffmann

The unfortunate news is that Fritz Hoffmann has died on 12 July 2016.
During the WCCC, after I heard about it in the WFCC session, I bought a book by Fritz Hoffmann from some 25 years ago, where Fritz Hoffmann writes he specialised in symbol problems such as letter problems. He composed a large number of problems of various genres, and from what I read in the book (it does not seem to have changed) his son does not have much interest in chess.

My personal experiences with Fritz Hoffmann (note: I never had any kind of contact to him) stemmed from his one page articles in Europa Rochade and Die Schwalbe, where he proved to combine linguistic skills with a little humor and the presentation of some small chess problems - nothing special most of the time, but always pointed.
In this way the Fritz Hoffmann I remember is an author, a small humorist, an overall great person. I would have wanted to contact him, to learn about him, but to my knowledge his hearing was severely impaired in the last years, so I can only have this opportunity through his Schachkonturen book published by Murkisch and Kuhn.

We might have lost a good composer, but a great propagator, a greatly enjoyable writer about problems! Herr Hoffmann, thanks for your wonderful work and not only the Schwalbe will miss you and your articles!
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(132) Posted by Yochanan Afek [Friday, Aug 12, 2016 00:51]

Well written, Siegfried! RIP Fritz Hoffmann.
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(133) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 18:33]

While being unrelated to chess, I would still like to ask for a minute of remembrance for Stanislav Petrov, who died on 19 May 2017 already, as has only become known now (but not yet, it seems, to English Wikipedia).
Without the courage of one man, none of us might be here today, as he prevented a nuclear holocaust when receiving a (false) alert in his bunker Serpukhov 15 on 26 September 1983, and righrfully found it to be wrong as the incoming force of five nukes shown to him would not have been enough for a first strike.

Born on 9 September 1939, this one day as a 44 year old lieutenant colonel became known only after the Glasnost in the 1990s, and from then on, Petrov was celebrated as a hero, as "The Man Who Saved The World".

Hereby I declare 26 September as the inofficial day of "Chess enthusiasts against nuclear war".
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(134) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Monday, Oct 2, 2017 20:16]

Larissa Volpert has died at 91. She, together with Zatulovskaya, played a spectacular game many years ago that inspired me to a series of studies in my early time, see "Weltenfern". The game's ending is given below, copied from what I wrote back then, based on Bondarevsky's annotations.

(= 5+5 )

Volpert - Zatulovskaya, USSR team championship 1960 (?)

Black to move

While surely being one of the most remarkable endgames of all time, this was almost never reprinted. The play


Black has to face one nasty threat in the position: White wants to create a passed pawn on the h-file or exchange
her g-pawn for the black e-pawn to easily win, so 41.-Kc7 42.Kd5 Kd7 43.g5! f:g5 44.K:e5 Ke7 45.Kf5 Ke8
46.Kf6 Kf8 47.e5 Kg8 48.Ke7 Kg7 49.e6 illustrates that danger. Not better is 41.-Ke6 42.Kc6 Ke7 43.Kc7 Ke8
(or 43.-Ke6 44.Kd8 winning easily) 44.Kd6 Kf8 (44.-Kd8 45.g5! wins) 45.Kd7 Kg8 46.Ke8! Kg7 47.Ke7 with
deadly zugzwang.

42.Kd5 Kf8

Having two world-class players here, their moves must look totally like beginner moves, and yet they are the
best ones. Now after 43.g5 h:g5 the passed pawn can be stopped by the king although precise play is necessary.
For example after 44.Kd6 the easiest draw is 44.-f5 45.K:e5 f:e4!, and now for example 46.f:e4 f6+ 47.K:f6 g4
48.h6 Kg8 49.e5 g3 50.e6 g2 51.e7 g1Q 52.e8Q+ Kh7 53.Qe4+ Kg8/Kh8 with an easy draw. Foreshadowing
what we will know later, and what Bondarevsky did not show yet, also after 43.g5 h:g5 44.Kd6 the idea 44.-Kg7
45.Ke7 f5! 46.e:f5 Kg8!! is possible. He however gives another interesting line: 43.g5 h:g5 44.h6? Kg8 45.Kd6
Kh7 46.Ke7 f5! 47.e:f5 and now Black wins only with 47.-e4! 48.f:e4 g4 and either 49.K:f7 g3 50.f6 g2 51.Ke8
g1Q 52.f7 Qg6 – compare this to the actual continuation of the game! – or 49.e5 g3 50.e6 f:e6 51.f6 g2 52.f7
g1Q 53.f8Q Qc5+ winning.

43.Kc6! Kg7!

Do not forget that there are two world level players in this endgame! As was already established 43.-Ke7 44.Kc7
loses, but why not 43.Kd6 then anyway? Well, after 43.-Ke8 we would have a position of mutual zugzwang.
Now White to move has no choice but to play 44.Kd5 again, and after 44.-Kf8 play 45.Kc6 anyway. On the
other hand, after 43.Kc6 Ke8? 44.Kd6 the position is reached with Black to move, so White wins easily, as seen
above. 43.-Kg8 would also lead to the game continuation.

44.Kc7 Kh7

Both players think that the position with the kings on d6 and g8 also is one of mutual zugzwang, but it is not:
44.-Kg8 45.Kd6 Kh7(or 45.-Kh8) 46.Kd7 Kh8 47.Kd8 Kh7 48.Ke8 Kg8 49.Ke7 Kg7 is drawn. Possibly
Zatulovskaya was afraid of 50.g5 here, but that motif will also happen in the game, so there was no reason to
avoid the position.

45.Kd7 Kh8!

The correct defense, as pointed out above.


The only way to play for a win is to sacrifice this pawn sooner or later. A plethora of wrong moves opens for
Black, for example 46.-Kg7? loses to either capture: 47.g:h6+ K:h6 48.Ke7 Kg7 and not only Bondarevsky’s
49.h6+ but also 49.Ke8 Kg8 50.h6 wins easily. 47.g:f6+ K:f6 leaves White with two ways to win. Bondarevsky
analyses 48.Kd6 Kg5 49.K:e5 K:h5 50.Kf6 with an easy win, but also 48.Ke8 is enough, although clearly
inferior since White would need to go into a queen ending. If White would now have the king on d8, that would
be the only winning move but when given a choice, no sane person would want to force himself through 48.Ke8
Kg5 49.K:f7 K:h5 50.Kf6 Kh4 51.K:e5 Kg3 52.f4 h5 53.f5 h4 54.f6 h3 55.f7 h2 56.f8Q h1Q with a hard win that
easily can take several more hours.
Interesting, and sadly anticipating my Europa Rochade study, is 46.-f5? 47.e:f5 h:g5 48.f6! Kg8 49.Ke8 and
winning as in the study. Also 47.g:h6 f:e4 48.f:e4 Kh7 49.Kd6 K:h6 50.Ke7! (but not 50.K:e5? K:h5 51.Kf5 Kh4
52.Kf6 Kg4 53.e5 Kf4) 50.-f5 51.e:f5 e4 52.f6 e3 53.f7 e2 54.f8Q+ or 50.-K:h5 51.K:f7 Kg5 52.Ke6 Kf4
53.Kd5 with mutual zugzwang wins here. Also very subtle and study-like is instead 49.Kd8?! f6 50.Kd7!! f5
51.e:f5 e4 52.f6 e3 53.f7 e2 54.f8Q e1Q 55.Qg7 mate, reminding me of a famous Sarychev study that in itself is
based on a Réti study. See below! It becomes clear why 49.Ke7? is a draw: In the end Black would give a check!
Zatulovskaya saw through this, or had a good intuition, and played the correct defense.
46.-f:g5? 47.Kd6 of course would be outright bad. As Bondarevsky points out, the position here would have
been drawn with the king on d8, since 47.Kd7 would lead nowhere.

46.-h:g5! 47.Ke7

Importantly, 47.Ke8 is not winning here either. Black has three drawing moves at her disposal, the thematic line
would begin with 47.-Kg7 48.Ke7 f5! 49.e:f5 Kg8!! and a draw would follow. After 48.h6+ K:h6 49.K:f7 g4!
White would even lose.
After the text move, only one move works since 47.Ke7 Kg7? is refuted by 48.h6+! K:h6 49.K:f6 Kh5 50.K:f7!!
g4+ 51.f:g4+ K:g4 52.Ke6 Kf4 53.Kd5 winning by mutual zugzwang.
The play continued with the only drawing move:

47.-f5! 48.e:f5

Here the book by Staudte and Milescu takes up the game, not illustrating the extremely interesting tactics that
lead to the curios position. Black, seemingly playing horrible moves by going into the corner and letting White
penetrate, defended really masterful so far, but now in one moves takes itself from the fruits of her defense.

(= 4+4 )


No, even simple pawn endgames are far from easy to play, and a world class player must have the right to make
a mistake, but it would have been a guaranteed reprint if she would have found the correct continuation that
ended in a stalemate. So what remained after looking at the position not deeply enough is an endgame that
probably was lost anyway, not interesting enough to reprint it.
Yes, gentleman, it is interesting enough! It is in fact possibly the most interesting not composed pawn endgame,
and if anyone could have come up with this full endgame a very high prize would have been sure.
As it is, however, the natural move loses.

49.f:e4 g4 50.K:f7! g3 51.f6 g2 52.Ke8 g1Q 53.f7

(= 4+2 )

An incredible position! Black has queened earlier, he has a full move with his queen at his disposal, and White
has only three pawns of which only one is a real threat. And yet Black loses! Look no further! This is an
excellent demonstration of the endless possibilities of chess. The pawns stand perfectly to shield the king, while
the forces of Black are powerful but uncoordinated. “The pawn is the very essence of chess”, the great musician
Philidor once remarked, but maybe not even he would have believed that such an endgame could occur!
Unfortunately, as I was unable to receive a full game score, I don’t know how or if the game continued. I only
know that White won.
So the other pawn would have saved Black?
Not quite: 48.-g4? 49.f:g4 e4 50.K:f7 e3 51.g5 e2 52.g6 with mate to follow.
But then Black was lost anyway. Or maybe not? No, in a position that screams for action, Black not only can but
must afford to lose one tempo.
Of course now 49.h6 is met by 49.-e4! 50.f:e4 g4 51.e5 g3 52.e6 f:e6 53.f6 g2 54.f7+ Kh7 55.f8Q g1Q draw
since White has no checkmate. But not 49.-g4? 50.f:e4 e4 51.g5 e3 52.g6 f:g6 53.f:g6 e2 54.h7+ Kg7 55.h8Q+
K:h8 56.Kf7 e1Q 57.g7+ Kh7 58.g8Q+ Kh6 59.Qg6 mate.
Quod erat demonstrandum!
But wait! Is there not a catch? The move 49.f6 seems to be winning: 49.-e4? 50.f:e4 g4 51.e5 g3 52.e6 g2
53.e:f7+ Kh7 54.f8Q g1Q, and now most easily 55.Qf7+ Kh8 56.Qe8+ Kh7 57.Qg6+ wins.
“So the position was lost anyway.”
Not so fast! We did not look at the other possibility. Bondarevsky has cooked something up.
49.-g4!! 50.f:g4 e4 51.g5 e3 52.g6 e2 53.g:f7+ Kh7 54.f8Q e1Q+ and Black also has a queen.
“But wait: After 55.Kf7 everything is over, or not?”
Yes, it is!
Black has found his last refuge! After wandering over half of the board, making a calm silent move in the heat
and tension of the battle, White had nothing better than to gain and endgame where Black can draw by only the
slightest of all margins. A very beautiful analysis that does not need to hide behind the game!
56.K:e6 stalemate
(Read Only)pid=16068
(135) Posted by Branislav Djurašević [Thursday, Oct 5, 2017 11:39]

Nice story with comprehensive analyses. Thank you, Siegfried.
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(136) Posted by Alain Villeneuve [Thursday, Oct 5, 2017 18:08]

This is fascinating, thank you Siegfried. I shall only doubt (!) your appreciation ("possibly the most interesting not composed pawn endgame") : the field of pawn endings is extremely rich. I know I saw much other gems like this, even if I forgot most of them.

If I limit myself to games played by high class women, see for instance the pleasant missed draws in Lanchava-Fish 1988 and Li Ruofan-Krush 2012, but more fantastic is the missed draw in Veroci-Bohmgren 1979, the missed win on 50th move of Xie Jun-Hort 1995 (find the good king move), etc.
(Read Only)pid=16070
(137) Posted by John Rice [Monday, Oct 23, 2017 18:18]

Sad news from the USA: the 2-move miniature specialist Robert Lincoln has died at the age of 79.
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(138) Posted by Rajendiran Raju [Monday, Oct 23, 2017 18:32]

Oh very sad indeed,RIP
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(139) Posted by Jan Hein Verduin [Sunday, Dec 17, 2017 12:03]

Dutch problemist Gerard J. Bouma has passed away on nov. 27, 2017. Although composing in quite a few genres, he's best known for his three- and moremovers.

This one is world famous in the Netherlands:

Gerard Bouma
1st prize Probleemblad 1969
(= 7+5 )


1.f7 (2.f8S#)

1..;Qa3 2.Sc5+,Qxc5 3.Sg5+
1..:Qf1 2.Sf4+,Qxf4 3.Sc7+
1..;Rf5 2.Sg5+,Qxg5 3.Sc5+
1..;Bd6 2.Sc7+,Qxc7 3.Sf4+
(Read Only)pid=16199
(140) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Friday, Jan 19, 2018 01:40]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [18-01-20]

As was only reported now, more than a year ago already the Russian master Rudolf Larin (27.ix.1940-27.x.2016) has died. I had contact with Larin a few years ago, he was one of the central composers of Novosibirsk, from what I gathered. He was organizer of the Memorial K.K. Sukharev in 2005, where I won the book prize "Build a trap around the black king" (in Russian) from which I took my online nickname. An obituary appeared in "Shakhmatnaya kompozitsiya" but I don't have access to it so can't give further details about the versatile russian composer Larin.

EDIT, 20 January: I have learnt today the next shock: Velimir Kalandadze has died on 27 October last year. Tbere are no words necessary about the Georgian master, he is well known among study experts and his masterful studies should be well-known.
Here are the studies and articles from different Wikipedias, each has a different study:,_%D0%92%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%80_%D0%98%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87
(Read Only)pid=16240

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MatPlus.Net Forum General Obituaries