Chess Composition

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chess Composition


a specialized branch of chess that involves the composition of problems (hypothetical positions with a checkmate possible in a given number of moves) and studies (positions similar to those used in games, in which the player must find the way to victory or stalemate).

The study as an independent branch of chess composition evolved in the mid-19th century. The first collection of studies was compiled by B. Horwitz and J. Kling in 1851. The founder of the modern artistic study was A. A. Troitskii (1866–1942, Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR from 1928), who established the basic principles of study aesthetics between 1894 and 1900 and elaborated them in subsequent years. His immediate followers were I. Zevers, V. N. Platov, M. N. Platov, and L. I. Kubbel’ of Russia and H. Rinck of France. Soviet chess composers have continued to play a leading role in the development of study composition.

The first chess problem was composed in the Middle Ages. The modern artistic study criteria (originality and economy) were defined in the mid-19th century. By the end of the century the principles of the chief schools were formulated by the problemists S. Lloyd (USA), A. Mackenzie (Jamaica), K. Bayer and J. Berger (Germany), J. Dobrusky and J. Pospisil (Czechoslovakia), and C. Plank and B. Laws (Great Britain). The best-known Russian problemists of the 19th century were A. D. Petrov, I. S. Shumov, and A. V. Galitskii. Major problemists of the 20th century have included J. Kohtz and W. von Holzhausen (Germany), M. Havel and E. Palkosky (Czechoslovakia), A. White (United States), A. Ellerman (Argentina), and M. M. Barulin and L. A. Isaev (USSR).

International and national competitions in problems and studies are held. In the USSR, individual championships were first organized in 1929 and have been held regularly since 1947; team championships have been conducted since 1956. Sports ranks are awarded on the basis of results in these competitions. Based on the process of elimination in a competition sponsored by the FIDE Album, which publishes the official collection of studies and problems of the International Chess Federation, the title of international grandmaster was awarded to the following between 1930 and 1970: E. Wissermann (the Netherlands), C. Mansfield (Great Britain), G. Paros (Hungary), N. Petrovic (Yugoslavia), J. Fritz and V. Pachman (Czechoslovakia), and V. A. Bron, G. M. Rasparían, V. A. Korol’kov, and L. I. Loshinskii (USSR).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Late in life he received several awards from FIDE (World Chess Federation) for his career in chess problems; International Judge of Compositions (1957), and International Master of Chess Composition (1959).
Dubai: Fujairah Endurance Chess Solving Championship, approved by the World Federation for Chess Composition (WFCC) and organised by Fujairah Chess and Cultural Club in cooperation with the UAE Chess Federation, will be held at Fujairah's Novotel on January 28 and 29.
But many believe that today's problem, from the same contest, is a step up in chess composition.
Petersburg house: the large cool hand resting on my head [his father's] did not quaver and several lines of play in a difficult chess composition were not blended yet on the board."
All varieties of chess composition pertaining to whatever variant of chess have aesthetic qualities but they are not exactly the same or even close in some cases because the rules differ.
It is theoretically for a chess composition to occur in a real game but unlikely because composers often place the pieces so strategically that the theme or idea they wish to illustrate can be demonstrated well.
Even in automatic chess composition where one would expect beauty to be taken into account to do a decent job comparable to human composers, it is not.
In chess compositions for instance, aesthetic factors include but are not limited to things like preferential themes, originality, effects of duals, partial anticipation and penalization of symmetry.
Included are his match and tournament record, his record against principal rivals, his chess compositions, and interviews, inter alia.
Chess compositions, for example, have been described as its 'poetry.' How is it that, a fundamentally mathematical game (not quite like say, visual art or literature), can have an equivalent aesthetic effect on humans?
Could the same approach that gives computers the ability to 'dream up a plan' in the game also give them the ability to compose beautiful chess compositions or 'take a risk' with a highly irregular move in a real game that results in what we call a 'brilliancy?' Of course, it would only be fair that all of this come at the price of the computer sometimes completely messing up (as we do), but it would be a small price to pay given the kind of plasticity achieved; a plasticity in reasoning and thought that could be just as applicable in other domains.
This is the work of chess problemists who create chess compositions and not a possible product of practical chess players.