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).
E. I. UMNOV