Study of the Month – Chess Composition in Japan and Singapore | So Good News


Big in Japan?

Since I don’t have any written sources, let’s start with the situation in Japan, apart from the answers to the questions asked by knowledgeable people about Japan and Singapore, as well as my own experience in the Singapore environment.

When I picked up a few issues of Problem Heaven in the mid-2000s, chess was just one of its compositional avenues, while others included games like checkers and tsumeshogi (shogi problems).

Hiroaki Maeshima collected and translated the information for you In fact, he asked IM Junta Ikeda, Hiroshi Manabe and Tadashi Wakashima (sensei) for additional training. The information provided below is the first time it has been published On Twitter. Wakashima writes there:

In Japan, the Japan Postal Chess Association had a bulletin called “Poshka”.

Because of its editor Shigeo Hayakawa’s love of chess problems, chess problems became temporarily popular among the newsletter’s readers in 1973-1974. The Japanese had several dozen originals, and I will introduce some of them.


Unfortunately, the originals stopped being published by that time (I don’t think Poshka was published after 1977) and I think the history of chess problems would change a lot if Poshka had any more problems.

Hiroaki Maeshima adds that the Japan Postal Chess Association is now known as the Japan Correspondence Chess Association. Peshka was published twenty years before the first issues of “Problemalyk Beyish” magazine.

Wakashima confirmed that The Pawn included some recent research. A [“Problems from the pawn_2.pdf” PDF file] Problems and studies from the journal (without solutions) with a brief translation of their relevance are presented by Hiroaki. Recent studies of the three games in the file with solutions are also repeated at the end of the article.

The following text is provided before the above information. In the beginning, Hiroaki Maeshima sent me the information he collected:

Many Japanese chess problem composers are also tsumeshogi (shogi problem) composers.

Tsumeshogi still has a long history. During the Edo period (1603-1867), some collections of tsumeshogi were dedicated to the Shogun.

He clarified that chess also came to Japan during this period. But until recently, chess was not very popular in Japan.

One of the pioneers of the chess problem in Japan was Masazumi Hanazawa (1943-2007):

It was the first Japanese chess problem published in the FIDE album.
(Problems by Ken Kusaka, Satoshi Hashimoto, Yoshikazu Ueda, and Tadashi Wakashima were later published on the FIDE album.)

This is an obituary (in Japanese). The page states that He created chess problems, tsumeshogi, fairy tsumeshogi, tsumego (go problem) and other puzzles.

It contains a comment by Yoshio Kadowaki (He was also a pioneer of the chess problem in Japan) about a study posted on (it is not clearly stated, but I believe this comment refers to the study. I translated)

Hanazawa-san was very fond of (reading) chess problems, and he has a USSR or Feenshah magazine in his collection, and I often exchange information with him.
[translator added: Among his problems,] What surprised me was “Many queens-noko.”[1]”. Because the captured part cannot be reused[2] Several Queen-noko in chess is very difficult. If memory serves, there was a problem with the two-story Queen-noko, but Hanazawa-san had a problem with the four- or five-story Queen-noko, which surprised me.

—- Paradise issue and WFCC(PCCC)—
Japan was accepted to participate in the PCCC in 1996.
The protocol states that the Japan Chess Problem Society was founded in June 1996, and at that time it had 80 members.
It now has 90 members, with president Satoshi Hashimoto and editor-in-chief Tadashi Wakashima of Problem Paradise magazine.

Problem Paradise is a Japanese chess problem magazine (I think the only one). It has been published quarterly since 1996. The 100th issue will be published in December 2022.
“Problem Paradise” will stop printing after issue 100. It will be published online.

There are two Japanese wrestlers who hold WFCC titles: Tadashi Wakashima (IM) and Kohei Yamada (FM).
[note: Not to be confused between solving FM Kohey Yamada and OTB’s FM Kohei Yamada.]

In 2012 WCCC was held in Kobe, Japan.

Translation note:
[1] Queen-noko: Tsumeshogi has a type of maneuver called “Umanoko” (lit. horse saw). “Horse” is a nickname for a raised bishop whose move is Bishop+King. “Umanoko” is a maneuver that causes the bishop to follow a zig-zag path like a sawtooth. In this context, he considered the wQ maneuvers in the above study to be the same as “Umanoko”.
[2] Unlike shogi. This commentary was originally written for Japanese readers.

This is unfortunately all the information Yous Truly has about chess composition in Japan. Again, a big thank you to Hiroaki Maeshima for working on this for weeks to get information from various sources.

See also: Problems of pioneers

The Singapore Rising

Andrew Buchanan, the inventor of Dead Reckoning, which translates the “dead position” rule into chess composition ideas, hosts online meetups once a month that he and other Singaporean chess composers regularly attend, along with Yous Truly and other interested friends. the world. The small monthly circle consists of less than 10 people, but there have been notable guests before, such as an author or two from our sister site ChessBase India.

Singapore skyline silhouette

Although the monthly meeting and the online magazine “The Hopper” have caught the attention of Singapore, prodigy Anirudh Daga (from India) conducts video interviews with chess composers, Singapore has a small community of five active composers who know each other. , the others being Marken Foo, James Quah, Andrew Buchanan (originally UK), Tamij Khosla (originally India). Quah is the source of this and the following information.

This information indicates that Lin Tian Liang was previously active since the 1950s. He was a Malaysian before the founding of Singapore. The following problem has both sides, when Black starts, White can checkmate him after 2 moves (Black, White, Black, White).

TL Lynn, The Problemist October/December 1975.

2, assistant in two decisions.

(Edit by Hiroaki Maeshima, “Chess Problems & Studies” Discord server, October 22, 2022)

The Schwalbe Problem Database has 35 entries by this composer, mostly dealing with himself (White forces Black to checkmate him).

Most of the books on chess problems published in Singapore in the 1980s were by Kenneth S. By Howard, but, for example, Barry P. Barnes also has “A Selection of the Best Chess Problems”. This is unfortunately the last information sent by James Quah.

Despite being known internationally, the chess composition community in Singapore seems to be very small.

WCCT Results

The 11th World Chess Composition Tournament (see our October 2019 article for a history of those tournaments) has recently concluded and the official website offers a booklet for download in PDF format. It says: A total of 33 countries participated in the tournament with 550 compositions in eight divisions. The tournament was announced in May 2020 and the deadline for submission of entries is July 1, 2021. Teams from Russia and Belarus were eliminated in March 2022 in response to the Russian-Ukrainian war (which has been ongoing since 2014) that escalated in February. 2022.

Slovakia (130.6 points), Ukraine (122.3 points) and Germany (119.4 points) took first place in the overall competition. Serbia was a close fourth with 116.9 points. If a country scored in all eight genres, their lowest score was not added to the total score. “x-movers” are mats with x moves, for example “doubles” are mats with 2 moves.

113 composers had problems on at least 20 lists in one genre. The individual best compositions were given by:

  • Twomovers – Marjan Kovacevic (Serbia). The section had a composition of 79 degrees.
  • Threemovers – Peter Gvozdyak and Stefan Sovik (Slovakia). took 66th place.
  • Moremovers – Ladislav Salaj Jr., Emil Klemanic (Slovakia). took 57th place.
  • Endgame Studies – Sergey Didukh (Ukraine). in 61st place.
  • Assistants – Marek Kolchak (Slovakia). took 84th place.
  • Friends with him – Josef Havran (Slovakia). took 64th place.
  • Fairy Chess – Petr Gvozdyak (Slovakia). in 42nd place.
  • Retros – Silvio Bayer (Germany). took 68th place.

It is worth noting that Sergiy Didukh is referred to in the booklet as Sergiy Didukh, who recently requested the use of the “h” transcription in EG, which we honor in this article. The Retros section has a proofgames theme. Proofgames are games that can be uniquely defined by the final state and number of moves unless (as usual) the shortest proof game is sought, in which case the number of moves is theoretically not required for the condition. to play.

Since this series of articles focuses on end-game research, we will only reproduce their topic here. Interested readers can find others, as well as the listed entries, in the booklet.

Topic (proposed by Israel): during resolution, in the same situation, White’s unit has two ways to make an active sacrifice; one is an action and the other is a decision. Any type of unit (including a pawn) can be sacrificed, and it is allowed to sacrifice different units in the action and decision. The sacrifice must be clean: the sacrificed white unit(s) must not be guarded (protected) by another white unit after the sacrifice, and the thematic white moves must not capture a black unit. The sacrifice may or may not be accepted by Black.

“Big in Japan?” section of this article. So we hope to strike a balance between information and entertainment.



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