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KoBulChess Helpmates 2012 Award
logo(09.12.2016) Here is the Award of KoBulChess Helpmates 2012. Many thanks to the judge Zoran Gavrilovski for his excellent job! The Award is open for 1 month period.






KobulChess Helpmates award 2012
Judge: Zoran Gavrilovski
   I thank the web site’s general editor Diyan Kostadinov for inviting me to judge the helpmate tourney for 2012 and I thank 15 composers from 9 countries who participated in the tourney with their original problems. I apologize to the editor and to the participants in the tourney for the lately submitted award, which was delayed mostly owing to subjective factors.
   The quantity of the tourney in two sections (25 h#s, of which 16 in 2 moves and 9 in 3-n moves) is poor, but the quality is slightly better. It was rather easy task for me to choose the candidates for the award, after eliminating some of them on account of anticipation (№ 29 is anticipated by Mikhail Sosedkin, Ideal Mate Review, July – August 1984, № 653, White: Kb2, Bb5, Sc7, Sg5, Pf2 (5), Black: Kd4, Re8, Bh1 (3),, 1.Bd5 Sa6 2.Re4 Sf3#, 1.Re3 f4 2.Be4 Se6#) or constructional flaws. For example: 12 has superfluous aristocratic pieces in some phases; in 95 a half of the ambitious 4-phase content (one of the two pairs of solutions in a “theme of the Future” form) is achieved with the help of promotion to a white Queen, but the white Pawns on a7 and f7 are idle in the remaining three phases, so these factor contributes to an impression that solutions involving major promotions do not naturally fit into the scheme. Some problems have simple (even banal) play or insufficiently matched play. For example, 92 has a peculiar combination of Zilahi with a thematic try which fails owing to lack of a black waiting move, but this try is related only to one actual line of play in which the wR must sacrifice, while the other thematic capture is passive, hence this thematic impurity spoils the overall impression. Still there is no extremely weak problem in this tourney, thus congratulations must go to the editor for his careful editing.
   My main criteria in judging were strategy and originality of the problems, as well as harmony of the play (more relevant in two-n phase problems) and thematic intensity and purity of the play. I tried to balance these criteria in as far as possible objective manner and the result of this evaluation is given below.
Editors note: Here you can see the top three problems in both sections and the full award can be seen on the link at the end of the article.
1st Prize: Zivko Janevski & Fadil Abdurahmanovic
Prolonged half-pin with exchanged elimination of/mates by two white pieces (Zilahi theme). Captures are needed to allow the black King to step onto the square a5 or c5 on the half-pin line (thus determining the order of black moves), but in order to close the mating net the wRb1 must take control of the bK’s initial square b5, either as a rear indirect battery piece or by check (this unbalance is mitigated by the play on the same square at W1 moves).
1.Q:d8 S:b2 2.Ka5 S:c4#, 1.S:d3 R:b2+ 2.Kc5 Be7#    
2nd Prize: Zivko Janevski
Anticipatory self-pin and Umnov effect on the mating move were combined earlier in a different context. The novelty here is that these mates occur on the square which is occupied by the black King in the initial position. The content is embellished by exchanged functions of bSd6/bQf3 (self-pin/passive self-block and vice versa) and wBg6/wRa5 (pin/guard of squares adjacent to the bK, and vice versa).
1.Sf5 d:c3+ 2.Ke4 Rd4#, 1.Qd5 Kg7 2.Ke5 d4#   
1st Honourable Mention: Valerio Agostini & Gabriele Brunori  
Cyclic dual avoidance with a seemingly ideal economy and less ideal twinning by change of the position of a different unit in each twin. In the first two twins the initial self-block makes the self-blocking piece ineligible for further play, while the line opening move 1.Sc4 in the last twin also closes a bR’s line, hence – in the context of B1 move - the wrong choice 2.Rd5? seems to be less convincing.
a) 1.Bc6 b4 2.Rd5 A (Sd5 B?) Bc7#
b) 1.Rc5 Ke8 2.Sd5 B (Bd5 C?) Re6#
c) 1.Sc4 Ba5 2.Bd5 C (Rd5 A?) Bb4#
1st Prize: Diyan Kostadinov 
Interesting twins with an additional (apart from the position’s shifting) stipulation H#(n+2) and rather good realization of this idea in a white minimal form. In principle, I dislike twinning by rotation of the board in which the same result can be achieved by a more conventional and less drastic twinning, but here it is obvious that the direction of movement (primarily) of wP determines the play and number of moves needed to mate the black King. The play is far from unified, apart from the promotions to a Queen, but such varied play is inherent in the matrix. Regardless of the fact that the composer did not invent this type of twinning and that there might be some better problems in which such twins are made by other type of changing the positions, his heroic efforts to create № 13 deserve the highest recognition in this tourney. a) 1.Kh8 f8Q#, b) 1.Ka6 b7 2.Ra8 b8Q 3.Bd8 Q:a8#,
c) 1.Kh3 g:h4 2.Rg6 h5 3.Kh4 h6 4.Kh5 h7 5.Kh6 h8Q#,
d) 1.Be2+ K:e2 2.d3+ c:d3 3.c2 d4 4.Kc3 d:e5 5.Kd4 e6 6.Ke5 e7 7.Ke6 e8Q#. 
2nd Prize: Viktoras Paliulionis 
This aristocratic miniature has many pleasant details: a white Bishop’s round-trip, with switchback on e7 after allowing bRb7 to pass across this square (a bicolour Klasinc theme) and an unexpected tempo move by the black Rook (2.Rh7!), which also contributes to the determination of otherwise less surprising black self-blocks.
1.Ke6 Bc5 2.Rh7! Bb6 3.Ke7 Kb8 4.Qg8 Kc8 5.Sf7+ Bd8+ 6.Kf8 Kd7 7.Rg7 Be7#
Honourable Mention: Diyan Kostadinov
The author claimed that this problem is the first one to show three round-trips by just promoted minor pieces on the promotion square in a single setting: three twins were needed for Jorge J. Lois’ h#4.5 1st–2nd Pr. Mike Prcic – 70 JT 2009–2010 (StrateGems 2010), and only two minor promoted pieces make a round-trip starting and ending on the promotion square in the h#4.5 by Rolf Wiehagen & Christer Jonsson, 1st Pr. Schach-Aktiv 2007 (in this problem there are four round-trips, but a promoted wS returns to the wP’s diagram (not to the promotion) square and wQ is not a minor piece, so her round-trip on the promotion square is not matching the achievement of № 98). The above novelty is not merely technical, because the play of № 98 to a certain extent differs from its predecessors and has model mates (alike the above h#4,5s).
1...c8S 2.Bd8 S:b6+ 3.Ke7 Sc4 4.Rb7 S:d6 5.Rd7 Sc8#,
1...c8B+ 2.Kc7 B:a6 3.Sf5 Bc4 4.Kb7 B:e6 5.Ka6 Bc8#,
1...c8R 2.Sb7 Rd8+ 3.Kc7 Rd7+ 4.Kb8 Rc7 5.Ka8 Rc8#. 
To see the full Award - CLICK HERE.

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