Award Helpmate twomovers 1998
Judge: Tom Maeder

In 1998, there were 88 problems in the Probleemblad helpmate column; among them, two had been published in other magazines before and were thus not eligible for distinctions.
I would like to thank Peter van den Heuvel for asking me to act as ajudge in this renowned magazine and Hans Gruber for helping me to find anticipations and problems that offer interesting comparison. Judging an informal helpmate tourney is a lot about comparing the entries to what has been done before, maybe more so than in other genres, as so many helpmate problems have been published recently that it's almost always possible to find something. As it has become typical for helpmate informal tourneys, 1 got a great deal of assistance from the solvers, criticising constructions and providing versions and problems for comparison; their comments explain why 1 did not include several interesting problems in the award.
In addition, the following problems have been excluded because of anticipations, better predecessors or thematical flaws:
I found the level ofthe remaining problems quite high, which explains the rather high percentage of distinctions.

Piotr Murdzia
lº Pr. Probleemblad 1998

H#2     (11+12) e 2.1.l.l

lº Pr. - Piotr Murdzia, H130
Nice functional change ofwhite Rook and Bishop both in the set play and the solution (Zilahi). 1 also like that the selection of the black pieces capturing at c2 and e7 is based on negative effects of the Knight moves. All this is added value to Janos Csak (diagram F) , and compensates well for the not so pretty position.

1. ... Te6 2.Ce7 Td6#; 1. ... Ad1 2.Cc2 A:d3#
1. A:e7 Ad3 2. Re6 Ac4#; 1. A:c2 Td7 2. Re4 Td4#

Wichard von Alvensleben
-C.J. Feather50 jaar-
2º Pr. Probleemblad 1998

H#2     (8+7)

2º Pr. - Wichard von Alvensleben, H064
Some time ago, 1 awarded the similar looking Gabor Cseh (diagram G) the Ist prize. The play in H064 may look less ambitious, but the pin-mates are more subtle than what we find in Gabor's problem.

1. T:d2 Ag1 2. Df2 Cf3#; 1. D:f2 Td1 2. Td2 C:c2#

Petko A. Petkov
lª MO Probleemblad l998
H#2      b) Cc3 -> cl     (10+8)

lª MO - Petko A. Petkov, H099
Usage of white battery pieces in newly created batteries as required in the WCCT. Much to my surprise, there is only one WCCT entry (Manne Persson, 12th rank) with this combination and a black half-pin; H099 has more interesting black play.

a) 1. C:d5 Ah7 2. Ce3 e5#; b) 1. C:e4 Tf5 2. Cg3 d6#

C.J. Feather
2ª MO Probleemblad l998

H#2      (7+8)

2ª MO - C. J. Feather, H111
The author has created several examples of this cycle, but (to my knowledge) not so far with the entire play on a direct third-battery. One could argue that Miroslav Stosic (diagram H) contains double the content of H111 (with much less effort!), but the avoidance of the other variation in each solution is the essence of H111.
I would have preferred quiet first white moves, but 1 don't know if they are possible

1. D:e5 A:f5 2. D:e4 T:e4#; 1. D:e4 A:c7 2. D:e6 T:e6#;
1. D:e6 C:f6 2. D:e5 T:e5#

Horst Böttger
3ª MO Probleemblad 1998

H#2     b) Aa3 ->-b4     (5+9)

3ª MO - Horst Bottger, H125
H125 is thematically denser than the problems printed for comparison with its solution (PB 99-2, p.57): there are only thematical white pieces so that we have a Zilahi. 1 don''t give a prize to H125 because Arefjev's sacrifices are more subtle.

a) 1. R:a4 A:a3 2. R:a3 Ta1#; b) 1. R:b6 T:c5 2. R:c5 Ad4#

Mario Parrinello
4ª MO Probleemblad l998

H#2      (5+7)

4ª MO - Mario Parrinello , H098
From a thematical point of view, this problem may not be on the level of its neighbours in this award. But 1 like such neat realisations where there isn't a single non-thematic piece. There is a serious danger of anticipation, but 1 haven't found an example with anticipatory unpins.

1. d5 d:e3 2. Ae6 Df4#; 1. Cd5 d3 2. De6 De4#

Tode Ilievski
5ª MO Probleemblad 1998

H#2      (8+9)

5ª MO - Tode Ilievski, H112
1 have always been fascinated by problems where a white line piece has to be replaced by another one. Here we have an example where both replacements occur on the same line, which allows the replaced piece not to be the Queen. 1 didn't take into consideration the fact that the thematic line is masked, which in theory could make the solver's task a little bit more difficult. In Hl 12, the masking is artificial since the white Bishop could as well stand on h5 in the diagram position, which, by the way, looks heavy, but 1 can't find any obvious draw-backs in the construction.

1. D:e4 Dh4 2. Rc4 Ae6#; 1. A:e4 Th4 2. Ra4 Ad1#

Michal Dragoun
lª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      b) Pf4->a4      (8+8)

lª Lode : Michal Dragoun, H110
Interferences of the black Bishop that cause the black King to be 'pseudo-unpinned'. In strategical two-movers 1ike this, I think it's important for the thematical moves to be purely motivated. But, as pointed out by a solver, in H110(a), the black Rook has two (or maybe one and a half...) reasons for interfering with the Bishop al (check and control of f6).

a) 1. Tb2 Ce4 2. R:d5 Cef6# b) 1. Tf6 Cb4 2. R:c5 Cba6#.

C.J. Feather
2ª Lode Probleemblad l998

H#2      (6+10)

2ª Lode: C.J. Feather, H068
If l hadn't known of the Problemkiste problem provided by a solver in PB 1998-4 p. 148, 1 would have awarded H068 higher. 1 don't consider it to be an anticipation, but where we 'merely' have King moves in H068, there is additional strategy (black anticipatory self-pin) in Problemkiste.

1. Rg6 Cg7 2. Tg5 Ta6#; 1. Rg5 Cg3 2. Ag6 Dc1#.

Anatoli Stepotsjkin
3ª Lode Probleemblad l998

H#2      (8+8)

3ª Lode: Anatoli Stepotsjkin, H071
The Java theme in helpmate form; 1 must confess that 1 have absolutely no idea if there are earlier realisations. This one is not too much to my taste, partially because the locked out white Queen has to be brought into play which made the solutions rather obvious.

1. Ae3 g3 2. c1=C Db2#; 1. Af4 g4 2. c1=A Da2#

Horst Böttger
4ª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      (5+8)

4ª Lode: Horst Böttger, H066
There are many two-phase problems with anticipatory self-pins, but a lot of them don't show double-pin mates, of course. Daniel de Irezabal is interesting to compare (diagram I) ; I prefer H066 because it substitutes exchanged functions of the black pieces for the twinning mechanism.

1. Tb4 Ce6 2. Rc4 Da2#; 1. Ac4 Cd7 2. Rd4 Td1#

Heinrich Bernleitner
5ª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      b-h) vedi soluz.      (3+14)

5ª Lode: Heinrich Bernleitner, H065
Two white Knight-wheels seem to be new, and they are realised with optimal white economy here. The author seems to have been interested in the fact that all the first moves are executed by one Knight and all the mating moves by the other. Luckily, he didn't have to pay for this with additional black material; every black piece contributes to at least one mate.

a) Diagram 1. Rd1 Cd3 2. Ac2 Ce:f2#; b) RNc2->a4 1. Ab2 C:c6 2. Aa3 Cc3#; c) RNc2->a6 1. Aa4 Cc4 2. Ab5 Cc5#; d) RNc2->b7 1. Ac4 Cd7 2. Aa6 Cd6#; e) RNc2->f8 1. Re8 Cg6 2. Af6 C:f6#; f) RNc2->h8 1. Rh7 C:f7 2. Ag7 Ceg5#; g) RNc2->h4 1. Rh5 Cg4 2. Th4 Cg3#; h) RNc2->g2 1. Rf1 Cf3 2. Dg2 Ce:d2#

Juri Gorbatenko
e Vlad Nefiodov
6ª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      (8+11)

6ª Lode: Juri Gorbatenko & Vlad Nefjodov, H097
Tempo captures with exchange off functions (Zilahi); the interceptions in Black's second move are well integrated. Everything except the Zilahi has been shown in the equally crowded bemd ellinghoven, feenschach 1991 (diagram J) , where strategical means are employed to prevent the black Knights from losing the tempo.

1. A:g5 C:e3 2. Tg2 C:d5#: 1. A:g2 A:e3 2. Tg5 Ad2#

Wenelin Alaikov
7ª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      (6+12)

7ª Lode: Wenelin Alaikov, H094
Nice differentiation of the black play in a heavy setting. It's obviously very hard to show something outstanding in this context after Franz Pachl's marvellous problem (diagram K) .

1. Ce4 Tc5 2. De3 g4#; 1. Ce5 Th8 2. De2 C:f4#

Janos Csak
8ª Lode Probleemblac 1998

H#2      (7+9)

8ª Lode: Janos Csak, H067
Interesting play, but I don't understand why the author chose to pin the white Rook and Bishop in the diagram position. The author has shown the same strategy in Mat-Pat 1994 (diagram L) , but here, the play is much more obvious because of the white Pawns on the seventh line.

1. D:g7+ D:g7 2. A:c7+ D:c7#; 1. T:e2+ D:e2 2. T:b5+ D:b5#

Valeri Gurov
9ª Lode Probleemblad 1998

H#2      (7+9)

9ª Lode: Valeri Gurov, H126
What should I add to the discussion in PB 1999-2 p. 57, apart from the fact that this would have got a prize if both first black moves were pure tempo moves?

1. D:g7 Cb4 2. c3 Cba6#; 1. D:a4 Cf6 2. e4 Cd7#

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