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  • CHESS PROBLEM GEMS BY EIGHT EMINENT AMERICAN COMPOSERS

    Kenneth S. Howard

    DOVER PUBLICATIONS, INC. NEW YORK

  • Copyright 1972 by Dover Publications, Inc. Al l rights reserved under Pan American and Inter-

    national Copyright Conventions.

    Published in Canada by General Publishing Com-pany, Ltd . , 30 Lesmill R o a d , Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario.

    Published in the United K i n g d o m by Constable and Company , Ltd. , 10 Orange Street, London W C 2 .

    Chess Problem Gems by Eight Eminent American Composers is a new work, first published by Dover Publications, Inc. , in 1972.

    International Standard Book Number: 0-486-22166-0 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: Jg-i8g348

    Manufactured in the United States of America Dover Publications, Inc.

    180 Var ick Street New York, N . Y . 1 0 0 1 4

  • Contents

    p a g e

    E i g h t E m i n e n t C o m p o s e r s i

    T h e P r o b l e m i s t ' s V o c a b u l a r y 4

    N o t a t i o n 9

    E u g e n e B. C o o k 11

    S a m u e l L o y d 16

    W i l l i a m M e r e d i t h 3 2

    G e o r g e E . C a r p e n t e r 4 1

    W i l l i a m A . S h i n k m a n 4 8

    D . J . D e n s m o r e 6 4

    H e n r y W a l d B e t t m a n 7 2

    O t t o W u r z b u r g 8 5

    V

  • Eight Eminent Composers

    FEW chess en thus i a s t s t o d a y m a y b e f a m i l i a r w i t h m u c h o f t h e o u t s t a n d i n g w o r k o f t h e ea r ly A m e r i c a n p r o b l e m compose r s . T h i s p r i m a r i l y i s b e c a u s e no col lec t ions o f t he i r p r o b l e m s a r e c u r r e n t l y i n p r i n t a n d t h e y a r e o n l y t o b e f o u n d i n books t h a t occas iona l ly m a y be s ecu red i n t h e s e c o n d h a n d m a r k e t . A single e x c e p t i o n i s t h a t o f s o m e o f S a m L o y d ' s c o m p o s i t -ions.

    S o t h e p r e s e n t v o l u m e r e p r o d u c e s t yp i ca l e x a m p l e s o f t h e w o r k o f e i gh t o f t h e m o s t e m i n e n t o f these p rob l emis t s w h o s e c o m p o s i n g ca ree r s d a t e d f r o m t h e last c e n t u r y .

    W h i l e E u g e n e B . C o o k a n d S a m u e l L o y d w e r e t h e ear l ies t o f t h e m o r e p r o m i n e n t p ioneers , t h e y w e r e fo l lowed closely b y G e o r g e E . C a r p e n t e r a n d W i l l i a m A . S h i n k m a n . A l t h o u g h W i l l i a m M e r e d i t h was b o r n b e f o r e L o y d , his p r o b l e m s o n l y b e g a n t o b e p u b l i s h e d i n t h e e igh teen- seven t i e s a n d his w o r k d i d n o t a t t r a c t a n y w i d e s p r e a d a t t e n t i o n un t i l yea r s a f t e r w a r d . D a r s o J . D e n s m o r e b e c a m e n o t e d fo r his s t r a t eg ic p r o b l e m s , especia l ly fo r those f e a t u r i n g b l a c k in t e r f e rences . T h e c o m p o s i n g act ivi t ies o f H e n r y W a l d B e t t m a n a n d o f O t t o W u r z b u r g c o n -t i n u e d f a r i n t o t h e p r e s e n t c e n t u r y . W h i l e o t h e r ea r ly c o m p o s e r s p u b l i s h e d m a n y f i n e p r o b l e m s , t h e y d i d n o t b e c o m e a s p r o m i -n e n t .

    P r i o r to t h e m i d d l e o f t h e last c e n t u r y t h e r e was on ly a m i n i -m u m o f chess ac t iv i ty i n this c o u n t r y a n d a s t h e r e w e r e n o chess m a g a z i n e s , n o r chess c o l u m n s i n n e w s p a p e r s , t h e r e w a s l i t t le i n c e n t i v e for p r o b l e m c o m p o s i t i o n , s ince i t was on ly in f o r e i g n pe r iod ica l s t h a t p r o b l e m s m i g h t b e p u b l i s h e d .

    T h e ear l ies t A m e r i c a n chess c o l u m n was o n e e d i t e d b y C h a r l e s H e n r y S t a n l e y in The Spirit of the Times, in N e w York , t he f i r s t p r o b l e m p u b l i s h e d b e i n g o n e o f S t an l ey ' s o w n t h a t w a s p r i n t e d in n o t a t i o n in the M a r c h 1 , 1845 issue. T h e f i r s t m a g a -zine, The Chess Palladium, was issued by N a p o l e o n M a r a c h e in

  • 14 Chess Problem. Gems

    1846, a n d a second , t h e American Chess Magazine, a p p e a r e d in 1847. Bo th , h o w e v e r , h a d shor t lives.

    A g r e a t chess a w a k e n i n g in this c o u n t r y c a m e w i t h t h e a d v e n t o f P a u l M o r p h y ' s exploi ts , w h i c h b e g a n i n t h e l a t e r e i gh t een -f i f t i e s a n d a r o u s e d s o m u c h n a t i o n a l e n t h u s i a s m t h a t m a n y n e w s p a p e r s b e g a n t o c a r r y chess c o l u m n s . T h i s n a t u r a l l y led t o a s tead i ly i n c r e a s i n g in te res t in p r o b l e m s .

    T h e b i r t h o f A m e r i c a n p r o b l e m - b o o k l i t e r a t u r e da t e s f r o m t h e fo l lowing d e c a d e . I n 1859 C o o k a n d L o y d p l a n n e d t o issue a co l lec t ion of a t h o u s a n d p r o b l e m s by A m e r i c a n compose r s . I t was n o t u n t i l 1868, h o w e v e r , t h a t w i t h t h e c o o p e r a t i o n o f W i l l i a m R . H e n r y a n d C h a r l e s A . G i l b e r g , t h e b o o k was p u b -l ished u n d e r t h e t i t le of American Chess Nuts, c o n t a i n i n g 2406 p r o b l e m s , o f w h i c h 353 w e r e b y L o y d , 326 b y C o o k a n d 6 4 b y C a r p e n t e r .

    In 1881 L o y d p u b l i s h e d his Chess Strategy, "a t rea t i se on chess p r o b l e m s , " i l l u s t r a t ed w i t h m a n y o f his compos i t ions . T h e second sec t ion o f t h e s ix teen th v o l u m e of A l a i n W h i t e ' s Christmas Series, en t i t l ed Sam Loyd and his Chess Problems, issued in 1913, is a rev is ion of t h e Strategy, b a s e d on m a t e r i a l lef t by L o y d a t his d e a t h , a n d h a s ove r 500 o f his p r o b l e m s . T h i s v o l u m e f o r t u n a t e l y i s n o w a v a i l a b l e in a p a p e r b a c k re -p r i n t .

    In 1916 100 Chess Problems by William Meredith was p u b l i s h e d as t h e t w e n t y - s e c o n d v o l u m e of t h e Christmas Series, a n d in 1920 A Memorial to D, J. Densmore, c o n t a i n i n g a co l lec t ion of D e n s -m o r e ' s p r o b l e m s , as t h e twen ty - s ix th v o l u m e . T h e n The Golden Argosy, a co l lec t ion of 600 of S h i n k m a n ' s p r o b l e m s , t h e t h i r t y -seven th v o l u m e of t h e Christmas Series, a p p e a r e d in 1929.

    Ores t e s A . B r o w n s o n , J r . , w h o f o u n d e d a n d ed i t ed t h e Dubuque Chess Journal, p u b l i s h e d a co l lec t ion of 200 of C a r p e n t e r ' s p r o b l e m s i n 1875, w i t h t h r e e l a t e r ed i t ions . N u m a P re t i o f Pa r i s also b r o u g h t o u t a co l lec t ion of 200 of C a r p e n t e r ' s p r o b l e m s in 1901. In 1926 D r . H. K e i d a n z p u b l i s h e d a co l lec t ion of all o f Cook ' s k n o w n compos i t ions , some 650 posi t ions .

    All o f these books w e r e issued in c o m p a r a t i v e l y l imi t ed ed i t ions a n d , as p rev ious ly m e n t i o n e d , on ly a select ion of L o y d ' s p r o b l e m s i s r e a d i l y o b t a i n a b l e a t p r e sen t . No col lect ions o f t h e p r o b l e m s o f D r . H e n r y W a l d B e t t m a n n o r o f O t t o W u r z b u r g h a v e a s y e t b e e n p u b l i s h e d .

  • Eight Eminent Composers 3

    So t h e a u t h o r bel ieves t h a t t h e select ions in this v o l u m e wil l b e w e l c o m e d b y all w h o m a y b e i n t e r e s t ed i n ear ly o u t s t a n d i n g compos i t i ons i n t h e A m e r i c a n chess p r o b l e m field.

    S ince s o m e r e a d e r s m a y n o t b e f a m i l i a r w i t h va r ious t e r m s used b y p rob lemis t s , m a n y o f t h e m o r e c o m m o n ones a r e ex-p l a i n e d i n t h e n e x t sect ion.

  • The Problemist's Vocabulary

    THE BASIC d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n a c o m p o s e d endgame a n d a prob-lem i s t h a t i n t h e f o r m e r W h i t e h a s an i n d e f i n i t e n u m b e r o f m o v e s i n w h i c h t o w i n o r d r a w a g a i n s t a s u p e r i o r o r e q u a l b l a c k fo rce , w h e r e a s in a p r o b l e m W h i t e m u s t m a t e Black in a de f in i t e n u m b e r o f m o v e s .

    I n a c o n v e n t i o n a l chess p r o b l e m W h i t e m o v e s f i r s t a n d m a t e s Black in a s t i p u l a t e d n u m b e r o f moves , t h e c o r r e c t f i r s t m o v e fo r W h i t e b e i n g t e r m e d t h e keymove o r key. T h e r e a r e o n l y t w o c o n v e n t i o n s t h a t m u s t b e o b s e r v e d i n c o m p o s i n g a p r o b l e m . T h e f i r s t i s t h a t t h e pos i t ion m u s t b e o n e w h i c h c o u l d b e r e a c h e d i n a c t u a l p l a y h o w e v e r u n n a t u r a l i t m a y a p p e a r . I n f ac t , t h e pos i t ions in p r o b l e m s n e v e r w o u l d be l ikely to o c c u r in a g a m e . T h e s e c o n d c o n v e n t i o n i s t h a t t h e r e m u s t b e o n l y o n e f i r s t m o v e t h a t wi l l solve t h e p r o b l e m . S h o u l d i t be d i s cove red t h a t a p r o b -l e m m a y b e so lved b y m o r e t h a n o n e f i r s t m o v e i t i s sa id t o b e unsound a n d is va lue less . T h e u n i n t e n d e d f i rs t m o v e is c a l l e d a cook.

    W h i l e a n y m o v e m a y b e e m p l o y e d a s a key , i n m o d e r n p r o b -l ems a c h e c k , c a p t u r e of a b l a c k m a n , m o v e of a w h i t e p i ece f r o m an o u t - o f - p l a y to a m o r e ac t ive pos i t i on , a m o v e t h a t r e -str icts B lack ' s p l a y , o r a n y o t h e r aggress ive m o v e , i s c o n s i d e r e d o b j e c t i o n a b l e as a k e y m o v e . A p l a u s i b l e - a p p e a r i n g f i rs t m o v e a g a