Reports | January 30, 2008 19:40

[lang_nl]De studies van Corus-70[/lang_nl][lang_en]The Corus-70 Studies[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Tijdens Corus 2008 werd er ook een compositietoernooi voor eindspelstudies gehouden. Jurlid was onze medewerker Yochanan Afek en vandaag publiceren we de studies in de volgorde van prijzen.[/lang_nl][lang_en]During Corus 2008, there was also an endgame studies composing tourney. The jury was our co-editor Yochanan Afek and today we publish the studies in the order of the prizes.[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Voor meer info verwijzen we naar de Engelstalige versie van dit artikel, maar het gaat natuurlijk om de studies zelf:[/lang_nl][lang_en]In 40 years of playing, training and composing career I have always witnessed a firm mutual linkage between over the board chess and the fine art of the endgame study. Players of all levels enjoy solving studies for the sake of sheer pleasure but also as an essential tool for developing creativity and imagination, polishing the calculative ability and even acquiring theoretical knowledge.

Composers on the other hand, often strong players themselves, have always been inspired by competitive experiences for exposing the hidden treasures of the royal game to the enjoyment of the entire chess public.

Therefore it seemed just natural to me to celebrate 70 years of the world's best chess event with an international composing tourney encouraging the finest creators worldwide to take part. Happily, my idea was enthusiastically welcome by the board of Corus tournament which kindly offered a generous prize fund and a podium to introduce the best of chess art to the whole chess community.

To carry out such a project I could not hope for a better teammate then the world famous expert Harold van der Heijden. Despite of his numerous engagements he fortunately accepted to act as the tourney director and to thoroughly check all entries for both correctness and originality. His detailed report and precious advice were of invaluable assistance in the judging process which proved much harder than usual thanks to the massive and excellent turnout.

In total 151 studies were submitted making the tourney quantitatively already an enormous success. It is exceptional that a tourney has more than 100 entries, and according to Harold, in whole chess history only a handful of tourneys received more than 150 studies. In total 90 composers from 29 countries took part. Among the competitors there are 8 composition title holders (3 GM's) and 10 debutants (no studies in Harold's database) as well as 3 o.t.b. grandmasters. Correctness checking was done using chess playing software (e.g. Deep Fritz 10) armed with all 5 men or less EGTB's and some 6 men EGTB's. If necessary, 6 piece endings were checked in an EGTB available on the internet. In most instances a clear-cut conclusion could be drawn on the study's correctness, but still some suspect studies or doubtful cooks occur.

Obviously, there is no guarantee that all conclusions are correct. Anticipation checking was done using Harold's own unique database (with more than 72,000 endgame studies), often assisted by the Chess Query Language (CQL) tool developed by Lewis Stiller and Gady Costeff. Participants will be later personally informed by the tourney director about unsound or anticipated entries The general level of the survivors was very high which made the judging task even tougher. I received them from Harold in an anonymous file with an additional file of possible anticipations as well as a list of possible cooks. Loyal to my own artistic philosophy I gave priority to originality, clarity and elegance. In view of the superb standard I decided to add a whole category of special prizes. Furthermore, I am pretty confident that even all the honourable mentions would have been serious candidates for inclusion in the prize list of almost any other event.

Following a considerable ?¢‚Ǩ?ìinner struggle?¢‚Ǩ? I finally decided on the following ranking:[/lang_en]

Yochanan Afek's picture
Author: Yochanan Afek

IM Yochanan Afek is a chess player, trainer, endgame study composer and writer. His complete selection of studies can be found here.


Bootvis's picture

I'm dizzy now

thorex's picture

Right, fascinating but tricky stuff.

Thank you very much indeed! This article will provide me puzzles for the next few weeks. Great work!

vaughn's picture

it would help if you would put them in pgn format for download.

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