Chess

TODAY A couple of studies by one of the most prolific study composers ever: Ernest Pogosyants. Although I had of course heard of Pogosyants and seen some of his compositions, I knew nothing about him personally until a booklet on him, A (First) Century of Studies, arrived recently. Selected and edited by the English study expert John Roycroft, it's published in the US by Russel Enterprises Ltd - who incidentally have an excellent web site "The Chess Cafe" http://www.chesscafe. com - priced there at $9.95; and should be hitting the usual chess outlets here soon, though when I spoke to Roycroft, even he hadn't yet received copies!

Born in 1935, Pogosyants joined the Communist party as a young idealist, but his outspoken comments led to him being arrested and sent for some months to a mental hospital as a result of which he suffered from insomnia right up to his death in 1990. It was during those sleepless nights that he composed many of his lifetime output of an estimated 6,500 compositions, both studies and problems of which nearly half were published (the difference is that studies have a natural requirement - White to play and win, or draw: whereas problems specify mate in a fixed number of moves or something more recondite such as helpmates in which both sides cooperate).

Roycroft has chosen 100 studies from the 404 which the composer sent to him in correspondence up to 1979, 11 years before his death. While some of these have rather "heavy" initial positions, the majority, as players including myself usually prefer, are pretty "natural looking". Here are two: White to play and win - Shakmatnaya Moskva, 1962

The solution goes: 1 g7 Bf7! 2 Kxf7 b2 3 g8N+! Kh7 4 Bg7! b1Q 5 Nf6 mate! Along the way if 1...b2 2 g8Q b1Q 3 Qg7 mate; or 3 g8Q? b1Q is only a draw; while 4 Bxb2? would have been stalemate. Kommunisti 1973 - received "3rd Honourable Mention" 1 Nh6+ Kh7 2 Qc2+ Kh8 3 Qc8+ Nf8 4 Qxf8+ Kh7 5 Qg8+! Qxg8 6 g6+ Kh8 7 Nf7+Qxf7 8 gxf7 g6+ 9 Kh6 g5 10 f8Q mate. Not 1 Qxd5? Nf4+; while 3...Nd8 4 Qxd8+! Qxd8 5 Nf7+ is simple; and not 9 Kxg6? stalemate.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head