Javier Rodríguez Ibrán 80 Jubilee Tournament

FINAL AWARD 20 December 2015


I have received 42 studies in anonymous form (29 composers of 18 countries), from director L. M. González more than the ones I have composed as it happens with D Joseph, A. J. Roycroft and probably someone else. Both, in terms of participation and quality, the contest has been a success, with many good studies, none demolished and only a few seriously (auto)anticipated: No. 8 f8d7 (A. Gasparyan, EG#12039, HHdbIV#67276), No. 11 g8b1 (P. Rossi, EG#16145, HHdbIV#71991), No. 12 c8e5 (V.
Bron, 2nd hm Shakmaty v SSSR#38 1946, HHdbIV#21940), No. 28 h8a6 (I. Akobia & D. Gurgenidze, EG#17654, HHdbIV #75392).

I am really grateful to all the composers and especially to my friend the Tourney Director Luis Miguel González, the most prolific and the best Spanish composer ever. To
run a contest of this kind implies a great deal of work, even more when you need to analyse and look for anticipations as in this case. Judging the tourney was not either an easy task, mainly due to doubts, worries and anxiety that you hold during months, even after the verdict emission. 

I would also like to thank L. M. González for the wonderful study composed for this event and dedicated to me. It’s in the head of the Prize List but of course out of competition. 

The Problemist May 2015 describes “Vague studies” characterized by difficult supporting variations which can raise more questions than answers. Sometimes even the composer does not fully understand the lines provided by the silicon aids. Some of our studies fit to that definition, like No. 4 (e7b5), 9 (e1c3), 11 (g8b1), 24 (c4a8) and 37 (d6a7). 

Finally, I’d like to introduce a new group, “Friendly studies”, characterized by few, short and easy supporting variations, with a nice and surprising principal line, making them suitable for solving and easy to play.

In the three month confirmation time we have received several claims but none with a demolition and only a few related to anticipation. I have decided to switch places
between the 5th prize and the 1st honourable mention, both from Martin Minski, and to add a Special Commendation for No. 8, from A. Gasparyan, a notable improvement of a previous study.

This final award will also be communicated to all participants and to the main specialized magazines.

Thank you once again to all composers and to the Tourney Director.

The Judge of the Tourney, 

Javier Rodríguez Ibrán.

Luis Miguel González, Spain
Dedicated to Javier Rodríguez Ibrán, 80 JT


A beautiful study that in the second move unfolds in two twins with Novotny as duplicated theme. Interesting play full of brilliant sacrifices without great complications, a genuine “Friendly study”.

Difficult and complex, with batteries, sacrifices, stalemates and zugzwangs leading to a six men position which is a win after a stalemate avoidance.

Meredith with clear variations including stalemates, surprising moves, two bishops sacrifices, refusal capture of a Rook, Queen journey with imprisonment and mutual zugzwang for ending all. The most brilliant study of tourney.

Very good, with two key moves, 1.Bf2+ (Nxb3?) and 4.Kb5 (Kb6?) refuted by interesting variations including two stalemates.

Meredith combinative, amusing and clear, suitable for solving and nice to see, good example of “Friendly Study”. Very nice sacrifice 7. Rf2! to clear the big white diagonal.

The mate is known from a 1860 problem and the Seeberger incarceration has appeared before at least in two studies: R. Aleksandrov, 3º P Shakhmaty v SSSR 1935 and V.Korolkov, 1ª HM Sverdlovsk Ty Uralsky 1946. But here the introductory play is interesting and the final position is a delight for eye and mind.

Precise moves in an empty board. Worth to note the nice sacrifice 5...Rg8+ and here the composer only considers 5.Kh6? Rh8+ draw, but after 6.Kg5 there are several lines that lead to endings with R+2N vs R+B which are a general win e. g. 6...Rh7 7.Rf6+ Kb5 8.Rb6+ Kc4 9.Nxa5 winning, although Black can improve with 6…Kb5. When an 8-piece TB is available its soundness could be confirmed definitely.

Sacrifices, precise elections (2.Rg2+ / Rg1?; 6.Rf8 / Rf6?), castling, refusal of capture, all in eight moves and packed in a natural position.

Twelve men, interesting play and a model stalemate with no piece standing in their initial place.

Zakhodyakin has a similar study (Shakhmaty v SSSR/12, 1982) cooked later. This one comes from that one but changing colours and stipulation, with a longer play that is neither in the original nor in its cooked. Duals are not important here.

Something almost new in the trodden field of Rooks and Pawns with a long and clear main line of six men full of zugzwangs and ending in a positional drawn. L.M. González did not find any anticipation.

Amusing Queen figth perfect for the solvers.

Partly anticipated by Gurvich (HHdbIV #14290) but this one is better, with previous and posterior play. Clear solution and like previous one, a “Friendly Study”.

Partly anticipated by C. Jonsson (1st hm Tidskrift för Schack, 1964), but this one has no duals.

Three sacrifices to clear a line or empty a square, 1.Rg6; 3…Be5+; 5...Ng2; one battery repeated and precise wK moves that ending with the bQ capture.

Improvement of a V. Nestorescu’ study (EG#04810, HHdbIV #45691) where the bK turns around her Queen. Here the theme is duplicated with another dance around the Rook adding an interesting previous play.

A 7-piece position and consequently a correct one as confirmed by TB although only the computers understand the initial moves; this is a good example of a “Vague study”. White can win a piece several times but only the 5th move really works what leads to a positional draw by chained zugzwangs.

Authors´ comment: “Long precise fight in advantage position. Switchbacks. Reciprocal zugzwangs. Meredith”. Yes, but very difficult and not very amusing.

Hard fight to obtain miraculously a drawn position with a knight down.

Simple and interesting miniature ending in a perfect mate. The dual 6.Rh3(g2) has little importance.

Complex task with difficult variations. The effort deserves a commendation.

Curious draw searched by White but achieved by stalemate of Black.

The special commendation is for the best reworking of a previous study. This one is longer and clearer, with a neat final position.