Studies awarded for the 7th Youth Composing Chess Championship 2023.

See also: 7YCCC

In section B (studies) of the 7th YCCC the thematic condition was as follows: Middlegame study: We ask for studies with themes known from the middlegame. Please follow these requirements: A. Besides the king, in the starting position each side must have queen and a minimum of 2 other pieces (rook, bishop or knight), also at least 1 pawn. B. In the starting position, the white king must be positioned on a1a2b1b2c1c2f1f2g1g2h1 or h2. Likewise, in the starting position, the black king must be positioned on a8a7b8b7c8c7f8f7g8g7h8 or h7. The judge will put emphasis on: ● A natural (game-like) starting position ● The presence of tactics and maneuevers typical of the middlegame such as sacrifices, attack on the king(s) and winning material. ● All or most pieces moving during the solution To me the middlegame study will be a major battleground of future studies, as new ideas with few pieces are becoming increasingly difficult to develop (but not impossible). I realize the theme I chose for this version of the YCCC is also very difficult, since creating interesting, unique winning lines with 10 or 15 pieces is much more difficult than doing the same in simpler positions. Especially if you want to make every piece to take part in the action. Also in some cases it is very difficult to determine if sidelines are cooks. These difficulties are infact evident in more than half of the submitted studies. On the other hand, in middlegame studies the sky is very much the limit and with good and ambitious ideas it is possible to create real art with a substantial appeal to regular chess players who love to solve positions who resemble a real game but still reveals something unique. I received 11 studies in anonymous form from Julia Vysotska. Study no 2, with interesting play, is almost surely cooked by 2. c7 Bf8 3. Rd1 Rd6 4. Rxd6 Bxd6 5. Bh6 Bxc7 6. Qc6 Qd8 7. Kc2 g5 8. Bxg5 Qxg5 9. Qxc7 Qe3 10. Qb8+ Kg7 11. Qxe5+ Kf8 12. Qd6+ Kg7 13. c5 bxc5 14. bxc5. This is a typical example of the difficulty of middlegame studies. Even if the study proved to be correct this (and other difficult sidelines) would be really harmful to my overall evaluation. Therefore I’ve decided to keep the study out of the award, hoping the composer will find an improvement and publish it elsewhere. Before I go on to the placed studies, I would like to thank every single composer for having tried to tackle a difficult theme. The notation is by the composers, though in a slightly edited form.