Unfortunately, in the year following my birthday I suffered a family tragedy that, after an extended period of time, led to a bereavement. Those events robbed me of my enthusiasm for solving, composing, or even studying chess problems. They suddenly seemed unimportant. Because my 50th birthday had been the last time that everybody had been together and alive and well, I found it very difficult even thinking about my jubilee tourney. I performed my duties for the BCPS, though I did gave up my editorship of The Problemist Supplement, something I had been planning to do in 2005 anyway. I kept busy by placing my MESON chess problem database on my website and making it publicly available.
It has taken a long time, but at last I have regained my enthusiasm. I am enjoying my solving and am even composing a little, and have eventually been able to revisit my 50th birthday. I am glad to announce that the award is now available, thanks to my good friends Jörg Kuhlmann and Torsten Linss, who acted as judges. I must stress that all of the delay was down to me – both judges have done all that was expected of them. Of course, everybody has my apologies for the great delay. The competing composers have all been very patient and I thank them for their forbearance.
The tourney itself has been a little disappointing, both as regards quantity and quality, the former probably my fault for only advertising it in The Problemist. Because of the delay, the tourney boasts the odd publication dates of 2004-2009.
Although neither judge has actually awarded any prizes, the five composers involved in the two top-placed problems will each receive a free one-year subscription to The Problemist. All compositions not appearing in the award are, of course, at the disposal of their composers.
My thanks go to the BCPS (for putting up the prizes), to the two judges and, finally, to the competitors. It has taken a very long time, but at last I have been able to enjoy your chess problems and your greetings.
This piece was first posted on my then website on 2nd July 2009.
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