Composing tourneys come in two flavours: formal and informal. Formal tourneys invite composers to send original compositions to a director, who renders them anonymous and sends them on to the judge. The judge makes his award and sends it to the director, who adds the composers’ names before the award is published. Informal tourneys are not anonymous. Composers send their original work to the editors of chess composition magazines, who publish those they think worthy. The compositions are published in the magazines’ sections for originals, where they normally form material used in yearly solving competitions for the readerships. There are many types of chess composition and all compositions in each type in a particular period (normally a year, but not always) are then judged by an expert in that field, with the award being published in due course in the magazine.
Our first study managed to make the award in the endgame study section of the informal tourney for the years 2005 to 2006 of the German magazine Die Schwalbe, the magazine of the Deutsche Vereinigung für Problemschach.
2nd HM., Die Schwalbe, 2005-2006
White to play and win
Two pieces are attacked, so White has to act quickly. 1.Ne4+! Qxe4 Other moves lead to a quick defeat for Black - 1...Kb6 2.Rb3+ Kc6 (2...Ka5 3.Rb5+ Ka4 (3...Kxa6 4.Kc7 Qxe4 5.Rb6+ Ka5 6.Ra6#) 4.Rb2 Ka5 5.Kc7 Qd1 6.Nxd6 Qa1 7.Rb5+ Ka4 8.Bb3+ Ka3 9.Nc4#) 3.Bb5+ Kd5 (3...Kb6 4.Bxd7+ Kxa6 (4...Ka5 5.Kc7 Qxc3+ 6.Nxc3 d5 7.Nxd5 Kxa6 8.Ra3#) 5.Kc7 Qh5 6.Bc8+ Ka5 7.Ra3+ Kb5 8.Ba6#) 4.c4+ Kxe4 5.Rxf3 1-0; 1...Kc6 2.Bd5+ Kxd5 3.c4+ Kxe4 4.Rxf3 Kxf3 5.Kxd7 1-0; 1...Kxc4 2.Nd2+ 1-0 2.Ra5+ Kb6 2...Kxc4 3.Ra4+ Kd3 4.Rxe4 Kxe4 5.Kxd7 1-0 3.Rb5+ Kxa6 The introductory phase is over. White has built a battery aimed at the black king, but now is not the time to fire it. First the black queen has to be decoyed to somewhere where she is less active and so the white bishop picks a fight with her majesty. 4.Bf1! Qh1 5.Be2! 5.Rb1+? Ka5 6.Kc7? Qc6+ 0-1 5...Qe1 6.Bd3! 6.Rb2+? Ka5 7.Kc7? Qxc3+ 0-1 6...Qd1 6...Qd2 7.Bf1 Qxf2 8.Rf5+ 1-0 7.Bc4! Qg4 8.Bf1! Qg1 The sprightly and persistent bishop has gone to f1 the quick way and then processed slowly back to c4, stopping off at every square on the way. Finally, by express, he has visited f1 again, and the battery can now open. 9.Rb1+! Ka5 10.Kc7! After being decoyed to g1, the black queen can no longer attack the black king on c7, so, to avoid mate, Black has to play 10...Ka4 (or 10...Qg4 11.Ra1+ Qa4 12.Rxa4+ Kxa4 13.Kxd6 1-0) but then 11.Bb5+ picks up the black queen, as does 11.Ra1+ Kb3 12.Bc4+ 1–0
Our study for solving, also an entry in an informal tourney, is an early composition by Julius Buchwald (1909-1970), published in the city of his birth, Vienna.
Wiener Schachzeitung, 1928
White to play and draw
1.Nc4+ Ka4 (1...Kb5 2.Be8 Qxe8 3.Nd6+ =) 2.Bd1+ Kb5 3.Ba4+ Kxa4 4.Nb6+ Nxb6 =