OzProblems

Australian Chess Problem Composition

Welcome to OzProblems.com, a site devoted to the chess problem art in Australia! Whether you’re a player who is new to composition chess or an experienced solver looking for challenging problems, we have something for you. Our aim is to promote the enjoyment of chess problems, which are at once interesting puzzles and the most artistic form of chess.

Problem of the Week

575. Arnoldo Ellerman
Arbejder-Skak 1952, 1st Prize

Mate in 2

  • The weekly problem’s solution will appear on the following Saturday, when a new work is quoted.

  • See last week's problem with solution: No.574.

An in-depth introduction to the art of chess composition, examining various problem types and themes.

Prominent Australian problemists write about their involvement in the contemporary problem scene, and present some of their best compositions.

A comprehensive collection of Australian chess problem materials, including e-books, articles, magazines and columns (all free downloads).

A chess problem blog by Peter Wong, covering a range of subjects. The main page provides a topic index.

See latest post below, followed by links to other recent entries.

Use the contact form on the About page to:

  • Comment on a Weekly Problem you have solved.

  • Subscribe to OzProblems updates.

  • Ask about any aspect of chess problems.

What makes chess puzzles, problems, and endgame studies sound – or unsound? Why do some puzzles seem to contain “sub-optimal” moves by the opposing side? Is a problem or a study faulty if its thematic variation isn’t apparently “forced”? These sorts of questions are often raised, and it’s certainly important to be able to distinguish between valid and incorrect positions. Afterall, the brilliant solution of a puzzle or a composition comes to nought if an alternative line solves as well. Understanding the issue of soundness also helps us to appreciate why certain moves appear as the main line of a solution. We will thus look at the motivations that underlie “best” moves and how they actually vary in tactics puzzles, composed problems, and studies, due to different goals and conventions. We’ll also consider the limitations of chess engines and tablebases in analysing such positions, and see why the software’s purported solutions are often misleading. Once these factors are taken into account, we can make the right verdict on the validity of any puzzle or composition, and avoid some common fallacies.