Australian Chess Problem Composition

Welcome to OzProblems.com, a site all about chess problems in Australia and around the world! Whether you are new to chess compositions or an experienced solver, 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

692. Mikhail Marandjuk & Vladimir Soldatov
Shakhmaty v SSSR 1991, 1st Prize

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.

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Help retractors

2 Feb. 2024

In retractor problems, one or both players take back a specified number of moves, with the goal of reaching a position where a forward task, such as a mate-in-1, can be realised. In help retractors, the two sides cooperate during the backward play, while in defensive retractors, they act in opposition. Here we shall look at the former (the more accessible type), specifically those in which both players retract one move and aim for a helpmate-in-1. Retractions in problems give rise to many interesting effects, like uncapturing an opponent’s piece and unpromoting a unit that’s on the eighth rank. Such unconventional forms of play are, nevertheless, still bound by legality – i.e. it is forbidden to take back any move that would result in an illegal position.