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

619. Dennis K. Hale & Ian Shanahan
StrateGems 2012

Illegal cluster
Add BQ, BS, 2 BPs
Progressive twin (b) Pf5 to f3
(c) & Ke2 to f7

  • 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.618.

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.

In retro-analytical problems, the solver has to consider the past of a given position and deduce what occurred in the preceding play. A broad range of tasks are possible, such as determining the legality of a castling move, uncovering the last moves played, or reconstructing the whole proof game. Another form of retro is the illegal cluster, invented by T. R. Dawson in the 1930s. In this type of construction task, you are shown a position along with a list of pieces that must be added to it. The goal is to create an illegal position, but one that becomes legal upon the removal of any one unit (except a king). Legal/illegal positions are defined as those that can/cannot be reached via a sequence of legal moves from the opening array. Illegal cluster problems have a sort of built-in elegance to them. Every piece in the solution position must somehow contribute to its illegality, a delicately balanced state that tips over into a legal one if any unit disappears.