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

547. Colin Sydenham
Andromeda Fairy Chess Match Great Britain v Hungary 1993-95, 4th Place

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

  • See last week's problem with solution: No.546.

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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In December of 2019, after taking a long break from composing proof games, I attempted a challenging task in that genre that elaborates on what’s called the Pronkin theme. In this paradoxical idea, at the final position of a proof game, a piece seemingly on its home square turns out to be a promoted unit, replacing the original piece that was captured at some point. A game may contain multiple instances of such deceptive play, with four Pronkin impostors being the most that have been achieved (see a great example in the Walkabout of 30 Aug. 2014). Another way to intensify the theme involves setting up more than one solution (or twins), where each part requires a different home-square unit to be the impostor. Since multi-phase proof games are not simple to construct even with basic themes, those that demonstrate this type of changed Pronkin piece are uncommon and normally two-part affairs. Take for example the eponymous first-prize winner (No.141) by Dmitry Pronkin himself. I wondered if it was possible to extend this idea to three phases, showing a different type of promoted piece each time. And indeed, what about four phases – wouldn’t it be great to combine a four-fold change of Pronkin with the Allumwandlung theme!?