Australian Junior Chess Problem-Solving Championship 2014

19 Feb. 2014 | by Peter Wong

For the eighth consecutive year, a problem-solving competition took place as part of the national Junior Chess Championships. Held at the Knox Grammar School in Sydney this year, it attracted 85 solvers (70 boys and 15 girls), the highest number ever for the event. Nigel Nettheim was again the main organiser, and you can read his comprehensive Report on the Championship on this site. Having arranged the competition successfully for so many years, Nigel has also put together a useful guide on how to run a junior problem-solving event, and it’s included as an Appendix in the Report. For a list of this year’s winners, go to the Prize List page of the Australian Junior Chess Championships site.

The contestants had two hours to deal with fifteen problems, which were capably set by Geoff Foster and Nigel. The selectors posed mostly directmates and endgame studies, though a selfmate and a proof game were added to the mix. Incidentally, these less common problem types are explained in Nigel’s updated Quick Introduction to Chess Problems and Endgame Studies, an invaluable read for any prospective entrant.

Bedrich Formanek
Pionýrské Noviny 1961

Mate in 2

Leonard de Jong
Magyar Sakkvilág 1930, 1st Prize

Mate in 3

Above are two directmates from the Championship for you to solve. Although Formanek’s two-mover is placed early in the paper (No.5) – where the tasks are arranged roughly from easy to hard – it still held me up considerably. De Jong’s three-mover is ordered last and indeed it’s quite challenging (only one participant managed to crack it within the time limit). With no time pressure bearing down on me, I solved it in a few minutes and had tremendous fun deciphering its many variations. To see the two solutions, along with the rest of the problems used in the event, check out the Report mentioned above.