2020 French Solving Championship

The championship

A special format was used this year, as in addition to the traditional competition, a distance championship was held with a separate ranking.

The participants received the statements at the same time as the "classic" participants and tried to solve the problems proposed.
Then the participants grade themselves according to the scale.

Daniel took part in this virtual competition.

The Master, for his part, did it at home a little later.

Here is a detailed report by the two above-mentioned




Daniel's report

For my part, I attacked 1, 2, 3, 7 and 12.
Human study and quite indisputable. This is not always the case. Well done!
I was hoping to solve the 2 move helpmate but there was none!
The 3 move helpmate had 3 solutions, but I was uselessly bored.
I'm glad to have found a solution of the neutral piece problem helpmate 3 moves. Very nice!

I only looked for the problems I thought I had a chance to find the solution. So I did not even look at the 4 and 5 moves. My time was spent laboriously but usefully except on the helpmate one which I thought wrongly to find one or two solutions.
Proud to have a solution on a neutral piece helpmate. There were actually problems accessible to players.

I had no intention of looking for retros.
I looked at the problems 45' after the start.
I felt I could find the two children's problems (PG 4.5 moves and PG 6 moves).

I spent half an hour without finding anything!

I am ashamed because objectively a player should not be able to miss like that on a 4.5 moves!

Master's editorial

It is increasingly difficult for me to participate in the annual conventions of problemists, given the increasing amputation of my modest retirement pension by the marchers-sic. An improvement of the situation would suppose that the French were not, as they seem to be in their majority, calves, as a famous temporary brigadier general of great stature (a big man rather than a great man) described them 60 years ago.

Moreover, I prefer to go to congresses abroad (which are generally cheaper), rather than to return to Lyon, which I certainly love, but where quenelles, apron de sapeur, kidneys, sweetbreads and many other delicacies no longer hold any secrets for me. Knowing also that, for the last 50 years, I have bathed in Beaujolais more than I should.

But of course I never fail to relive these congress in room. And it's not sad. "Solitude" does not weigh heavily on me. Besides, as Thibon said, "When there are no more solitary people, there are only isolated people left". One regret: "The great advantage of seeing the world is to say to oneself that one has everything to be happy, as long as one remains alone with oneself" (E. M. Cioran).

This series did not seem to me too difficult, only the monstrous 2# with "semi-pinned" neutral pieces was likely to give a headache with its 4 candidate moves (the Swedish author is however not a "monster" but one of the most charming problemists that I know!) Even the inevitable 5-move selfmate of "Gamni" seemed less difficult than usual (I solved it but out of time).

The first 2# is nice: we are helped by the strong black move ...Rg3. The second one is a bit more resistant thanks to a nice false lead. The first 3# is perhaps (with the 19th century 5#) the most attractive one of the pack. Black threatens ...Ne2 or ...b3 followed by a check to the White King. What do you think? I still spent a quarter of an hour.

The second 3# took me half that time. Admittedly, the diagram is heavy, but a threat is needed and the variants flow. The 4# has no white Queen; I won't conclude that it must be easy (a common mistake). However, the threats of ...Nb3 or ...Rxe8 followed by a check incite us to action. The theme is well known but I find this problem a bit shaky.

The 5# is fun to look for. You block, you reblock, then... everything unblocks. Just think of d'Orville! I'm surprised Garen, in particular, didn't solve it. At the same championship, 3 years ago, a similar problem had as little success.

Human" study, says Daniel: indeed, Pogo for the Nada jubilee, that promises. It's a pity that the references are not communicated with the statement: in a competition, I would not have ignored them, as I do more and more often. But Daniel had an advantage, knowing my exercise 385 for 40 years!

Even guessing the theme, I dawdled on the charming 3# help: mats don't disappoint. Selfmate 2# easy, one minute more for the "3rd variation". The advantage of the selfmate 5# is that you find the threat quite quickly. A little less quickly the unique parry, even less quickly how to exploit it. But, at least, to use a Thierry Le Gleuher expression, the solutionist can make deductions, rather than attempts.

Didn't really look at the "neutral" pieces or more exactly the "weathervane" pieces (check out the fairy tale ones in this course http://lecoursdumaitre.e-monsite.com/pages/cours/cat-2019/8-janvier-2019.html )

In summary, an interesting selection.

Tournament B: I recommend Giegold's fun 4# and Breuer's Bishop-Rook duel (in 6 moves). The 3# are excellent but more complex.

PS : Although Dardilly is the birthplace of the holy Curé d'Ars, no miracle occurred there: Michel outrageously dominated the competition.

paper version (!)

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