Thomas Rayner Dawson

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Thomas Rayner Dawson
DawsonThomasRayner.jpg
Born
Thomas Rayner Dawson

(1889-11-28)28 November 1889
Leeds, England
Died16 December 1951(1951-12-16) (aged 62)
Surrey, England
Known for Chess problem compositions
Fairy chess

Thomas Rayner Dawson (28 November 1889 – 16 December 1951) was an English chess problemist and is acknowledged as "the father of Fairy Chess". [1] He invented many fairy pieces and new conditions. He introduced the popular fairy pieces grasshopper, nightrider, and many other fairy chess ideas.

Contents

Career

Dawson published his first problem, a two-mover, in 1907. His chess problem compositions include 5,320 fairies, 885 directmates , 97 selfmates, and 138 endings. 120 of his problems have been awarded prizes and 211 honourably mentioned or otherwise commended. He cooperated in chess composition with Charles Masson Fox.

Dawson was founder-editor (1922–1931) of The Problemist , the journal of the British Chess Problem Society. He subsequently produced The Fairy Chess Review (1930–1951), which began as The Problemist Fairy Chess Supplement. At the same time he edited the problem pages of The British Chess Magazine (1931–1951).

Motivation and personality

From The Oxford Companion to Chess :

His genius did not set him apart from his fellows; he could find time for casual visitors, and would explain his ideas to a tyro with patience, modesty, and kindness. Although he won many tourney prizes much of his work was designed to encourage others, to enlarge the small band of fairy problem devotees. He composed less for fame than to amuse himself, confessing to another composer "We do these things for ourselves alone." [2]

Sample problems

Fairy Chess Review, 1947
abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
Chess nlt45.svg
Chess pdt45.svg
Chess kdt45.svg
Chess klt45.svg
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Series-helpmate in 17 moves
Black makes 17 moves, then White makes a move, delivering checkmate.


Solution:1. Ka2 2. Ka3 3. Kb4 4. Kc3 5. Kd3 6. Ke2 7. Ke1 8. f1R 9. Rf2 10. Ke2 11. Kd3 12. Kc3 13. Kb4 14. Ka3 15. Ka2 16. Ka1 17. Ra2 Nb3#

Onitiu, Petrović, Dawson & Fox
1st Pr. Kniest TT. 1930, FIDE Album 1914–44/III
abcdefgh
8
Chessboard480.svg
Chess gdt45.svg
Chess gdt45.svg
Chess pdt45.svg
Chess gdt45.svg
Chess kdt45.svg
Chess klt45.svg
Chess glt45.svg
8
77
66
55
44
33
22
11
abcdefgh
Mate in 8
Grasshoppers are on a8, f7, h2, and h1.

This problem is a strange case of coincidence: thematic tourney prescript problems with grasshoppers without limiting number of the moves. The identical problem was sent independently by four composers. [3]

Solution:1. Gh3 Gh4 2. Gh5 Gh6 3. Gh7 Gh8 4. Ge7 Gd7 5. Gc7 Gb7 6. Ga7+ Ga6 7. Ga5+ Ga4 8. Ga3#

Publications

The last five titles were collected as Five Classics of Fairy Chess, Dover Publications (1973), ISBN   978-0-486-22910-2.

Related Research Articles

Chess problem A chess composition whose solution is a mate or other clear objective

A chess problem, also called a chess composition, is a puzzle set by the composer using chess pieces on a chess board, which presents the solver with a particular task. For instance, a position may be given with the instruction that White is to move first, and checkmate Black in two moves against any possible defence. A chess problem fundamentally differs from over-the-board play in that the latter involves a struggle between black and white, whereas the former involves a competition between the composer and the solver. Most positions which occur in a chess problem are 'unrealistic' in the sense that they are very unlikely to occur in over-the-board play. There is a good deal of specialized jargon used in connection with chess problems; see glossary of chess problems for a list.

In the game of chess, perpetual check is a situation in which one player can force a draw by an unending series of checks. This typically arises when the player who is checking cannot deliver checkmate, and failing to continue the series of checks gives the opponent at least a chance to win. A draw by perpetual check is no longer one of the rules of chess; however, such a situation will eventually result in a draw by either threefold repetition or the fifty-move rule. Players usually agree to a draw long before that, however..

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Fairy chess Chess compositions with nonstandard rules (e.g. with fairy pieces)

Fairy chess is the area of chess composition in which there are some changes to the rules of chess. The term was introduced by Henry Tate in 1914. Thomas R. Dawson (1889–1951), the "father of fairy chess", invented many fairy pieces and new conditions. He was also problem editor of Fairy Chess Review (1930–1951).

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Amos Burn

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Bishop and knight checkmate Chess endgame


The bishop and knight checkmate in chess is the checkmate of a lone king which can be forced by a bishop, knight, and king. With the stronger side to move and with perfect play, checkmate can be forced in at most thirty-three moves from any starting position where the defender cannot quickly win one of the pieces. The exception is the "stalemate trap". These exceptions constitute about 0.5% of the positions. Checkmates are possible with the defending king on any square at the edge of the board, but can be forced only from positions with different material or if the defending king is in a corner controlled by the bishop or on a square on the edge next to a corner, but mate adjacent to the corners not controlled by the bishop is only two moves deep, so is not generally encountered unless the defending side plays inaccurately. Although this is classified as one of the four basic or elementary checkmates, it occurs in practice approximately only once in every 6,000 games.

The grasshopper is a fairy chess piece that moves along ranks, files, and diagonals but only by hopping over another piece. The piece to be hopped may be any distance away, but the grasshopper must land on the square immediately behind it in the same direction. If there is no piece to hop over, it cannot move. If the square beyond a piece is occupied by a piece of the opposite color, the grasshopper can capture that piece. The grasshopper may jump over pieces of either color; the piece being jumped over is unaffected.

Joke chess problems are puzzles in chess that use humor as a primary or secondary element. Although most chess problems, like other creative forms, are appreciated for serious artistic themes, joke chess problems are enjoyed for some twist. In some cases the composer plays a trick to prevent a solver from succeeding with typical analysis. In other cases, the humor derives from an unusual final position. Unlike in ordinary chess puzzles, joke problems can involve a solution which violates the inner logic or rules of the game.

Seriesmover

A seriesmover is a chess problem in which one side makes a series of legal moves without reply at the end of which the other side makes a single move, giving checkmate or yielding stalemate, depending on the precise stipulation. Checks cannot be given except on the last move of the series. There are various types of seriesmover:

Charles Masson Fox

Charles Masson Fox was a Cornish businessman who achieved international prominence in the world of chess problems and a place in the homosexual history of Edwardian England.

The chess endgame of a queen versus pawn is usually an easy win for the side with the queen. However, if the pawn has advanced to its seventh rank it has possibilities of reaching a draw, and there are some drawn positions with the pawn on the sixth rank. This endgame arises most often from a race of pawns to promote.

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Fairy Chess Review was a magazine that was devoted principally to fairy chess problems, but also included extensive original results on related questions in mathematical recreations, such as knight's tours and polyominoes, and chess-related word puzzles. It appeared six times per year and nine volumes were published, from 1930 to 1958.

Valerian Onițiu Romanian chess player

Valerian Oniţiu was a Romanian chess problemist.

Nightrider (chess) Fairy chess piece

A nightrider is a fairy chess piece that can move any number of steps as a knight in the same direction. The nightrider is often represented by a symbol similar to the knight's icon, but altered in a way to indicate the additional straight-line motion. In this article the nightrider is represented with an inverted knight, and notation N.

Chess on a really big board is a large chess variant invented by Ralph Betza around 1996. It is played on a 16×16 chessboard with 16 pieces and 16 pawns per player. Since such a board can be constructed by pushing together four standard 8×8 boards, Betza also gave this variant the alternative names of four-board chess or chess on four boards.

References

  1. Pritchard, D. B. (2007). Beasley, John (ed.). The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. John Beasley. p. 361. ISBN   978-0-9555168-0-1.
  2. Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1987). "Dawson, Thomas Rayner". The Oxford Companion to Chess . Oxford University Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN   0-19-281986-0.
  3. Petrovič, Nenad (1949), Šahovski problem, Šahovska centrala, p. 142