Meaning of CHESS COMPOSITION in English


Chess composition Chess compositions are created positions in which one side, usually White, moves first and is required to perform a task. The reader is called upon to find the task's solution. There are three basic forms of composition depending on the type of task. In studies, White is asked to reach a desired result, either a clear winning or drawn position, in an indeterminate number of moves. In problems, White is asked to force checkmate in a specific number of moves. Black is required to put up the best defense in the solutions of both studies and problems. In the third category, heterodox problems and related retrograde analysis, the reader is asked to perform unusual tasks. In each case, criteria such as originality, difficulty, beauty, and the absence of extraneous pieces distinguish good compositions from great and poor ones. Also, the existence of a second solution, or cook, sharply reduces the quality of a composition. Under these and other criteria, composers of studies and problems have competed in organized tournaments since the middle of the 19th century. The world chess federation, FIDE, awards the titles of International Master and International Grandmaster of Chess Composition based on having studies and problems published in the FIDE albums. Studies Composed studies are usually positions with a small number of pieces and may resemble an endgame from actual play. A position always is accompanied by a stipulation, either "White to play and win" or "White to play and draw." There is no time limit on achieving a position that is objectively won or drawn. Such a won position is not necessarily one leading to immediate checkmate but one with a prohibitively large advantage of material for White. A drawn position may be one in which Black lacks enough material to win or in which White has created an impenetrable fortress for his pieces or has obtained some kind of positional advantage, such as the ability to give perpetual check, that prevents Black from winning. Solutions are often elaborate. Some compositions beginning with a bare minimum of pieces involve a solution of more than 20 moves. White to play and draw, a chess composition by Richard Rti (c. 1922) 1/4 The first studies, called mansubat and dating from Arabic and Persian manuscripts, were intended to instruct players on how to win endgames. Themes of instructional studies, such as the pursuit of more than one aim at a time, are often used in practical play to turn what otherwise would be a draw or loss into a win. Highly praised studies have been composed with a minimum of material, such as two kings and only two or three pawns. (See the composition.) Studies have also been based on arresting or unusual ideas, including underpromotion, stalemate, or sacrifices. Vladimir Korolkov, a celebrated Russian composer, published a study entitled "Excelsior" in 1958 in which White wins only by making six consecutive captures by a pawn. The solution was illustrated by verses from Longfellow's poem "Excelsior." Positions with practical application were known as early as the 9th century and were particularly popular in the 19th century. Many leading players were also accomplished study composers, including the world champions Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, and Vasily Smyslov, as well as Paul Keres and Jan Timman. Development of Theory There are three recognized phases in a chess game: the opening, where piece development and control of the centre predominate; the middlegame, where maneuvering in defense and attack against the opponent's king or weaknesses occurs; and the endgame, where, generally after several piece exchanges, pawn promotion becomes the dominant theme. Chess theory consists of opening knowledge, tactics (or combinations), positional analysis (particularly pawn structures), strategy (the making of long-range plans and goals), and endgame technique (including basic mates against the lone king). Philidor and the birth of chess theory Early chess players recognized that a typical game could be divided into three parts, each with its own character and priorities: the opening stage, when a player develops the pieces from their starting squares; a middlegame stage, in which plans are conceived and carried out; and an endgame stage, following several exchanges and captures, in which the player with the superior chances tries to convert an advantage into victory. Books analyzing a few basic opening moves, elementary middlegame combinations, and simple elements of endgame technique appeared as early as the 15th century. About 1620 an Italian master, Gioacchino Greco, wrote an analysis of a series of composed games that illustrated two contrasting approaches to chess. Those games pit a material-minded player, who attempts to win as many of the opponent's pieces as possible, against an opponent who sacrifices material in pursuit of checkmate-and usually wins. Greco, regarded as the first chess professional, emphasized tactics. His games were filled with pretty combinations made possible by poor defensive play. They had considerable influence in popularizing chess and in showing that there were different theories about how it should be played. The first coordinated explanation of how chess games are won came in the 18th century from Franois-Andr Philidor of France. Philidor, a composer of music, was regarded as the world's best chess player for nearly 50 years. In 1749 Philidor wrote and published L'Analyze des checs (Chess Analyzed), an enormously influential book that appeared in more than 100 editions. In Analyze Philidor used apparently fictitious games to illustrate his principles for conducting a strategic, rather than tactical, battle. His comments on certain 1 e4 e5 openings were copied for decades by other masters, and his analysis of king, rook, and bishop against king and rook was the first extensive examination of a particular endgame. But it was Philidor's middlegame advice that was his greatest legacy. He emphasized the role of planning: Once all a player's pieces are developed, that player should try to form an overall goal, such as kingside attack, that coordinates the forces. Philidor also placed a premium on anticipating enemy threats rather than merely concentrating on one's own attack. Greco and previous writers had explored the tactical interplay of two or three pieces. But Philidor believed that the significance of the pawns had been overlooked and drew particular attention to their weaknesses and strengths. His most famous comment-that "pawns are the very life of the game"-is often cited without his explanation of why they are important: because, he said, pawns alone form the basis for attack. Philidor believed that a mobile mass of pawns is the most important positional factor in the middlegame and that an attack will fail unless the pawns to sustain it are properly supported. He warned against allowing pawns to be isolated from one another, doubled on the same file, or made backward-that is, unguarded by another pawn and incapable of being safely advanced. He linked the qualities of pawns to other pieces and was the first to emphasize how a bishop could be bad or good depending on how restricted it was by a fixed pawn structure. He also advocated the exchange of an f-pawn for an enemy e-pawn because it would partially open the file for a castled rook at f1. While previous authors had shown how pawns or other pieces could be temporarily sacrificed in checkmating or material-gaining combinations, Philidor illustrated the purely positional sacrifice in which a player obtains compensation such as superior piece mobility or pawn structure. History Ancient precursors and related games The origin of chess remains a matter of controversy. There is no credible evidence that chess existed in a form approaching the modern game before the 6th century AD. Game pieces found in Russia, China, India, Central Asia, Pakistan, and elsewhere that have been determined to be older than that are now regarded as coming from earlier, distantly related board games, often involving dice and sometimes using playing boards of 100 or more squares. One of those earlier games developed into a four-player war game called chaturanga, a Sanskrit name for a battle formation mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Chaturanga was flourishing in northwestern India by the 7th century and is regarded as the earliest precursor of modern chess because it had two key features found in all later chess variants-different pieces had different powers (unlike checkers and go), and victory was based on one piece, the king of modern chess. How chaturanga evolved is unclear. Some historians say chaturanga, perhaps played with dice on a 64-square board, gradually transformed into shatranj (or chatrang), a two-player game popular in northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and southern parts of Central Asia after AD 600. Shatranj resembled chaturanga but added a new piece, a firzan (counselor), which had nothing to do with any troop formation. A game of shatranj could be won either by eliminating all an opponent's pieces (baring the king) or by ensuring the capture of the king. The initial positions of the pawns and knights have not changed, but there were considerable regional and temporal variations for the other pieces. The game spread to the east, north, and west, taking on sharply different characteristics. In the East, carried by Buddhist pilgrims, Silk Road traders, and others, it was transformed into a game with inscribed disks that were often placed on the intersection of the lines of the board rather than within the squares. About AD 750 chess reached China, and by the 11th century Japan and Korea. Chinese chess, the most popular version of the Eastern game, has 9 files and 10 ranks as well as a boundary-the river, between the 5th and 6th ranks-that limits access to the enemy camp and makes the game slower than its Western cousin. Introduction to Europe A form of chaturanga or shatranj made its way to Europe by way of Persia, the Byzantine Empire, and, perhaps most important of all, the expanding Arabian empire. The oldest recorded game, found in a 10th-century manuscript, was played between a Baghdad historian, believed to be a favourite of three successive caliphs, and a pupil. Figure 2: 11th- or 12th-century chess pieces carved from walrus ivory, found on the Isle of Lewis, 1/4 Muslims brought chess to North Africa, Sicily, and Spain by the 10th century. Eastern Slavs spread it to Kievan Rus about the same time. The Vikings carried the game as far as Iceland and England and are believed responsible for the most famous collection of chessmen, 78 walrus-ivory pieces of various sets that were found on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in 1831 and date from the 11th or 12th century. See Figure 2. Chess and dice games were periodically banned by kings and religious leaders. For example, King Louis IX forbade the game in France in 1254. However, the game's popularity was helped by its social cachet: a chess set was often associated with wealth, knowledge, and power. It was a favourite of Kings Henry I, Henry II, John, and Richard I of England, of Philip II and Alfonso X the Wise of Spain, and of Ivan IV the Terrible of Russia. It was known as the royal game as early as the 15th century.

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