BPCF from 28th to 30th April 2023
Традиционални Београдски фестивал проблемског шаха одржан је 15. пут, током викенда 28-30. априла
The 15th BPCF Introduction
Our farewell words from the 14th BPCF See you at the 15th BPCF 2020! didn’t come true. Covid times have interrupted all the gatherings of chess problemists in Belgrade, and postponed the BPCF three years later than planned. Our tradition of regular weekly meetings in Belgrade chess clubs lasted more than 60 years, even during the bombing of 1999, but the quarantine measures managed to stop them. It was hard to predict the social effects of quarantine life, and now it’s even harder to recover from them.
When we decided to finally renew the Belgrade Problem Chess Festival, it was planned as a very modest version of what it used to be. For the venue of all activities we selected our modest Monday meeting place, the Chess Club Belgrade, where we’ve been enjoying a cordial support of the club president Milan Aca Milićević and his staff on every step.
There were many obstacles to overcome. Worst of all, we couldn’t count on two dear and regular participants. For the first time, Dinu-Ioan Nicula couldn’t come with his lectures from the history of Romanian chess composition, and Ivan Denkovski was unable to join us and take the role of the OSCS Director once again.
Without the two of them, the BPCF wasn’t the same, but we had to deal with it and keep going. The man to rescue the Open Solving Championship of Serbia, our Brazilian friend Marcos Roland, came all the way from Rio de Janeiro. His mission was a double one. Apart from directing the OSCS (assisted by Borislav Gadjanski and Djurica Serafimović), he presented his latest great achievement, the English translation of the 2009 book by Piotr Murdzia Solve With the World Champion: Secrets of Chess Solving.
The book that you can find now on Amazon, as a Kindle edition of almost 500 pages, is not only a translation from Polish. It is a corrected and improved version with 35 new diagrams, largely extended with photos, facts and parts written by Marcos himself. His motivation to spend 45 days and nights in hectic work was the one of a true lover of chess composition: to assure a book for the new generation of Brazilian chess problemists. Will they read it in English? Not necessarily, because he has translated the book first into English, and next to Portuguese!
That’s how we got the first hero of the 15th BPCF. What about composing tournaments, an important part of each Festival? At the beginning, we planned a relaxed three-hour event, before Srećko Radović decided to generously contribute with a 5-days thematic tournament, offering to suggest a theme and do the award. Borislav Gadjanski took the role of tournament director, using the Mat Plus System, as he did for the WCCT 2022 composing tournaments. With such a short time for composing, the international response was more than satisfying: 15 composers from 11 countries, with 18 entries. The highest distinctions went to Anatoly Slesarenko, Dragan Stojnić and Ralf Krätschmer.
Half a year ago, when we started reviving our live events and competitions for beginners, the Serbian Chess Problem Society (SCPS) got an unexpected supporter in Slobodan Bojković, a well known FIDE Master of OTB chess. Our oldest regular solver became the youngest one in enthusiastic promotion of chess solving among young players in Serbia. He animated participants of the B tourney that was simultaneously happening in Belgrade and Novi Sad. Here again, Borislav Gadjanski was the tourney director, and Željko Medar was the local controller in Novi Sad. At the end, the best juniors were Konstantin Mandraš and Boško Stefanović.
In spite of all the obstacles in renewing BPCF, we counted on a very strong field for the central event, the Open Solving Championship of Serbia. A month before the start, the double world champion and European champion Danila Pavlov was leading the list of OSCS, followed by the six best Serbian solvers, and three more guests. It turned out the average rating of the top 10 was 2449.6 points, only 0.6 points shy from the 4th Category level of the World Solving Cup.
Something to regret? No! Only a few days before the start, Marko Filipović joined as the 2nd seed, and raised the average rating to 2476 points – the world’s strongest national championship of the last years! It was his great comeback after more than three years of absence from solving competitions. He ended in 2nd place, behind the once again convincing Danila Pavlov, and ahead of the 3rd seed, Bojan Vučković.
The 4th place of the junior Kevinas Kuznecovas (born 2005) in his first appearance in BPCF was a surprise only according to the rating, but not to those who followed his meteoric rise this year. With his Belgrade result and the 2nd IM norm, he overtook the leading position in the World Solving Cup 2022/23, and could have done even better had he solved all twomovers! Right behind him, in 5th place, was a year older Ilija Serafimović, who missed a higher placement only because of a poor result in the tricky penultimate round. It was great to see several new Belgrade guests in the OSCS, including Richard Dobiáš, Arvydas Mockus and Daria Dvoeglazova, the youngest participant and the only lady.
Two days of the schedule were reserved for traditional mini-lectures and free-style presentations. Dolf Wissmann came to Belgrade for the 6th time, and opened the Friday program with rare and entertaining cases of Novotny interference and ultimate blunders in chess games played in the Netherlands (one of them being his own). Branislav Djurašević made a two-part presentation on reworking three old endgames, the first one he showed on Friday and the next two on Sunday. Many interesting historical facts about the development of Helpmate, Selfmate and Help-Selfmate were presented and discussed by Borislav Gadjanski. He ended the series of milestone diagrams with his own hs#, demonstrating a thematic combination that could hardly be realized in other genres.
Apart from cups and medals for the best results, we had some little gifts for everybody. Milomir Babić delivered the 2019 book of his selected composition Boem of Chess Composition, edited by Dragan Stojnić, and I was happy to distribute a brand new CD From Puzzle to Art – Part I, with the first 1000 problems (and articles) from my columns in the daily Politika 1986-99. Our friends Ljubiša Papić and Radivoje Urošević didn't'attend the Festival but they carefully compiled and prepared this gift for me and all other participants.
After the closing ceremony, Srećko Radović began the Sunday presentations on the demo board with prize-winning entries from the Belgrade QCT 2023. Živan Šušulić offered his “Add-a-Piece” #2 for solving, and I showed two latest entries by our friend Nikola Stolev who planned to join us but had to give up at the last moment. The pinnacle of the day was a h#2 by recently deceased legendary composer Unto Heinonen (1946-2022), with perfect “striptease” twins, passionately presented by Milomir Babić.
The loud applause that followed this great artistry marked the end of the Festival. Most of the participants were leaving right after, with agreements to meet at the XVI BPCF. The next time, whenever it will be, we hope the circumstances around the world will be much better!
19:00 - 22:00
Meeting in the club, greetings, announcements and mini-lectures:
1. Dolf Wissmann:
Novotny interference and „Ultimate Blunder“ in chess games
2. Branislav Djurašević:
Development of an old endgame study (to be continued on Sunday)
3. Borislav Gadjanski:
Helpmate (h#) and Help-selfmate (hs#) – historical development and one idea
11:00 - 14:30
Chess Solving Championship of Serbia 2023, Rounds 1-3
Director: Marcos Roland, assistants Borislav Gadjanski & Djurica Serafimović
12:50 - 14:20
B Solving Tourney, simultaneously in Belgrade & Novi Sad
Director: Borislav Gadjanski, local controller in Novi Sad: Željko Medar
Results of the B Tourney from Belgrade, free activities in the club
Free activities out of the club
10:00 - 13:30
Chess Solving Championship of Serbia 2023, Rounds 4-6
14:00 - 15:00
Time to rest, join together and show some problems on demo board
1. Živan Šušulić:
2. Branislav Djurašević:
Some more endgames
3. Others ...
15:00 - 16:00
Closing Ceremony of the Open Chess Solving Championship of Serbia 2023
Some gifts to the participants (Milomir Babić & Marjan Kovačević)
Results of the Belgrade Quick Composing Tourney 2023,
with presentation of selected entries on the demo board (Judge Srećko Radović)
16:00 - until the last guest leaves
Joining together and farewell till 2024