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Kriegspiel solving competition

The chess variant called Kriegspiel was invented in 1899 in South Africa. Since then, this variant always has been in the attention of chess variant players and chess problem composers (with its ups and downs.) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the game, we had a competition in solving Kriegspiel problems.

The rules of Kriegspiel (and some additional links) can be found at Chess Variants site:

There are two webpages with together all problems, selected for this competition. Problems differ in form, difficulty, and beauty (although different people will like different ones better.) In total, there are nine problems.


Interested souls can first look at the solutions. Other people can read about points for solutions received by me and my comments.

I think competition can be considered successful as problems proved to be solvable as well as not trivial, amusing, but also serious. Some problems contained traps not escaped by everyone.

Points received for all problems

  1. Jean Roche, Comm Rex Multiplex 1986
    • D. Carey: 2/10 - didn't state question "Are there any?"
    • A. Pfeiffer: 8/10 - in variation Bd) 2.Qf4+? Kh6-h5!
    • J. DiMuro: 6/10 - 2.Qe6+? Kxg7! twice
    • O. Ronat: 10
  2. Jean Marc Loustau, 132 Phénix 2 - 1988
    • D. Carey: 10
    • A. Pfeiffer: 4/10 - wrong order of moves tried by white in a) and b)
    • J. DiMuro: 7/10 - wrong order of moves tried by white in a)
    • O. Ronat: 10
  3. Jean Marc Loustau, 303 Phénix 5 - 1989
    • D. Carey: 9/10 - missing answer to black 1...Rxh5! (both Rb2, Bxd3 impossible)
    • A. Pfeiffer: 6/10 - on "xh5" Bxd3 Qxd3!
    • J. DiMuro: 6/10 - on "xh5" Bxd3 Qxd3!
    • O. Ronat: 10 - I think underlying black moves are exchanged on "xh5", but the order of white tries is OK
  4. Jean Marc Loustau, 470 Phénix 7 - 1989
    • D. Carey: 10
    • A. Pfeiffer: 10
    • J. DiMuro: 10
    • O. Ronat: 10
  5. Jaques Rotenberg, The Problemist 1976
    • D. Carey: 10 - is there a dual 5.Rb5 // Rh7! or Rh3!? It seems yes as both rook moves only wait
    • A. Pfeiffer: 10
    • J. DiMuro: -
    • O. Ronat: -
  6. Jean Roche, 699 Phénix 10 - 1990
    • D. Carey: 10
    • A. Pfeiffer: 1/10 - 1.Rf7? no announcement! (Kc8-b8)
    • J. DiMuro: -
    • O. Ronat: 10
  7. Jean Roche, 813 Phénix 11-12 - 1990
    • D. Carey: 10
    • A. Pfeiffer: 10
    • J. DiMuro: 10
    • O. Ronat: 10
  8. Jean Marc Loustau, 933 Phénix 13 - 1991
    • D. Carey: 8/10 - in your notation M, xg6 +ld is 2.Ned4+? Kf7!
    • A. Pfeiffer: 7/10 - check on long (Rf4+) 2.Sbd4+? Ke5! one point less than above as it is more important variation
    • J. DiMuro: -
    • O. Ronat: 10
  9. Jaques Rotenberg, 1408 Phénix 19-20 - 1992
    • D. Carey: 10
    • A. Pfeiffer: 10 - possible typo somewhere "c2 6.Re1#"
    • J. DiMuro: -
    • O. Ronat: 10

Some other nice and original touches by participants

  • D. Carey: I liked intelligent description for the second set of problems although it is not standard, it is easily readable. Also an idea of 5.Rb5 //Rh7! in 5. is new.
  • A. Pfeiffer: Very clearly written.
  • J. DiMuro: The most elaborate comments, but in any way no boring! It was exciting to read them. Especially comments to problems 4. and 7.
  • O. Ronat: Standard notation for Kriegspiel! I especially appreciated stating of tries in problem 6.

Gloomy corner

  • D. Carey: Looking at total points reveals suffering from not solving the very first problem correctly and from a few mistakes in otherwise well solved problems. Anyway, I was amused by incorrect thinking in 1.
  • A. Pfeiffer: The greatest number of mistakes.
  • J. DiMuro: The least number of solved problems.
  • O. Ronat: Luckily escaped 2nd place and finished first in spite of not solving 5.


  1. O. Ronat: 80
  2. D. Carey: 79
  3. A. Pfeiffer: 66
  4. J. DiMuro: 39


Main prize (a book on problems by Samuel Loyd) goes to winner, O. Ronat.

Good luck in the form of CD-ROM goes to runner-up, D. Carey.

As all solvers proved excellent skills I decided to award also remaining two people, prizes are in the form of chess composition booklets about fairy chess written by Václav Kotesovec.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to success of our competition in any way!

See also

WWW page made by Hans Bodlaender and Juraj Lörinc.
WWW page created: August 21, 1999. Last modified: March 1, 2001.

Comments to Juraj Lörinc.