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752

CHESS

sacrifices. The number of moves was rarely less than five, and the conditions were not infrequently cumbered by restrictions on the movements of certain pieces. In the course of time the solutions were reduced to shorter limits, and the beauty of quiet {i.e., non-checking) moves began to make itself felt. The early “ transition ” school, as it has been called, was the first to recognize the importance of economy as then understood, i.e., the representation of the main point of strategic worth without any extraneous force. The mode of illustrating single-theme problems, often of depth and beauty, was being constantly improved, and the problems of C. Bayer, K. Willmers, S. Loyd, J. G. Campbell, F. Healey, J. B. of Bridport, and W. Grimshaw are, of their kind, still unsurpassed.' In the year 1845 the “Indian” problem attracted much notice, and in 1861 appeared Healey’s famous “Bristol” problem. To the transition period must be ascribed the discovery of most of those clever ideas which have been turned to such good account in the more richly varied contents of the modern school. In an article written in 1899 F. M. Teed mentions the interesting fact that his incomplete collection of “ Indians ” totalled over three hundred. In the early ’seventies, which may be called the later transition period, a more general tendency was manifest (as it became recognized that further improvements were well - nigh impossible in the construction of one - idea problems), to illustrate two or more finished ideas in a single problem with strict regard to “ purity ” and “economy.” In the years 1872-75 the theory of the art received greater attention than it had done previously, and the essays of C. Schwede, Kohtz and Kockelkorn, Lehner and Gelbfuss, helped to codify hitherto unwritten rules of taste. The last quarter of the 19th century, and its last decade especially, saw a marked advance in technical accomplishment, until it became a common thing to find as much deep and quiet play embodied in a single firstclass problem as in three or four of the old-time problems. This broader conception of the idea of “ economy ” gave a great impetus to the practice of blending several distinct ideas in one elaborate whole, even at the cost of a slight increase of force, provided always that the principle of “ purity ” was regarded, if thereby the ratio aforesaid is enhanced. In the composition of “ two-movers ” it is customary to allow greater elasticity and no very rigorous application of the principles of purity and economy. By this means a greater superficial complexity is attained; but neither the Teutonic nor the Bohemian school countenances this contravention of what they regard as fundamental aesthetic rules, and even amongst the English and American twomove specialists it is recognized that complexity, at the cost of discarding the canons of construction which obtain in the construction of problems of heavier calibre, is liable to abuse. Mr A. F. Mackenzie of Jamaica, however, is an uncompromising advocate of a relaxation of ordinary rules where two-movers are concerned, and he and a few others (notably T. Taverner, W. Gleave, H. and E. Bettman, and P. F. Blake) have won some of their greatest successes with problems which, under the stricter ruling of Continental authorities, would be tabooed. Whilst in a sense it is fruitless to discuss the degrees in which composers of varying nationalities may claim to have advanced the art, since the true style is cosmopolitan, Bohemian (Czechish) composers have long stood unrivalled as exponents of that blending of ideas which is the distinguishing trait of the present-day problem. It would not, indeed, be too much to say that they were pioneers, and by their exceptional technical skill popularized the theories which nowadays find almost universal acceptance. Such is their skill in construction that the distinction

between main lines of play and subsidiary variations disappears entirely. Indeed, it is rare to find in a problem of the Bohemian school fewer than three or four lines of play which, so far as economy and purity are concerned, are unimpeachable. Amongst the earliest composers of the small band that was destined to revolutionize the standard of composition so widely, Anton Konig, the founder of this school, Makovky, Drtina, Palct, and Pilnacek deserve to be honourably mentioned, but it was not until the starting of a chess column in the weekly journal Svetozor that the merits of the new school were fully asserted. It was in 1871 that Jan Dobrusky contributed his first composition to that paper. In 1872 the name of G. Chocholous first appeared, and three years later that of C. Kondelik. These three great composers set up a tradition for finished workmanship which has been worthily upheld without cessation to the present day. Pospisil, Dr Mazel, Kviciala, Kesl, Tuzar, Musil, and J. Kotrc; and later still, Havel, Traxler, and Z. Mach, are no unworthy followers of Dobrusky. The influence of the Bohemian school upon the somewhat conservative proclivities of the older English composers is commonly traced back to the publication of the second prize set of problems from the Leipzig tourney 1879, the work of G. Chocholous. The characteristic faculty for blending several variations into one harmonious whole is not without “ the defects of its qualities,” and consequently we find amongst the less gifted exponents that the mere agglomeration of clean and economical variations is apt to be regarded as an end in itself. Hence a certain tendency to repeat combinations of similar companion ideas is discernible at times. The danger that mere virtuosity in facile construction should be allowed to usurp the place of freshness of invention and strategic depth was already apparent to Chocholous when, in an article on the classification of chess problems (Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1890), he warned the younger practitioners of the Bohemian school against what had been dubbed by H. v. Gottschall “ Varianten-leierei,” or the “ grinding-out of variations.” When this one reservation is made few will be inclined to dispute the preeminence of the Bohemian school. To some tastes, however, a greater appeal is made by the generally deeper if less richly varied play typical of the older German school, the quaint fancy untrammelled by hard-and-fast rules of the genial American composer, Samuel Loyd, or the almost ultra-studious immunity from “duals” which is the distinguishing trait of the English school. The following masters in practical play are also known as composers of distinction : J. Berger, J. H. Blackburne, C. Schlechter, R. Teichmann, Dr H. von Gottschall, J. Mieses, and the late Professor Anderssen, whilst Dr E. Lasker and Steinitz and Zukertort have not disdained to contribute occasionally to the “ poetry ” of the game. Similarly the following composers are, or were in their time, noted players: Professor J. Berger, S. Loyd, J. G. Campbell, C. D. Locock, and F. M. Teed; and among ladies : Sophie Schett, Mrs T. B. Rowland, and Mrs W. J. Baird, whose record of tourney successes and remarkable accuracy entitles her to a place in the foremost ranks of British composers. It is somewhat singular that a study, the pursuit of which entails high powers of imagination as well as deep ■and accurate analysis, has proved to be within the powers of those afflicted with blindness. Yet by universal acclaim Mr A. F. Mackenzie of Jamaica is unsurpassed at the present day. In one tourney he won the prize for threemovers, whilst that for two-movers fell to H. F. Lane, who has likewise to compose sans voir. Mr Mackenzie also won the first prize in the self-mate tournament of the